4 Steps to Finding the Right Freelancer on Upwork

When you need immediate help in your team, it is convenient to use freelance websites for software developers. We are in the IT industry and know how hard it can be to find a reliable programmer who does quality work, meets deadlines, and fits your budget. 

Our team is an active user of Upwork — one of the most popular and reliable websites for freelancers. Here you can quickly find specialists from any corner of the world and easily pay for the work — you just need to attach your credit card. You can make a contract to pay weekly or monthly for working hours. Bonuses and extra payments are also possible. We employ it to offer our services (100% job success rate!) as well as to find freelance developers for our teams. 

If you have never used the website or have had a bad experience, here you will find some tips on how to find what you need. In order not to fail, it is important to take some steps before you start your search.

1. Writing a perfect offer

To start looking for freelance software developers you should register and create a client account. 

It is crucial to draw up a good offer. What to include:

1. Description of the project you hire a freelance developer for. It should look attractive and be interesting for developers. 

2. Duties and tasks that a developer will perform on a project. They should be as detailed as possible since we do not expect much creativity from freelance developers. They usually come there for side money or experience.

3. Main requirements from a candidate — experience with certain technologies, databases, etc. 

4. What conditions we offer, e.g. decent wages, flexible working time.

5. If you don’t want to ask each developer for a CV, add this block too: «If you are interested in our offer, please, send us your CV, we will be happy to talk to you».  


Put a funny requirement in your brief, like «cook dragon eggs». Most people on Upwork send out generic proposals, saying «I have read and understood your requirements» where they have not even read the brief. You may accept the offer and they will immediately ask you what needs to be done, as if they did not read the brief. If somebody replies to your brief, and asks, «how is cooking dragon eggs related to React Native» then you have a good chance they know what you want and have priced accordingly.

Then you fill in information about the project duration, tech stack, comfortable Upwork hourly rate. But remember: if your budget is too small, most good Upwork software developers will just ignore your post. 

The platform will offer paid posting and if you do not choose it, the number of invites you can send is limited to 15. For example, how paid offers will look — with a small diamond:

Digis screachot of offers from a client account

2. Setting filters and sending invites

Not all developers are actively and constantly looking for a job, so you might not get a lot of proposals in response to your offer. Here we explain how to effectively look for them by yourself. 

For faster and more relevant results we recommend setting filters. You can choose freelance software engineer hourly rate range, English level, country, or the whole region (e.g. Eastern Europe). In a keyword search, you can mention necessary technologies.

Notion! It is important to set the filter by the last Upwork visit. Because, if it was a month ago, very likely the freelancer is not an active user and you simply do not receive a reply.

3. Discover Upwork developers’ profiles

When you have the most relevant Upwork developer profiles, it is time to choose among them. So, what to pay attention to?

1. Availability to new projects. If you are looking for a full-time developer, and see in a profile that availability is less than 30 hours, there is a high probability that you will get a refusal. Also, you might face such a statement «As needed – open to offers». It means that a candidate is occupied full-time, but can consider other offers. 

2. Project list, feedback, finished and current projects. This information will give you a clear picture of the developer’s workload and even the quality of their work.

If you are satisfied with a profile, send an invite. 

Fix the initial profile details with an hourly rate. For example, create a table to collect all the information. It’s useful to have such details recorded when one candidate realizes that you are interested in working with them and raises the rate.

4. Contacting with freelance developers

You will send invites and developers can send you their proposals in response to your posted offer. So you will get responses and developers to talk with you further and define what’s best for you. 

Then It is a good idea to make a small research about the candidates. For instance, check their LinkedIn profiles too — what companies they worked with,  what tech stack they used; or simply google them. 

We recommend having a video call with those who respond to your proposal. It has appeared to be important. We had a funny case when a Hindu was trying to pass himself off as a Belarussian, convincing us that he can speak only English during our call. 

When you finally have an offline conversation or a video call with a potential developer — try to figure out as much information about the freelance developer as possible because there are scammers that represent the whole team of developers. You can talk with a senior developer and expect to receive the work of an appropriate level, but they give your tasks for the middle or junior developer. 

Pay attention to the way they answer your questions — whether or not the answers were clear and precise. If there are problems with communication at this stage, there will be problems with collaboration when it comes to the project.

If I have no time to play with Upwork

Looking for freelance developers be prepared for luck, bad quality, or thorough search, and then selection. Upwork and other freelancing websites are a great way to find freelance developers, but only if your project is well-defined.

If you need fast, creative, and quality help with a reasonable bill, outstaffing is probably your choice. You will work with experienced developers while another company will be responsible for their working conditions and motivation.

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