Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have a difficult time finding programmers and software engineers. To this day, they can’t find enough programmers to hire to fill their roles.
This is in spite the fact that 90% of IT professionals would give up their left thumb and two front teeth to work at one of these companies. The fact that companies like this are having challenges should let you know. To say the least, it is extremely challenging to find and hire programmers online.
Hope is not all lost, however. I have been hiring programmers online for two years. I have suffered my fair share of bumps and bruises. But I now know exactly how to approach a search for a programmer, and so I can help you.
The following tips are by no means foolproof. But if you follow my suggestions, you will stand a much higher chance of finding a professional – one who can add value to your business and not just take your money.
Contrary to popular belief. Your search should first start offline.
Already Have a Developer? Just Ask Them
I know that we’re looking for ways to hire programmers online, but getting offline recommendations is also an excellent option.
I am a software engineer by trade. So I can tell you that every single software developer will know at least one other programmer. We are also in the best position to assess the actual skill level of our peers. So asking a developer for a recommendation should always be your go-to option. If you have worked with this developer or know their work to be of high quality, this would be your ideal scenario.
Are you hesitating because the developer you are asking is not that capable? Still inquire. That developer can still assess the skill level of the person they are recommending. And they can do it better than you. Even though developers may not say it, we all know our limitations as well as the limitations of others.
Can you articulate what you need a programmer to do? If you can, even a lousy developer will be able to put you in front of someone who specializes in what you are seeking. There is only one caveat to this. If you're looking to hire programmers online, your developer may not know their level of professionalism. The quality of their work might be good, but will they deliver on time? Will they return your calls? We will talk more about professionalism later on.
Ask an Honest, Impartial Friend or Colleague
Asking a friend is everyone’s first instinct when looking for anyone or anything. The key here, though, is which friend/colleague you decide to ask. The truth is that most people have biases and may also have ulterior motives. With this in mind, it is best to try to use your discernment when taking this approach.
Always try to find out what kind of connection your friend has to the person they are recommending. This will help you to see what ulterior motives they may or may not have. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Is this person related to you in any way?
- Is this developer a close friend of yours?
- Did this person recently lose their job?
- Have you ever worked with this person before?
- Did you go to school with this person?
Apart from #4, if they answer “yes” to any of these questions, your Spidey senses should now be tingling. It does not mean that the candidate for the job is not a good choice. But, the chance that this referral is an emotionally-driven one has now increased.
If the answer to question #4 is yes, your next question should be, “what was it like working with this person?” Can they give you a clear, unambiguous answer to this question? If not, likely, they did not work closely with this individual. Thus, they cannot make a credible assessment of their skills or professionalism.
If they can give you a detailed and positive answer to question #4, this is a great indicator. This person may indeed be a good hire for your business as well.
After we have exhausted our offline options, we must now attempt to find our programmer online
Try Searching Social Media, Especially LinkedIn, and Twitter
There are two essential things to consider when attempting to use social media to hire a programmer. The first is the platform, and the second is the method.
The platform you use will likely depend on the region of the world in which you live. But there are a few truths that are pretty much universal.
If you want to hire programmers online, you should use LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Why not Instagram or TikTok? It’s simple; it comes down to how we use these platforms.
Let’s look at the professional network LinkedIn, for example. LinkedIn optimizes the profiles to display the "professional" side of a user's life. If they keep them up to date, a cursory glance can tell you a lot about what they do. It can also tell you how likely this individual is to provide you with the service you seek.
For instance, you might get a recommendation to hire Bob. But Bob's LinkedIn profile only shows his experience working in inventory management and logistics. So it is safe to say that website development is something Bob does "on the side." With that information, do you feel as comfortable hiring Bob? Forget for a minute that a trusted friend recommended him.
Let’s say you’re searching for a programmer to work on your WordPress website. Bob’s Title Summary says, “WordPress Programmer.” So there is now a much higher probability that he will complete any requirements you may have. It’s ideal to hire someone who makes whatever you are looking for “their thing.” As a result, they will have extensive experience in it.
LinkedIn also allows you to search and filter profiles. You can use factors that are relevant to your business. Are you looking for a freelance programmer? Type that into the LinkedIn search. Then filter the results by country, industry, availability, etc. The result will be a targeted list of candidates who are all willing and ready to take on your project.
Facebook and Twitter
Facebook and Twitter are not professional networks. Still many professionals prefer to use these networks due to their client outreach. They also use them due to the comfortability of these platforms compared to LinkedIn. A lot of technical professionals, especially freelancers, want a chance to express themselves. Lets’ face it, not many people have the patience or stomach to sift through the corporate cringe on LinkedIn.
TikTok and Instagram
Most people use TikTok and Instagram for entertainment purposes, although some professionals advertise on these platforms. For example, photographers and videographers use it to showcase their work. However, this is a rarity for programmer. Sure, you could find the programmer you need on TikTok. but it will be more complicated than with the other three platforms I have mentioned. Additionally, you will not be able to assess their work and professionalism. You’ll need to get in touch with them, which can and most likely will waste a lot of your time.
Search for them on Google
Google used to be a great option for finding programmers in your local area. But there has been a rise in outsourcing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer(dot)com. So it’s getting harder to find individual programmers with Google due to changes they have made to their search algorithm. These changes make it difficult for small(er) websites and boutique firms to gain a high ranking.
It is tough, but still possible to find programmers on Google. But you must be willing to sift through dozens of irrelevant results.
Do you want to make use of the Google search engine to help you in your pursuit? Then you will have to be willing to search far beyond the first page.
For the best results, I recommend that you write down 3 to 5 ways to ask Google what you’re looking for. In other words, you can do “programmer in Jamaica.” You can also try “hire programmers online Jamaica” or “Jamaican web developer for hire.” Then, one by one, scroll through the results of your search.
You can also make use of the Google advanced search (https://www.google.com/advanced_search). This tool can aid you in increasing the relevancy of your results. Try filtering by country, language, and exact word match.
You can also exclude words like "agency" or "company." Doing so will enable you to work with an individual as opposed to a business.
Use Upwork.com or Freelancer.com as a last resort
Are you someone with a fair amount of technical knowledge? Then you may also be able to find a programmer on websites like Upwork.com, Guru.com, and Freelancer.com. On these platforms, you will find dozens of programmers that will fit the mold. But the problem with these guys (and gals) usually comes down to their ability to communicate.
I have hired (and fired) many programmers whom I have found on these platforms. My experience is that you must be able to clearly articulate what you want (from a technical point of view). Otherwise, you’re likely to spend hours getting them to understand and execute your vision.
I know how to vet programmers and can communicate what I need down the source code level. I still find it challenging to hire a good programmer from these platforms.
Don’t get me wrong. It is possible; I have done it. But finding a good programmer on these platforms is a skill all onto itself. It’s a skill in which you first have get burnt many times. That’s the only way to gain the experience necessary to sort the wheat from the chaff.
The world is a vast place, and there are many great programmers out there. The main problem is finding them and sorting the legitimate professionals from the "coders" and pretenders. You could try any of the methods I outlined earlier. With enough effort and time, I am sure you will find the professional you seek.
But, if you value your time, all you need to do is click this link, fill out my contact form, and voila! Problem solved.
I will be in touch within 24 hours.