Startups and Freelancers
Really many startups use in the beginning freelancers and move later on hiring their own full-time team that consists often (partly) of the same freelancers that were hired in the first place.
The only problem with freelancers is that you don't have that guarantee about the quality that you would have from the agency. Also, they might just disappear but okay that one you can fix by paying reasonable fees, being a nice customer and not forcing to do stupid things. Nobody likes that:) Only expensive agencies will keep working with you if you're not a good customer but they'll charge you then at least €60 per hour whereas top senior freelancer could cost you more than half cheaper and you'll still have a happy well-paid freelancer.
There are really many freelancer sites out there and already suggested here. I'd surely keep away from Freelancer.com, Guru.com, Fiverr.com, Bark.com - these are places to find someone quickly to do some project cheap. If you're looking for a long-term serious developer then I'd suggest (in this order): CrewNew.com, Angel.co, UpWork.com, LinkedIn.com. The last one has the biggest amount of great devs but you need to pay quite a lot to have your job post up there for a while. I'm working at CrewNew.com and I have been (buyer and seller both) in all mentioned ones and we do have in the comparison table hundreds of websites from where we have been acquiring top talent. We work like TopTal.com - we manually test and review all candidates but we are rather European (where TopTal is US) and our rates are about half the price of the TopTal ones. You can read more here about how the screening process looks like at CrewNew (and also TopTal and other serious software firms): https://medium.com/crewnew-com/how-hiring-a-top-freelance-developers-works-78aedd71d866
And last but not least - when you search for the freelancers then use keyword "startup" and ask for some startups that the freelancer has worked for before.
you should be very technical to understand product requirement and hire the best resources .Otherwise hire technical cofounder for this job.
The other option is give them a small paid assignment and select based on quality of work.
Thanks for all your answers very helpful and I have also found this event today as researching freelancer websites and the ones you recommended.
if anyone is interested to network with freelancers and brands today join The Freelancer Club event at 10am BST https://hopin.to/events/showcase-connecting-freelancers-startups #networking #work #freelancers #brands #startups
Startups use a lot of freelancers - for most, it's a disaster.
It is not that hard to find freelancers - lots of platforms out there. LinkedIn is likely the best, but there are others.
However, be careful. If you know how to manage a activity (marketing, sales, engineering, etc) and have a well proven process for doing so, then a freelancer can be a great choice.
This is what most big companies do - they have good management and leadership. They hire a freelancer that slots right into their systems and team.
Most startups do not have good (or any) management, leadership or a team. They don't know how to manage a freelancer (or employees) Often they hire a freelancer, give them no management (or worse, bad management) and then blame the freelancer and/or platform for the poor performance.
Most startups should hire companies that already know how to do what they need done - not a freelancer. Although the hourly cost will be a lot higher, the total cost will be a lot lower. A company with a team, proven processes and leadership will always outperform a group of freelancers with no process.
You can visit our website. We have a white papers on hiring freelancers and how to's on managing different function within a startup.
Fiverr & Upwork & Passdigi.com
If the freelancers are skilled in remote work and have experience in your typenof business then yes they can be an asset.
I have found and worked happily with freelancers from developing countries at a lower cost, and from US at higher cost, but in each case there was a process of trial and error to find the right people. Think of it as a paid trial.
As to where you find them upwork, fiverr and many other sites depending on what you are looking for.. if you can share more detail I might be able to point you in the right direction.
Upwork is great, though. I have found a few rocks stars there.
You can also try Angle.co - many startups post there.
To expand a bit on what Adam is saying, we've used freelances from up work for some specialist tasks. The way we do it is to set a "selection budget" and do a bite sized test project with 3 to 5 people and pick the best one.
There are "quality" freelancer sites such as www.advisable.com but you will have problems finding a freelancer who will "invest" in your Startup. Their priorities in life are to get paid and move onto the next project..