Kristian Ivanov

@k_ivanow

How to Find Remote Work in 2019

Comparison between different platforms and websites as well as some tips for the interviewing process.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

There are many job posting websites and platforms for vetted contractors/freelancers. They all claim that they hire only the 1% or 3% of the best freelancers. Over the last almost three months I went through many of them. Here is a short(ish) summary of what I have found and some tips for what to do before and during the interviews. I hope it saves you some troubles when looking for remote work.

Platforms for job postings

We Work Remotely

My favorite so far! By far. 
Pros:
+All companies I have contacted for job postings on this website were fast to +respond.
+All had a quickly moving hiring process. 
+It has several types of jobs — marketing, programming, etc. 
+It also has the benefit of showing where candidates must be located for the job. 
Cons:
-It doesn’t allow an easy apply like other entries on the list.

Stack Overflow jobs

Tied for the first place. 
Pros:
+It has the most job postings per day. By far. 
+It also allows you an easy apply option by enabling you to save your CV as well as a short introduction for every job that uses the stack overflow application form.
+It also shows you that you have applied for the ad, even if the company re-post it.
+It allows you to filter postings by certain perks, tech, compensation, etc.

Linked In

Pros:
+The most obvious candidate for everyone. 
Cons:
-It has mostly permanent and few remote positions. 
-I would recommend contacting headhunters or recruiters and discuss with them if they work with a company that are looking for someone with your qualifications.

Dice

Pros:
+It has many postings per day. 
+The companies are also active and it allows easy apply like in Stack Overflow.

Reed.co.uk Experteer.co.uk Cwjobs.co.uk Jooble

Pros:
+All of them offer remote work filtering and job offers. 
Cons:
-Despite that, all of them I have tried required the candidate to be based in the same country and most of them want you to be at the office for at least 1 day per week.

No Desk

Pros:
+It looks and works great. 
Cons:
-It has a few job openings.
-Over 60% of the companies that I have contacted had actually forgotten they have posted a job there and the positions was actually filled.

Remotive

It has the same problem as No Desk — many openings are filled, but the company has forgotten to take down the ad.

Remote Work Hub

Most of the website is restricted to paying users only. Would not recommend.

Platforms for freelancers

The hiring process typically is confidential so I will only say which are my top picks, why and list the rest. The process for most is slow and on occasions it feels unprofessional.

Pilot

So far my favorite. The hiring process was interesting and their platform is really well made and professionally looking. You can be surprised how many other platforms have terrible web platforms. They are also understanding and fast.

Upstack

My other favorite. They are also really responsive and easy to talk to. They have the benefit of having a test 2 weeks period for every job. If the client decided that you aren’t fit for any reason you will receive either full or half of the payment, depending on what you did during the trial period. However they can be a bit unprofessional.

Gun.io

It works through invites to their slack channel. Job postings and discussions are posted mainly on Slack. Has few opportunities.

Toptal

Toptal are proud of their rigorous and hard to pass hiring process. Depending your qualifications it may not be that hard. I advise you to try it. Even if you fail you could learn a lot by it. This is valid for all other platforms as well. One con of Toptal is that while they use the same trial period as Upstack — 2 weeks to check if you and the client are a good match, if the client doesn’t like you will not get paid.

Gigster

One of the most fun interviews I had for a vetting company. Keep in mind they are based in the states. If you are in Europe, the call can be quite late.

Cross Over

It has really bad reviews online — between 1 and 3 out of 5. The vetting process is a hectic. At this point I wouldn’t recommend them.

Tips for the interview process

Do some research on the company. It will help you with your cover letter. It will be appreciated by the HR when you talk with them and in turn can make the whole process easier. And it can also give you some insights on whether or not you and the company will be a good match.

Take the time and write a good cover letter. Many companies don’t require cover letter but have it as optional in the submission form. It makes a difference in the response rate of companies. Of course you can reuse parts of it depending on how many jobs are you applying.

Your talk with the HR is not the only test for your personality. If the interviewers like you as a person the whole interview will go a lot smoother.

This is a two way street. Notice anything you can during the interviews so you can decide if you and team/company culture are good match. Especially during the interview with your immediate supervisor. You will be communicating a lot with them so you have to be sure you can talk with them without any tension or misunderstandings.

Don’t get nervous during your technical interview. Think out loud. Most interviewers will be a lot more confident in your skills if they can hear your thought process. This way even if you make a mistake during the interview the developers you are talking with will ignore it depending on your thought process.

During live code interview — If you don’t know something — ask. Trying to understand the depth and details of the problem will be appreciated. It will also save you time going in a wrong direction while solving the problem.

Have prepared examples of difficulties from your previous employments and how you overcame them.

Have prepared examples of what you have done at your previous works places that has save time or resources or improved the company in any way. How you came to the solution, what was the impact and how was implemented.

Be prepared on what compensation you are expecting. Have information on what is the typical pay globally, for the country/city where the company is based and where you are based in it is needed for comparison.

Try to have prepared questions for the different steps during the interview process. Showing interest and listening to your previous interviewer will make a nice impact and can help lead the conversation to your advantage.

P.S. Everything written above is from the perspective of a JavaScript developer and a team lead that has interviewed and hired people before. It may vary for different disciplines. I would love to discuss what other have come across while searching for job opportunities in the comments bellow or on twitter.

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