Tips for Hiring a QA Tester

Tips for Hiring a QA Tester

In software development, hiring a QA tester or QA engineer is imperative. When a new website or application launches, customers expect the program to work perfectly, and testing the project is the way to ensure it launches correctly. If you run an e-commerce site, for example, you want to ensure your app will allow people to successfully navigate and make purchases from your site without any problems.

Using software testers for software quality assurance helps you avoid a negative user experience disaster. While automated testing can uncover potential problems, manual testing can help you tap into the expertise that comes with years of experience from a full-time QA testing expert. The type of testing you want to complete will depend on the information you want to collect about your project. We will discuss different types of testing later in this article.

Are you ready to hire a QA tester to help with your web application? Here’s what you need to know about finding the best fit for your position.

What does a QA tester do?

A QA tester analyzes your applications or software by working through all parts and finding any potential issues before the products are released to the public. By going through this process, your testers provide quality assurance.

The quality assurance engineer thoroughly investigates your web app so you can correct problems before going to market, providing only a high-quality app or other software product for consumers. A manual tester will go through the different components of the application to check on how well things flow together personally. To complete these goals, a QA tester will use test scripts to do the following:

  • Check your software for potential bugs.
  • Monitor and test the user experience so they can give feedback to the developer if problems arise while in use. For example, if a call-to-action button is hard to see on a mobile screen, it will cause problems for the end users. The QA tester can note this feedback and pass it along to the developer.
  • Check for any potential inconsistencies with the workflows within the project through scripts that are either automated or manually run.
  • Assists in project management by helping the developer improve the application by offering suggestions about the UI and UX. Since the tester is an outside person using the software for the first time, they can be objective when running through the application to ensure they can complete basic tasks. They will check for compatibility during the mobile app testing to ensure it will run on different customer devices. Relying on the program developer to do this task can introduce bias and make it harder to determine if there are any challenges.

Altogether, your QA tester is an important member of your development team. The application testing process helps sort out potential problems so the product you send to the market is the best possible creation. This will help you build a stronger reputation with your potential customers and increase your brand reach. People trying out your new product or service will be more inclined to leave positive reviews, which can help bring in future customers and build your service area.

To seize all of these potential benefits of quality assurance testing, you need to find a professional who can help you properly check your program for problems. You want to find a tester you can trust to help you create an outstanding project. To optimize your use of a QA tester, however, let’s review some steps to take.

Prepare your testing project

Before hiring your QA tester, you need to determine what your testing project will entail and define your testing project. Your needs will differ depending on the depth of your project. For example, smaller projects might just need someone to run through already developed software and test each screen to ensure it passes bugs and UI and UX tests. Larger projects, however, may need someone to work alongside the developer so each module is tested as it is developed. This helps uncover any potential problems before the project is completed.

You will need to provide your QA tester with information about the project size so they can better determine their billing rate. Create a QA test plan outlining which aspects need to be tested and the methodologies you expect the QA analyst to use. Consider the different types of testing tools you want to accomplish. Here are some common types of testing:

  • Functional testing. Functional testing examines how different features of the product work and how well it meets the needed requirements.
  • Performance testing. Performance testing explores how fast the product performs and any potential slowdowns that might hinder customer usage.
  • Security testing. Security testing ensures that the desktop or mobile application does not leave user information vulnerable.
  • Localization testing. Localization testing examines if the product works in all the targeted locations, including with different languages.

Once you know the type of testing you want to do, it’s time to determine precisely which part of the design process should be tested. Then, determine your testing approach. Outline your testing strategy using SMART objectives. SMART objectives call for your QA test to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

As you develop software, apps, and other programs, you’ll want to test your project at different points in the development process—and that testing is something you will do continuously.

To determine which type of testing you want to do and how to make your goals SMART, look at an outline of the types of criteria typically tested at different points.

Testing in the early stages of development Unit testing: you want to test each separate unit during development to ensure they function correctly. This calls for very high attention to detail as you need to examine code and the minutiae of each component’s functions.
Testing in the early-intermediate stages of development Integration testing helps you see how your different components fit together. This testing level looks for problems when the different units or modules interface or otherwise work together.
Testing in the late-intermediate stages of development System testing verifies that all the integrated components work together. It is critical for ensuring that the system complies with any requirements and maintains its quality. This testing should be done by professionals who did not perform earlier tests. It also looks at technical requirements and those unique to the business.
Testing at the end stages of development Acceptance testing is the final stage of performing quality assurance tests. Customer base representatives can be a great asset at this stage. This stage’s goal is to ensure that the needs of the business and the desires of the customers are met.

Use the following chart to formulate your QA testing goals:

Define the stage of development you are in with your project
Define the type of testing you will complete (Specific) and your expected outcomes
Note how you will conduct the test and which criteria you will use to measure the outcome (Measurable)
Outline which platforms and mechanisms you will use to conduct the test (Achievable)
Describe how the test outcomes will provide you with insight into the targeted stage of development and what you wanted to deliver (Relevant
Define the time frame in which you want the test completed (Time-bound)

Defining your QA testing goals using these formulas will help you create an actionable plan. You will be better prepared to collect concrete data on the success of your tests so you can put the information to use and build a better user experience.

The hiring process

Hiring a QA tester will help you create the software that your customers expect from your business. However, you want to make sure you proceed carefully through the hiring process to help you find the candidates that will fit your organization best.

A thorough hiring process will call for you to write a quality job description, carefully evaluate the candidates, and then choose the optimal fit. We will walk you through each step in this process.

Write a job description

Next, you’ll need to provide a thorough job description for the QA tester to outline what you expect the professional to do. Your job description should outline what you have determined to be your course of action from the earlier steps of defining and outlining your software test.

Your job description should provide key information, including:

  • What type of application, software, or program you want tested. For example, you need to indicate if you want a web app tested or a new portion of your computer-based software.
  • What you want to learn with your test. Let the tester know if this is your first version of the program and you want to focus on finding bugs—or if you are updating an existing program and want to see how workflows have improved, for example.
  • What you want the tester to look for in your project. Letting the tester know what you want them to keep their eyes open for can help them better prepare for the test and know where to focus their skills.
  • What types of qualifications you want in the tester. If you need your tester to have a certain background, such as experience with marketing software, mention that. If you want the tester to review portions of your code, let them know what languages they should have experience in so they perform well.
  • Which team members the tester should expect to work with, such as collaborating with the development team throughout the process. Knowing where they will fit within the organization and who they should expect to collaborate with throughout the job can help reduce miscommunication problems and create a smoother process.

The job description you write will describe any in-house business requirements you have to meet and give information about pricing so professional testers can make bids that you will find reasonable. This will help you come to an agreement faster so you can start your project.

Post your job listing

When it comes to finding the right professionals to help you with a specific job, look no further than Upwork.

Upwork is a popular freelance platform that allows businesses to connect with leading independent professionals, including those who run their own software testing services. Independent contractors build their careers around specific skills, making them excellent choices for those who want quality testing on their products. These qualified professionals spend their days running quality assurance tests and can help businesses test products ranging from internal employee apps to large e-commerce sites.

Post your job on Upwork to find the right QA testers for your software. Then, professionals can preview your description and bid on the position. You have the chance to review their credentials and find the bid and professional that fit you best. You can also browse profiles on the platform to see the different QA professionals on the site before posting your job.

Vet through applications

As the applications begin to arrive for your QA tester position, you want to carefully vet each one so you can find the professional that fits your business needs best. Look at the applications to get a feel for the range of experience the professional has and the number of projects they have worked. See if those qualifications align with your specific business needs.

There are a few key characteristics you want to look for in the applications you receive. You may find that you also have other specific criteria you want to watch for that are specific to your industry. Overall, however, you will find that the following traits play a critical role in helping you find QA testers for your project.

  • Critical thinking skills. You want to find testers who demonstrate an outstanding ability to critically examine issues, look at them from all perspectives, and think outside the box when looking for solutions. You want someone who can really examine your product from the perspective of a customer.
  • Communication skills. You also want to find a tester who can demonstrate outstanding communication skills. They will need to accurately articulate any problems they find and then describe the situation to your developers and the rest of your team.
  • Collaboration and teamwork skills. Similarly, your QA tester will work side-by-side with other members of your team as you run through the program looking for particular issues. They will need to be able to work well with the other members of the team, listen to their perspectives and concerns, and do their part to create an efficient, cooperative team.
  • Adaptable and flexible. You also want team members who can adapt quickly to your unique business needs, the methods of testing you will use, and their strategies to match the unique needs of your specific customers.

You can use a few strategies to identify the candidates with these traits. To begin, look at their cover letter. A cover letter gives the candidate space to articulate specifically why they think they would be a good fit for the position. You can see what projects and traits they choose to emphasize and how it aligns with these targeted characteristics.

Similarly, you want to look over the experience on their resume. See what types of projects they have worked on and what they were responsible for within those projects. It will help you get a feel for the range of their experience.

Finally, when you find QA testers on Upwork, you can also look at reviews left by past clients the candidate has worked with, which can give you insight into how this professional works. You can see how the candidate performed in other situations, check for evaluations that speak to their worth ethic, and see how their traits align with what you are looking for so you can better evaluate their job experience.

Conduct interviews

Once you have identified your top potential candidates, you want to set up an interview to get to know them a little bit and find the top match for your position. As you conduct the interview, you are looking for insight into two main factors that will impact how well they would align with your position. First, you want to look at their technical skills for the industry, particularly any that are unique for your business needs. Secondly, you want to look at soft skills that will influence how well they fit with the rest of your team.

To identify their skills in each of these two categories, you will need to ask a variety of interview questions that target each category.

To evaluate their skills as a QA tester, you can ask questions. Here are some examples.

  • What are the different types of software testing and which ones have you conducted?
  • Can you describe for me the difference between branch testing and boundary testing?
  • What types of testing tools have you used? What scenarios did you use them in?
  • Can you explain for me the steps of the Bug Cycle?

You also want to ask questions to see how well the professional will fit in with the rest of your team.

  • Describe for me one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a QA tester?
  • Have you ever faced communication challenges working with a team as a QA tester? How did you resolve them?
  • What strategies do you use to evaluate software from different perspectives? How do you put yourself in the mindset of the targeted customer?

You might also consider bringing in a member of the team that the tester will work with for part of the discussion to get their opinion as well. This will help you build the optimal team for evaluating your product.

Make an offer

Once you have settled upon your top candidate, you want to make an offer. Your offer should follow the following guidelines.

  • Align it with your industry standards based on what tests you expect your QA tester to run and how long they will work for you.
  • Watch your budget so you know precisely what you can afford to offer.
  • Look at the experience of the QA tester. Remember that someone very experienced in the industry will earn more than someone new.

If you don’t know where to start when determining price and rate, you can use resources on Upwork to determine where to begin. Look at the rates and project prices quoted by the QA testers on the site, particularly those with the skills and experience you want to find for your own tester.

You have a few options for making the offer. If you have spoken to the person regularly throughout the evaluation process, then offering them the job and detailing your offer over the phone may be a good fit. If you have mostly emailed, then making an offer through email can also work. If you do make the offer in person or over the phone, then detailing the offer via email for the candidate to review is also a good practice.

QA tester job description template

Looking over sample QA job descriptions can help you better understand what your business should include in your job listing. Here is one example of a successful job description; notice how it carefully outlines the job responsibilities, the QA process the business owner expects, and what they hope the usability testing will accomplish.

The following is a basic project description sample.

Job Title Create a job title that accurately describes the task
Job Description Write a thorough explanation of what the test will need to accomplish, including the steps they will go through and the expected time frame
Application, Software, or Program for Testing Include a thorough list of what you need to have tested during the project. Let the applicants know what software or applications they should expect to use.
Testing Expectations Your description should also outline what you expect to see over the course of the job, such as whether you expect users to be able to easily upload and share pictures or add items to their virtual shopping cart and check out.
Qualifications for the Job Let applicants know about the qualifications you expect them to have for this project. For example, you might want a tester with experience with a certain type of software or programming language.
Collaboration Expectations You will need your QA tester to collaborate with certain team members so their observations can be put to use. Let applicants know with whom they should expect to work.


Title: QA tester for SaaS application
Description: Our developers have recently finished our SaaS application, and we need a QA tester to review the workflow and UI and test for any bugs. Our application has about 50 screens, and it’s in the IT market. We need someone to ensure that users can download products, run the application on their server, and make payments without errors. We would also like suggestions for any UX issues that you find. We will provide documentation and a URL to QA testers that we hire. We expect it will take a tester about 30 days to go through the entire application. We will give you an account with full access to review and learn testing.

Notice how this particular job description explains the job in depth, providing the candidates with a wealth of information about what the employer would expect them to accomplish. This helps ensure that the best candidates are attracted to this listing, which will help you find the right professional for your needs.

Find the right QA tester for your company

If you want to hire software testers to provide validation that your application is progressing according to plan, create a job listing on the world’s work marketplace,  Upwork.

Upwork is the largest freelancer marketplace, connecting freelancers and clients. If you want to find a QA tester for your team, then you can post a job and receive bids from some of the top freelancers in the field. Then review each applicant to find the right fit and manage the job entirely from the Upwork platform. Get started reviewing applicants and find your candidate today.

If you are a QA tester who has skills and expertise in this field, you can also create a portfolio that allows you to showcase your skills and experience. Bid on jobs that come in and then manage your freelance clients right through Upwork. It has never been easier to grow your freelance career.  


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Tips for Hiring a QA Tester
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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