Having trouble finding Node.js developers locally? In our experience, shopping for local talent is the first option that 90% of startups and product teams choose. Sadly, doing so is the single biggest reason why companies spend months searching for a decent Node.js expert whom they can afford.
So what can you do about it? How to find a Node developer in weeks, not months?
Well, hiring remote talent will definitely help. Being a nearshore development company that specializes in Node.js, we’d love to suggest going straight away to us… But let’s make this post more valuable than that.
If you’re looking for Node.js developers for hire, you probably know there are three major options to consider. Specifically, you can:
- hire in-house devs locally,
- look for freelancers,
- contact a dev shop.
Each of these three options has its pros and cons, so let’s take a closer look at each of them. I promise to stay impartial.
1. Hiring Node.js programmers locally: the pros and cons
So why do so many project teams strive to find Node.js developers locally, even though it often proves to be expensive and time-consuming? What is the actual reason? Most of our clients say it’s the sense of control that stems from sharing the same office and a common corporate culture. Namely:
- Hiring locally enables you to build a company culture where communication flows easily.
- A team interacting face to face on a daily basis is more likely to develop a sense of pursuing a common goal.
- Local teams are easier to manage because all IPs and knowledge bases are retained on premise.
- Finally, there are things like sharing the same timezone and language. While these may sound like trivia, they have a noticeable influence on the everyday work of your team.
Okay, hiring local talent is a great option — but not an ideal one. As far as disadvantages go, the companies we’ve worked with report two major problems:
- Finding hirable Node.js developers is a significant challenge for recruiters. Node is one of the hottests server-side technologies of 2017, which is why good Node.js developers often need to be headhunted.
Basically, you have to find a candidate and talk them into taking interviews and doing test projects. What’s more, you actually need to persuade the best candidates to leave their companies and join your team. More often than not, this implies paying above the market rates.
- Even if paying above the market is not a part of the equation, you might still find yourself paying a lot. Thing is, hiring great local Node talent is expensive in the US, Western Europe, and other high-cost locations. The average annual salary of a Node.js developer in the US, for instance, is $102,294 according to Indeed.com.
With great local Node.js developers being hard to find and expensive, shopping for remote talent starts to seem like a more viable option. This brings many companies to freelancing platforms.
2. Working with freelance Node.js developers for hire
Upwork and Freelancer are the weapons of choice when it comes to short-term projects. With gig economy having become a major trend, you can now hire Node.js programmers and offer them freelancing jobs directly via LinkedIn and Jira. Here’s what makes working with freelancers great:
- Freelancing platforms are a buyer’s market, with thousands of skilled programmers ready to work for you for reasonable rates. For instance, there were 3,895 Node.js developers for hire with job success rate of over 90% on Upwork at the time of writing.
- Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer do a lot to streamline your work with the freelancer. This includes reviews, ratings and job histories to evaluate candidates, as well as escrow to secure payments and refunds. Documentation is also automated which makes things simpler.
- You can hire freelancers internationally or offer gigs to the developers in your vicinity. Out of the 3,895 of Upwork’s freelancers we’ve mentioned earlier, 144 Node.js developers can be found in the USA.
Basically, every feature of major freelancing platforms is there to help you find a decent candidate fast, and with as little hassle as possible. This approach is great if you need a hand building something small — like a website on top of the Ghost CMS.
But does it make sense to target freelancing platforms if you aim to hire a Node.js developer for a large, long-term project? Theoretically speaking, it’s not impossible — but be ready to face a number of challenges:
- Freelancer skills are harder to verify. Based on the experience of our clients, the ratings, reviews and certifications used by freelancing platforms don’t provide a complete picture of the candidates’ skills. At the same time, few freelancers will agree to ‘waste’ their time on technical interviews or test projects.
- Less chance of finding truly great developers. In many cases, the best Node.js devs with enterprise-grade experience prefer real companies with challenging long-term projects, good working environment and social interactions. For this reason, your best candidates are working for product or outsourcing companies, not hunting for part-time gigs on Upwork. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule.
- With freelancers, you bear the risks associated with employee drop-off. Should your programmer leave your project mid-process, you’ll need to find another Node.js developer yourself. You bet this will lead to delays in production and lots of headache for your recruiters.
- Last but not the least, freelancers are typically working from home without supervision of any kind. Consequently, the risks of false reporting, security violations and overall reliability issues are pretty high.
The drawbacks outlined above are the reasons why many companies look for agency profiles rather than individual freelancers on Upwork and similar platforms. Yet another option is to contact an agency directly.
3. Using dev shops to find Node.js developers for long-term projects
Dev shops and software outsourcing agencies come in different shapes and flavours — and that’s the great thing about them. You can choose a local provider of software development outsourcing services or opt for an overseas partner. Besides, you can find a nearshore dev agency located in a friendly time zone. There’s also a bunch of different models like dedicated teams, outsourcing, turnkey development, etc.
So what exactly are the advantages you get when choosing dev shops? And which of these advantages actually matter for those people who want to hire Node.js programmers? Let’s name the most essential ones:
- When looking a specialist in a ‘sexy’ technology (which Node.js definitely is right now), you get your best chances when tapping into a community of developers. Dev shops are companies that accumulate communities of programmers with strong enterprise-grade experience.
- Most dev shops take legal contractual obligations to provide their customers with high-quality service. Usually, this includes substitutes in case a developer leaves your project for whatever reason.
- Dev shops strive to offer added value to their customers by minimizing hassle. Namely, they take care of the tax-related and legal issues associated with the developers your hire from them. This feature comes extremely handy if there are remote Node.js developers in your team.
- Good outsourcing companies go out of their way when it comes to developer retention. This includes competitive salaries, in-house HR and various measures taken to foster developer education, professional growth, and wellness.
- With a dev shop, you get an opportunity to build a dedicated team of developers rather than hire individual Node.js programmers. This way, all of the specialists working on your Node.js project will be able to communicate face-to-face — just like in an in-house team.
- Some people would argue that dev shops provide a healthier social environment as compared to freelancing. This is another reason why many programmers choose working for dev shops over freelancing.
Obviously, this option has its disadvantages. Specifically:
- Time lag seems like one of the largest stumbling stones when working with a remote specialist or a team. An obvious way to mitigate this issue is to opt for a local or a nearshore company.
- Cultural differences present another potential hindrance to effective communication. This however, becomes less of an issue if your developer has experience working for remote clients.
- Subordination and workforce management. Technically, your developers are still working for a different company (and, sometimes, in a different country). In rare cases, this might present minor hindrances.
Bottom line: where do you find your Node.js developers?
Sure, the line between these three options is a blurred one. You can hire dev studios via Upwork, and services like ProFinder enable you to find freelance Node.js developers on LinkedIn. Still, in the end of the day, you know whom you’re hiring: an in-house employee, a full-time remote dev, or a freelancer.
So whom do you choose? Leave a comment telling us about your experience with freelancing platforms and/or outsourcing companies. What are the main challenges that you’ve experience when trying to find a good Node.js developer for your project?
P.S. In case you’re looking for additional tips and tricks on hiring Node.js programmers, check these two posts:
- 5 interview questions for remote Node.js developers
- 5 common mistakes when hiring Node.js developers
Hope you will enjoy them:)