How To Hire An App Developer: Comprehensive Tips You Should Follow [UPDATED]

Dyachenko Anastasia
Dyachenko Anastasia
CEO at Cadabra Studio. UX expert and business consultant

Demand breeds supply; therefore, people and companies that develop websites, landing pages, online stores, or mobile applications are represented quite widely on the market. Some offer high quality, reasonable terms, and prices, while others provide fast and inexpensive development.

According to the International Trade Center, Ukraine is among the top 25 largest exporters of intellectual products globally. Today, the Ukrainian IT market is growing by 18% yearly.

However, what kind of specialist should be preferred? How to determine the professionalism of the developer and who to choose? Sometimes it’s difficult to make a choice when you need an app developer for hire. We have collected significant requirements that will help you to hire mobile app developers of high qualifications.

How To Hire An App Developer: Types Of Contractor

First of all, we need to understand what we want from the developers and what our goals are, whether we are expanding the project or starting it from scratch, what technologies will be used for the development, and what we want to get. 

This article may be interesting for you: choosing the right technology stack

A professional developer will ask you to cover these issues before proposing any project options. It is also essential to understand who the potential users of the future product are. A detailed portrait of your client will help make the development of the app more useful. Only after understanding the issues mentioned above you can start choosing the performer and hire app developers.

It is worth noting that you won’t need to spend your time figuring out technical details and what they are. This article will help you as a non-technical founder discover how to hire app developers. So everything will be explained simply and clearly. And now we go ahead. 

In the IT sector, the market has a vast range of contractors of various levels and nature: from beginner freelancers to large companies with excellent expertise.

Conventionally, it is possible to divide the performers into several types: freelancers, an in-house team, an outsourcing team, outstaffing developers

Before you start finding app developers, you need to know more about the types of contractors. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages, which should be considered separately.  

Freelance Developers: Pros & Cons

If we talk about freelancers, there is an incredible range of prices and quality, making it difficult to choose the right performer. A large number of candidates might baffle you multiplied by the number of platforms for freelancers.

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

Note: hiring a freelance developer is the best option for implementing the specific short-term task if the in-house or offshore development team doesn’t include a relevant expert. 

Let’s define the advantages and disadvantages of working with a freelancer and what to expect when you hire freelance app developers.

Main pros of hiring freelancers:

  • As a rule, working with a freelancer is cheaper than with an agency. Most often, businesses work with freelancers to save budget. 

  • A freelancer is a direct performer. In some cases, direct contact with a performer improves the quality and efficiency of problem-solving. 

  • It is convenient to solve one-time tasks with the help of freelancers where it is not profitable to hire a full-time employee. 

  • When you are looking for app creators for hire, a freelancer is usually flexible in terms of adjustment to the needs of a client. 

  • A freelancer can complete an emergency order faster than an agency. But not every freelancer.

Main cons of hiring freelancers:

  • Higher risks of failure to meet deadlines. For example, in case a freelancer gets sick, then there will be no one to replace them (if they work alone). 

  • It is challenging to distinguish a specialist from a non-specialist, particularly if you do not understand the field where you order services. It will take some time to find an experienced freelancer. 

  • It is difficult to control the process of development work as most freelancers work remotely and aren’t a part of your development team. 

  • There is a risk of fraud at the hands of a freelancer (especially when you find them on the new and unchecked freelance platforms). 

  • When working with freelancers from other countries, you can’t be sure about protecting confidential information, even after signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). 

  • It might be difficult to find freelance app developers for hire if you want to attract a developer to a long-term multi-stage project since there is a risk that a freelancer may leave it at any time or increase the price of their services.

In-house Developers: Pros & Cons 

Usually, large organizations open their development department, but it requires huge investments. If a large offline business wants to go online and is ready for long-run investments in a site or app development, this choice will ultimately become optimal.

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

Note: in-house developers fit better long-term cooperation. It’s vital for the client to understand that the person responsible for the project on the side of the agency feels the brand and understands the company’s long-term goals; that means they see a holistic picture of development.

Pros of in-house development:

  • Quality control and deadlines. The product owner and managers can predetermine the possible issues with the product at the beginning of the development process, notice possible overlays in the timing ahead of the game, and will be able to strengthen the team. 

  • Long term planning. An in-house team makes the proven squad that you can rely on during the following years. Finding app developers for long term development is a better option.

Main cons of hiring in-house developers:

  • It’s necessary to form a team and manage it. First, you need to hire mobile developers on your own. And you should analyze the market to know how many developers there are since their skills are different. You have to teach everyone to understand the software development process. 

  • It’s challenging to create a high-quality software product if you haven’t had this experience before. You need to advance your expertise. 

  • Comparing with an outsourcing development company, it’s much more expensive to have an in-house product development team.

Outsourcing Developers: Pros & Cons 

Outsourcing, or offshore software development, has become commonplace in many niches. It should be noted that outsourcing will cost more than freelance app developers for hire, but it will save time. If you compare it with the in-house development, choosing an outsourcing company will cost less but still with a high level of dedication and involvement.

Feel free to read the guide about offshore development services and their benefits. 

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

Note: in fact, outsourcing companies can work both with middle- and long-term projects; everything depends on a team and its area of expertise. Most offshore development companies can implement business apps, MVPs, eCommerce software, complicated AR/VR apps, IoT apps — this, and more. 

Main pros of outsourcing development:

  • Less time is spent on project control. Attracting an outsourcing company allows you to get the expected result within a required schedule, most likely. Outsourcing companies are often self-organized and dedicated to their projects, and even more so, there is always a project manager on their part who monitors the process and regulates it. 

  • The work with an outsourcing team provides a possibility for your in-house team to be more productive. Sometimes full-time in-house specialists cannot cope with all the number of tasks on the project, and then the best option would be to outsource product development and find the best app development company for hire. It will let your team concentrate on the most critical aspects of the project. 

  • Outsourcing companies have established processes for application development, so this provides a higher speed of work. 

  • You will get a high-quality briefing. The team on the side of the partner company will help to draw up the correct technical specifications and set priorities. 

  • Efficient communication is a priority. Usually, in outsourcing companies, all communications are kept by managers, which makes it possible to systematize the process. 

  • You can be confident about the financial and legal security and non-disclosure of information. Safety takes part in every project. If we consider the option of cooperation with freelancers next to outsourcing, it is worth noting. Outsourcing typically provides reliability and data security. Undoubtedly, this is critical for you. 

  • The attraction of competent specialists is required for outsourcing companies. Therefore, they cope with the solution of highly specialized tasks like no one else. 

  • When working with an outsourcing company, you will exclude disputes and disagreements with developers. If a specialist is dissatisfied with something, he can only make complaints to his employer. The client pays the company for the work and does not get engaged in personnel management. 

Main cons of outsourcing development:

  • Time for immersion in a niche. It will be necessary to allocate time for an outsourcing team to immerse in the client’s business. 

  • Higher expenses on the development. When you hire a mobile app development company, an outsourcing company’s services are more expensive than freelancers’ work, but the guarantees are significantly higher. 

    Outsourcing of software development can be the most beneficial way to create your software since the team’s location impacts the final cost. Hire developers from Ukraine — drop us a line, and you will get immediate assistance!  

Outstaffing development: Pros & Cons

The outstaffing model offers to hire a specific team or a single developer provided by the third party. This type of working model is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and is suitable for those business owners who work dynamically and need various resources at different periods of their activity. 

If you want to know how to hire someone to build an app, but a freelancer is not a suitable option, then the outstaffing model is what you need.

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Concept Design by Cadabra Studio

Note: outstaffing developers can be suitable for different projects, and they make a better option than freelancers since they work for a specific company. You hire one specialist from this company, and they work for your project during a specified period. 

Main pros of outstaffing development:

  • First of all, outstaffing reduces money for searching (recruiting), hiring, and retaining an employee. 

  • You can indeed have a quick response to the needs of your project. You can define the number of developers required for the project. It is not a problem if there is a need to coordinate the team’s size on the project or the number of tasks assigned to the developer. You can independently select the number of developers for your project and form a team you need. 

  • You can rely on outstaffing about quality and deadlines. As practice shows, when applying the outstaffing model, the quality of the code is high, and projects in most cases are completed before the deadline. 

  • Outstaffing team selection will take only a few days while finding a candidate for your team requires a lot of searches and interviews. 

  • You get a high level of responsibility and qualifications: goal settings, quality control of their implementation.  

Main cons of outstaffing development:

  • The level of control and management of the team is a bit lower if compared to the in-house employees. 

  • There might be a risk of getting developers a level lower than the client requests. The outstaffing companies sell their services for the price of the middle or senior developer to earn more. So when you intend to hire the best developers, you may be misled.  

Hire Mobile App Developers Or Web Developers — How To Make The Right Choice?

Of course, it is essential to choose the type of software you need. When you analyze your target audience and market, you can make sure that a mobile app will be a better option than a website. Or, in some cases, you need both mobile and web apps. Hiring mobile developers or web developer — that is the question.

As Statista claims, in the first quarter of 2020, almost 52% of global website traffics was generated via mobile devices. It means that mobile websites are more popular than conventional websites.

What is a mobile website? In fact, these are standard websites that may fit different screen sizes. These are responsive websites that are created with mobile usage in mind.

If you still hesitate and don’t know what type you need, let’s clarify everything.

A mobile app (for Android or iOS platforms) is an excellent way to provide your customer with a new engagement channel and give them a more profound experience. Mobile apps let users customize an app according to their preferences, and work in offline mode. Any mobile app makes use of all device functions — GPS, camera, microphone, etc. 

A mobile website is an option when you don’t want to consider mobile platforms since websites work on all devices. Unlike mobile apps, websites are updated automatically — you don’t need to make users update them. Finally, website development may cost less than the mobile app creation.

This article may be interesting for you: What is a Development Platform

So who do you need to hire? Everything depends on your business’s specifics, but you should take into account the statistics and facts that people tend to use mobile devices more than desktops. Therefore, if you hire web developers, your website should be responsive, i.e., mobile-friendly. However, if you need a specific landing page that contains CTAs to download your mobile app — a non-responsive website will be enough.

Is there any difference in the hiring process when you hire a developer to make an app for mobile or build a website? When you deal with Cadabra Studio, you just need to contact our business development managers, and they will consult you on your project.

Regardless of software type, our project manager will coordinate your project’s development and be the bridge between you and mobile/web developers.

Things To Consider When Hiring App Developers, Or How To Choose An App Developer

Even when you have determined what type of contractor you need — freelancer or offshore development team — you have to find more information about the partner you will cooperate with and follow some mandatory steps to avoid mistakes. 

  • Check the portfolio. When you hire someone to create an app, whether it be a freelancer or a development company, we recommend you to analyze their experience and check their portfolio. You need a proficient developer since you want your app to be created professionally. 

  • Read testimonials. When you hire application development teams, their website usually contains the Testimonials page, where you can read testimonials of previous clients. If we speak about freelancers, each platform where you hire developers provides developers’ portfolios, and there you can find reviews from clients. By the way, you will find the info on where to find app developers below.  

  • Discover their development capabilities. If you need a mobile app, learn more about developers’ skills, whether they can build mobile apps or they focus on web development. Also, if your app needs some specific features, don’t hesitate to ask developers how they can implement them.  

  • Interview your candidates. Remote cooperation doesn’t mean that you don’t need to interview your candidates. Testimonials and portfolios won’t save the situation if you face communication problems, and specialists don’t want to listen to your ideas and requirements. So always talk to them. Moreover, keep communicating with developers even when your project started — you will keep an eye on things and stay updated.

    Finally, your project development starts when you sign a contract with developers, and all project requirements are settled. Besides, companies like Cadabra Studio always sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) to protect your idea and ensure confidentiality.

    Read our article about a non-disclosure agreement and how to make it. 

How To Avoid Possible Risks?

How to find app developers that are responsible and won’t cheat you? Each business bears potential risks, and you must be prepared for them. Software development is a complicated and time-consuming process as well as it requires significant investments. Thus, you need to know about all pitfalls.

  • Nearshore developers are not always better than offshore ones. It is a widespread myth that if a development team is located nearby, your project will be created better. Well, you need to look for experienced and talented developers; it is the primary criteria. And no matter where they are located. 

  • Never ignore detailed interviews. We have already mentioned that you must interview your candidates, and we want to repeat that it is a precarious process to entrust your project to developers you haven’t even spoken to. A detailed personal conversation with a development team is a must. 

  • Skills may cost a lot. Offshore software development is a cost-efficient option to build your mobile or web app, but some complex functions will cost a lot to integrate. In this case, we insistently recommend hiring a qualified and skilled team, rather than looking for the cheapest option. If your app fails due to poor implementation, your losses will be much higher.  

  • Speed doesn’t always come with quality. An excellent app cannot be built within a short period. It takes time to develop a competitive software that will satisfy the demands of users. We recommend to cooperate with developers who set realistic timeframe, and they don’t promise that everything will be done as quickly as possible. 

A Check-list Of The Questions You Need To Find Answers For

  • Is it possible to build effective communication with this performer?
    Do not be afraid at the start to discuss the schedule and format of communication between you and the performer. It’s a regular practice to coordinate daily morning meetings or monitor work progress by mail, Skype, or other messengers. 

  • Is the performer’s approach to developing clear, and is it possible to control the process?
    A developer who knows what they will do with your application can describe to you each stage of development. Moreover, they have to ask you to participate and keep up to date with the progress. A dedicated expert typically insists on assessing the intermediate result and your full involvement in the process at each application creation stage. 

  • Do you see any involvement in your business?
    A professional company will do everything to know more about your business and will do it in a relatively short time. A good result can be achieved only with complete diving into the business processes. 

  • Are they ready to stay on your budget?
    If your development budget is strictly limited, a loyal developer will still look for an opportunity to offer you a better approach to development without spending even an extra penny at the start. It will help determine the minimum list of necessary functionality with which you can enter the market. 

  • Do they have rational suggestions?
    This is a reason to be on the alert if the developers accept all your offers. This means the absence of their ideas regarding the technologies used, so do not be surprised if you later find yourself to blame for a product that does not work as you expected. 

  • Do they offer innovative solutions?
    To correctly evaluate this criterion, you need to be aware of technological innovations. 

  • Are they ready to step back from one-size-fits-all solutions?
    During the development process, it is always easier to follow a pattern than to do something individually. A professional developer will insist on a custom solution, not because they want to complicate things and inflate your budget, but because each project is specific, which should be considered during development. 

  • Will your project be secure and compliant with legal regulations?
    This is especially important if you want to create an e-commerce application or any other solution that involves introducing payment systems. This means increased security requirements. Therefore, find out in advance how they are going to implement them. 

Besides, depending on the region and app type, your app must be compliant with such regulations as GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA.

  • Is it possible to get the whole range of services in one company?
    This is much more profitable and effective if your application will be created in one place by one company, starting from evaluating the idea and ending with the release to the market. 

  • Is it possible to turn to them with a mere idea?
    The first thing that an experienced developer company will do is evaluate the viability of the idea, analyze the market and competitors, and develop your product’s unique features that will allow it to be different from the rest. 

  • Do they have development experience in the field to which your application belongs?
    This is a definite plus in favor of the company since practical experience in this area will help to develop a truly better concept and functionality for your application. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask about already implemented solutions and ask to familiarize yourself with the cases. 

  • What guarantees does the contractor give?
    During the first or second interview, ask for a contract template and carefully read each letter. As we mentioned above, reliable companies always sign a non-disclosure agreement to let the idea be confidential.  

  • What about the price?
    This criterion is quite controversial. In the IT services market, you can only find the approximate market price for application development. Therefore, do not be surprised if you hear one price in the first company. The second company employees will voice several-fold more enormous cost, and the third will refuse to talk about the price without having worked at least in the first stages of the application.  

In the next section, we will speak about the cost of hiring app developers. 

All these seemingly short questions can help you decide who makes the best performer for you. After these stages, the right agency will most likely be able to assess your project — costs, time, and resources, and will send you a proposal for cooperation if both parties are satisfied.

How Much Does An App Developer Cost? 

One of the most important criteria for choosing a performer is the cost of mobile application development. It takes a considerable part of the budget. The price may include the work of various specialists and will depend on the time they spend. Also, the cost of development can vary significantly, depending on the contractor’s location and experience.

Always pay attention to the contractor’s experience, check the projects in his portfolio, and whether they specialize in the spheres needed for your business.

If a developer has good experience implementing a specific industry project, the cooperation process will be more comfortable and efficient. The app developer cost will directly depend on the amount of work the team is doing.

Development Rates At Different World Regions

Usually, the cost implies an hour of work of a professionally engaged specialist in developing an application. The app development’s actual price depends on the schedule, the amount of work, and the platform the app supports.

  • North America. The USA and Canada have always been countries with very high development rates that start at $120-200 per hour.  

  • The Middle East. Regions like Israel and UAE offer average development rates within the $100-200 range.  

  • South America. The average rate in countries like Mexico, Brazilia, Argentina varies between $30-55. 

  • Asia. Rates in Asia may be quite different ($30-100); it is connected with other regions and companies (lower rates in Central Asia, and higher ones in East and South Asia). 

  • Western/North Europe. Interestingly, in the UK, Belgium, France, rates vary between $75-100, whereas in Norway, some companies provide rates at $300. It is even higher than the rates of North American companies.  

  • Eastern Europe. Ukraine, Poland, Romania offer rates at $25-50. Here you can hire an affordable mobile app developer.

Reasons Why To Hire Ukrainian App Developers

If you are still hesitating to hire local developers or entrust your project with overseas app developers, you should consider all expenses you will bear. If you live in the US, the regional specialist’s development cost will be much higher than the overseas developers’ service, especially those located on the other side of the planet from you.

You always need to remember the difference in the time zones. But it’s even better to work with a time difference sometimes — you don’t need to fool around with brief working moments. All planned work comes completed for you in the morning. 

It is worth exploring in detail the market of foreign developers to find a perfect performer and understand how to hire an app developer for your project.

So why is doing app development in Ukraine an excellent decision to make? Development’s average hourly rate is $35-50, but this country is known for large projects like Grammarly, Depositphotos, etc. And a business vision of Ukrainian development companies is closer to European companies, so you can get in touch with the Cadabra Studio team right now and share your project ideas. We will do the rest. 

Where To Hire Developers?

Freelance websites are special web services for finding remote employees or performers for a specific project or task. There you will find how to hire a developer for an app. 

TopTal is a freelance platform for web developers, designers, and financial experts. The platform is positioned as a closed community. The hourly rate of the developers on the platform makes $50-60. The platform is distinguished by interesting long-term projects, customers, and responsible performers.

Upwork is the world’s largest platform for cooperation between employers and freelancers. Millions of job offers and CVs are posted annually at Upwork. Contractors receive payment once a week, and the platform takes from 5% to 20% of this sum. Upwork allows customers to create online development teams. The company also offers Upwork Team App software, enabling customers to see the freelancer’s work process during their work hours. When you look for an app developer for hire, Upwork is one of the best platforms to do it.

You can post a description of your project or task on this platform and get a series of freelancers’ proposals. To decide which freelancer to entrust your work with, you may compare their prices and terms and look through candidates’ profiles on the site. 

As a rule, the profile has a summary, a freelancer rating on the market (provided by customers), a history of work performed, reviews, portfolio, and technology stack.

Many sites offer tools for communicating with freelancers, planning work schedules and performance control, and acting as a guarantor in your transaction. You pay for the work not to the contractor but to the site, which guarantees for a certain percentage that the freelancer will fulfill his obligations on time and will not disappear with your money.

However, if you want to know how to hire an app development company, not freelancers, you will need to check the B2B companies list using various platforms.

B2B is a business model, the purpose of which is not to work for individual customers but other businesses. Both companies involved in the transaction make a profit. B2B catalogs are the lists of such companies, classified and grouped by their location, specialization, and ratings. 

For example, you can find the best app developers for hire on the independent platform known as Clutch that performs in-depth reviews of IT companies and agencies.

Besides, you can check the following agencies for hiring experienced developers around the globe:

  • YouTeam. YouTeam is a Y Combinator-backed marketplace for finding and hiring talented developers in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Each developer in the YouTeam list is interviewed by experts, so developers’ skills are verified. 

  • Sortlist. Sortlist is the platform that allows clients to find different types of services like public relations, eCommerce, SEO, web design, and app development, of course. The platform includes companies from Europe and the United States predominantly.  

  • TopFirms. Another directory where you can find app developers is TopFirms. The platform focuses on providing information about software development companies specializing in web, mobile, and eCommerce development, including breakthrough technologies AI, AR, Blockchain, IoT, etc. 

The list can be extended, but we don’t want to bombard you with the information. is usually the first website people visit to find a company by rating and area of expertise. 

After researching the job market of developers, make a list of companies or candidates for cooperation. Look for reviews of potential performers who specialize in application development and design.

Comments on cooperation should be studied not only on the developers’ website but also on other resources. No one will post negative reviews on their website.

You can also contact previous clients represented in the portfolio and ask them about cooperation with the contractor about:

  • How the consultations went?

  • Whether the deadlines indicated in the contract were respected? 

  • How quickly the changes and improvements were made?

  • How do they evaluate the effectiveness of the app?

After the information is received, you can discard the candidates that you did not like for some reason.

Make a short plan with details that may shed light on your project and give an approximate understanding before you hire app developers, conclude a contract, and sign the NDA. 

This article may be interesting for you: Non Disclosure Agreement for App Development

Or you can draw up a request for proposal (RFP) where you will indicate all critical input data of your project. If you don’t know how to create an RFP, you will find all answers in the article about RFP. There is a template as well.

Contact each of the potential performers and tell them about the project details, best practices, what you want and who you need, timing, and budget. Demand the answers to all your questions. 

Still have some questions on finding talented developers? Then contact our managers and describe your requirements. We will help you right away!

To Sum Up

So, choosing a reliable contractor is a part of the success of the project and your business. Having completed all these stages with several companies, you will have a few offers on hand, with different variations and prices for services and terms. You will choose the best and optimal option since you already know how to hire app developers. You have only to sign a contract.

The search itself may be more time-consuming than you expected, but it’s better not to rush to prevent mistakes. This can critically affect the life of your project. You can communicate with potential performers for several weeks and ask any questions to be sure of your choice.

We tried to make the article as detailed as possible. If you are wondering how to hire a programmer for an app or a website, be sure that these criteria will help you weed out unreliable candidates and make the best choice, and you can hire mobile app developers at low costs.

Full compliance with these criteria gives a guarantee that you will receive a genuinely high-quality and sought-after product.

Send us your project requirement right now — we will become a troubleshooting company for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Healthcare industry is known for complex processes explained by the high level of responsibility.

The cost of medical app development depends on several factors like your needs, set of features, technology stack, and so on. Though our business analytics make sure to not spend an unnecessary penny.

To make a mobile app screen, you need to create a user flow diagram for each screen, draw wireframes, select design templates, and colors, create layouts, and create an animated prototype.

We usually take our clients through the following steps:

  1. Planning and Research; 
  2. Prototyping;
  3. Design;
  4. Development;
  5. Testing;
  6. Release;
  7. Maintenance.

You will participate in every stage of the development process and get regular updates.

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