So, I am very aware that the most important factor here is the money. Great designers deserve to be paid what they are worth, and I'm committed to that. I pay for world-class design and that sets me apart from elance. I respect good designers. But I also need to be paid for my consulting, which is also top shelf. How do I find world-class designers who will really enjoy working with me, get paid fees that they feel respects their talents, and also make me 80% of all my invoices? Struggle bus right now. I cannot seem to attract great talent, eventhough I'm willing to pay them well. I tried Elance, Guru, and other similar out-sourcing sites. Did not work out well at all. Now I'm trying other more design-centric sites, but I find that the designers are not very responsive. Any help here appreciated. And if you have a specific track record of helping folks in my position, then I would consider a call, for sure. Thanks much.
I disagree that money is the most important factor, especially in recruiting designers. Having worked in Silicon Valley the past 5 years and with both Visual & UX design recruitment a speciality, I've sourced, screened, and closed (and missed) on my fair share of designers. They tend to be looking for 2 primary pieces for their projects:
1) Interesting or exciting project, which allows them to use things they've recently learned or technologies they've picked up. They want to feel like they're staying current and moving their career forward. Since it's a project and likely not long-term, they'd like to feel that it will be a boost for their portfolios.
2) Creative freedom and be viewed as problem solvers. Designers love feedback when they're missing the objective of solving the problem (and you should ensure you're hiring designers who view themselves as problem solvers). What they don't care for is a non-designer micro-managing their use of a certain font or color.
Money, work environment (likely telecommute in your case), and other benefits are likely tier 2 motivators.
If you want to be a top destination to attract them, give them the confidence they'll learn and be energized by this client project and you're going to treat them like a problem solver.
I've hired designers for Google as well as a dozen or so startups. I've also hired about 20 people myself via upwork/odesk for my own consulting business and understand the freelance community, if you'd like to discuss more feel free to schedule a call. Good luck!