In this post, we take a look at the three major categories of freelance websites and the top 7 websites for finding freelance coding jobs.
Remote work is a challenging career choice. It definitely has the advantages of greater flexibility, work-life balance, as well as the freedom to work on exciting projects from beautiful locations. Yet, working remotely can also be tough with one having to tackle loneliness and fatigue. Of course, there are well-documented ways to address such remote working challenges.
With an understanding of this context and by picking the necessary skills to overcome the challenges, you can build a very rewarding career while working remotely. But starting your remote career can be daunting. The sheer noise in the market and high competition make it hard to get a steady remote job easily.
So if you're wondering how to become a remote worker, let’s take a look at some of the best places where you can find quality remote jobs and get hired by top companies.
Generally, remote job sites can be grouped into three broad categories:
- Job boards
- Vetted talent networks
Let’s go through them in detail.
1. Job Boards
Job boards represent the lowest barriers to entry, as apart from basic form fills, they seldom have any screening process for remote workers.
These websites update their job feeds with new jobs added every day. Generally, they also provide ample information about the role, clear job descriptions, and contact details of the employer. Further, most such sites also verify companies and the jobs they post.
You can browse the sites for job listings, and sort and filter them according to location, salary, etc. This includes filtering for contract roles only as many jobs are for full-time positions. If a job stands out, you can either apply directly via the job board or through email or third-party HR sites.
- We Work Remotely is the self-proclaimed ‘largest remote work community in the world’
- According to its website, it gets over 2.5 million visitors each month
- The site lists remote-only jobs across 8 verticals – including freelance coding, design, and product management
- Coding jobs are the site’s specialty and around 5-10 jobs are posted each day
- Some of the most exciting and fast-growing tech startups post jobs on We Work Remotely
- However, some remote workers located outside the Americas and Europe can find it tough to get jobs, as most of the companies who list jobs on We Work Remotely have a preference for hiring only from the same time zones as developed markets
- In addition to jobs, the platform offers several resources for remote workers, like a Slack group, blog, forums, guides, and even a podcast
- Remote OK is very similar to We Work Remotely
- In addition to tech, design, and marketing roles, it offers remote-only jobs in non-tech and customer support roles
- Jobs are easy to browse, and the site also provides a ‘verified’ tag for jobs which have been vetted
- Like We Work Remotely, this site too has remote jobs from top tech firms and is more popular among EU-based tech companies
- The platform also curates a ‘top remote companies’ list for job seekers
- Hubstaff Talent differs from other job boards, in that it allows potential employers to browse remote workers’ profiles without them applying
- Once they create a profile, individuals can be contacted directly by interested clients, and can also browse jobs posted by companies
- There is no manual vetting to determine a remote worker's quality
- It is a free service for both employers and workers.
- The lack of additional features makes Hubstaff Talent a less-ideal solution to hire quality, pre-vetted remote talent.
If you couldn't find a suitable job on the above methods websites, you could consider searching on Jooble. However, not all their job postings are remote.
2. Talent marketplaces
Pure talent marketplaces share similarities with traditional job boards. Their users can browse lists of jobs posted by companies on the platform, and apply to the ones they like. However, unlike job boards, talent marketplaces typically work on a bidding system; i.e., applicants are required to submit ‘bids’ (quotes) to the employer stating their rates to find remote jobs online.
The employer can then evaluate individuals who’ve bid on the project and select the right candidate. Typically, the individual who has bid the lowest amount has the highest chance of converting the job.
By depending on the market to set the price, the bidding system fails to assign a fair value for freelancers’ services. Great freelance coders are often forced to lower their rates to land projects – and for the employers, a lower rate rarely translates to genuine quality.
- Upwork is one of the largest and most popular freelance marketplaces
- The platform caters to 50+ categories of remote freelance jobs
- It doesn’t have a serious vetting process, and hence employers are required to conduct their own screening when they’re evaluating talent.
- Upwork displays ratings and reviews on a freelancer’s profile to help employers
- However, these ratings and reviews can’t be relied upon entirely, as they are easy to manipulate
- Upwork’s focus is on volume and affordability rather than quality
- It can be frustrating for employees if they get stuck with an unreliable client
- Remote workers have to pay Upwork for each job they apply to
3. Vetted talent networks
Vetted talent networks focus on preserving the quality of both talent and clients on their platform. Hence, they conduct stringent screening of remote workers and employers.
Remote workers have to go through a multi-stage vetting process. This typically consists of an initial profile review, technical interviews, and tests to determine their technical proficiency. Further, the screening also includes tests for communication skills and other key soft skills.
All in all, these insights allow the networks to gain a thorough understanding of a remote worker’s previous experience, skillset, and proficiency in remote working. This in turn helps them match them to the right projects.
Additionally, they have a dedicated support team to take care of other ancillary tasks related to remote working – like invoicing, contracts, and troubleshooting throughout the length of the project. This allows the employees to focus wholly on core work.
- Flexiple is a premium tech talent network with a community of the top 1% freelance developers and designers
- Flexiple’s highly flexible hiring solution can be tailored to suit very specific requirements, be it a bootstrapped start-up or an MNC
- It has a rigorous screening process to ensure the quality of freelance coders
- Most importantly, the screening process is asynchronous; i.e., freelancers can complete steps in the process only when there is a requirement that matches their skillset
- Flexiple has a dedicated support manager for round-the-clock support throughout the engagement
- FreeUp has talent in web development, graphic design, customer service, digital marketing, copywriting, and more
- You can hire talent at various levels of expertise.
- They review applicants for work history, skill sets, Internet speed reliability, past clients, typing speed, and much more.
- They are also tested on how they solve problems, work with clients, and whether they uphold strong communication
- Established in 2010, Toptal is the remote freelance tech talent industry’s leader
- It provides remote developers, designers, product managers, and financial consultants
- Toptal has a large community of quality coders
- However, it has a long, rigorous screening process
- Due to high competition on the platform, remote workers sometimes struggle to get projects, even after spending considerable time in its drawn-out screening process
In conclusion, when you’re starting out, it is important to try out the different sites that offer remote jobs online, and test the different sources of remote work before settling on what works best for you.
When you begin working remotely, you most likely would have set financial goals – like an earnings target – for yourself. To generate a steady stream of income and meet those goals, you’ll have to ensure that your pipeline of projects doesn’t run dry. Hence, you should look to pursue multiple sources for projects instead of relying heavily on one.