It wasn’t that long ago that websites and apps were fresh, unconventional, and even a little quirky or unusual. However, in the previous decade, the internet and other digital technologies have evolved considerably. If you’re building a new software product today, you’ll need a flawless solution. It should tick all the right boxes and give you a competitive edge. Your business or project will require a professional developer who can deliver functional, efficient, user-friendly, and highly unique products. That is if you have already decided to hire a freelancer or company to do so for you.
While the playing field is massive, finding and hiring the ideal developer can be quite tedious. Many business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs prefer to recruit remote and freelance developers over full-time employees. For one, it can save money for both the employer and the worker. Plus, it also enables you to get access to the global talent pool and secure high-quality solutions for your business.
And when it comes to recruiting telecommuting remote workers, you can approach it in several ways. Namely, you can hire a remote developer or a freelancer. Additionally, for larger projects, you could find a fully remote company. However, if you choose to reap the benefits this course of action offers, it’s vital to know the difference between a freelance developer and a remote developer/company.
Our guide will give you an overview of those two options, and we’ll show you their pros and cons. What’s more, you’ll find out about some of the best practices and common obstacles when it comes to hiring a remote employee. So follow our remote developer hiring tips below. You’ll get an understanding of which type of remote worker you should recruit.
Why Hiring Remote Developers Will Benefit You
For starters, it’s vital to get an idea of some general advantages that you can get from recruiting a developer who isn’t a part of your in-house team. That will clear up some misconceptions regarding remote work, and you will see why it is so popular.
Benefits for Employers
Generally, telecommuting workers can reduce costs not only when it comes to their services but also company expenses. A recent study has shown that companies can save over $11,000 annually on every single remote employee. That is due to infrastructure costs, utilities, supplies, work-related benefits, and much more.
As mentioned earlier, it also gives you the chance to find the best talent on a global scale. Additionally, hiring remote workers is incredibly beneficial for the environment. It allows your company to cut back on the consumption of paper and plastics and reduce traffic pollution.
Furthermore, if you are hiring an in-house developer, you will most likely encounter recruitment and retention problems. It’s not easy to keep a good employee. The demand is vast, and developers are always on the lookout for better opportunities.
Benefits for Employees
And when it comes to the employee, research has shown that nearly 60% of remote workers are more productive. What’s more, in the past decade, all telecommuting work has seen an enormous 115% increase. That can give you an idea of the scale and importance of remote work today. It is quickly becoming the norm. That is a consequence of multiple perks that can help the worker in achieving the most successful results.
For example, freelancers and remote workers can save money on travel costs. Moreover, they can increase productivity and self-organization from home. That way, they can avoid stress, depression, or other mental issues that can arise from office work. Telecommuting remote workers can also get a more productive work routine and achieve higher satisfaction with their projects.
As you can see, hiring remote work can pay off for both the employer and the employee. However, there are some challenges when it comes to recruiting a freelancer or company made up of a team of remote workers.
Freelancer vs. Company
Regardless of the nature of your project, there are two different methods while recruiting remote workers.
Actually, remote workers and freelancers are two separate kinds of employees. You can find a freelancer who will work for a fee (i.e., hourly/per project). Or, you could hire a remote company/worker that will provide their services to you.
A company could offer services of its entire team for large projects and bulk tasks. Conversely, they could provide you with a single employee for less-demanding jobs. In either case, a company could offer its services for a fixed rate or charge a ‘time and materials’ price.
With freelance developers, you or your hiring manager will have to find a qualified worker individually. As a result, you will encounter an endless pool of talented and not-so-talented recruits. Freelancers may or may not work based on contractual agreements. You can find them through all sorts of job boards and platforms, including Upwork, Freelancer, etc. Most freelancers will display some of their skills or qualifications on these portals.
Pros of Freelance Developers
The most significant upside of freelancers is that they work on one-off arrangements. They simply do the task that is required, collect their fee, and move on. This type of collaboration is effective and time-saving. It eliminates long onboarding sessions or employee training.
In theory, you can simply locate a freelancer with the right skillset. Then, you can agree on their fee and get your project done relatively quickly. Since freelancers usually operate through online platforms that provide you with ratings and reviews for each individual. That’s how you’ll recruit legitimate and competent employees.
Moreover, recruiting freelancers through portals like Upwork will also give you a safety net. You could always get your money refunded. That is possible if the worker doesn’t deliver in time or fails to meet your requirements. Another way to work with a freelance developer effectively is to use a contract.
The most obvious perk of freelancers is that you can simply pay them by the hour or for each project. You can do some research and recruit the best kind of freelance employee that suits you. You could also save quite a bit of money if you hire someone who works from a country with a lower living standard.
Also, those who work through freelancing platforms will openly display their fees. They will not give you a hard time with the prices by haggling or negotiating too strictly.
You’ll Get High-Quality Solutions
Freelancers are their own bosses. Thus, they have to motivate themselves and produce the best results to earn their income. They may not suffer from office-related highs or lows that can trouble in-house workers. As a result, they may be much more dedicated and focused while working.
Ultimately, a competent freelancer will always strive to produce work with results that are satisfying to them. Additionally, since the market is immense, you can connect with a worker in just about any niche. You can simply pick a freelancer that matches your requirements the most.
It’s Less Risky
Another perk of freelancers is that they are not hard to dismiss. You can easily terminate your relationship if things are not working out. With an in-house employee, you could risk a severance package or even a lawsuit.
Cons of Freelance Developers
So what are the downsides of recruiting a freelancer? Well, if you need to build a full-time relationship with your employee, a freelancer will not be a good fit for you.
Furthermore, if your company already has some full-time coders on the team, a freelancer may not be able to collaborate with them effectively. And if you are not careful during the selection process, some of the pros could actually turn into cons.
Trust and Attitude
It may be challenging to connect with a freelancer invested in the work you’re doing. Since freelancers work on one-time projects, they may not consider your success a priority. That is not true for all freelancers, but some could prioritize the projects that they like the most over others. In contrast, full-time workers or remote companies could be much more committed to your goals.
What’s more, there’s always a chance that you could encounter a suspicious freelancer or someone who is just not trustworthy. As stated earlier, you could dodge this by hiring only workers with high ratings or testimonials on freelancing marketplaces.
Multiple Projects and Availability
Since freelancers are not dedicated to only you — they could have a long list of tasks and numerous projects to complete during the day. Consequently, you will have to follow their schedule and stick to their timeline.
Of course, there are plenty of employees who will put in 100% of their effort into your project. However, they could have pretty busy schedules. Thus, they could finish your project quickly just to check it off their list and move on.
Companies and Remote Workers
If you want to avoid some of the pitfalls of hiring freelancers, you could opt for a remote software company. This type of company could work with you via a contract and provide you with full-time development.
Like we’ve said previously, you may recruit an entire company if you have a large scale project. That way, the company would dedicate all of its resources, time, and skills to you. Usually, it will be easy to look up a reputable company with a professional team of developers behind it.
And if your project is smaller, you could also arrange any remote work through a company. In that case, that company would assign you a full-time developer who could work on your project and meet your requirements.
Pros of Remote Companies and Workers
Companies that work remotely can eliminate some of the downsides linked to freelancers. In most instances, a remote company will have a full team that works from home or a dedicated office. You can simply hire them to handle your development work without having to worry about the costs and other downsides of a full in-house team.
With a remote company, you could create a much more precise arrangement regarding finances and obligations. Something that freelancers may not give you is full confidentiality, and you could find that with a remote company. It’s possible to get a Non-Disclosure Agreement that all of the team members could sign. That could allow your project to stay secret before its release.
Commitment and Support
If you’re looking for a long-term agreement, a remote company could be the ideal choice. Namely, unlike freelancers, a company or an assigned worker could offer their full support. That means you could use their services while developing your project, finalizing it, and supporting it later on.
With freelancers, their job ends when the project completes, meaning that you may not have any support for your software solutions or products later on. But, a company could provide you with product support and updates. Also, it could learn the ins and outs of your project much better.
Skills and Tools
With a remote company, you will be able to discuss their tools and qualifications in great detail. Your partners could use industry-standard tools, software, and hardware, and they could also hire competent and qualified workers.
When it comes to developers chosen by remote companies, they will undoubtedly have a lot of experience. Plus, the company could select them based on your project and their previous experience in your niche. That way, it could take you less time to find the best match for your project as opposed to searching for freelancers online.
Essentially, remote companies could put more emphasis on client satisfaction compared to freelancers. The team could use its combined resources to assist your vision and your product. That includes its technologies as well as skills and even connections in the industry.
Working with a company could help you define your project precisely and outline the exact requirements. As we’ve said, freelancers could be busy with multiple projects, whereas a company could focus on only a few or even just your project. That way, you could benefit from detailed and ongoing communication through video calls and similar platforms. That could eliminate any errors and also improve on your ideas.
Moreover, the teams will most likely have a leader who will support you and communicate with you directly.
Cons of Remote Companies
The downsides of companies that have remote workers are very similar to those you could experience with freelancers. However, since you’d be dealing with a team of people, the company could eliminate any possible risks or issues to prolong their collaboration with you.
Nevertheless, it’s always possible to encounter a suspicious company if you’re not careful with your research. Some could use the internet to fabricate information and overblow their reputation to take your money without offering anything in return. Fortunately, it’s not hard to find legitimate and reputable remote companies by researching their projects, team leaders, results, etc.
Difficult to Replace
If you’re working on a long-term project and the company backs out or demands more money, it may be tricky to find a replacement. This is a bit of a stretch, and it could only happen rarely, but there is always a small risk. Fortunately, as we’ve said earlier, a respected remote company will probably make a contractual arrangement with you. That way, this downside may not be an issue.
Time Zones and Availability
If your remote team works from a different time zone, it could be challenging to create a fruitful working dynamic. Still, some projects could actually benefit from this. For instance, the company/worker could work on your project as you sleep. That way, your business operations could be active 24/7.
Who Should You Hire and Why?
If you’re still uncertain about the difference between freelancers and remote development companies, you should consider your aspirations and requirements.
In most cases, a remote development company will be the ideal choice for larger projects. If you require a highly professional solution with support and updates, a company could be your best bet. Plus, they can offer you security, a strong working ethic, and a team of multiple experts. That way, you could have a full team of mobile/web developers, testers, analysts, project managers, and others behind you.
On the other hand, if you need a quick solution or are involved in a one-time project and don’t want to invest a lot, freelancers could also match your requirements.
Lastly, it’s possible that remote work will become the new standard. That is already evident due to the Coronavirus crisis. As we’ve shown you today, there are many advantages to recruiting remote workers and freelancers. You can use it as an opportunity to save some money. Plus, you’ll find top-quality services that will turn your vision into reality.
But just like with any hiring process, you should approach it carefully. You have to consider your needs and the qualifications of the employee. Remember that even if you are working with a stranger located on the other side of the world, they are still human. So consider the pros and cons we’ve outlined for freelancers and remote companies before you hire someone. Good luck!