oDesk iPhone Developers – 14 Steps for Hiring the Best
oDesk iPhone developers – 14 steps for Hiring the Best
In this post, I’m going to give away all my secrets for finding and hiring great oDesk iPhone developers. At this point, I’ve spent quite a bit of time combing sites like oDesk and Freelancer for undiscovered talent.
By “undiscovered,” I mean, cheap.
When I was first getting started and moving uncertainly through the morass of thousands upon thousands of freelancers around the world, I’d put up a job posting, set certain criteria, and see who showed up.
Screening applicants was both tedious and time-consuming, so I started hunting for the kind of creative professionals I wanted rather than hoping they would come to me. Though I still on occasion use public job postings, and have connected with some great contractors with them, my preferred method is what follows.
- Go to oDesk.com. (Use Freelancer.com as a backup.)
- On the “Find Contractors” page and click on “Advanced” next to the “Search Contractors” button.
- Set your search criteria:
· Category: Software Development (Sub-Category > Mobile Development)
· Location: Any Location (unless you already have a preference)
· Feedback Score: 4.5 – 5.0 Stars
· Hourly Rate: Depends on your budget, but I don’t recommend setting the minimum for less than $10/hour.
· Minimum Hours Billed: 100
· Tests: Top 10% > I check those related to speaking and writing, and will sometimes add “iPhone Programming OS 4.0.”
· Contractor Type: Both Individuals and Agencies have their strengths and weaknesses. I usually search for both.
· Last Activity: 0-15 days
· English Level: 5 Stars (Unfortunately, oDesk iPhone developers assess themselves, so the stars don’t tell you much.)
· oDesk Readiness: I check this box, but don’t think it matters much.
- Click on “Search Contractors,” and then, to further narrow the field, click “more…” above the search field. Type “iPhone” in the title field and refresh the search. I’ve found that typing in specific Skills isn’t all that helpful because oDesk uses several synonyms, such as “ios-development,” “iphone-development,” and “iphone-app-development.” You can potentially miss out on strong candidates if you use only one of the synonyms because most contractors don’t include all of them.
- Begin evaluating the portfolios of specific developers. Never take fishing advice from a fisherman with an empty creel.
- Download some of the developers’ apps and play with them.
- Assess the developer’s skills based on past projects, tests, reviews, and experiences.
- Pick 3-5 of the best candidates.
- Create a simple job posting for your project, but don’t divulge too many details. Start out with a flat rate for the project.
- Send an invitation to interview to each candidate with enough details about the job to pique their interest.
- Interview on Skype. If the candidate isn’t interested in talking on Skype, he’s out. Just like that. You’re the boss. Ask straightforward questions about experience, past projects, time differences, scheduling, and pricing. But don’t be afraid to show some personality. You will, after all, spend a lot of time collaborating with this person.
- Ask for and check references. Talk to one or two past clients.
- Consider asking each oDesk iPhone developer to sign an NDA. This is overkill, considering that most freelancers don’t have the wherewithal to steal and implement your ideal, and it would be difficult to enforce in other countries anyway. But an NDA does offer a degree of protection for your intellectual property, and it brings credibility to your project.
- Conduct a second interview on Skype. Disclose the full details of your app project, and provide links to similar apps. Even better, storyboard your app in advance, and send the developer drawings of what you have in mind so that the two of you can discuss each feature in depth. Trust your gut. And don’t sit through sales pitches.
Now, hire somebody!
Ask either for a simple “Hello World!” app or a working prototype of your app in the next 48 hours.
This will test your new developer’s ability to code quickly and meet deadlines. Next, establish a clear timeline with milestones and deliverables. You might even want to offer bonuses if the developer hits milestones.
Now you’re off to the races. If the project takes a tumble, fire your developer and find a new one. The great thing about oDesk iPhone developers is that there are plenty of them.
But let’s be optimistic: you’re well on your way to app infamy. You’re next step will be implementing a smart business model and killer monetization strategies. Chad Mureta can help you get started. Check out this video.
In my next post, I’ll recommend several of the best iPhone development books.