I've been writing more and more lately about freelancing because it interests me to no end. We're seeing fundamental shifts in the way companies all over the world are hiring people. By 2020 there will most likely be stronger growth in freelance work than in full-time work. It's no longer required that employees go to an office or deal with a long commute. Companies can now pay more attention to core objectives and much more comfortably contract out to skilled workers like developers, for instance.

Are you looking to hire a freelance developer for your business? It's one of the most sought-after skillsets anywhere in the world. If so, there are several sites you can use to find the right freelance developer. Here are 13 of them.

Get Matched to the Best Candidate

The first type of site you can use to find freelancers will match you to the ideal developer for your project. These are more than just sites or networks - they are services.

Pros

The pros of using this type of service are that you don't necessarily need to know exactly what you want. You just tell people about your project, and they will connect you with a developer that can complete it. It can save you a huge amount of time as you won't have to go through resumes or freelancer profiles. Most of these services will also ensure the quality of work you receive from your developer, so you don't have to worry about paying for bad work.

Cons

The downside to using this type of service is the cost. You don't find $5 an hour developers through these types of services. At the same time, you will be paying more because the developers you are connected with will have stronger skills, experience, and overall qualifications to deliver the best work possible for your project.

Top Services

1. Toptal - Toptal matches the top 3 percent of freelance developers with employers. Based on your project description, you will be matched with the developer most suited for the job. You will then have two weeks to decide if they are right for you.

2. Matchist - Matchist connects top freelance developers with entrepreneurs and startups. You submit your project, and they will give you three great developers from which to choose. Matchist accepts only 15 percent of developer applicants to their network.

3. Gun.io - Gun.io matches freelancer developers that are significant contributors to the free and open source software community to employers. Developer applicants are screened twice - once when joining the community, and once prior to being assigned to a project.

Search Freelancer Profiles

The next type of site you can use to find freelancers allows you to search freelancer profiles and contact the ones you think would be best for your project. You will find both general freelance networks that allow you to search for freelancers that fit multiple needs, from admin to writing, to networks that specialize in one area, such as development.

Pros

The upsides to using this type of freelance network are cost and convenience. You can usually search for freelancers that fit your price range for a wide variety of tasks and manage them in one place. Essentially, you can find and hire people who specialize in data entry, graphic design, software development, writing, and more all in one place. You can also post job listings on many of these networks for free.

Cons

The downsides to using this type of freelance network are overwhelm and quality. The top networks typically have hundreds of thousands of freelancers for you to filter through. And you will likely find that you get what you pay for. If you hire based on getting the lowest price you find, then you will probably get that level of quality.

Top Sites

4. Upwork - Formerly oDesk, Upwork is one of the largest freelance networks. You can search for freelancers that specialize in ecommerce, game, mobile, software, and web development. You'll also find freelancers who can help with product management, quality assurance testing, and a wide variety of other skills.

5. Upwork.com - Elance is another top network that gives you instant access to over 350,000 developers who specialize in mobile, software, and web development.

6. Guru - Guru allows you to look for specific services and people who provide them. These include general programming, language-specific programming, software, and management.

7. Freelancer - Freelancer allows you to search for freelancers based on the job you need completed. These jobs include building a website, building an online store, writing software, creating templates, and developing applications.

8. People Per Hour - People Per Hour allows you to search for freelancers (also referred to as hourlies). You can choose developers who specialize in web development or software and mobile development.

9. Codeable - Codeable is a freelance network that allows you to search for freelance developers that specialize in WordPress. Each developer's profile includes their skills beyond WordPress, which can include CSS, HTML, plugin development, debugging, PSD to HTML, cPanel, JavaScript, and more.

Post a Job Listing

The third type of site you can use to find freelancers allows you to post job listings. There are hundreds of them, from the well-known ones for career seekers to the niche ones for specific communities.

Pros

With these sites you can specify what you want, and your candidates will come to you. You don't have to search through tons of profiles to figure out what you need, and then send tons of messages to people in the hope they will be available.

Cons

First, you need to know what qualifications to place in the job listing. Second, you have to wade through a sea of applicants. Depending on where you post and what you are looking for, you could be looking at either dozens of applicants or hundreds of them. Then, it's up to you to filter down to the best ones, interview them, and hire them. Third, you may have no support if the candidate doesn't work out in the end.

Top Networks

10. Craigslist - Craigslist is an online classifieds site that you can use to post a job listing for a freelance developer. It's especially useful if you want to look for a freelancer that lives in your area who would be available for in-person meetings. The downside is that you have to post your listing in a specific location, even if you are open to someone who works remotely from anywhere.

11. Stack Overflow Careers - Stack Overflow Careers allows you to post a job listing for a freelance developer in their developer community.

12. GitHub Jobs - GitHub Jobs is another job board you can use to find freelance developers within a strong developer community.

13. FindBacon - FindBacon is the premier job board for professional web designers and developers. You can tag your job listings with specific skills from Ajax to Zepto.

Published on: Jul 1, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.