15 MIN READ

How to hire freelance GraphQL Developers in 2024

Updated on May 21, 2024
Platforms to find talented GraphQL Developers
Toptal

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Upwork
  • Secure payments
  • Fixed-price protection
  • Expert-Vetted program
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Turing
  • AI-powered deep-vetting
  • Large remote developers network
  • Leading Talent cloud for companies
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Kelly Wilson
Written by Kelly Wilson

Strategist and entrepreneur, with experience in hiring developers across various industries. Kelly has established herself as a trusted expert in identifying and recruiting top tech talent. She shares advanced tips on how to identify the right talent, create hiring strategies, develop your tech teams and much more.

Expertise: IT Recruiting, Tech, Marketing

GraphQL is a query language for APIs that enables more efficient and flexible data retrieval. Developers who specialize in this language help companies build adaptable applications. In this guide to hire GraphQL developers, we cover the top online marketplaces to find well-vetted talent, universal hiring best practices, essential skills to look for, and the typical cost to hire top GraphQL developers.
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Here are the top 15 sites to hire freelance GraphQL Developers

Based on facts publicly available as of 01.01.2024

1. Toptal

Toptal is a freelance marketplace where you can access the global software engineering and consulting elite. They offer an extensive screening process that will allow you to identify the best GraphQL developers and experts in various domains, ensuring high-caliber and timely deliverables. Lara Aldage, CEO of Higgle and Toptal client, said, “In Higgle’s early days, we needed the best-in-class developers, at affordable rates, in a timely fashion. Toptal delivered!”

Key Points:

  • Enjoy a risk-free trial for up to 5 days.
  • Completed over 60,000 projects for 25K+ satisfied clients.
  • Trustpilot rating of 4.8 out of 5.

2. Upwork

Upwork has a global platform of talent where businesses can access freelance GraphQL developers. Companies can post jobs and receive proposals from candidates worldwide. Their algorithms weed out poor matches to find the most suitable talent for your project. Alternatively, the Project Catalog feature allows for the immediate purchase of pre-defined projects.

Key Points:

  • Upwork has a large pool of various professionals.
  • Their advanced algorithms and extensive profiles help in shortlisting.
  • They offer fixed-price contracts with milestone-based payments.

3. Turing

Turing is a unique freelance marketplace that uses AI to find GraphQL developers and other tech professionals for companies with specific project needs. They enable you to quickly scale your engineering team with the push of a button. However, the speed and quality of the AI process may take more time to find the perfect match.

Key Points:

  • Turing uses AI to vet talent deeply.
  • They offer quick and easy team scaling with a simple interface.
  • The platform suits a diverse range of clients.

4. Proxify

Proxify is a streamlined approach to hiring top-rated tech talent. Using a thorough vetting process, they identify the top 2% of developers. You can bypass the traditional costs to hire GraphQL developers using a personal matcher assigned to your company when you use their services.

Key Points:

  • Proxify requires no additional employment fees or overhead costs.
  • They provide guidance from a dedicated personal matcher.
  • The platform offers quick and hassle-free hiring.

5. Optymize

Optymize is a specialized freelance marketplace offering top-tier GraphQL developers to help companies meet project deadlines and scale their tech teams efficiently. They mainly cater to Fortune 500 companies, but can help anyone find freelance GraphQL developers among their talent, which is made up of the top 5% in the field. Their Talent Cloud Solution system is one of the best.

Key Points:

  • Optymize pre-vets talent using experts in the relevant field.
  • The platform serves Fortune 500 companies and funded startups.
  • They offer contract engagement for flexibility and scalability.

6. G2i

G2i is another specialized marketplace that connects companies with full-stack developers skilled in Node, React, TypeScript, and GraphQL. The platform offers in-depth technical profiles to ensure high confidence in your hiring choices. This is ideal for businesses seeking to hire freelance GraphQL developers who consistently deliver quality work.

Key Points:

  • G2i provides access to pre-vetted developers with expertise in specific JavaScript tech.
  • The platform creates comprehensive technical profiles and performance metrics.
  • They specialize in high-confidence hiring.

7. Matellio

Matellio is a software engineering studio specializing in end-to-end digital solutions for startups, mid-size companies, and large enterprises. With expertise in web, mobile, and geospatial technologies, the company is adept at hiring GraphQL developers and other tech experts. They offer flexible engagement models, such as turnkey projects or team augmentation.

Key Points:

  • Matellio is an expert GraphQL development company.
  • They offer dedicated developers to build upper-edge tech products.
  • Their staff has more than a decade of experience.

8. CodeMonk

Codemonk is a tech talent sourcing platform that specializes in providing companies with perfectly aligned technology teams. They can help you hire GraphQL developers to extend your existing teams or build a new team from scratch, offering customized solutions. They focus on allowing you to dedicate time to your core business needs while delivering teams seamlessly integrated with your operations.

Key Points:

  • Codemark’s expertise is in matching tech talent with tech needs.
  • The company handles every stage of staffing.
  • They allow you to build a wholly customized team.

9. Selleo

Selleo is a tech solutions provider in software development and consulting services. The company offers various hiring options with a client-focused approach, including dedicated teams and project-based contracts. They tailor services to meet the unique needs of your company.

Key Points:

  • Their initiation process includes signing an NDA and making in-depth calls to understand your business.
  • Their talent is highly proficient in modern tech stacks, including GraphQL.
  • Selleo promises timely project commencement and no surprises.

10. Bigscal

Bigscal specializes in providing skilled developers to meet various business needs. Companies can hire freelance GraphQL developers hourly or full-time for tasks ranging from building applications to migrating existing codebases. They cater to a global clientele and assure quality through their vetting process.

Key Points:

  • Bigscal uses agile development for streamlined and efficient project completion.
  • They use a stringent five-tier screening process.
  • The platform offers the top 2% of India’s full-stack engineers.

11. Qodeify

Qodeify offers high-quality GraphQL development services, allowing companies to build robust digital solutions. You can choose from experienced, first-class developers for your specific project needs. They emphasize professionalism and offer NDAs and complete source code authorization, making them a quality choice for businesses seeking the best GraphQL developers.

Key Points:

  • Qodeify offers various modules for hiring that let you tailor-fit a team for your project.
  • The platform features seamless communication.
  • Clients have full ownership of the source code achieved through projects.

12. ValueCoders

ValueCoders provides experienced GraphQL developers for various project needs. The site’s expertise is in automated API development, client-side development, and performance optimization. They serve a diverse client base looking for high-performance applications. You will find freelance GraphQL developers through their versatile hiring models, which give you complete control over your dedicated team.

Key Points:

  • ValueCoders offers various API development services, including GraphQL expertise.
  • They use proven methodologies and processes for software development.
  • The company guarantees that all developers and project managers are in-house to ensure quality and cohesion.

13. Virtual Employee

Virtual Employee offers comprehensive GraphQL services to businesses worldwide. They have a team of over 25 in-house developers boasting an average of four years of experience in GraphQL. They specialize in custom API design and development and data integration. VE can help you find GraphQL developers by tailoring solutions to your unique short- and long-term API needs.

Key Points:

  • Virtual Employee has over 250 successful projects and more than 60 client satisfaction stories.
  • They offer custom solutions for your project needs.
  • VE developers have proven GraphQL skills.

14. Skuad

Skuad offers a unique approach to searching for talent in the tech industry. They build globally diverse and distributed teams, allowing companies to excel at hiring GraphQL developers and other specialized roles. Skuad provides a remote-friendly hiring solution, eliminating the restraints of geographical variances and ensuring a seamless onboarding experience.

Key Points:

  • Skuad specializes in niche tech talent, such as GraphQL developers.
  • They help businesses adapt to remote management and collaboration practices.
  • The Skuad staff includes experts in building globally diverse teams.

15. Freelancer

Freelancer.com is a global crowdsourcing platform companies can use to find remote workers, such as a freelance GraphQL developer, with unique skills. Businesses that need to hire GraphQL developers, writers, or marketing experts often choose Freelancer.com for the fixed projects, hourly work, and contests available on the site. They cater to clientele worldwide and cover sectors from software development and design to accounting and legal services.

Key Points:

  • Freelancer.com has GraphQL developers from nearly 250 countries.
  • The site offers one of the world's most diverse pools of talent, but it's vetting process is not as thorough as that of many freelance marketplaces.
  • They provide escrow services to ensure payment security.

Guide to hiring great freelance GraphQL Developers

Companies can face many challenges when trying to keep up with the constant changes in the tech industry, especially regarding the unique skills required to handle GraphQL development. The demand for GraphQL developers spiked significantly due to the language’s efficiency in building scalable and user-friendly application programming interfaces. For example, REST APIs were the standard just ten years ago. Today, GraphQL continues to grow as the chosen language for many organizations. Staying ahead of and matching market trends is an essential hiring strategy. However, this high demand also makes it challenging to find the top talent in a large global pool of developers.

GraphQL vs Rest API
To help you overcome the complexity of the hiring process, this guide aims to streamline the process of how to hire GraphQL developers effectively. We delve into aspects like what skills are critical to the job, what job boards are most reliable, and how to structure the job posting and interview process. We also provide tips on assessing experience levels and offer data-driven insights on salary expectations. With adequate information and a complete understanding of how this language works for other companies, you can find GraphQL developer freelancers that add value to your company. Consider a few examples of how companies made GraphQL work in the real world.
CompanyUse of GraphQLFuture Plans
CrucialUsed in third-party digital transformations expertlyContinued use of GraphQL, transitioning more into direct interaction with sensitive HIPAA and financial data
GitHubSolved problems with managing customer requests for sensitive dataDiving all-in with the use of GraphQL, given the success of isolated projects within the GitHub platform
TruliaUnified its REST APIs into one source to resolve issues with inconsistency in their methods for collecting dataUsing GraphQL as the only source of truth for all data collected through the company’s many applications

Hiring a Freelance GraphQL Developer

Choosing to hire a freelance GraphQL developer comes with many benefits beyond just saving on overhead costs. For example, freelancers offer flexibility and engagement for specific projects, phases, or tasks, and allow for adjustments based on job scale and scope. That adaptability is particularly useful in industries where technological needs evolve quickly. Tapping into a global talent pool means access to a broader range of GraphQL developers with specific skills and experiences that can benefit your company.

What Does a GraphQL Developer Do?

On a basic level, GraphQL developers implement the query language GraphQL for APIs to create more efficient, flexible, and robust web applications. They are responsible for building and maintaining those APIs and enabling front-end developers to query multiple data types in a single request. They also work on schema definitions, resolve functions, and facilitate optimal data storage and retrieval operations. Their role often extends to collaboration with front-end developers to ensure seamless integration of the client and server sides, enhancing the overall application performance and user experience.

The relevant skills for a GraphQL developer often include proficiency in backend development technologies like Node.js, a firm grasp of REST API patterns, and experience with databases like SQL and NoSQL. Understanding tech like React or Angular can also benefit companies by helping to bridge the gap between backend and frontend development and by streamlining the process.

Why hire GraphQL developers? The benefits include having an expert in the versatility of GraphQL, which allows them to work on projects ranging from small startups to complex enterprise applications. Whether you need someone to expose an API for a mobile app, build internal data systems, or create APIs for third-party developer consumption, GraphQL developers can handle these diverse needs.
Anant Jhingran, developer, founder, and CEO of StepZen, emphasized the value of GraphQL, stating, “For frontend developers, GraphQL represents a step function. First, it is an intuitive query language for backend data,” but it also “brings efficiencies, since it prevents multiple backend calls.”

This encapsulates the dual advantage companies experience when they hire GraphQL developers. Companies often need the ability to query precisely what will minimize server load and boost application speed to improve the overall user experience.

If you are searching for GraphQL developers for hire, you should know that they are pivotal in projects that require efficient data handling and real-time updates. Companies operating in fields such as e-commerce, streaming services, and social media are often the primary beneficiaries of this skill set. GraphQL’s growing prevalence means that you need an effective way to stay competitive in these industries. Therefore, to maximize the chances of project success and stay on top of market changes, companies must hire dedicated GraphQL developers. They are an invaluable asset to modern development teams.

How To Hire GraphQL Developers

During the hiring process, you should clearly articulate what you expect from your new hire and the desired outcomes of current and future projects. This allows you to tailor the job description to align with your immediate and long-term goals. Then, you can search for candidates with the necessary skills and experience in GraphQL APIs through job boards, referrals, recruitment agencies, and the online marketplaces listed in this guide.

You must look for individuals with more than just an understanding of the basic requirements for knowing GraphQL. They should have demonstrable knowledge regarding backend technologies and database management systems. One advantage of using online marketplaces like Toptal is that they test their talent pool beforehand. The best developers often separate themselves from the average through their problem-solving abilities, experience with optimizing server-client data exchanges, and record of efficiently implementing projects.

Differentiating between junior, mid-level, and highly-skilled talent in GraphQL development involves assessing the breadth and depth of their experiences and capabilities.

  • Junior developers are often proficient in basic schema design and simple query executions. However, they may lack the expertise for more complex data relationships or performance optimizations.
  • Mid-level developers typically have a broader skill set, including implementing real-time updates, assessing errors, and working with persistent queries.
  • Highly-skilled or senior developers will typically have the added ability to architect scalable GraphQL APIs. They often have deep expertise in multiple backend and frontend technologies and can strategize, making them most appropriate for complex projects.

The choice between junior, mid-level, and highly-skilled talent should align with your project’s complexity and your company's resources. Junior developers are an excellent fit for smaller projects or startups that can offer hands-on mentorship. Mid-level developers work well for projects with moderate challenges that require low-level architectural decision-making. A senior GraphQL developer is likely the most appropriate for the job if you have a larger corporation with tasks requiring immediate expertise and limited onboarding time.

What Skills To Look for When Hiring a GraphQL Developer

When defining job requirements to hire GraphQL developers, you must consider technical proficiencies, the ability to collaborate, and cultural fit. In addition to a deep understanding of GraphQL and related technologies, the candidate must fit well within the existing team and organizational culture. Some technical skills you should consider for your job description include:

  • Proficiency in GraphSQL schema design and query execution
  • Strong backend development skills, preferably in Node.js
  • Experience working with database management systems such as SQL and NoSQL
  • Familiarity with REST API patterns and frontend technologies

Soft skills help you understand how well candidates will work with your staff. Essential examples for GraphQL developers include:

  • Excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Strong communication skills that show an ability to collaborate
  • Attention to detail and commitment to code quality
  • Adaptability to evolving technologies and methodologies

According to James Higginbotham, an executive API consultant, GraphQL developer skills should include expertise in API architecture, which requires them to wear six different hats:

  1. As API planners, they have an overarching view of strategy-building to enhance your company’s API portfolio.
  2. As API trend spotters, they are gateway users who rely on metrics and dashboards to inform decisions and refine strategy.
  3. As API reviewers, they possess strong empathy and focus on understanding user requirements.
  4. As API risk assessors, they can identify potential pitfalls.
  5. As API advocates, they focus on the business impact of GraphQL API, continually seeking ways to improve the developer experience and overall usability.
  6. As API creators, they invest in the improvement of existing GraphQL APIs and monitor feedback to improve the user experience.

When a developer is in sync with the organizational culture, it can lead to higher job satisfaction, better performance, and greater engagement. The interview process allows you to assess candidates’ communication skills, work ethic, and team dynamics.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire GraphQL Developers?

The average salary for a GraphQL developer is $109,843 annually, or $52 hourly. It can vary significantly based on skill level, experience, geographical location, and project requirements. Developers may cost over $162,000 per year on the high end.

Tips for Writing a GraphQL Developer Job Description

Creating a GraphQL developer job description highlights the technical and soft skills you want from a new hire. Mention project examples, and include aspects of company culture they should know. Technical assessments help gauge their level of expertise, but behavioral interviews teach you more about soft skills. Pair programming exercises offer a realistic job preview, but can be time-consuming. Incorporate questions that address problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills. Consider implementing blind recruitment techniques that hide identities and reduce unconscious bias.

Common Interview Questions To Ask When You Are Looking To Hire a GraphQL Developer

Your interview questions should address skills and character assessments. For example, consider the following questions and their desirable answers:

  • Can you explain the differences between REST APIs and GraphQL? The candidate should articulate examples like GraphQL’s more flexible query language, allowing clients to request exact data, and reducing over- and under-fetching.
  • How do you optimize GraphQL queries for performance? They should mention techniques like batching queries and using query complexity analysis.
  • Can you describe a challenging technical problem you solved recently and the approach you took? Look for answers that focus on more than the problem. They should address what they learned from the experience and how they worked with others.
  • How do you handle disagreements in a team setting? You want them to address the importance of open communication and compromise. They should show that they can maintain professionalism and collaborate even after a disagreement.
  • Can you describe a successful team project and your role in it? They should discuss goals and how the team worked together to reach them. What specific contributions did they make?

By incorporating a mix of questions and using them consistently for every interviewee, you can develop a better view of a candidate’s capabilities and suitability for the role.

How To Find Freelance GraphQL Developers for Hire

To find GraphQL developers, explore professional networks, industry events, and coding boot camps. Evaluate sites to hire GraphQL developers based on hiring speed and talent matching. Toptal excels at quickly hiring top talent with minimal effort from you. Consider factors like experience, budget, and remote options as well.

The roadmap for hiring GraphQL developers covers everything from writing a job description to interviewing and sourcing talent. A strategic hiring approach is crucial for capitalizing on GraphQL’s extensive capabilities and ensures you find someone who only brings about project success.

Hiring GraphQL Developers - FAQs

How To Hire GraphQL Developers

The basic steps for hiring GraphQL developers include:

  • Using our tips to outline your job description
  • Sourcing candidates on online marketplaces, job boards, or via other methods
  • Conducting skill assessments
  • Checking references and experience
  • Offering a trial project or period

The interview process will help you assess whether candidates will fit your company culture and integrate well with your team.

Why Should You Hire a GraphQL Developer?
GraphQL developers will help you build more efficient and adaptable APIs. They optimize the manipulation and querying of data and bring the advantage of tailored data retrieval, reducing the load on servers and improving the user experience. They also facilitate more accessible front- and back-end integration to speed up development cycles and strengthen departmental collaboration. Hiring someone with this skill set will help you stay competitive in the constantly evolving mobile app development landscape.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a GraphQL Developer?

The average salary for a GraphQL developer is $109,843 annually for full-time, salaried employees. For freelancers hired by the hour, the average pay is $53 per hour. Several factors can impact the cost, including the job scope, the developer’s geographical location, and their experience level.

Are GraphQL Developers in Demand?

The technology for GraphQL developers is in high demand, thanks to the diverse pool of applications it serves. According to the most recent State of GraphQL Report, 47.9% of developers use GraphQL for personal websites or apps, 40.4% for APIs, and 19.5% for public APIs intended for third-party developers. This wide range of utilities highlights GraphQL’s adaptability and efficiency, making it a highly-used and much-needed coding language.

Where Can I Hire GraphQL Developers?

Toptal, Upwork, Turing, Proxify, and Optymize are our top choices for freelance marketplaces to hire GraphQL developers. For more, check out our complete list of the best sites.

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