Also, I think this is useful. Based on your pricing, you are looking for an Entry Level Developer. Obviously, you should be looking for an Expert and given that it's a new framework, and your other expectations; you should expect to pay $50+/hr.
It may not be realistic to expect to find highly-qualified Meteor developers at bargain basement rates.
In the future, this may be available, but maybe that's not something that is available now.
One alternative might be to post the job listing without specifying a development tool, language, or framework, and get something functional for a lower cost than you could get it done in Meteor.
Then post a job posting for a Meteor developer to do the task at a fixed-rate budget, and be able to provide the finished project to the Meteor developer and say: "I want this, but done using Meteor."
That makes it pretty set in stone what you want done, and it makes it more realistic to get it done as a fixed-price contract in whch you can know the eventual cost.
Or maybe, you should also have asked the guy at $40/h how long it would take him to deliver?
A higher rate can be an indicator of experience - and experts usually need less time to finish a project. So it might come in cheaper than expected.
Most people don't charge you for interviewing them (exception from the rule: Preston ;D who clearly knows what he's doing) - so why not get their thoughts on the scope of a project?
Interviewing and hiring people IS, after all, a skill.
Re rating people that you haven't even worked with - no comment.
That's a very good point. Slightly different, but I've posted fixed rate projects before and you'll get a $50 an hour person putting in a proposal for $500 (Indicating that it should take around ten hours), and then a $20 an hour person putting in a proposal for $600 (Indicating that it should take around thirty hours), for example.
It makes you wonder... is the $50 guy over-optomistic or is the $20 guy inexperienced and as a result it will take them longer? Maybe they are experienced, but they bump up the time taken to compensate for their low rate. Who knows?! Makes it a bit confusing though.
Scott, these questions are academic.
The answers don't matter if you manage the project properly.
Use small enough milestones, multiple contractors, evaluate work after small milestones are submitted. Continue working with contractors who provide quality results.
Quality results are quality results, that's not the problem. Knowing from that one/two/four/eight hour evaluation period, whether the freelancer is going to take 2/3/4 times more to complete the project than the next guy... is a bit more difficult.
Sure, as long as you get the right end result, and the price seemed reasonable... then there shouldn't really be a problem. But if you could have got the same quality for half the price... that can smart a bit.
I've seen you suggesting this approach a few times... hiring multiple contractors, doing small tests to start etc. Sure, it's good advice and it probably will result in a successful outcome, but it shouldn't really be necessary. If somebody posts an RFP then ideally, only qualified providers who know what needs to be done and are confident they have the ability to do the job should be submitting proposals.
Like if you need a plumber, hairdresser, gardener, taxi, lawyer, doctor... suggesting hiring more than one of them, and doing a small sample job, would raise a few eyebrows.
Just to clarify... I think your advice is sound. I just feel it shouldn't be necessary in an ideal world.
re: "But if you could have got the same quality for half the price... that can smart a bit."
You are are absolutely correct.
I was only referring to differences between number of hours worked for a fixed-price contract in which the same amount is paid and the quality is the same and the same work is provided.
As for hiring multiple contractors for the same task.
This is NOT always necessary.
For small, clearly defined projects, you don't need to do this.
This is simply a cost-cutting technique, not a philosophical one.
When you use words such as "shouldn't" (be necessary) and "ideally" then you are veering into the realm of philosophy, not business.
It can be especially helpful to hire multiple contractors in the early stages of large development projects to assess relative value between them. And then continue working only with the one whose work you value the most and who will saved our the most money.
It can also save time and money for smaller projects by eliminating the need to use interviews or when you want multiple options, such as when hiring artists.
My most recent job I hired people for was this: I paid $75 to write a one-page script fo a 1-minute video. I hired two different contractors and ended up with two very different scripts, both of which I plan to use.
In my experience, I think that the low rate developers are many times more costly than hiring someone at a multiple times higher rate.
Most of my clients decide that they are willing to pay much higher rates only after they have tried the lower priced freelancers. They come to me saying that it has taken months or years and they've ended up with more of a mess than anything else. Most of the time I have to tell them that it's less work to start over from scratch and do it right. Projects that have dragged on for multiple years take about a month, and projects that have dragged on for months usually take a couple of weeks.
One case in particular, my client gave a team of developers 2 weeks to solve a problem. They didn't even believe that I could solve their problem and they needed 3 hours of comforting calls and emails just to get started. It ended up taking less than an hour. They just didn't index the database tables, which is what I told them after a few minutes of using their site.
In comparison, these projects cost the client $50,000+, they end up with spaghetti code, and they are a year behind schedule. Hiring a high rate developer costs about $10-20,000 and is finished in a month or two. The code is clean, maintainable, and scalable. It's embarrassing for the client to have customers go to sites with tons of bugs, UI glitches, and when it runs as slow as molasses. They can start selling their products a year sooner, so they don't miss a window and start making money a year earlier.
Maybe my view is a bit skewed. I'm sure that there are good developers at lower rates, but they are diamonds in the rough for sure! Good developers usually have no shortage of work.
OP you are looking for a skilled developer to architect your application while simultaneously wanting a code monkey at code monkey prices. This can't work, your need a true profession not a code monkey. Do you want grilled steak or vomit for dinner?
For the type of work you describe, expect to pay around $20 ~ $30 for a great developer. As for your full-time requirement, drop it, this is a one time project, you don't need a fulltime developer. Instead aim to have your project completed in X number of weeks, I suggest 4 weeks.