About 23% of small businesses fail because they don’t have the right team. Adding a new team member isn’t always a practical solution due to the investment of time and resources needed to hire the right person, which is why a lot of businesses opt for outsourcing.
These freelance platforms are convenient options, but there are instances where a specialized platform would be a better fit. X-Team presents itself as a solution for entrepreneurs seeking to add a tech-savvy member to their team.
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Developers from across the world apply to work for X-Team. The company looks at the developer’s resume and performance on specific tests before hiring them to be a part of the team. Thus, the company’s developers are curated to be some of the best in the field.
The company allows you to hire from their team of highly trained, accomplished, and skilled developers. You can think of X-Team acting as the middle man between your company and the freelance developers. This platform helps you save time and puts you in touch with high-quality developers for your company.
X-Team prioritizes the skill set and expertise developers can offer your team. The company mostly works on web and mobile platforms, but they provide other services as well. In all, the company’s developers do the following:
You can also find developers with expertise in these areas:
X-Team invests heavily in helping the developers they hire, which sets it apart from other developer freelance boards. Such personalized care allows the company’s developers to achieve their professional development goals. These training opportunities mean that the developers have more to bring to the table.
The application process to hire a developer is simple. You can find it by scrolling to the bottom of the website, no matter what page you’re on. Just enter your name, what company you’re affiliated with, and how you learned about X-Team to get started.
Each X-Team developer picked for your project is tailored to suit your needs. Once you describe the project, a technical manager chooses the perfect developer for your company based on the following criteria:
X-Team prefers for its developers to join your company for a longer period. The minimum contract duration is three months, so you have to make sure that you have the budget and workload needed to hire them for that long. If you have a project that you think would only take two weeks of work to do, you should consider other options.
The company might not be on the top of many freelance developer lists. Here’s how it differs from the top competitors.
When you Google “hire freelance developer,” Toptal is one of the first companies to show up. They also rank high on review lists for the best freelance developer platforms.
Toptal is similar to X-Team in many ways. Both hire expert freelancers and connect them to clients. The two also personalize matching developers to clients based on culture, time zone, and other features relevant to your company.
So you might be wondering why you should work for X-Team instead of the more popular Toptal. Here are the main differences between the two:
Like X-Team and Toptal, Coding Ninjas also curates a high-quality team of freelance developers. Coding Ninjas matches you with developers one at a time to facilitate strong relationships from the get-go.
This website’s payment system is a downside since it’s a bit odd and confusing. It’s based on a credit system; you can think of it as a prepaid card. You need to have credits in your account before you can start a project with a developer.
It’s unclear if you can hire a full-time developer with Coding Ninjas. Their FAQ page states that you need to have 40 hours in your account at the beginning of the week. This requirement can be confusing if you’re new to using Coding Ninjas.
Coding Ninjas also differs from X-Team in that...
You might wonder why you should work with X-Team since there are more popular choices with more reviews. We’ll cover this more thoroughly in the next section, but the most significant difference between X-Team and other platforms is that the former invests heavily in its developers. It’s difficult to find freelance developers who have access to the same kind of professional development opportunities anywhere else.
The company’s internal culture sets it apart from other freelance developer platforms. Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-founder, praised the company because of how its “developer-first” model benefits both its partners and developers. You can also see this from the Unleash+ membership the company offers its freelancers.
X-Team focuses its attention on making the developers happy, stimulated, and challenged, which in turn leads them to produce better products for partners. The company’s employees can gain access to conferences, books and other educational material to help them grow their skills. All of this translates to improving your company.
X-Team has an impressive array of developers who have made apps and websites for major entertainment, media, and hospitality companies. Some such companies include FOX Broadcasting, RIOT Games (creator of League of Legends), and Kaplan.
Aleksandr Volodarsky, the CEO and founder of Coding Ninjas, is an expert in the field of freelance developer programs, as he created one himself. He says that X-Team offers services that can compete with Toptal. X-Team also gives perks to its developers, enticing them to do the best job possible.
X-Team developers can work full-time and are scalable. Scalability means that you can hire different developers with more advanced skills as a project progresses. It could also entail having one developer work on increasingly more complex tasks for your company.
X-Team is not only concerned with forming long-term relationships with its developers but with your company as well. It doesn’t want your relationship with them to end once the project is over. This platform genuinely cares about your success and wants to become a long-term partner.
Finally, the company offers case studies describing the work X-Team did for different clients. They only have three listed on their website (Kaplan, Fox Broadcasting, and Fox Sports), but each describes the projects enlisted and how X-Team helped the partner company grow.
The drawback first is that X-Team reviews from business owners are rare. They don’t have a single comment on the popular review platform Trustpilot. As a result, it’s difficult to see what it’s like to work with one of their developers due to limited testimonials. Most X-Team reviews are from developers who tried to work there complaining about the hiring process.
The lack of reviews could be due in part to the fact that X-Team seems to focus on developer growth first and partner relations second. But it’s frustrating if you want to know what you’re getting into before you hire a developer.
If you look for information on the Q&A site Quora, you will notice that many comments positively reviewing X-Team are from Ryan Chartrand, the company’s CEO and founder. It’s hard to find in-depth reviews of the company from diverse sources.
Therefore, if you’re trying to make an informed decision on which freelance developer platform to use, X-Team’s sparse reviews could steer you toward more popular platforms.
The second complaint involves the opaqueness of how much projects are going to cost before finding a developer. There’s nothing on the X-Team website that lists a ballpark range of prices for services, as opposed to Toptal and Coding Ninja’s websites.
You can only see a developer’s rates once you’ve been connected with them. Any estimate of how much an X-Team developer will cost is second-hand information.
Thirdly, there’s not much flexibility in the timescale in which developers will join your team. You’ll typically have to wait 1-3 weeks for its developer to start working for you, and they’re expected to be full-time. Part-time gigs are possible for the short-term, as X-Team wants part-time jobs to develop into full-time positions.
Other freelance platforms offer hourly and part-time positions, so you can test out developers before fully adding them to your team. While X-Team vets its developers, it might feel like a leap of faith to hire a freelancer full-time on your team without giving them smaller projects first.
Finally, X-Team’s developers skills are limited to the field of computer sciences. Toptal connects you with designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in addition to developers. If you’re hoping to hire multiple team members from the same platform or one team member to do multiple jobs, X-Team isn’t for you.
Overall, the company seems to be focused on supporting their developers, to the detriment of helping clients seeking to hire those developers. This is most notable in that you have to use review sites, forums, and other secondary sources to find price estimates while other platforms make this information easy to find on their website.
We found from a review website that X-Team developer rates tend to stay around $40-$50 per hour. Using that estimate, it could cost you $86,000 a year to hire one of their developers full-time.
You can negotiate with X-Team’s account and technical managers to find a way for the developer to work part-time. Once again, though, the company tends to prefer partners to employ their developers full-time and at-least for three months.
You will probably find cheaper developers on websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, but they’re not specially curated by the freelance platform to have the best developers. Paying a bit more for an adequately trained and skilled developer can save your company time and headaches in the future.
If you want to build long-term relationships with productive and highly accomplished developers, X-Team is for you. Each developer is vetted to assess their skills and expertise before joining the platform. Once they do, the company motivates them to do the best job possible for clients.
The company focuses on ensuring its developers remain motivated and engaged by providing professional development opportunities. By doing so, X-Team ensures that you will work with developers who can help you achieve your goals.
Each developer is selected for you based on their timezone, skill set, industry expertise, and personality. Keep in mind that you need to have the budget for a long-term hire and the workload to justify it.
Overall, X-Team is a great option for entrepreneurs who don’t want to cut corners and are willing to invest in quality freelancers. Once you get past the transparency barriers and find a developer who’s right for your company, they’ll probably be the last developer you’ll have to hire.