A freelancer platform that finds software developers and organizes teams to handle highly technical tasks can be a real time-saver for entrepreneurs. That's what Andela is all about. The site is a platform focused on connecting clients to talented developers from Africa at relatively low rates.
However, Andela isn't the only company that helps co-founders hire developers. There are many others, each with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. This article will look at Andela's top seven alternatives one by one, showing what makes them unique and offering comparisons.
Toptal is the closest match for Andela when it comes to finding and grooming top talent. Toptal differs from Andela in two main ways.
First, Toptal has a broader pool of on-demand talent. They have tech professionals but also finance and design professionals, which Andela does not have. Second, Toptal draws its talent from a global pool and does not restrict itself to just African tech talent, like Andela does.
Toptal is a lot more transparent with rates and invoicing, and it is affordable for many small businesses.
Andela is the kind of site you go to if you want a long-term hire. While they take on short-term contracts, they specialize in training developers and putting together elite teams to help you solve your business problems.
Let's take a closer look at how these alternatives compare to Andela.
Toptal, just like Andela, tries to make things as hands-off as possible for the businesses. They handle the acquisition of talent through their extensive and intensive interview process, which includes five steps. According to Toptal, only the top 3% make it to the end and become developers with the platform.
Moreover, Toptal continually reviews and vets developers so that if their performance goes down, they get removed from the platform. That way, a business can rest assured that it is always working with the top talent with Toptal.
Toptal has a significant advantage over Andela in that you can find non-developer professionals on the platform. You can find project managers, financial experts, product managers, and designers as well. Toptal is also much more transparent with their pricing compared to Andela.
With Toptal, you pay an initial $500 when trying out a developer over two weeks. If you don't like their work, Toptal will take the loss, and you don't have to pay for anything. If you do like their work and continue to work with them, the $500 goes toward your first invoice. Overall, it's a great platform with high-quality professionals.
OnlineJobs.ph is similar to Andela in that both platforms are focused on exposing businesses to talent from a specific region. While Andela focuses on Africa, OnlineJobs.ph brings you talent from the Philippines.
For entrepreneurs looking for good quality devs who aren't as expensive as devs in the US or Europe, OnlineJobs.ph is an excellent option. In the Philippines, the cost of living is much lower than in Europe and the US. Wages are, therefore, lower in the Philippines.
OnlineJobs.ph has other advantages for businesses. They have a free tier, where you only have to pay a flat monthly fee to get access to the platform. Unlike many other platforms, they won't take a cut of our freelancer payments or charge you any additional fees. You can also opt to pay them a $500 recruitment fee and have them source talent on your behalf.
Lemon.io is yet another platform that focuses on devs from a particular region. Formerly known as Coding Ninjas (they had to switch to Lemon.io when so many other coding platforms named themselves some variation of 'coding ninjas'), Lemon.io exposes businesses to software engineers from Eastern Europe.
The platform has a rigorous vetting process, just like Andela, ensuring that businesses get access to the region's best talent. Working with Lemon.io is also pretty simple. All you have to do is write a short description of your needs and submit it to the Lemon team, which will promptly source the best match for you from their database.
Their no-strings-attached quote is also a considerable advantage. You get to know exactly how much it will cost to work with a developer, and you don't have to work with the developer if you don't think they're a match for you. Lemon will keep searching for one till you find the right one at no extra cost. The customer service and response time are also one of the best in the industry.
Compared to Andela, Gun.io is relatively small, but that doesn't mean they don't have quality developers. Considering how rigorous their vetting process is, and the fact that many of their developers already work with large tech companies in Silicon Valley, you're likely to get top notch engineers from this platform.
Gun.io takes applicants through comprehensive interviews and tests, so only the best developers make it. They also take their projects seriously. While they don't publish their rates, you can expect them to cost roughly as much as, if not more, than Andela.
However, because you'll be getting Silicon Valley devs, you may think this site offers excellent value.
Upwork was one of the first platforms to host freelancers and connect them to clients. It gained a reputation for being both transparent and safe for clients.
However, over time, the platform has experienced a glut in freelancers, with freelancers' ratio to projects being exceptionally high. This dynamic caused extremely low bids for projects, which forced the top talent to leave the platform.
Upwork is only a good idea when your project is urgent and straightforward. If you want top-notch talent for long term hire, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Gigster connects businesses with top-shelf developers. Their unique selling point is that they connect businesses with entire teams, rather than just individual developers.
This approach is very similar to what Andela does. The main difference is that Gigster sources its engineering teams mostly from the United States. With Andela, you’ll get African developers from cities like Lagos, Nigeria or Nairobi, Kenya. Instead with Gigster, you’ll find freelance developers from New York, New York or San Francisco, California.
Gigster is excellent for more sophisticated projects with team management handled by the platform. However, if you're a small business looking for affordable developers, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
Triplebyte has only been around for five years, but it has gained quite a lot of attention. The young company raised over $50 million over series A and B funding rounds, and it prides itself on an intensive technical screening process to filter out only the best professionals.
Triplebyte has software engineers specializing in a wide range of fields, ranging from mobile development to DevOps. Their screening process mimics the ones of large tech firms like Netflix and Google.
This platform is not cheap, with each developer costing $7,000 in fees to the company, and that's before you begin to pay them. However, considering the quality they offer, they are certainly worth it.
As you can see, each of the alternatives listed has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, you should find the one that best meets your needs. What matters is that you have a broad pool of qualified talent and get good value.