Product and Engineering: 5 Ways to Tap Freelancers

Skilled freelancers can help your engineering department work more efficiently and get more done—and not just when it comes to small projects and one-off deliverables. When you make freelancers a part of your strategy, you’ll be able to push all of your efforts further, faster.

The key is identifying where and how they can help—and this guide will help you get started.

Identify a Project or Lane With Clear Deliverables

Need to chase the sun with code pushes around the clock? Have a product in development that needs UI and UX design expertise? Need a writer to polish up documentation or craft customer-facing copy? No matter what your development team has on its plate, freelancers can help you get it done.

Many clients start with a small project first, then move to larger projects. Start by breaking a larger initiative down into chunks, then into deliverables freelancers can handle. Or, you might identify a lane where you could use some outside expertise or additional bandwidth to work a little faster.

A few starter projects to support your development team could be…


Once you’ve had success with a freelancer, you might go on to give them bigger projects. Consider more layered, complex projects—and in some cases, you might even connect freelancers to work together as a remote development team.

From there you might go on to

  • Create a remote development team to tackle certain services and monitor security and performance
  • Engage a remote agency to launch a mobile app with native or cross-platform technology
  • Relaunch a web app with new functionality and improved performance using the latest tech
  • Create a tactical team to migrate existing services to new platforms for increased availability and to meet growing demand


All of the above are awesome ways to scale production and boost efficiency, but when you start thinking even bigger, you’ll see more ways freelancers can help your department drive growth.

Development teams that take their freelancer use to another level are finding they’re able to

  • Create new revenue streams—like an API strategy to offer software and services to third-party developers
  • Jump on the latest tech trends quicker—like augmented reality and serverless backends
  • Upgrade your software stack to grow with your organization
  • Experiment and iterate with more speed and agility—like shifting to an Agile, test-driven development approach


With a project in mind, it’s time to write an awesome job post. Give it a clear title, a thorough description, and be sure to cover everything from specific skills needed to the final goal you’re hoping to achieve. Need help estimating your budget? Find guides to help you budget for graphic designers, data entry pros, web developers, and more.

That’s it, you’re ready to engage your first remote freelancer. For more tips, check out Upwork’s Hiring Resources for help identifying the best talent, writing job posts, and more.

Upwork is a freelancing website where businesses of all sizes can find talented independent professionals across multiple disciplines and categories. Ready to let freelance experts help you get more done? Start today!