What a client wants – Top 3 criteria that clients use for selecting freelance developers

As a freelance developer, you might have often thought about what is in the mind of hiring managers. Ponder no more. In this blog post, we will help you to understand the key criteria that companies use for selecting external tech talents to their development teams.

In spring 2022, we conducted twelve in-depth interviews with our client companies to understand their behaviour on the freelance developer market. One of the topics we focused on in these interviews was the talent related selection criteria that hiring managers use when selecting freelancers for their projects. Many different criteria were mentioned during the interviews, from motivation to proactivity and from way of working to teamwork skills. But which aspects were emphasized the most? Let’s find out!

1. Technical know-how

Technical know-how was clearly the most important selection criterion for most companies. The first thing that hiring managers pay attention to is experience and competence in requested technologies as well as overall seniority. Hiring managers want to get this information in a clear and easily understandable form when giving the very first glance at your CV.

Therefore, in your CV, it is a good idea to list all the technologies you master, state how many years of experience you have in them, and tell when was the last time you used them. In addition, describing your experience with these technologies more thoroughly in the context of previous projects gives a better understanding for the hiring manager. Also we at Thriv look carefully at the technology listings when evaluating your suitability for a project.

After CV evaluation, coding test and technical interview are typical ways for companies to evaluate your technical competence. When doing the coding test, be meticulous and trust in yourself. If possible, try to surprise in a positive manner. In technical interviews, don’t be afraid to share your opinions. When you face a difficult technical question, talk out your reasoning and problem solving process.

2. Communication skills

It’s not enough to know how to code, if you can’t get a word out. Great communication skills were the second most important criterion for the interviewed companies. Software development is often done in teams and one of the most important teamwork skills is communication. Ultimately, it is the foundation of effective teamwork.

As we constantly train our coding skills, it is equally important to practice our communication capabilities. How do we interact with people, how do we use our body language, and how do we express our opinion? The latter is particularly important for freelance developers: many clients expect that external consultants have the courage to express their own opinions and challenge the status quo. CV gives a hint of your verbal communication skills, but interview is the place where oral communication skills are put to test. Be proactive, ask questions, and express your thoughts and ideas clearly.

3. Personality fit

The third criterion that was often highlighted in the interviews was personality and team fit. It is always easier to work with people that you get along with and whose ways of working go hand in hand with yours. Ultimately, it is a people business.

Personality fit is harder to impact from the talent’s point of view. You can’t and shouldn’t change your unique self, but you can still be flexible. Leaning towards the personality traits of your client may give them a safe feeling of similarity and matching personalities. Demonstrating your social skills and empathy is always a good idea when it comes to finding that perfect personality fit.

Having your next interview soon? Send us a message and let us help you prepare!

Klaus Puroila - Account Manager

Klaus Puroila

Key Account Manager