Freelancers, Full Time Software Developer 11 min read 01/28/2024

Freelance vs Fulltime Developers in 2024: A Hiring Guide

In 2024, the decision to hire freelance or fulltime developers can be tough. Our guide outlines the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make a more informed decision

Freelance software developer versus Full-time software developer - a fairly common question for modern employers. Freelance software developers are definitely our pick, but before you call us biased, take a look at this side-to-side comparison between full-time employees and freelancers, and see for yourself.

Freelance Software Developer

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Hiring and Onboarding Process

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The average cost of hiring and onboarding a full-time employee can stack up to $4,000 in big companies, while small and medium businesses spend around $400. If you are wondering how these expenses can reach stratospheric numbers, think again. Hiring and onboarding full-time software developers include creating a job post, distributing it, interviewing candidates, paperwork, administration time, training, etc. 

On the other hand, with freelance software developers, all it takes is logging into a freelance platform, creating a job post with specific project requirements, and assessing the applicants. The onboarding process can be more or less detailed, but in general, it is kept simple. You exchange details about the project, agree on price, milestones, and deadlines, and you’re good to go. 

Access to top talent

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When you hire a full-time software developer, there are certain limitations. Your job post, whether you run it on local websites or social networks, probably won’t reach all the people who are suitable candidates. On top of that, if you are looking for an office employee, your search is likely to cover limited ground.

With a freelance software developer, there is much more flexibility in the hiring process. On freelance platforms, you have access to thousands of eligible candidates from all over the world. Your job post can focus on the specific skills required for the job or project. You also have instant access to the developers’ work history, projects, portfolios, and employers’ feedback. 


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We already established that full-time employees are costly in terms of hiring and onboarding. However, their salaries also incur greater expenses for the employers, as they include insurance and other benefits for the employee.

With freelancers, you simply pay for the work done. Mind it, going for the cheapest freelance software developer is rarely a good idea if you want high-quality performance, especially in a field as demanding as software development. However, even with top-rated freelancers, you’ll have fewer expenses compared to a full-time employee. 


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Software development is one of the most challenging, fast-paced industries in the world. This poses significant challenges for companies with traditional hiring and onboarding practices. The learning process for software developers is a never-ending journey. Yet, even the best and most dedicated among them cannot be experts at everything you (may) need along the in the coming years.

When you hire freelancers, you have the option to hire programmers for specific projects, periods, or even small tasks and milestones within the projects. On freelancer platforms, it is easy to find software engineers who are experts in specific fields your current projects demand.

Also, working with freelance developers doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. You can easily work with one freelance software developer over an extended period of time. Yet, you will still maintain the flexibility that allows you to switch to a new team or add new team members with little to no onboarding and hiring expenses. 


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Hiring and onboarding full-time employees include several rounds of interviews, tests, training, minimizing the risk of poor performance. If there is any problem with the project, it can be spotted and solved in time. With everyone in the office on your schedule, employees can easily communicate among themselves and with their managers.

With a freelance software developer, close supervision is rarely an option. Misunderstandings and communication gaps often plague remote software development teams. Although the lack of supervision is a weak point for freelance developers, it is not insurmountable. With a little bit of management and the right communication tools, you can meet this challenge.


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If there is one undeniable forte of full-time employees, it’s a relationship with an employer. A full-time employee is dedicated to your company and has insight into both details and the big picture of your projects and goals. If you offer workers the benefits and a healthy atmosphere in the office, there is a sense of loyalty and dedication among your employees.

With a freelance software developer, it usually comes down to the old saying - far from the eyes, far from the heart. Freelance software developers often juggle several clients at the same time, work remotely, and focus on specific projects and goals rather than the big picture. 

As they do that, they build their reputation. This is a good thing, because this keeps freelancers on their toes, striving to always do their best. Yet, keep in mind that freelancers are first and foremost loyal to their own brand and business interests. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to have a good relationship with a freelancer, especially if there is long-term cooperation. 


When you put numbers on paper, freelance software developers are easier to hire, more affordable, and offer greater agility for businesses that have to keep up with the industry. 

Choosing the right freelancing platform is all it takes to address some of the common weaknesses in the freelance marketplace. Platforms like EliteBrains have a strict vetting process for software developers. 

They have to go through a series of skill and personality tests to confirm their excellence and maintain a solid portfolio to stay in the game. This way, clients can rest assured they have access to the top talent.

Moreover, EliteBrains’s set of clear rules allows both freelancers and clients to maintain risk-free, mutually beneficial relationships. Want to learn more? Click here and find your dream team of software developers in no time!


Our clients say

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With senior resources from EliteBrains, we are able to drive our digital harmonization agenda: Migration of different reporting platforms to QlikSense analytics and Harmonization of different digital detailing systems into Veeva CLM.

Jiri Matousek, Head of CRM at Hexal AG Jiri Matousek, Head of CRM at Hexal AG
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EliteBrains provided us with a top PHP developer who has been working for us for more than 4 years. Jan became indispensable part of our team within few weeks.

Dave Etchells, CEO at Dave Etchells, CEO at
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Each time we are in a need of new software developer, we just contact the guys from EliteBrains. Their network is huge so they provide us with demanded sources very quickly.

Martin Svach, CEO at Starkys club Martin Svach, CEO at Starkys club

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