Best Practices

How to Hire an App Developer for Your Business

Table of content

Table of content


While the global mobile app market is only increasing and is expected to reach $939 billion in revenue by the end of 2023, finding experienced tech specialists is becoming more challenging. How to find an app developer who suits my project? That is the tricky question many startup founders and business owners face nowadays.

Why tricky? Because on the one hand, as a business owner, you have to optimize costs, as the economy is slowing down and investors are becoming more meticulous about where to invest. On the other hand, you need to grow and scale fast. Quite challenging, isn't it?

Hiring app developers is the most effective way out. IT outsourcing and staff augmentation offer a number of advantages, such as fast and quality app development at a reasonable price, access to the best tech talents worldwide, and many more.

In this article, we'll tell you different options for hiring app developers, their pros and cons, help you make the hiring process easier, and check if a developer is right for your project. You'll get to know the difference between the developers' rates by region and more. There's a lot to cover, so let's begin!

First things first: Why do I need to hire an app developer?

It’s not absolutely necessary to hire an app developer. In fact, some entrepreneurs with programming knowledge can create an app themselve. It is even easier considering the vast array of free or paid development tools.

The problem is that most business owners either don’t have a computer background, or they are unclear about what exactly they need in order to build the right app. Sometimes, the sheer magnitude of the project requires more than one person for the job, which means that even experts have to hire a team eventually. This is when the need to hire an app developer becomes clear.

Hiring App Developers: 3 Common Options

There are 3 ways that you can go about when hiring an app developer.

Option 1: Hire app developers in-house

The most common option is hiring an app developer as your team member. If there is already an existing team, the labor gaps can be filled by conducting a job interview, picking the right people for the job, and integrating them into the workplace with their co-workers.

In-house hiring is costly as you need to offer a working place and accommodations, spend time&money on hiring and onboarding, and cover medical insurance and taxes. Well, everything that the government requires in your region.

Uptech Tip: Hiring an app developer in-house is effective when you have a big budget or a stable source of financing.

Pros of In-House Hiring

  • The total commitment of the employee;
  • The employee integrated into the company's culture;
  • More input and involvement;
  • Higher awareness of the development processes of the company.

Cons of In-House Hiring

  • Hiring and onboarding expenses;
  • Costs of providing suitable working conditions and equipment;
  • Limited to the local tech talents;
  • Only full-time employment option.
hire an app developer
Hesitating between in-house vs. outsourced development?
Read the article to make the best choice

Option 2: Hire app developers on a freelance basis

Another option is hiring an app developer as a freelancer. This method is gaining popularity today. With the onset of freelancing websites like Upwork, any business owner can hire a specialist online.

A major advantage of this option is the contractual nature of the agreement, which means that the owner doesn't have to pay for vacation days, social security, and other benefits. Being cheap, however, is also a downfall since many freelance app developers for hire out there are simply underqualified for big jobs.

Uptech Tip: Entrepreneurs with pet projects and a budget of less than $10,000 should find the best fit in hiring app developers as freelancers.

Pros of Freelance

  • No need to provide working equipment;
  • The employment model is optional;
  • Access to talents worldwide.

Cons of Freelance

  • Less commitment due to other projects;
  • Complicated onboarding process;
  • Suits only medium and small businesses.  
hire an app developer

Option 3: Hire app developers as an outsourced team

Outsource app developers or outstaff the part of your tech team pieces together the best of all the hiring options. You hire app developers who are employed only on a contractual basis. It's still less expensive than getting an in-house team, and you are free from all the employee hiring/firing expenses.

Furthermore, hiring developers on an outsource basis is completely scalable and flexible, which means that you can expand or diminish the team size to fit the project's exact needs, thereby saving resources in the long run.

It's the most efficient solution for:

  • Startups series A+ that want to scale and grow fast but want to decrease expenses and need extra hands.
  • Business owners who already have an established company but have an idea for a new project and need extra hands.
Uptech Tip: Hiring app developers as an outsourced team is a great solution to fill the gaps and move with the product idea faster and with fewer expenses.
hire an app developer

Pros of Outsourcing

  • Lower hiring and onboarding expenses;
  • Contract-based collaboration;
  • Access to professionals worldwide;
  • You may choose a team with unique expertise;
  • No responsibility and costs on the working equipment and documentation;
  • More time to focus on the business side of the product;
  • A new perspective on the product idea;

Cons of Outsourcing

  • Need to manage a team;
  • Possible communication issues.
hire an app developer
Learn how to solve 10 most common problems of outsourcing

When Hiring App Developers as an Outsource Team Is The Best Choice

We have been working with startups and established businesses since 2016, and clients come to us for different reasons. But there are 4 main motives why our clients choose hiring developers at Uptech:

  • They get access to the pool of tech professionals;
  • We write good-quality code;
  • We ask questions and give professional advice;
  • The way we communicate and do our job is amazing.

Btw, you can check more feedback from our clients on Clutch. The feedback from our clients only gives you part of the picture, so let's look at the statistics. According to Deloitte's research:

  • 65% said outsourcing helps them focus on core functions;
  • 63% mentioned cost-cutting as a key benefit of outsourcing.

The need for outsourcing is hard to overestimate. 92% of G2000 companies are already outsourcing, and 60% of organizations are outsourcing app development specifically. Google, Facebook, and Slack are companies that hire outsourcing teams.

Of course, outsourcing the team isn't a one-suit solution. There are a few cases when hiring app developers as an outsourced team is the right way for you to go. Check them out:

Pressed for time

When you have investors from one side and a competitive market on the other, you need to develop fast, scale fast and show results. It simply takes more resources to keep the product development internally.

You can grow faster by hiring an outsource app development team that pays attention to quality. Plus, you'll leverage the expertise of other industry talents to create a product that meets users' needs.

Budget constraints

In 2022, more than 70,000 people globally have been laid off by Big Tech companies. The reasons for that vary, but the truth is that having your own in-house team is expensive. You should spend money hiring these people, providing the necessary working conditions, paying taxes, covering medical insurance, etc. Outsourcing an app development team is, therefore, the most practical solution. You cut most of these expenses and basically spend money on salaries. All other expenses are on the outsourcing team.

In addition, outsourcing is usually done in the regions where the developers' rates are lower. We'll give a detailed overview of the rates in the different regions later in this article.

Lack of available talent

Specialists are difficult to come by. Even if you have your own workforce, there may not be anyone in your team with the necessary skill to create a particular feature you want. This is when hiring an app developer can be very rewarding. Most outsourcing companies like Uptech have a large talent pool for you to choose from, so contracting the job is often easier than training a member of your own company.

Launch deadlines

The problem with hiring a solo freelance app developer compared to an outsourcing agency is that freelancers often work on multiple projects simultaneously and can overestimate their capabilities. Missed deadlines are, therefore, a common occurrence. On the other hand, outsourcing companies have systems in place that prevent slacking off. The larger workforce also allows them to keep things on time and on schedule.

Lack of clarity

Software development involves so many minutiae that it is simply beyond the capabilities of an entrepreneur to micromanage. Business owners should focus on the big picture rather than spending all their time nitpicking the details of an app. By simply hiring app developers, you can then let them handle the implementation, freeing up your calendar for you to run the more important aspects of your business.

how to find an app developer

How to Hire App Developers: 10 Main Steps

Hiring an app developer can be tricky if you do not know where to start. Just because someone's resume looks good on paper doesn't mean that that's the right person for the job. There are approximately 10 things that you should consider before hiring app developers:

Step 1: Ask a friend or colleague for references

Experience is the best teacher, so asking friends and colleagues for any references is the best way to find an excellent app developer quickly. With this method, you can save significant time from having to go through hundreds, if not thousands, of substandard worker profiles.

Step 2: Research the hiring platforms

There are a lot of platforms that allow you to find app developers. Many popular freelancers have private websites where clients can personally contact them, while others choose to go through a middleman who takes a certain percentage of the rate, such as Upwork.

Other websites like Dribble and Behance have a social media slant that allows developers to showcase their work.

how to find an app developer

Data-driven services like Clutch and Goodfirms are worth looking into for their reliable and verified agency reviews.

how to find an app developer

No matter what you choose, consider the hiring platform carefully. Be especially wary of scam websites, and never put in a large down payment unless there’s an escrow or refund process involved.  

To sum up, here’s the list of resources where to find app developers:

  • Upwork – if you’re looking for freelancers;
  • Clutch, Goodfirms – if you want to outsource/outstaff the development team;
  • LinkedIn, Glassdoor – if you want to hire in-house.

Step 3: Examine the apps developer’s portfolio

Take your time with app developers who are still fresh from college. Of course, there are some rare instances wherein newbies might prove to be extremely skilled, but you should scan their portfolio carefully. Before hiring an app developer, look at their past work experience and portfolio to see how well they performed on other projects.

how to find an app developer

Step 4: Check testimonials

The experience of previous clients is an invaluable factor when hiring an app developer, provided that their testimonials are legitimate. It's very easy to get fake reviews, so while testimonials may be important, they should be considered along with other factors in this list.

Here's the feedback from our client, Emanuel Possnert – Сo-Founder of Eatable – foodtech company in Sweden. Check it out!

Step 5: Find out specific technologies 

You should see if the app developer you want to hire is specialized for your project.

  • Is your app web-based or not?
  • What programming language do you need?
  • Do you want a fancy graphical user interface or a basic one?

The answers to these questions will narrow down the search of applicants. Remember, you don't just want to hire a good app developer, but one that knows the particular technologies for your project.

how to find an app developer

Step 6: See if they offer other services

Look at the services app developers offer. Some might be closely related to technical skills, but these are not the skills you're looking for. Some are purely for coding and programming, while others might add extra packages such as project management, design, troubleshooting, maintenance, etc. While bonus services might be wonderful, they also tend to cost more. A barebones production might be all you need depending on the size and scope of the app.

Uptech is a one-stop product development studio. We help design and develop products for early-stage startups and established companies. Check out what mobile and web development services we offer.

Step 7: Look into the culture of the company

This factor is critical while hiring an app developer, though many co-founders tend to skip it. Different app developers have different working atmospheres.

For example, some companies function in a traditional managerial style that uses a top-down approach, with bosses at the top giving orders to their employees at the bottom. Others function on a team-based level where everyone is encouraged to speak up and contribute regardless of their rank. A few also give large amounts of creative leeway to their workers with little supervision. Therefore, even if a particular company has superb talent, its culture might not fit you.

To find a good match, you have to figure out your values, ethics, expectations, goals, and personality, then make sure that the developers you hire are on board with them.

Step 8: Discover their development approach

Finding an app developer to fit your project requires coinciding with your development approaches. The software development life cycle is how app developers divide and organize the work, so the process goes smoothly. Different teams have different methods and approaches.

Whether or not you're familiar with computer terminology, it's still important for you to get the rundown on how the developer will manage the project. This big-picture view will give you a fairly accurate timetable of when to expect the app to be finished and allow you to set deadlines for various milestones as necessary.

Step 9: Talk with the team

Even when hiring an app development team remotely, you still have to interview members of the team. Testimonials and portfolio cases will only be worth something if the app developer is easy to deal with personally. Be aware of potential difficulties or character flaws, as this might cause unexpected arguments down the road.

Step 10: Keep communications open

The problem with hiring freelance or employee app developers is that they work remotely, which means that email and teleconferencing are often the only means of contacting them. This difficulty is further compounded if they live in different time zones. Before hiring an app developer, ensure these logistics do not hamper communication. It's always best to get someone from your side of the world and agree on specific times when they are available for an update.

Lastly, always make sure that communication is transparent! Agencies should be upfront with their capabilities, limitations, and payment terms. Never work with anyone who seems to be hiding something.

how to find an app developer

Hiring App Developers: How Much Does it Cost?

Hiring app developers in the US will cost you more than hiring in Eastern European countries. It's a fact! The app developers' rates differ from country to country, and of course, the rate determines the quality. So your task here is to find the best price/quality ratio.

Let's look at the app developers' rates in the different regions. If you're outsourcing to a seasoned developer in the US, you'll be charged $135 per hour on average. Hiring an app developer with similar skills in Western Europe will only cost you around $45- $90/hour. Meanwhile, if you decide to hire developers from Eastern Europe, where the main part of the Uptech team is located, you'll pay around $40 per hour.

Outsourcing to India will cost you in the range of $15 - $40 per hour. In China, IT developers charge $25 an hour on average. While the lower outsourcing rates are indeed attractive, you'll need to consider cultural and language differences when working with different countries.

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Why Hiring App Developers at Uptech Is the Best Option

We have been empowering startups and established businesses with the best app developers for 7 years. We developed apps for eCommerce companies like Dollar Shave Club and GOAT. We have been working with clients from the fintech industry, like Aspiration, for 6 years, and we treat their product as our own. We recently finished another fintech project for the US neobank – Cardless. After working with two big real-estate projects, Yaza and Nomad, we're experts in building apps in this niche.

Check out more of our cases!

We develop web and mobile apps of different complexities for both platforms (iOS, Android). Our company is powered by a team of highly skilled multi-discipline IT experts. As far as programming tech is concerned, we're well-versed in popular languages and frameworks, including Kotlin, React, and Node.js.

hire an app developer

We have been the preferred IT outsourcing partner for our clients throughout the years. We helped startups develop the MVP to raise the next funding round and supported the existing business with our tech expertise to scale their products quickly. At Uptech, we don't blindly develop your project, we treat it as our own. We propose new ideas and solutions to meet your business goals.


App development forms a crucial support for the backbone of your business. The good news is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel — by hiring an app developer, you can simply tell them what you need and wait until they come up with the finished product.

Since you'll be working on a budget, getting it right the first time is necessary, and by using the guidelines above, you should be on your way toward finding an app developer who will take your business up the notch.


How much does it cost to hire an app developer? 

The cost of hiring a developer varies depending on the region and skill set you need. In Ukraine the average hourly rate for a middle app developer is $50, while in the USA it will be $150. 

How to hire app developers?

Ask for references –> Research the hiring platform –> Examine the app developer's portfolio –> Check testimonials –> Find out specific technologies –> Check for other services –> Look into the culture –> Discover the development approach –> Talk with the team –> Keep communications open

Where to find good app developers? 

Finding a good app developer requires a set of factors, like approach compatibility, specialization, and skill sets. The hiring platforms featuring large pools of app developers are: Upwork, Clutch, and Goodfirms.

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