New Feature: Add Your Rate

Published: 3 weeks ago

You can now add your rate to your Laradir profile. 🎉

Your rate is NEVER shown publicly and NEVER shared with anyone else. You can choose when and how to share your rates or salary expectations.

If it's never shown onsite to anyone, you may be wondering...

Why add your rate to your profile?

It's for people who are looking to employ or contract a Laravel developer, to help them find developers whose rate/salary expectations fit within their budget.

Most of the time it's a good idea to get aligned on value and costs before starting a new engagement - whichever side you're on - so that there are no surprises.

When a client and service provider, or employer and a successful candidate, are figuring out what each side's expectations are, you want to find out early if there's a significant misalignment around rates and salaries.

This saves time and helps to set expectations when going into conversations and often leads to better outcomes.

It usually starts with a high-level view, perhaps thinking in "ball-park" ranges, and getting more detailed and refined as discussions get closer to being finalized.

I highly recommend that you always have a clear view of agreed rates/salary before starting any engagement. Ideally, you have this in some written form (the best is a contract that all parties have signed) so that you can refer back to it later if the need arises.

The goal of this feature is to give folks who are searching the directory some way of setting their high-level budget and finding relevant profiles that fall within that budget.

My hope is that this will increase the usefulness of Laradir for everyone looking to hire Laravel devs.

Budget filters will be made available in the UI when we've got sufficient data to make it worthwhile.

So go add your rate today!

In this first version, we've kept things really simple, so we don't put too much effort into building something and find no one is happy to use it.

Is it mandatory?

No, it's not mandatory, so if you're not comfortable providing your rate, don't feel that you have to. But bear in mind that when the search filters are in place, only profiles with a rate will show up in results for searches with a set budget.

Will it affect my eligibility to show up in the directory?

Your rate, whether or not you choose to provide one, will NOT be used in determining if your profile is accepted into the directory.

What is my rate?

Your rate (in Laradir) is a normalised value, based on a 'standard' 8-hour working day, that we can use to help Teams to find Laravel developers that meet their budget, regardless of whether they're making a permanent hire or are looking for a contractor for some short-term projects.

Your rate is the US Dollar amount you typically base your salary or pricing on.

Why US Dollar? What if you don't get paid in USD? That's fine, the point isn't about what currency you prefer to get paid in, it's just to normalise the value. This is very coarse, I know, but the point isn't to be hyper accurate, it's to provide a baseline for comparison.

If you think in terms of another currency, just use an appropriate exchange rate from your preferred currency to USD. For example, I prefer to think in British Pounds (GBP/£). Based on current exchange rates, I'll multiply my rate by 1.25 to get the USD value, as this seems like a reasonable average for the rate over the course of the past year:

You will need to work out your rate as an effective hourly rate. How you do this is up to you, but make sure it's appropriate for your skill level, experience and location so that potential clients/employers aren't surprised later on in the process.

Perhaps it's best to provide some examples:

Target annual salary

Most folks think in terms of gross annual salary, which in many countries is usually how businesses express an employment offer to you, e.g. $100,000 before taxes.

Let's say this is for a full-time role of 40 hours per week. The hourly rate would therefore be 100,000 ÷ 52 (weeks) ÷ 40 (hours per week) = $48.08 per hour. Let's say $50/hour for simplicity.

Billing per project

Some freelancers like to provide fixed-price quotes to their clients. This can make working out your rate a bit trickier because each project may be more or less profitable than the last - you may have charged a higher price for a smaller project, and a realtively lower price for something that ended up taking you a lot longer to complete.

It would be a good exercise to understand your baseline costs first, adding on whatever you feel is appropriate to reach your baseline rate - the effective rate that you must achieve to make a project profitable.

Your rate can be based on this baseline.

Alternatively, you might calculate your rate from a handful of projects that you completed recently: Get the total number of 8-hour days you worked on them as well as the total amount you charged for those projects. (I know, you may have pulled some longer days... use good judgement here.)

For example, let's say you had 3 projects. The total you charged was $30,000. You worked on those projects a total of 40 8-hour days (320 hours).

Now run the calculation: 30,000 ÷ 320 = $93.75/hour. Let's say $95/hour.

Billing per day/week/month

Like many freelancers, you may not bill on a fixed-price basis, but prefer to bill your time in larger chunks. You may find this gives you more freedom and flexibility as well as better value for your clients.

You may also argue that this doesn't reflect an hourly rate and what you charge may be based on many more factors than just time and materials.

This is fine. Look at your total billables over the last quarter and work out roughly how many 8-hour days you actually worked.

Let's say you billed $25,000 and you effectively worked 3 days per week. A quarter is 13 weeks, so 25,000 ÷ 13 (weeks) ÷ 24 (hours per week) = $80.13, but again, let's keep it simple and round up to $85/hour.

Things to remember

Your worth is not determined by your rate, but your rate should reflect your worth.

These are only guides! Don't feel that you need to approach it in these ways - set a value that works for you.

Don't agonise over it! I'm not trying to get you to spend hours and hours working out your rate. The whole exercise should take you less than 20 minutes.

Your rate and whether or not you choose to provide one will NOT be used in determining if your profile is accepted into the directory.

The number you put in for your rate can be anything you want! But if you want to show up in the kind of searches that folks are doing for Laravel developers in your region, then set it appropriately.

And don't forget that this rate is NEVER shown to anyone on Laradir! Only you. So you are not under any obligation to use this rate when you actually quote for work or negotiate a salary offer.

The goal here isn't to be super accurate! You shouldn't need to come onto Laradir every time you've changed your actual rate or salary expectations. If anything, set it to the upper bound of what you expect as this will give you breathing room to negotiate with your client/potential employer.

I think it's always good to have some basic idea of your rate and to understand what your costs are so that you can make sure you're earning more than you're spending. This is Business 101 - make a profit.

It also helps you budget effectively for bills and taxes, sickness and holidays etc etc.

So it's worth doing a version of this exercise at least a couple of times per year, even if you're currently in salaried employment.

How will the filter work?

The plan is to provide ranges of budgets based on a few different ways that Teams often think about them:

  • Daily/weekly/monthly
  • Project-based
  • Annual salary

Your rate will be assigned to a range that will be used to categorise many rates at a similar level; your rate value will never be used directly against the filter.

In this way it will be impossible for someone to determine your rate by using the filters - they will only ever see it at a coarse, range level.

As an example, users might be able to select a Low, Medium and High range when they're looking for developers on a Daily rate basis.

Let's say your rate is $20/hour, it may be classified in the 'Low' range. When a user selects the 'Low' range filter, if your profile is active and meets the other search criteria, it would show for this search.

The 'Low' range might be labelled with additional detail to help provide context for the user, e.g. 'up to $250/day', but nothing more than this. Even if you were the only result to appear, they would not be able to guess your rate, they would only know that it's somewhere between $0 and $250/day.

How much you actually get paid, and the method and schedule you agree for payment is entirely between you and the other party. And I encourage you to agree this in writing outside of an specific messaging platform... ideally, you should have it in a contract that all parties sign.

Of course, this feature isn't finalized yet as we're just at the beginning of this process, but I'd welcome your feedback on any of this already. Please leave your comments in the Suggestion Box for this feature.

Hopefully you can see how this will be valuable to teams who are looking to hire Laravel developers. So please go and add your rate to your profile now.

I want to give a massive shout out to Tendai Karuma for contributing this feature 🙏

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