How to Find and Contract a Great Freelance Developer on LocalSolo

If you’re looking to hire a developer to supplement your in-house team, help you build the next Facebook, Snapchat, or just a cool website for your local sports club, then you’ve come to the right place.

There are thousands of great local developers on LocalSolo. You can find technical talent of all flavors and skillsets, from WordPress, Drupal, Ruby, Javascript, front-end, back-end, full-stack, mobile iOS, Android, data specialists and more.

LocalSolo developers are local (or, “onshore,” meaning they are based in your country) and typically more experienced and professional than offshore developers. They are more expensive, but their expertise and experience almost always makes up for a difference in cost. A single, local, expert developer typically provides as much value as 10 off-shore developers.

With so much talent on our site, we often get asked the best way to find and hire talent. This article will explain the process you should use to find, evaluate, and ultimately hire a developer to help you with your project.

Choosing the right approach

So how do you attract a great LocalSolo developer to work with you? There are three main plans.

How you’re using LocalSolo will determine the best way for you to find a great development partner. There are three plans that you can choose from when on the hunt for a freelance dev.

1. Free Starter Plan

With the free starter plan, you’re able to post jobs and receive applications. But you can’t make first contact with freelancers.

You can post a single job and hope that the right developer on our platform sees the job and decides to apply. Sometimes this works, but most often the best developers are busy and not always checking our job board.

2. Standard Plan

Our standard plan allows you to be proactive and reach out to the developers you want to work with. This is a good option if you want to find top talent and you know what you’re looking for.

I’ll talk more about how to get the most out of the standard plan in a section below.

3. Concierge Recruiting Service

This is a great option for those who don’t have the time to recruit a developer themselves. We consult with you personally and then find available, qualified developers for you!

The concierge service ensures that you get a developer that’s right for your job and in the quickest time possible, without the hassle of having to sift through many applications or profiles.

Writing a good job listing

Communicating what you need in a job listing can be a bit tricky. Where are a lot of details to include in order to get a response from the right people. And you want to attract developers who will also be easy for you to work with.

Here are a few basic tips to make sure that you create a good listing that will elicit the right kind of response:

  • Write the job post as a company rather than as an individual
  • Explain who your company is and what they do
  • Put up your company logo if you have one
  • Portray yourself or your company in a professional manner
  • Explain the project in as much detail as you can
  • Attach photos and images to the job post if relevant

One of the most important aspects of your listing will be the detail that you provide about your expectations and the intended outcome.

If you’re not sure quite what you’re looking for or you need help, you may want to consider our concierge service, where can help define and scope your project to give developers a clear understanding of your expectations.

Finding and contacting developers

If you’re using the LocalSolo standard plan, then you’ll have the ability to be proactive in how you find and contact developers for your job.

But there are some things you should know first about how to approach developers and find the right ones for the job.

1. Look in the right place

If you want a web developer who can also design, try the “Website Creators – Design & Code” category instead of the “Developers/Engineers” category.

2. Start with a basic search

Start by doing a search in your city, or cities in your country, for the type of developer you are looking for. You can either browse our by category and city, or do a keyword search if you know more specifics about the programming language or framework you need.

3. Use the filters to fine tune your search

Quickly narrow down your options by using filters. This will give you a quick way to see who meets all of your criteria.

4. Build a list of finalists

As you go through the list of developers, you’ll want to evaluate their skills and experience to see if it aligns with what you need. It’s always a good idea to use their side links to go off to view samples of their work, their portfolio, and other relevant information that will help you make an informed decision.

Favourite all the developers that have the skills and experience you require, and you think you might want to work with.

5. Contact the finalists

Once you have your list, you’re ready to reach out. The best way to get a developer’s attention is to write them a nice message about who you are, what the project is all about, and asking them if they are interested in working with you.

The more detail you can provide, the better, but don’t include more than a page. You want the developer to know that you’re a serious client with a real project.

Be sincere, positive, and give them as much detail as you can about the work and when you need it completed by. And it helps to make the message personal to them by saying you liked a specific project you found on their profile, or something tailored to that person.

Use the Contact button on each favourited profile to send them this message. That way the profile will be marked as “Contacted” and you will always know you’ve already sent them at least 1 message.

If you can find their personal email address via their website or portfolio, send them the same message through regular email to make sure they receive it.

6. Consider collecting incoming applications

If you like, you can post a job about the opportunity to our job board and just point the developer to that job post by copying and pasting the job URL into your message.

This way you may get others who just find your job on our job board and respond.

If you are strapped for time, you can post the job on the job board and then use the “invite to Job” button on each profile instead of writing them a custom message. This quickly sends them an automated message letting them know that you are interested in having them apply for the job you posted.

But we encourage that you send a personalized message if possible.

General tips on working with developers

I could probably write an entire book on how to best approach, hire, and manage developers. In fact, I’m sure plenty have already been written on these topics.

But, instead, I’ll just leave you with a few basic tips to ensure that your project goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Developers want to work with cool clients that respect them. They have lots of options, so be nice and personable with them.
  • Compliment their work.
  • Don’t send a, “Dear sir,” spammy template message to them.
  • Try and give them as much detail about the project and opportunity as you can.
  • Ask for references from past clients.
  • Ask them their rate, or if they prefer to flat bid a job. Don’t pay 100% up front, but you should be okay with paying a deposit. Pay the rest on completion, or in milestone stages.
  • Ask them to send you a contract with detailed scope for their work. Negotiate all the things in the contract so you both feel you are protected.
  • You’ll likely be paying $30-$60 per hour for a junior- to mid-level developer. The best developers are often $70 per hour or more, but they are usually much faster and intuitive so it probably makes sense to hire someone more experienced if your project is more complex.
  • Remember that a $10 per hour developer in a foreign country is often 20 times less effective than a experienced local developer who charges $100 per hour, so you get 10 times the value from hiring the senior local developer. This isn’t just about the person’s skill, but their ability to communicate, be intuitive and also their proximity to you and your time zone.

Further reading

We’ve written some other posts that may be helpful for those looking to hire a contract developer.

Here are some you should check out:

How to find the right freelancers to build your website

10 things to say when approaching a freelancer

When should you contract local, remote or low cast freelancers

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