Upwork vs Arc vs DistantJob: Which is Best for Hiring Developers?
Hiring & recruiting developers

Upwork vs Arc.Dev vs DistantJob: Which is the Best Option for Hiring Offshore Developers?

Gabriela Molina
Journalist, Director of Content at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

Considering that the IT industry has the second highest number of remote workers (10%) after healthcare (15%), exploring various options to find and hire remote workers has become even more relevant.

The decision extends beyond choosing between full-time developers and freelancers. It’s also about pinpointing the ‘where’ – whether to connect with global talent through platforms like Arc, Upwork, and DistantJob or to focus locally. This choice is crucial in finding the right fit for your project’s unique needs and your company’s working style.

In this guide, we’ll dive into an insightful comparison of premier developers hiring services like DistantJob, Arc, and Upwork. We’ll go through each platform’s services, looking into their service costs, screening services, type of employment, and the geographic spread of their developers. 

First, let’s look at a general overview of each hiring system.

Comparison: DistantJob vs. Upwork vs. Arc.Dev for Tech Hiring

Characteristics UpworkArc.DevDistantJob
FocusGig Economy, Broad Skill SetsFocused on IT rolesNiche Technical Expertise, Specialized Roles
Contract TypeFreelance, Project-BasedVaried, Project and Full-Time OptionsFull-Time Employment, Long-Term Commitment
Developer QualityDiverse, Varies based on Individual ProfilesHigh-Quality, Emphasis on Technical ExcellenceRigorous Vetting, Skilled and Committed
FlexibilityHigh, Suited for Short-Term and One-Off TasksModerate, Tailored for Specialized ProjectsModerate, Emphasis on Long-Term Commitment
Year it Was Founded201520142009
Location San Francisco, CA.Palo Alto, CA Montreal, Quebec. And there is a location on US- is on our website 
Vetting ProcessDoesn’t have a vetting process.Transparent vetting process from skill assessment to background checks. Three-tier vetting process. 
Main ProsGlobal talent pool, affordable, flexible hiring options. Offers free trial, no prepayment required, vetted candidates. Specialized recruitment, high-level professionals, suitable for long-term positions. 
Main ConsNo vetting process, time-consuming, no guarantees. Expensive for full-time contracts, reduced talent pool. Doesn’t work for companies looking to hire freelancers or short-term positions. 

DistantJob: Dedicated Remote Hiring Solutions


Unlike platforms where employers might browse and choose candidates themselves, DistantJob offers a more personalized service. DistantJob distinguishes itself by offering tailored remote hiring solutions, catering specifically to businesses seeking full-time, remote developers. 

As a recruitment agency, prioritizes the establishment of long-term, productive relationships between companies and developers. 

Known for its meticulous vetting process, DistantJob ensures that businesses are connected with skilled professionals who align with each company’s unique requirements. 

DistantJob’s approach revolves around matching businesses with developers who possess not only the requisite skills but also a deep understanding of the specific challenges within their domain.

What clients have to say:

“Working with DistantJob made everything about recruiting a highly technical employee easier and cost-effective”

– Stuart Dow, Managing Director at Upaknee

💡Read Upaknee’s case study

Upwork: The Gig Economy Giant


With more than 5 million clients, Upwork stands as a pioneer platform for hiring freelancers

Focused on fostering a dynamic gig economy, Upwork connects businesses with a diverse pool of freelancers spanning various fields, including development, design, writing, and more. 

The platform is renowned for its flexibility, allowing companies to find on-demand talent for specific projects or ongoing collaborations. 

What users have to say:

Finding devs remotely online has become scammy. Not that I’ve hired remotely before, but it’s become way too normalized for people to copy and paste other people’s portfolios, take their designs and claim them as their own, make grand claims about their skill sets when what they actually know is sloppily plugging together frameworks while having only a very high level understanding of what’s going on, but representing themselves as a coding expert.Try to find developers IRL, in your community. Go to some tech events, post on local job boards requesting local candidates. If you find a decent one, maintain a good relationship with them for future work, or to see if they know anyone they can recommend for work they’re too busy for or stuff that’s outside their skill set. Freelancing, I’ve never myself found good clients via strangers on the internet. My best, most trustworthy and reliable clients have all been people I met from my community IRL, or were referenced by someone I know, etc.

– User via Reddit

Arc.Dev: Tech Marketplace 

Arc. Dev

Arc.Dev positions itself as a platform tailored for businesses in search of niche technical expertise. 

The platform focuses on curating a network of top-tier developers, ensuring a focus on technical excellence. 

Companies that work with  Arc.Dev often benefit from a more specialized talent pool, particularly suited for complex or industry-specific projects. 

What client’s have to say:

“It’s rare to find developers who are as skilled on the front-end as they are on the back-end. Yet, there seems to be quite a few on the [Arc] platform, which I think speaks highly of the vetting process.”

– Guilio Chiarenza, Equipboard Co-founder

Pricing and Fees of Each Platform

Pricing is one of the factors that significantly influence your choice of where to hire remote developers. The idea of implementing a platform to help you match candidates is not only to get access to top-tier talent but also to reduce costs.

Let’s compare Upwork vs Arc vs DistantJob in terms of their hiring costs. 

DistantJob Pricing

DistantJob adopts a transparent pricing model that primarily revolves around a recruitment fee, covering meticulous headhunting and vetting processes, along with comprehensive HR services to address the legal aspects of remote hiring. 

Our recruitment agency provides versatile hiring solutions for developers based in different parts of the world, offering flexibility through full-time monthly contracts and part-time monthly arrangements. The cost of hiring developers is influenced by factors such as location and experience, with competitive rates that allow businesses to secure top-tier developers while staying within their budgetary constraints.

Clients and DistantJob collaborate on salary discussions with candidates. Subsequently, clients take charge of the payments and financial transactions involved in the hiring process for full-time developers. Additionally, the platform doesn’t charge initial fees – you only pay when you hire. 

Upwork Pricing

While posting jobs or projects on Upwork is free, the platform provides a dual approach to hiring. Clients can either wait for interested freelancers to present bids after posting a job or project, or they can proactively search Upwork’s Talent Marketplace for developers who align with their requirements in terms of skills and hourly rate. 

The variability in Upwork fees is influenced by the project’s scope due to the combination of a bidding system and a marketplace.

When utilizing Upwork for hiring freelancers, clients are subject to a 3% Client Marketplace Fee on all payments made for fixed-price and hourly jobs, Project Catalog projects, bonuses, and BYO contracts. 

Additionally, there is a one-time contract initiation fee, which can be up to $4.95 USD for each new Marketplace and Project Catalog contract.

Arc. Dev Pricing 

When hiring developers through Arc, companies are required to make a $300 deposit to initiate the process. Arc doesn’t charge additional processing fees. The platform allows developers to set their own rates, and companies decide whether to take them or not. 

How Does the Vetting Process Work?

The vetting process should be a deal breaker for companies that use external platforms to hire remote developers. Here’s where you should closely evaluate how each platform conducts its vetting process and how it benefits your company. 

DistantJob Vetting Process

DistantJob takes pride in its structured and efficient vetting process that leads companies to hire skilled developers in less than 2 weeks. 

We offer a 3-tier vetting process, where candidates are firstly analyzed by the headhunting team, which focuses on ensuring that they have the exact profile clients are seeking. 

Next, they go through the evaluation process, where the recruitment team conducts rigorous tests to identify top talent. These tests, beyond technical skills, also include soft skills as well as background checks. 

Finally, candidates are validated by an account manager, and once they have their best options, they are sent to the clients so they can choose who to hire. In 80% of cases, clients hire from this first batch. 

Upwork Vetting Process

Upwork doesn’t have a formal vetting process. As it’s a freelance marketplace, you can choose freelancers mostly based on their work histories, reviews, and portfolios. Additionally, freelancers have the option to take skills tests to showcase their proficiency in specific areas.

However, for clients looking for vetted freelancers, Upwork offers an Expert-Vetted program that only the top 1% qualify for. Developers go through a screening process that evaluates technical expertise as well as soft skills. 

Arc Dev Vetting Process

Arc is known for its transparent vetting process that ranges from communication skills to technical abilities. 

Their process, which includes skills assessments, background checks and interviews, ensures that clients match with developers who have the skills and requirements they need. 

Because of this pre-vetting feature, companies are able to hire fast and easily. 

💡Interesting Read: Toptal Alternatives for Finding Developers

Do the Platforms Offer Trial Periods?

Trial periods come in handy for companies who want to ensure that their hiring decision is the best one. It’s also a time when candidates accommodate to the company and their role. However, not all platforms offer trial periods per se but do offer other types of guarantees. 

DistantJob Trial Period

DistantJob distinguishes itself by not providing a traditional trial period; instead, they offer clients a robust guarantee. This unique assurance allows clients the flexibility to conclude their contract with a developer at any point. 

In the event of such a decision, DistantJob promptly initiates the search for a replacement who aligns with the client’s specific requirements. Alternatively, should a suitable replacement not be found, DistantJob ensures financial fairness by refunding the client for the unworked time. 

Upwork Trial Period

Upwork does not typically offer a formal trial period as part of its platform structure. Instead, clients and freelancers negotiate the terms of each project, including milestones and payment schedules. 

Clients can set up smaller initial tasks to assess a freelancer’s capabilities before committing to a larger project.

Arc Dev Trial Period 

Arc offers a trial period depending on the contract you’re making with developers. If you’re hiring a developer permanently, Arc offers a three-month trial period. For freelance developers, Arc offers a trial period of two weeks. 

Type of Employment Relationships

Understanding the type of employment relationships between Upwork vs Arc vs DistantJob will also help you define which type of service you’re looking for. Depending on your needs, you might require developers to work for part-time or per hour projects or you’ll need someone who can be fully available for your team. This choice can determine which platform is right for you.

DistantJob’s Employment Nature 

DistantJob’s hiring nature focuses on studying and analyzing your company to ensure developers fit your culture and processes. This is why their employment nature focuses on helping businesses hire full-time developers.

By emphasizing the hiring of full-time developers, DistantJob recognizes the value of building lasting relationships between businesses and their dedicated remote teams. 

Upwork’s Employment Nature

Upwork is mostly used by companies looking for freelancers or employees for short-term projects or part-time work. The platform’s structure is suited mostly for companies that seek specific skills for temporary assignments. 

Employment on Upwork is often project-specific. You, as a client, define the scope, requirements and duration of the project and freelancers are hired to complete those specific deliverables. 

Arc Dev’s Employment Nature

Arc’s employment model adapts to both full-time and project-based roles. You can hire developers for any duration and development role including permanent full-time or contract/freelance roles. 

Support, Mediation, and Additional Services

DistantJob’s Additional Services

DistantJob’s primary goal is to help you hire developers with whom you can establish a long-lasting relationship. In addition to analyzing your company and evaluating developers, they go the extra mile by providing HR services after you make the hire.

DistantJob offers ongoing support services for both clients and hired developers, offering onboarding, communication facilitation, payroll, and legal aspects.

Our agency serves as a mediator in conflict resolution, stepping in to help resolve issues that may arise between you and the hired developer, ensuring a positive working relationship.

Our services extend to unbiased employee evaluations, detailed morale and challenges reports, managing vacations and holidays, and more.

Upwork’s Additional Services

When working with Upwork, you gain access to customer support who will be available to address queries, concerts or any technical issues. The service includes live chat, email and resources.

Additionally, Upwork also offers a mediation service. Under Upwork Fixed-Price protection, disputes enter a mediation process with an Upwork mediation specialist. They will work with you and the other party towards a resolution. This process can last up to 21 days.

Another of the major benefits for companies who hire freelancers is their payroll. Upwork’s Payroll streamlines the hiring of freelancers. This service helps manage payroll, compliance and legal aspects. 

Arc Dev’s Additional Services

Arc Dev prioritizes client satisfaction and confidentiality. As a client, you retain intellectual property rights for all paid-for work, and they reinforce confidentiality through Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), covering both clients and Arc Developers.

When it comes to compatibility, if you’re unsatisfied with an Arc developer, a hiring consultant will address any concerns. Additionally, you have a 3-month satisfaction guarantee for permanent roles. This means, if needed, they’ll match you with another developer at no additional cost. 

What Makes Each Platform Stand Out? 

All of these platforms are suitable to help you hire a remote developer. However, some might adjust to your needs better than others. Let’s go over the strong points and advantages of each of these platforms to help you make a clearer decision:

DistantJob – Headhunting Approach and Long-Term Commitment 

One of DistantJob’s best features is that they not only have a wide database of potential candidates but also focus on headhunting the ideal candidate that matches your requirements and needs.

Besides conducting a thorough vetting process, DistantJob aims to find candidates that will also match your company culture, ensuring your new developer stays for the long run. 

We also handle contract management and payments, allowing you to focus on your core business.

Best for: DistantJob is ideal for companies looking to hire senior-level developers full-time. 

Upwork – Thousands of Freelancers Ready to Start Working

The best thing about working with Upwork is that you’ll be able to hire a freelance developer right away. Being a global marketplace, Upwork has millions of freelance developers with diverse skills and expertise.

Additionally, while they do not have a strong vetting process, you can review proposals from freelancers and choose the best fit for your projects easily. 

Best for: Startups or companies with small budgets who are looking to work with developers on a project basis. 

Arc.Dev – Specialized Talent 

Arc specializes in connecting companies with remote developers, emphasizing a curated network of developers. With its comprehensive vetting process, clients can select developers that meet their specific standards for both technical and soft skills. 

Best for: Medium to big companies who are looking for high-level developers.

Start Your Hiring Process Today!

Hiring software developers it’s always challenging, especially when you don’t have the resources or time to make a curated hiring and vetting process that will ensure you have the best talent. 

The good news is that different platforms, from freelance marketplaces to specialized recruitment agencies, are ready to give you a hand. Deciding between Upwork vs Arc vs DistantJob will ultimately depend on your needs and the type of candidate you’re looking for. 

If you want to know more about the advantages of hassle-free global recruitment, book a call with us.

Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina, the Executive Editor at DistantJob and Director of Content at ThinkRemote, combines her experience as a former freelance journalist with deep insights into remote work, technology, and recruitment best practices. Her diverse journalistic background covers a wide array of topics, positioning her as a knowledgeable voice in the tech and remote work sectors. Featured on platforms like Datasciencentral and Simpleprogrammer, Gabriela's expertise extends to shaping narratives around remote workforce strategies, making her contributions to DistantJob invaluable for those navigating the remote tech hiring landscape

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