The secret to hiring senior PHP developers on freelancer websites like UpWork, is:
- Pay more. It usually means less micro-management needed from you.
- Go for coders with at least 1,000 hours under their belt.
- Go for coders with a really high ratings average.
- Prioritise people who speak fluent English. Interview in Skype or ask for a video.
- First hire for something small.
- Limit their time to like 2-5 hours per week initially.
- (Pay and) ditch them if they haven’t achieved anything in that time and are asking for more time.
If it works out, then increase their responsibilities slowly. Don’t rush. Add 2-5 hours at a time until they’ve proven themselves to be capable of handling more.
That said, there’s no silver bullet. You’ve got to put in the (hiring) work.
And you will invariably come across lemons. I had that situation recently…
Lady claimed to be a MaroPost API expert. 5 hours later and not a single line of code delivered.
She wanted more time to do a “code review” on the code I sent her.
Paid and fired.
A good coder (or at least the kind of coder I am and like to work with) can take 10 minutes to look at a small bit of code like what I sent her and then they get to work.
(10 mins is for a small script. A web-app will take 2 hours or so to get a basic feel for. Still – not 5 hours.)
If someone doesn’t even understand the code after 5 hours… they’re not coders. They’re designers who sometimes write a line of code.
Look – this advice is if you’re looking for senior developers who get shit done.
Totally different ball-game for juniors and mid-level but I prefer not to hire at those tiers because their problem-solving skills haven’t matured yet.
And if you’re not interested in learning how to hire and manage coders? Then you hire the Tech Assassin. Problem solved.