Freelance Developer

Hiring Toolkit



Why do you need an RFP?

Make use of RFPs to structure and streamline your hiring process for a Developer. Answering questions up-front saves time. Use a scoring system to quickly narrow down the candidate pool and zero in on the top candidates. Afterwards, the top proposal can be converted to a contract.

Request For Proposal

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Starting a project with a freelancer? Use Bonsai to automate your proposals collection.



How should you structure your interview?

First, talk about requirements for the Developer position. Second, get more in-depth about the skills the job calls for. Third, lend insight to company culture and assess how the freelancer could fit with the team. Finally, address any questions that arose during the interview.

Freelance Developer

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your development process and which tools do you use to support it?
  • Which part of the development process are your most and less comfortable with?
  • What part of the stack do you enjoy the most?
  • Describe your process to split product specs into technical specs
  • How would you troubleshoot a slow HTTP endpoint?
  • How would you improve the SEO of a given page?

Interviewing multiple freelancers? Keep track of the process on Bonsai.



How much should you pay your freelancers?

Always start with an estimate for the value of the project, or its predicted revenue. Consider typical costs of both agencies and in-house teams as a baseline, then compare with current freelance Developer rates. Use the Bonsai rates explorer for recent numbers.


Why do you need a freelance contract?

Use a contract to establish all the terms of payment, from rates to timelines. In addition, make milestones and deadlines perfectly clear before work begins. By setting these details, along with details on intellectual property rights, you’ll protect your Developer and your company from issues later on.

Freelance Developer Contract
This Contract is between Orange Computer Inc. (the "Client") and Jane Smith LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Freelancer").The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Developer to do the following: Build application infrastructure of new web App including 7 API endpoints.

1.2 Schedule. The Developer will begin work on February 16, 2017 and must finish the work byMarch 16, 2017. 

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Developer a flat fee of $1,500.00 (USD). Of this, the Client will pay the Developer $500.00 (USD) before work begins. 

1.4 Expenses. The Client will not reimburse the Developer's expenses. 

1.5 Invoices. The Developer will invoice the Client at the end of the project. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per month on the outstanding amount. 

1.6 Support. The Developer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing. 

2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Designer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, 
See the full contract & make your own.


Why is on-boarding important?

Bring your Developer up to speed right away with your on-boarding process. Give them the logins, software, and other tools for the project at hand. Take care of contracts, agreements, and other compliance documents. Introduce your new hire to other team members so they feel welcomed.

Sign a contract
Sign a non-disclosure agreement
Collect a Form W-9
A W-9 form is required for any US company working with US-based freelancers
Share company vision & culture booklet
Set up the development environment (share Github access, database credentials...)
Share development process specificities (sprint time, code reviews, ...)
Add to internal communication tools (Slack, ...)

Starting a project with freelancers? Use Bonsai to streamline your on-boarding.



Why is compliance important?

Just one compliance violation in California can cost upwards of $20,000. Currently, these misclassification issues are the most important enforcement priority for the Department of Labor, so it’s crucial to set things up right. When hiring your Developer, make compliance your priority as well.

IRS 20-Point Checklist

  • Must the individual take instructions from your management staff regarding when, where, and how work is to be done?
  • Does the individual receive training from your company?
  • Is the success or continuation of your business somewhat dependent on the type of service provided by the individual?
  • Must the individual personally perform the contracted services?
  • Have you hired, supervised, or paid individuals to assist the worker in completing the project stated in the contract?
  • Is there a continuing relationship between your company and the individual?
  • Must the individual work set hours?
  • Is the individual required to work full time at your company?
  • Is the work performed on company premises?
  • Is the individual required to follow a set sequence or routine in the performance of his work?
  • Must the individual give you reports regarding his/her work?
  • Is the individual paid by the hour, week, or month?
  • Do you reimburse the individual for business/travel expenses?
  • Do you supply the individual with needed tools or materials?
  • Have you made a significant investment in facilities used by the individual to perform services?
  • Is the individual free from suffering a loss or realizing a profit based on his work?
  • Does the individual only perform services for your company?
  • Does the individual limit the availability of his services to the general public?
  • Do you have the right to discharge the individual?
  • May the individual terminate his services at any time?

Starting a project with a freelancer? Use a dedicated system to ensure compliance.


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