Looking for a good software engineer? It can be tough to pick the right one out of the tens of thousands of potential candidates zooming around the web. Instead of hoping that a good developer will magically appear on your doorstep, it’s probably a good bet to ask the pros for some help. The easiest way to hire a solid developer is to get in touch with one of the dozens of companies that connect freelance software engineers to those looking for them. Since there are so many sites that offer such a service, we wanted to help you navigate the process. Here are five great sites that offer a range of benefits. Some are more hands-off, some are pricier, and some are easier to use, but they’re all guaranteed to help you navigate the search and pick the right person for your project.

1. Toptal

Over the last few years, we’ve come to really appreciate Toptal for a whole bunch of reasons. Where to begin? Toptal has its own vetting process, so you’re spared the stress of wondering whether your new developer will end up being a dud. Aside from personality tests to let you know how they operate in a work environment, Toptal makes its candidates complete lives skills exercises during interviews with senior engineers, administers a bunch of tests, and finally makes them complete a sample project. Though Toptal gets thousands of applications every month, only about 3% get through the screening process. Where does Toptal get so many applicants from? Unlike other companies, who only hire locally, Toptal has developers from around the entire world. Don’t worry, though: in addition to the rigorous skills tests, all developers have to pass a language test to make sure they have excellent English language skills.

That’s not all though. You also get a two week risk-free trial, and Toptal will hand-match you to the perfect developer for your needs rather than leave you with a couple of unqualified options. Most of their clients only interview 1.7 candidates before making a hire, which means you’ll be up and running incredibly fast.

Freelancer is a speedy way to find tech talent on the cheap. Want to know how it works? Post your project, and wait for nearly 150,000 developers from around the world to bid down until you find the one willing to work for the lowest price. If you have a quick project that doesn’t require a really talented developer, this is a great way to find a cost-effective one who can get the job done. The only downside of Freelancer is that the site doesn’t verify its developers, so you might end up going with a cheap one who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing, which is why we want to emphasize that it’s a great option for a relatively simple project. Freelancer does let you check out customer reviews, though, and you should make sure to only hire those with a high satisfaction rate.

Ziptask also has a verification process, though it’s less intensive than Toptal’s. The site has a program that takes note of unqualified candidates, which is followed up with an overview by actual humans who check out potential developers’ talent, work experience, and demeanor. After all that, Ziptask administers a technical test. Unlike Toptal, though, Ziptask won’t pair you up with a developer; you’ll have to pick one on your own from among those who pass their screening process.

The benefit of Ziptask is that you can get developers super quickly. The homepage features a constantly updated range of individual developers, and you can get in contact with them immediately simply by clicking on them. According to the site, it takes less than 30 seconds to contact a software engineer (though, of course, it may not end up being the right one). Another big benefit of Ziptask is that all communication, including videochats, with your developer are recorded, so you have something to go back to if the work isn’t completed to your specifications or if your developer somehow gets out of line.

Rockstar Coders is a quirky company run by former developers. That last part is a big plus: it means that they know talent when they see it. Here’s what you do: you explain your project in detail to them, and they’ll find pick out some potential developers. They don’t give the details on their screening process, so it’s hard to say how rigorous it is, but it’s definitely better than nothing. They claim to have pretty competitive rates, and they offer developers from all over the Western Hemisphere. If you’re not sold, check the numbers: this little site boasts a whopping 1500% growth since 2011.

5. Dice

Dice is a nifty site with some cool features for those looking to hire developers quickly without spending much. After making an account, you can access the resumes of thousands of developers. As a bonus, Dice collects data from more than 100 social sites in order to augment the amount of available information to employers. One of the downsides of Dice is that the company doesn’t specialize in tech -- they help hire in all sorts of different fields -- but the website is quick and easy to use.

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