Here are the top 15 places to find a developer:
Toptal is a professional talent matching service, initially created with only tech talent in mind. Although it has expanded its pool of talent to include designers and finance experts, the company’s bread and butter is its developer vertical. If you want to be sure that a developer is up to the job, hiring an exceptional developer from Toptal is likely your best option.
Why? Toptal boasts an elite developer base. Their trademark system for vetting talent allows for only the best to become a part of their community. According to Toptal, only 3% of applicants make it through their battery of technical tests and their comprehensive vetting process.
The best freelance websites allow you to find developers quickly. Hired helps employers find software engineers and developers quickly through their custom matching software.
On Hired, you can use their pipeline to find custom matches. You can create a company profile, search for candidates using their search algorithm (which can eliminate gender and racial identifiers for fairer hiring), and request interviews with candidates.
What’s best about Hired? It’s great for finding specialized developers who are actively searching for new opportunities, have relevant experience (as most candidates on Hired have at least two years of experience), and are in your area.
The quality of Upwork freelancers is variable for the large marketplace, however, as there is minimal screening done by the company itself. Therefore, most of the legwork of screening and vetting will be left to you.
4. GitHub Jobs
Don’t waste your time perusing large job boards like Monster and Indeed. You’ll have far better luck with job boards geared toward tech talent. GitHub has a massive developer community as it’s one of the largest open-source online repositories for coders. For a relatively small fee, you can post a developer job listing and gain a great deal of exposure on GitHub’s huge developer community.
Stack Overflow has an online community that rivals GitHub. Arguably, it’s the absolute largest and most trusted community of developers on the web. Stack Overflow is often used as a resource for all kinds of developers, novice to expert, seeking to learn more about coding. Their job board, like GitHub’s, allows for an incredible amount of exposure to dedicated developers around the world.
Gigster is a recruiting platform similar to companies like X-Team. Gigster connects you a with qualified team of developers for a variety of tech projects.
Gigster sets clients up with product managers, who act as liaisons between clients and Gigster developers. This makes the process much smoother, especially for inexperienced managers.
Gigster should be able to match you with a development team in far less time than a typical recruitment agency. However, they do not offer a 48-hour guarantee. If you need a developer in a pinch, try matching services like Toptal.
People Per Hour is another freelance marketplace akin to Upwork. What makes People Per Hour unique is that it holds contests and allows Freelancers to post their own job postings called hourlies.
People Per Hour has millions of members, thousands of confirmed hours, and a plethora of success stories from freelancers and entrepreneurs alike. The ease of posting jobs, contacting freelancers, and paying for hours worked makes People Per Hour a superb choice for employers interested in searching for and vetting freelance candidates themselves.
Additionally, with People Per Hour, you can connect with local freelancers, so you aren’t necessarily limited to remote talent.
Dice is a well-established tech and IT job board with 3 million registered tech professionals. Dice boasts high traffic to its site with over 2.4 million unique visitors a month.
Posting a job listing will be a little more expensive than niche job boards as a single job listing costs approximately $400. The price shouldn't deter employers too much, however. The exposure your job listing will receive will more than justify the price of the listing.
Gun.io has a growing community of developers over 25,000 strong. Like Toptal, their service is designed to take the tedium out of hiring. Gun.io vets their talent and ensures that their freelancers are committed to each and every project.
Gun.io prides itself on its humanism. Every employer is connected with a VP, instead of a sales representative, and freelancers are provided with the resources to succeed.
What’s most alluring about the network? Gun.io manages and replaces talent – with no risk to you – and back every single hour worked with a 100% money-back guarantee.
Guru has a large global network of freelancers—albeit smaller than Upwork’s and People Per Hour’s massive pool. You can explore the profiles of 1.5 million gurus, propose projects, and pay your hired talent with their secure SafePay system.
Guru isn’t focused on developers, let alone developers, as it is a freelance network comprised of every sort of professional. So, like with Upwork and People Per Hour, you’ll have to narrow your search yourself. Also, as with many freelance networks, the vetting and interviewing will be up to you.
Freelancer is an absolutely massive marketplace with 25 million registered users, 12 million total posted jobs, and thousands of completed projects. With the size of the marketplace comes a unique challenge, however. Finding the perfect developer is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Although website development is one of the most popular job categories on Freelancer, you still will have to search through thousands of Freelancer profiles, vet and interview candidates yourself, and manage payments yourself.
If you’re looking for an affordable option, however, Freelancer is a wonderful hiring solution. For more long-term commitments, you’ll want to consider matching services like Toptal, Codeable.io, or Gun.io.
13. Authentic Jobs
Authentic Jobs is a job board for leading web, design, and creative talent. It has been steadily rising in popularity since its inception; the board is used by The New York Times as part of its acquisition process.
As front-end development often involves both creative and technical aspects, Authentic Jobs is a great place to begin your search. Much of their job board is populated with listings of front-end, web, and mobile developer positions which are likely similar to your own needs.
Authentic Jobs allows for posting developer positions remote or local, so you won’t be limited to remote employees or freelancers.
X-Team matches you with qualified front-end developers who receive mentorship and educational resources just for being a part of X-Team. Like Toptal and Gun.io, they do the heavy lifting of hiring. You won’t be saddled with rifling through resumes or preparing personalized interview scripts.
The major downside of using X-Team is that, as their name suggests, they are adept at organizing teams. If you’re only looking to hire an individual Developer, you’ll want to use a different matching service.
15. Working Nomads
Working Nomads curates lists of remote job offerings for a variety of careers. As with other remote job boards, development is the largest career category by far, so it can be a good place to find developers at a relatively affordable rate.
As with all job boards, vetting and interviewing candidates will be solely up to you. If this doesn't scare you off, then Working Nomads may be a solution to your hiring issue.
Craigslist can be a valuable resource for your business if you need to help with a project and have the time to screen developers yourself. Finding freelance developers won't be easy as it is with recruiting services, job boards, or freelance networks, however.
On Craigslist, you can buy and sell almost anything. It’s more akin to an online garage sale than a high-end on-demand talent service. While you can find high-paying job listings on the site, it’s not the best platform for hiring freelance developers.
Finding the best sites to find developers is no easy endeavor. Unless you’re a battle-worn recruiter, you likely won’t know how to navigate the complexities of hiring a developer. That’s completely okay—there’s plenty of sites and services to help you along the way.
Matching services like Toptal, and to a lesser extent, Gun.io, are great solutions for employers searching for tech talent, and for those who are looking to place their trust in experienced tech professionals. For those short on time with high-quality developers as a priority, Toptal, Gun.io, and Hired are superb choices.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are freelance marketplaces like Upwork, People Per Hour, and Freelancer that allow you to cast a much wider net for developers.
Employers looking for full-time developers may also benefit from utilizing Stack Overflow and GitHub’s job boards, which can provide wonderful exposure to the developer community.
Freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru allow you to instantly connect with developers, but you’ll have to care for the hiring details yourself. If you have ample time to devote to screening candidates and are confident in your ability to interview developers, they are a great choice. Otherwise, you should steer clear from marketplaces and job boards alike.
Job boards, marketplaces, and matching services all have their uses. Which site will best serve you will depend on your specific situation.
Ultimately, which sites you employ depends on a multitude of factors, such as:
- How quickly you need to hire a developer (i.e. your timeline)
- How much experience you have hiring developers
- Whether or not you’re equipped to test technical skills
- How many developers you need to bring on
- What level of experience those developers need
- Whether or not you’re open to remote workers
- What your budget constraints are
- How important quality is to your project(s)