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The Top 5 Sites for Hiring Freelance Software Engineers

At some point, often pretty early on, any tech business is going to run into a problem: how do we get all of the developers we need? Finding the right developers for your project can be a tricky business, especially for those without a background in software engineering.

There are dozens of different marketable software skills, and it can be overwhelming - and time-consuming - trying to figure out which ones are right for your particular project. Do yourself a favor and use a hiring website; there are dozens of companies whose sole purpose is to help those looking for developers to connect with those looking to do some developing. It'll make your life easier, it'll get your project on track faster, and it'll guarantee you a higher caliber developer.

Here are 5 great resources for your software developer hiring needs.

1. Toptal

Toptal may be a bit more expensive than other options, but when it comes to software development, you get what you pay for, and Toptal is by far the best choice out there. The company custom-matches you with developers from around the world based on the specifics of your project.

One of the best things about Toptal is that it has a rigorous screening process that eliminates 97% of its applicants. The process has several stages, including English and personality tests in order to make sure they're fluent speakers and that they work well with others, timed tests, and a live screening with difficult exercises. If they make it past the first three stages, then applicants are given a test project to work on, to prove that they're responsible, capable, and highly motivated.

2. Codility

Codility is a great site for connecting to freelance coders. Though it's a bit different from most hiring sites, in that it doesn't connect you directly to your candidates, it does offer a slightly different service: filtering. Codility has an array of more than 100 tests of varying difficulties that help you assess your candidate's potential, and Codility will match their skills against the more than 250,000 coders whom they've tested. Though Codility isn't the best website for finding developers, it's definitely a great option for those considering several candidates and looking to weed out inferior developers.

3. Freelancer

Freelancer offers employers an efficient, cheap way to find developers and engineers. Their homepage has an extensive list of recent projects and prices from all over the world. The site has access to nearly 140,000 developers from nearly 250 countries, so you can access a fairly large talent pool. There are also nearly 18 million registered users, which speaks to Freelancer's popularity. A huge bonus for the site is that it has a reverse-auction: potential employees will bid down their salary requests, so you can make sure that you're getting the most competitive prices.

To give you an idea of how low prices can get, you can get a website developed for as little as $100, or a mobile app just $200. The only downside is that, unlike Toptal, they don't feature their own vetting process, so you can't be positive that you're always getting the best developer. You'll also face a tradeoff, since those developers willing to work for the least money might not be the best at what they do.

4. Gun.io

Gun.io is another simple, quick site that will help you get the developer you need to get your project completed quickly. To begin, you send Gun.io a brief explanation of what your project entails, and they'll connect you to a "Hacker Ambassador" who will match you with the proper developer.

During the process, the Hacker Ambassador will interview a couple of potential employees to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. Their website is easy to use and extremely helpful, since it includes everything from project management to tax forms. They have nearly 1,000 completed projects, and 15,000 verified developers. Though the process might take a bit longer than Freelancer, it might be worth the wait. They also have a super helpful blog for anyone interested in tech, development, or freelancing.

5. Guru

Guru is fast and easy to use. You can post a project and see what developers respond, or look at the available list of people with the skills you require and pick one for yourself. Guru has an interactive workspace, Workroom, which allows your to coordinate with your team, share files, and make agreements. The biggest downside of Guru is that there's no verification process, so you could get stuck with a subpar developer.