Upwork vs DevHero. Individual non-vetted freelancers vs pre-vetted dedicated developers.

Upwork vs DevHero, Freelancer vs TopTal


Building software development teams is hard. There’s no two ways about it.


Individual non-vetted freelancers vs pre-vetted dedicated developers? 


Hiring decisions and platform choices can be overwhelming.


On top of that, building an engineering team that meets or exceeds your targets for scale and success is even harder.


When you add the pressure and stress of meeting those targets to the mountain of other key performance indicators you’re committed to, the compelling desire could be to jump on Upwork and start scrolling the endless sea of developer talent for a quick fix.


Resist the urge!

DevHero outsourced pre-vetted developer platform

Upwork may be an industry behemoth when it comes to individual freelancer talent and it might seem faster and easier to just get on and do it yourself, however that ocean of talent is awash with loosely-reviewed ambiguity. 


Not only can you be overwhelmed by the vastness of what’s on offer but making the wrong choice can be disastrous, and has been for the many who have come before you.


The potential pitfalls of hiring through a the wrong platform can include:


  • Loss of intellectual property (IP)
  • Loss of or refusal to handover project codebase
  • Sudden abandonment of the project without notice
  • Miscommunication, resulting in a software build that’s not to scope
  • Ongoing, lengthy delays, project overrun and budget blowout
  • Misalignment with tech stack and a fragmented system build, causing issues with future developments
  • No support and/or delayed support for critical failures resulting in the loss of clients and reputational damage

We recently wrote about whether dedicated offshore development teams were better than freelancers and concluded that dedicated offshore developers come out on top for mid to large scale software projects. Freelancers win the micro-project game.


However, in our view, there are simply too many risks associated with hiring individual freelancers through platforms like Upwork or Freelancer and the cost-benefit analysis favours augmenting your onshore team with dedicated, pre-vetted, experienced nearshore developers or development teams.


 Ideally, tried and tested developers and dedicated teams such as those offered through DevHero. The question of Upwork vs DevHero starts to answer itself.


A big list of questions to ask yourself when selecting a talent platform

DevHero questions and lists to secure high quality developer talent

There’s no shortage of questions to ask yourself before you commit to a new hire (MOZ has an extensive list for hiring web devs for example) but oftentimes selecting an appropriate outsourcing provider or talent platform can become more of an afterthought. 


Here’s a list of key questions to ask yourself when looking to hire software development talent to ensure you’re on the right track:


  • Are you confident in your ability to hire the right engineering talent yourself?
  • How much time do you have to contribute to the hiring process?
  • How important is it to protect the IP of your project?
  • How do you protect your IP?
  • How do you establish trust when hiring individual freelancers?
  • How do you plan to communicate effectively with your individual freelancers and what measures can you put in place to encourage them to communicate effectively with you and your team? 
  • What project continuity measures do you have in place in the event one or more of your individual freelancers is suddenly unresponsive or decides they can no longer support the project?
  • What procedures do you have in place to mitigate any potential project delays?
  • Does the platform you’re using provide any local, on-the-ground support during the hiring process? 
  • Do you have a point of contact locally that can assist in the event there is a breakdown in communication or issue with the work being provided by the developer, agency or dedicated development team?
  • Is the platform’s service offering tailored to you and your country of operation?
  • Does the platform provider understand the culture in your country and the culture in the developers country? 
  • Do they have measures to ensure company culture is understood on both sides?


This list is by no means exhaustive however, there are critical considerations when it comes to choosing the right platform.


You should be thinking about whether the outsourcing company or developer talent platform is able to provide:


  1. Competitive pricing and proven value
  2. Specialist Australian local representatives
  3. Trusted developer talent tried and tested on local projects
  4. Quality assurance measures
  5. Reliability and business continuity strategies
  6. IP protection and confidentiality
  7. High level communication standards
  8. Availability and nearshore access
  9. Cultural understanding; both of your internal company culture and the cultural intricacies in connecting client and developer across international borders

Questions and lists. This post has it all. As unexciting as questions and lists may be, answering and considering them honestly will result in better hiring decisions and ultimately, the delivery of a product in line with, or closer to, expectations. Keeping you once step ahead of the competition.


Upwork vs DevHero head to hea

UpWork vs DevHero - dedicated outsourced developers

We often get asked the question, “Upwork vs DevHero? How is DevHero different from other talent marketplaces like Upwork?”


DevHero is a specialist niche Australian tech talent provider on a mission to help you find best-fit nearshore developer talent pre-vetted by DevHero’s team of experts. 


We exist to level the playing field by connecting high-quality, tried and tested developers to start-ups, scale-ups, SMEs right through to enterprise.


We’re here to help you hire with confidence and find dedicated developers you can trust.


We’ve put together the following table to highlight the key differences between Upwork and DevHero.


Upwork DevHero
Service Offering Mass Market Freelancer Marketplace Specialist Niche Tech Talent Provider
Providers Self-employed, independent freelancers offering a wide range of services Hand-selected, full-time specialists employed by established software agencies pre-vetted by DevHero
Customer Profile Solopreneurs through to SMEs across a range of different industries Tech companies, start-ups, scale-ups through SME and Enterprise
Pricing Varied. Set by individual freelancers. Pricing in USD Fixed, based on market rates for skill, experience, seniority. Set by partner agencies. Vetted by DevHero. Pricing in AUD
Pre-Vetting Individual freelance talent scouts can be hired through Upwork to pre-vet individual freelancers through the platform DevHero pre-vetting process runs alongside a due diligence process at agency level before agency partners are approved to provide services to DevHero clients. The skills of individual developers can be verified using the client's preferred code assessment practices, available on request
Developer Profiles Name Name
Hourly Rate Hourly Rates
Tech Stack Tech Stack, incl. years of experience in each technology
Work History, Feedback & Ratings Work History
Portfolio Comprehensive project experience
English Level English Skills
Job Success Rate Soft Skills
General Availability Dedicated availability
Agency profile
Location & Time Zone
Hiring Process Post a job, define project requirements, onus on client to search through Upwork's mass talent pool and invite freelancers to the job, sort and shortlist candidates, proceed with selected freelancer Intro call with DevHero local rep to discuss requirements, DevHero matches to exclusive, pre-vetted best fit developers. DevHero facilitates introduction. Client proceeds with hire
Lead Time 30 mins to 2-3 weeks Talent matching typically within 24 hours. Dedicated developer or project commencement within 1 week
Engagement Model Freelancers work to project deadlines whilst managing multiple client projects at any given time DevHero provides dedicated developers who typically work full-time as an extension to your team
Payment methods and terms Automated payments (Credit Card or PayPal) with the ability to dispute DevHero invoices client. Developers and/or agency partners receive funds upon client approval, based on agreed deliverables
Account Management Not provided as part of the Standard UpWork offering.Ê Must upgrade to UpWork Pro or UpWork Enterprise Project Manager from selected partner agency is assigned to each client to ensure quality of work and deliverables. DevHero team support the relationship to ensure all parties are satisfied and can step in to assist at any point

Comparing talent platforms

In reviewing the talent marketplace and competition between Upwork vs DevHero, we conclude that there is definitely a demand for pre-vetted developer talent, considering the many serious, potential pitfalls of hiring the wrong developers.


DevHero is the newcomer, designed to fill this need for Australian organisations. 


DevHero provides:

  • Pre-vetted partner development agencies
  • Pre-screened developers
  • Developers dedicated to your project
  • Additional information and existing, ongoing relationships with partner agencies who directly employ developers
  • A reduced-friction hiring process for clients
  • Support with legal, financial and communication aspects to ensure the project kicks off on the right foot

By engaging DevHero, clients source developers at a similar cost and with a similar lead time to Upwork whilst benefiting from DevHero’s pre-qualified talent and onboarding support. 


If you are looking for developers to build or extend your tech team and you have considered Upwork, there’s a new player in town worth considering beforehand.


Talk to us about augmenting your tech tech with tried and tested nearshore developers.