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7 websites to find a programmer for your startup

Hard to find local startup programmers? It’s not just you. The majority of startups that are looking for developers turn to remote hiring through online job boards, matching services, and tech vendors. We analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of Grid Dynamics, Upwork, Remote.io, Toptal, LinkedIn, AngelList, and Stack Overflow — the most effective resources for you to find a programmer for your startup who would match your skill set requirements, budget, corporate values, and be fully dedicated to your product.

Comparison of websites to hire programmers for startups
Comparison of Websites to Hire Startup Programmers

1. Grid Dynamics

Grid Dynamics is a tech company that helps startups find experienced programmers for long-term cooperation by recruiting each candidate for a specific position, providing retention services, and locating them in modern remote offices.

Grid Dynamics’ specialists have a good grip on rising tech talent markets. We provide realistic timelines and help you hire startup programmers who meet your requirements, have knowledge of specific technologies, and match your team dynamics.

Our clients have the option of choosing the engagement model which best suits their requirements, including team extension, dedicated teams, pod teams, and remote development centers. Grid Dynamics has offices across the Americas, Europe, and India, meaning that we have the resources to cater to the needs of companies of any size, no matter where they are located.

Vetting process: Grid Dynamics’s recruiters do pre-screening and, if requested, exercise due diligence on each candidate. Then, they share matching CVs with clients. After the clients have picked suitable CVs, they interview the candidates and hire those who match the required hard and soft skills sets and team dynamics.

Dedication: The startup programmers you hire through Grid Dynamics work with you just like your in-house team and are 100% dedicated to the development of your product.

Salaries: Working with us, you’ll pay based on Time & Material model.

Recruitment and Retention: Grid Dynamics is a good match for tech startups that haven’t got recruitment and HR managers onboard. From the very first day, startup programmers you hire with Grid Dynamics work from our offices in the largest tech hubs.

Services: With Grid Dynamics, you can build a dedicated team of startup programmers and other tech specialists or get an agile pod team that will deliver solutions the fastest (comparing other cooperation models).

Pros of Grid Dynamics
Cons of Grid Dynamics
  • You can find middle and senior startup programmers with rare skills for a reasonable remuneration
  • All the developers in your team work from the same location
  • Grid Dynamics sets up workstations and all the necessary software required by the client
  • You manage the developers as your in-house team
  • A tech startup can work with Grid Dynamics’s recruiters and HR managers to hire top tech talents
  • You can grow your dedicated team from 3 to 100+ people
  • Transparent fees — you know exactly what you pay for
  • Operating from 2006 on the market and hundreds of satisfied clients
  • Better to have tech expertise to manage your remote developers on a daily basis
Pros and cons of working with Grid Dynamics
Hire dedicated Developers

2. Upwork

Upwork is a freelance marketplace known for its robust search filters, candidates’ work history, and a large database of candidates. 

Vetting process: Upwork has no pre-vetting process. Candidates fill in their profiles by themselves. Clients can read reviews about their previous projects on the candidates’ profile pages. After they find a suitable candidate, they schedule an interview.

Dedication: Upwork lists candidates who offer both full-time and part-time engagement. One of the drawbacks of the platform is that clients have no guarantee that developers they hire through Upwork are fully dedicated to the project, which raises security concerns. Productivity tracking is only available for programmers who work through the hourly payment method.

Salaries: Upwork has candidates from different parts of the world, which means salary ranges differ a great deal. An hourly rate can be as low as 3$ or as high as $170 depending on the candidate’s seniority level, rarity of skill set, and location. 

Recruitment and retention: The platform doesn’t offer assistance in selection, recruitment, and retention of startup developers. All these functions are to be performed on the client’s side. On the bright side, clients get a two-week trial period.

Pros of Upwork
Cons of Upwork
  • You can post your positions fast
  • Advanced filters (experience, feedback, location)
  • Suitable for short-term collaboration
  • You can see freelancers’ experience and read feedback
  • The platform covers the billing process
  • Best for hiring middle or junior individual developers
  • The client has to take care of all the security measures and other administrative hustles
  • High failure rate and a time-consuming vetting process
  • Lack of engagement, dedication, and low productivity
  • Requires deep tech expertise and a clear vision of the product
  • Hiring a whole team and scaling it is highly problematic
  • You have to work within the Upwork environment, any cooperation outside the system is prohibited
Pros and cons of working with Upwork
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3. Remote.io

Remote.io is a job board for remote job seekers from all around the world.

Job posts that you publish on Remote.io also get reshared on Nomadic and Google for Jobs, which increases the number of viewers.

Remote.io provides great convenience to remote programmers by offering integrated tools such as Top Resume, Resume Atelier, edX, Canva, OneSimCard, Airbnb, Crypto.com, G Suite, and Trip.com — each of them covering a part of a digital nomad’s routine like booking dwelling and purchasing currency.

Vetting process: Remote.io doesn’t officiate that they provide any pre-screening or vetting of the candidates. On the surface level, it seems that the job board only provides a large database of job opportunities but doesn’t go any further from there. 

Dedication: The platform lists jobs with full-time and part-time engagement but doesn’t offer any integrations of productivity tracking tools, which means that clients are responsible for managing the productivity of their freelancers.

Salaries: Salaries depend on the job seeker’s preferences and are not balanced by any local market.

Recruitment and retention: The platform works as a job board where clients post their job descriptions and developers apply for them. Since Remote.io only lists job posts, the recruitment process is managed on the client’s side.

Pros of Remote.io
Cons of Remote.io
  • Large database of resumes and job postings for full-time and part-time jobs
  • Free employer dashboard to track job listing
  • You can look through job posts free of charge
  • The client has to take care of all the security measures and other administrative hustles
  • The job board doesn’t refund costs for published online job listings and pre-purchased job listing credits
  • Hiring a whole team and scaling it is highly problematic
  • Asynchronous working hours
  • Inconvenient search filters
Pros and cons of working with Remote.io

4. Toptal

Toptal is a matching service that operates with a community of vetted freelancers. Toptal, on the one hand, offers a database of vetted tech specialists. But on the other hand, it limits the choice so that clients can only choose from the candidates in the database.

Vetting process: Toptal takes pride in vetting and pre-screening each programmer who applies for membership in the community. The vetting process includes analysis of soft skills including ethical values, attitude, education, and English proficiency.

Dedication: Toptal offers collaboration on an hourly, weekly, part-time, and full-time basis and sends bills twice a month.

Salaries: Since Toptal works exclusively with middle and senior programmers, you can expect quite high rates and monthly salaries, all of which will be followed by vendor fees. The service invoices clients twice a month and allows them to review invoices before paying them.

Recruitment and retention: Toptal doesn’t charge either recruitment or termination fees. Clients are offered a probation period to decide whether a candidate matches their needs.

Services: Besides recruitment, Toptal offers additional services such as taking care of paperwork, managing weekends, vacations, and terminations.

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Pros of Toptal
Cons of Toptal
  • As a customer, you can use support and relocation services
  • You work with applicants who went through a vetting process
  • Toptal mitigates risks by covering expenses connected with failed collaboration
  • Initial deposit of $500
  • Building a cross-functional team takes a long time
  • Developer rates start from $60/hour
  • The client has to take care of all the security and administrative hustles
Pros and cons of working with Toptal

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Each profile is structured like a resume, so employers can see an up-to-date work history of potential candidates.

LinkedIn offers the LinkedIn Recruiter tool for improved search of candidates. However, even the free version has enough filters to find a programmer.

Vetting process: LinkedIn has no vetting process.

Dedication: The level of dedication of programmers you hire through LinkedIn depends on your negotiations since the platform doesn’t regulate it.

Salaries: The salaries of freelance programmers you hire via LinkedIn are negotiable. Most likely, the salary of a programmer will be similar to the average salaries common to the specific area the programmer comes from.

Pros of LinkedIn
Cons of LinkedIn
  • Large database of programmers and informative profiles
  • Employers need to be aware of the peculiarities of local talent markets to successfully hire developers
  • You can use LinkedIn Recruiter for advanced search
  • You need to have a tech specialist, a recruiter, and an HR to search for, reach out to, and interview startup programmers
  • You have to manage all the primary and support processes by yourself
  • Much easier to find a full scale provider than a small team
Pros and cons of working with LinkedIn


6. AngelList

AngelList, also known as Angel.co, is a remote jobs marketplace that matches tech companies with startup programmers and marketers.

Vetting process: The platform doesn’t moderate the vetting process. Instead, developers create profiles and apply for jobs via the platform. Startups look through applications and answer suitable candidates.

Dedication: Startup programmers who use AngelList can be engaged in product development on a full-time and part-time basis.

Salaries: The salaries of startup programmers vary depending on the extent to which they’re engaged on the project, years of experience, location, and personal preferences. So they can be as low as $45,000 or as high as $200,000 per year.

Services: Besides listing job positions for startup programmers, the platform also offers venture investment opportunities. Recruitment and retention, however, aren’t among AngelList’s services.

Pros of AngelList
Cons of AngelList
  • Large database of registered startup programmers
  • You can schedule interviews through the platform
  • Recruiters have a dashboard that gathers data about candidates and creates a funnel
  • Recurring $250 fee for each hired programmer
  • Dedicated account manager is only available if you’re using the paid plan
  • All the admin work is managed by the client
  • Finding a team is hard, but possible
Pros and cons of working with AngelList

7. Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a digital platform for finding a programmer for a startup using an AI-based matching algorithm.

Vetting process: Startups receive a list of the best-fitting startup programmers. After that, the vetting process and all the stages of recruitment are conducted by the startup. Stack Overflow, however, helps recruiters build pipelines and track candidates in a convenient tool.

Dedication: Dedication of startup programmers depends on the needs of a startup. You can hire programmers for full-time and part-time collaboration.

Salaries: Stack Overflow has a database of programmers who command a wide range of salaries. One more thing you want to consider is the initial fee Stack Overflow charges. Though the exact price isn’t mentioned on their official website, some users inform that it can reach up to $5,000, which equals a monthly salary of a top startup programmer in Ukraine.

Services: Besides a convenient talent management tool, Stack Overflow allows employers to advertise their job posts and build employer brand.

Pros of Stack Overflow

Cons of Stack Overflow
  • Recruiters can use job boards for tracking candidates
  • You can see the code contributions and activity of each candidate
  • Large number of registered startup programmers
  • $5,000 fee for setting up the initial collaboration
  • Dedicated account manager is only available if you’re using the paid plan
  • All the admin work is managed by the client
  • All the security and administrative hustles are on you
Pros and cons of working with Stack Overflow


If you need to find a programmer for a startup, try giving these seven options a shot. Yet take into consideration that while saving up on using the less expensive option, you risk hiring startup programmers who won’t match your requirements or your existing team culture.

If you still have questions about finding startup programmers, we’re here to help you! 

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