Although it might seem admirable to try to do everything yourself, you really don’t have to in this day and age. Truth is you can find Freelancers for almost anything you’re looking for these days. Whether you’re a huge business owner or just an average joe looking to outsource a little of his work, Freelancing might be the thing for you. So what is freelancing? When we typically think of freelancers certain things come to mind. Independent workers who are typically developers, designers, translators and content writers although they can come in all shapes and forms these are the most popular jobs for these folk. Truth is in today’s world freelancers and becoming more and more needed especially for business owners who use them to scale up their businesses to god like levels.
The best thing about freelancers is they are only a few clicks away online and if you find the right ones then they can be massively beneficial to your business. The cons however is they are not all created equal and the platforms used for finding them can be overpriced and have false claims about the skills that they offer. Like everything on the internet knowledge is power and that’s why I’m going to give you a in depth look into some of the most prominent places to find freelancers.
The companies we will be highlighting today are some of the biggest and most well known in the world, Toptal , Cloud Devs and Codemeter. Depending on what you’re looking for in terms of type of service certain platforms do have significant advantages over each other but
generally you’re looking for a few important factors when looking at freelancer providers. Those things are:
2.Quality of Freelancers (screening process)
3. Support they offer
4. Practices and reviews over time
5.Type of services offered
Before we step into a in depth review of these qualities let us first become familiar with these companies:
Toptal has been in operation for 10 years after it was founded by Taso Du Val and Breanden Beneschott. It was started as a way to provide freelance software engineers to big companies and exclusively corporate clients. As time went on they decided to strengthen their reach and in 2015 they introduced Toptal designers which connect designers to its corporate clients. They weren’t happy yet though and in 2017 they branched out to the business side of things as well by offering Toptal finance. As of now they are a triple treat focusing on providing freelancers to develop software, design and finance services.
Cloud devs is focused on finding exceptional freelancers to help with business development and growth. Unlike their competition they have competitive rates and one of the best Freelancing vetting processes i’ve seen. Over the past 5 years that they’ve been operating they have helped countless businesses grow and have done over 15 million dollars in projects. Unlike companies like TopTal they have a more specific focus in software development which means they are experts in that area and outdo the competition.
CodementorX is more open than these other platforms. Freelancers can sign up to earn money helping anyone from other developers, students, business owners, or anyone who needs programming guidance or support. They can help with a variety of things but are mostly focused on software development. Since its launch in 2014 they have generated a community of over 400000 developers and 12000+ vetted freelancers.
Of course the first thing to compare is the different prices of these services. If you run a big business and are looking to outsource your jobs then you can find that your bills can get very high very fast. Not all these platforms are made equally in this case. Often times you’ll find that you’ll be paying way too much for what you’re getting with some of these companies.
Toptal price lists:
Toptal requires a 500 initial deposit when you first begin to work with them. They have been known to charge anywhere from 60 to 150 dollars / hour and can charge over 6400$ for a week of work. Often times they have been known to overcharge clients and to add charges for things not discussed as well.
Cloud devs offers the best 5% of European & Latin American developers for just 35/hourly. There are no hidden fees and it is a great value for your money as they offer a great service for a very competitive price.
Typically with CodementorX the freelancers make their own prices for the services they offer but on average it is 10$ for just 15 minutes for a beginning freelancer and up to 50$ for 15 minutes for a more experienced one. These rates vary quite a bit as CodementorX is much more open sources and lacks the vetting process of the other two options.
How they find Freelancers:
As you can see all these platforms are significantly different in the way they operate and value their services. We will take a deeper look into these companies now to show you a deeper truth behind what kind of quality these companies offer for their price. Of course when paying for a freelancer the quality of the freelancer has to be considered and now we will get into each company’s techniques to find the top of freelancers on the market.
Toptal claims to have the top 3% of the freelancer world market at its disposal. They claim this because of their vetting process of finding quality freelancers to work with. Although TopTal has had a fair bit of controversy in the past questioning its Freelancers true quality from its clients and its very own employees. This is the vetting process they claim to use:
1. Language & personality: Applicants are expected to read, write, and speak
2. In-depth skill review: They are tested for technical knowledge,
problem-solving abilities, and intellect.
3. Live screening: Applicants are screened by other freelancers on their
domain expertise, experience, communication and problem-solving ability,
4. Test projects: They are also given real-world scenarios to demonstrate their
competence and other skills.
They are expected to keep relations with the client and keep them satisfied as well as
part of their job structure. Depending on what the freelancers skill set is, they will focus
on these areas as part of the application:
● Developers: Review sample code, algorithm skills, and CS fundamentals
● Designers: Review portfolios, check design fundamentals, and test design
● Finance experts: Review past project experience, sample outputs, business
analysis skills, consulting fundamentals
Hiring of applicants is usually done within 24hr of the application process.
Cloud Devs had very well structured and comprehensive vetting structure to make sure they
only get the best of the best. They are tested and tried in the following areas:
● Remote Engagement
Developers are tested on their skills outside of their engineering
ability and must prove that they are reliable and conscientious with
excellent communication and time management skills. In short, they
must prove that they possess the qualities that are most valued by
● Technical acumen
Each developer must then pass an automated coding exam, a live
coding exercise and a technical interview with a member of our
Each developer must then verify their exceptional commitment to
customer service in an interview with executive team members. We
only hire developers whose professionalism and sincerity match
their exceptional engineering talents.
Full reference checks are completed on each developer – providing
you with trusted source of information on your chosen developer.
This strong vetting process determines only the best of the best work with this company. They
are taking the time and effort necessary to make sure they only get the best workers.
The vetting process for this company is much less elaborate and this is mainly because of the
opensource nature of codementorX. The vetting process is as follows:
1. Coding Challenge: Applicants are tested on language-specific knowledge
as well as general programming and algorithm knowledge.
2. Behavioral Interview: They are evaluated on their technical background,
freelance experience, project management skills, and communication skills.
3. Small Project: Applicants are given scenarios that simulate real-world
development projects to demonstrate their hands-on abilities with specific
languages and frameworks.
4. Technical Peer Interview: They are interviewed by domain experts and
rated on their familiarity with key tech stacks, library/framework, and
general technical knowledge.
So basically all you need to get in are general skills, some people skills and also proof that you
are willing to work and can stay on task for long enough to finish a project. definitely not
enough to reach the top quality freelancers you’re looking for, not super exclusive. Also again
after the application process it only takes 24hrs to get connected to clients so its more about
quantity over quality.
Support and advise:
When you spend so much time and money on a project for your business you want to be able
to get it done the way you want and to know what is going into it. The support and
communication offered by all these companies is not equal and some have way better
practices than the others. Trust me when you outsource your business projects to someone
else your not gonna want to be kept in the dark about what’s happening.
TopTal doesn’t have 24hr live support and relies mostly on its call centers and emails to get
back to its clients. Don’t expect to get a response back quickly though. Toptal has long waiting
times for its calls and emails, even if you do get a response they usually won’t be able to help
you in the slightest. The customer service for TopTal is not very good at all and many reviews
have noted this:
“ I wish I could say that I had a better experience. I tried hard to work with these guys only to
be met by terrible customer service. Charges would come up that weren’t agreed upon and I
would try for months to resolve issues only to be fed bullshit from the sales department. I didn’t
even get the quality I was expecting out of the freelancers they offered. I felt like I was being
dunked on every turn.”
Cloud devs offers exceptional customer service as it offers 24/hr live support, calling anytime
and is very responsive to emails. They have a great rack record as well as people who have
worked with them in the past have had some very good things to say about the way the handle
issues. They take customer service very seriously and are fair in their response to any
problems that arise.
With more independent workers comes less reliable services and different practices among
different freelancers. Can’t be guaranteed you’ll get the info you want, right when you want it
and it’s impossible to know exactly what the freelancer is doing at all times. With platforms like
this it depends individually on the freelancer and not the overall company. CodementorX does
offer mentors which can help you learn how to progress your business and might support you
in going the extra mile.
Company practices and long term reviews:
Toptal claims to be the number one service in the world for high end freelancers to help big
business and corporate enterprise scale and improve their companies. They say they have the
top 10% of freelancers working for them but their vetting process is weak and only shows if
freelancers have basic skills. Hardly top 10% material. There have been many sources which
say they outsource their projects to workers in China and India in hopes of more profits for
themselves. Many reviews claim that they charge for things not agreed upon in the contract
and will be terrible at customer service in resolving any of these issues. Overpriced and
scammy are words that come up alot when talking about Toptal.
With their superior vetting process and fair prices of 35/hourly Cloud devs gets alot of positive
reviews from its clients. They are focused and specialized in their services and do them
professionally and affordably. Great customer service goes a long way as well as they respond
to issues with ease and don’t let problems go unsolved. Overall people say they save money
and get better quality with Cloud Devs.
The true weakness of Code Mentors is its price and its non-exclusivity. they charge anywhere
from 10- 50$ every 15 mins! They’re vetting process is weak and is only there to keep the
complete idiots away from their company. They do have the advantage of being highly focused
in a certain aspect of development which gives them more expertise but it’s impossible to say
what kind of employee you might be getting from them. They have very mixed reviews as it’s a
company with a lot of independent workers within it.
There’s a lot of opportunities in the world nowadays and freelancing is definitely one of them.
As this article has proven though, not all companies offering these freelancers are made
equally. The most important bits of info to consider when hiring a company like this is their
price, the vetting process they use, the support they offer and their long term reviews and
practices. It’s good to do your own research and find what company is best for you. Good luck
and happy recruiting!