Hiring a remote freelance developer? Watch out for these 5 things
Avoid common pitfalls in app and website development by accurately estimating project scope and thoroughly researching potential developers. Set aside sufficient resources and check references to ensure a successful outcome.
Communication is key to a successful project. The frequency of communication and reporting should be defined in the kickoff meeting. Make sure that your developer can communicate in a language you understand, i.e., English or German, for example. Also, make sure they are able to report on their progress regularly so that you won’t have to constantly follow up with them about where the project is at and what’s next for them.
1. Who will be working on your project?
The first thing you should look for in a remote freelancer is the team that will be working on your project. A good developer or team will have experience with your type of project so they know what works and what doesn’t. They also need to be reliable and trustworthy, which can be difficult to determine from online profiles alone.
Finally, look for a freelance developer whose focus is results instead of hours worked—a great developer will want your project to come out as smoothly as possible, instead of simply trying to complete projects quickly without quality control.
2. Clarify the communication and reporting frequency
Communication is key to a successful project. The frequency of communication and reporting should be defined in the kickoff meeting. Make sure that your developer can communicate in a language you understand, i.e., English or German, for example might not be enough – dive deeper into the kinds of words they use to explain what they mean. You should make sure they are able to report on their progress regularly so that you won’t have to constantly follow up with them about where the project is at and what’s next for them.
3. Check for past projects, examples of work, and client testimonials
Make sure the freelancer has a portfolio of past projects. A remote freelance developer should have a portfolio on their website or even on another site that showcases some of their previous work. You can also ask for examples of work and client testimonials when interviewing them for your project. Ask for references and recommendations from past clients. Before you hire someone, make sure to check any social media accounts they have online like LinkedIn or Facebook to see if they have a good reputation with their previous clients. If they do then it’s worth taking a chance on the person because they likely won’t disappoint you if they have been getting good reviews from other people who hired them before!
4. Understand who’s responsible for maintenance and support
Maintenance and support are critical elements of any software contract. You need to know who’s responsible for them and what they will cost you, because all too often, the burden of maintenance and support falls on your shoulders. Make sure you’re clear on exactly what it is that your remote employee will be doing with his time, how much time he’ll have to spend on it, and who pays for it. If he has other clients, who covers those costs?
To find out about this stuff (and more), ask questions during the interview process: Have you ever done any work with a client where they were not satisfied with the result or felt like something was missing from their project? What did you do in these situations? How did that impact your relationship with that client going forward?
5. Be mindful of hidden costs & extra expenses
Hidden costs can be very frustrating if you don’t realize them until it’s too late. These are costs that you don’t even think of or consider when budgeting for your project, but they have a major impact on the cost of your project. In-person meetings, travel expenses, extra software licenses, time spent learning languages and even time spent on communication / problem-solving are all well-known issues.
Hiring a remote freelance developer comes with some risks that you should watch out for in order to have a successful project.
- Under-estimating the scope of the project → the biggest pitfall is underestimating how much time and effort it will take to complete the project, so make sure you set aside enough resources before starting work on your app or website. If you’re unsure about what’s involved in developing your idea, get in touch with someone who has built similar projects before and ask them their thoughts on how long it would take them (you could also check out our step-by-step guide).
- Hiring an unreliable developer → as well as having unrealistic expectations and not being prepared for any problems that come up along the way, if you don’t check references then there’s no guarantee that all developers are reliable professionals who will deliver what they say they can deliver at a reasonable price point within budget constraints set by yourself.
Hiring a remote freelance developer is exciting and scary at the same time. When you hire a freelancer, you’re giving someone access to your company’s information, so it’s important to find someone who will take care of it responsibly and competently. Also keep in mind that freelancers may not be available to answer your questions 24/7, so try to plan your communication accordingly.
Apart from the aforementioned 5 points, there are 3 hot tips we would like to leave you with when considering your hiring choice for a remote freelance developer:
- Communication skills
- Personality fit with your company culture
- Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously without needing constant oversight from management or other members of the team
As always, it’s important to have clear expectations about what you expect from each other before making a final decision. There are many things that can go wrong when hiring a remote freelance developer, but by being aware of them and looking out for them you can avoid the most common pitfalls.
How is BlissBuilds different from a freelance developer?
BlissBuilds offers self-guided software that streamlines the development process, turning everyday tasks into actionable issues. This allows you to focus on your business while ensuring that your website is always up-to-date with a development capacity at your disposal. With a monthly subscription plan, you can have real developers working on your tasks efficiently. Our software simplifies the feedback loop and eliminates the need for numerous emails and calls. It’s as easy as paying for a monthly subscription to your favorite newsletter, but with the added benefit of professional developers working on your projects.