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August 19, 2022

How to Hire the Right App Developers in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

How do you hire an app developer when so many options are available? This post will arm you with a step-by-step guide and important nuances that you shouldn’t miss while hiring and managing the app development team.

Dasha Rizoy

Head of Business Development

As of 2023, there are over 1.87 million apps on AppStore and 2.8 million apps on Google Play available for download. The mobile app industry is thriving: in 2018, global mobile app revenues were $318 billion; in 2021, it was $400 billion. By 2023, apps are expected to generate more than $526 billion (Statista).

Mobile app market revenue
Source: Statista

Now, guess how many times on average Americans check their phones…

A happy person with a phone

262 times per day, which is once in 5.5 minutes. What are they all doing there? The answer is simple: Checking their apps! According to eMarketer research, the average daily amount of time spent in apps is 3:47h, which accounts for 88% of total mobile time. TechJury’s research shows that the average smartphone user has 40 apps installed on their mobile phone.

Mobile internet usage
Source: eMarketer

Almost all business segments have their mobile apps. You can now arrange your vacation, buy clothes, watch movies, send money, study, have fun, and much more just holding your smartphone in your hand. 

Mobile apps make life easier and streamline business processes. It’s no wonder that it’s almost impossible to imagine life without mobile apps. You may wonder how to develop a mobile app for your business and where to start. Once you have an idea in mind, the next step is to learn how to hire an app developer. 

  • Where can I find the app development team? 

  • What are the important aspects to pay attention to while hiring app developers? 

  • How much does it cost to hire an app builder? 

These are very important questions, and we’re here for you to cover all of them to help you find your perfect team of app developers. This blog post will arm you with essential information that you need to know when it comes to hiring mobile app developers. We’ll start with the hiring options you have. 

Hiring mobile app developers: Choose an option 

There are at least four options to choose from when you’re looking for an app developer to hire. Which one to choose? The answer often depends on so many factors. Each of them has its pros and cons, and depends on your business goals, budget, and the level of flexibility you want to get from your development team. 

Options to hire app developers

Let’s examine in detail what those options and their strengths and weaknesses are. 

Option 1: In-house

Imagine you set up a company and have an idea for the app that will become the next unicorn—like TikTok, Instagram, or Tinder. In this case, you may want to hire a team of app developers, but know that one of the biggest challenges of in-house hiring is the cost. 


  • Complete control over the development process 

  • Easy and transparent communication with app developers

However, this option is the most expensive and time-consuming. When you hire mobile app developers in-house, you also need to rent an office, purchase hardware and licensed software. And don’t forget about the initial cost of hiring, taxes, and paid vacation all associated with an in-house hiring. 

Moreover, you’ll need to hire a Project Manager to manage their work, and a CTO when the IT department becomes large. 


  • High cost

  • Longer employee integration

This option is suitable for big IT companies or in the case that you develop an app from scratch. 

Option 2: Freelance developers

Probably, this option is the first one that comes to mind when you ask yourself “Where do I hire a mobile app developer?” This is so because companies are no longer limited by geographical barriers and can hire top talents worldwide. However, the first reason is the cost-effectiveness. Unlike the previous option, when you hire freelancers app developers, there is no need to cover their health insurance, paid vacation. Usually, they are ready to work after you submit requirements and don’t need a long onboarding process. 

There are so many websites and platforms to find freelance developers profiles that there is no doubt you’ll find a developer with the right skill set for your project. 


  • Cost-effectiveness (no extra costs e.g. taxes, vacations)

  • Large pool of developers to choose from

  • Large pool of platforms 

However, there are some cons, too. When you hire freelance app developers for mobile app development, they will probably work remotely. Of course, there are goal-oriented and self-motivated specialists that are able to meet deadlines, but you may face some organizational issues. It may be critical when you work on complex solutions like machine learning in e-commerce. Other pitfalls are possible language barriers and time zone differences.  


  • Possible organizational issues

  • Possible cultural mismatch and language barrier 

  • Communication is no longer easy and transparent 

  • Less control over the development process 

Hiring freelance app developers may be a great option if you have a minor task to complete. 

Option 3: Staff augmentation

It may be that you already have a close-knit in-house team but there are some additional tasks that need to be completed. Or you’ve assembled a team of app developers, but then realize you need a specialist with a specific skill set to complete a minor task, or to contribute to the project for a limited time. In this case, you can evaluate the skill set of your team and then determine what type of specialist you need. 


  • You pay per actual work done based on hourly rates

  • No need to spend money on social benefits, or purchasing hardware and software

  • You hire an app developer with a specific experience 


  • Possible communication issues

Staff augmentation is a great option when you need someone to fill short-term job positions within your company. 

Option 4: Оutsourcing

This option combines all the benefits of variants mentioned above. 

  • You get access to top talents with a specific skill set and top-notch expertise. 

These companies usually work on projects in different industries, and as a consequence, have a broad market view and unique market insights. For example, we at Yellow have been developing cutting-edge software solutions that deliver value to Y Combinator startups, small and medium-sized businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and individuals. We really do understand trends in mobile app development, and have top tech and design talents within our team. Just take a look at our portfolio.  

  • You don’t have to rent and furnish the office, or purchase hardware and software. 

What’s even more pleasant is that you don’t need to cover app developers’ vacation days, social benefits, and other costs associated with hiring in-house IT departments. 

  • Outsource software development companies meet deadlines. 

If you have a specific date indicated in your agreement, you can be sure that the app will be delivered by this date. You won’t need to manage the team because software development companies take the responsibility for the entire project development process, from collecting the requirements to delivery and maintenance. 

There are 3 types of software development pricing models, each indicating different levels of participation. Check out this article to get to know everything about it. 

  • They value their clients, brand, and reputation.

There are thousands of software development companies available for hire. The market is saturated and the competition is fierce, to say the least. This encourages the companies to provide superior customer service and business support. 

Benefits of a development team


  • Possible time zone differences and language barriers

We give tips for how to manage them in our blog post

Outsourcing is a way to go if you have a complex long-term project, if you’re a startup, or if you have many tasks to complete but don’t want to hire and assemble an in-house team. 

How to hire an app developer: Popular sources

Just like with hiring options, there are several options where you can find developers for your project. Again, the final decision depends on your requirements and business goal.  

Platforms for hiring freelancers

Platforms for hiring remote mobile app programmers on a  long-term basis

References from colleagues or friends

This is perhaps the quickest way to find mobile app developers for hire. In this case, you save tons of time because you no longer need to go through hundreds of profiles. 

Moreover, because your friends and colleagues know you personally, there is a greater possibility that their feedback will be honest and will reflect the real experience they had with those freelancers or development companies. 

Tech events

Attending tech events is an excellent opportunity to find top mobile app developers. You can talk to them to understand whether your cooperation will be fruitful, and discuss the project outline directly. Here is a list of the top tech conferences for hiring mobile app developers: 

Tech events
  • WebSummit—it is “where the world meets,”, a global tech and innovations meetup held in Lisbon, Portugal.

  • Mobile World Congress—tech conference held annually in Barcelona, Spain.

  • Code Mobile—a conference for mobile (iOS and Android) developers, usually held in the UK.

  • CES stands for Global Stage for Innovation, and this is one of the most influential tech events, held in the US in Las Vegas.

  • DeveloperWeek collects the top tech talents from 70+ countries.

Where to hire app developers: The best regions

The Internet is a blessing. In 2023, you can hire an overseas development team to build an app for you. In comparison with the average hourly wage of American developers, outsourcing brings one of the most significant advantages to the software product development process which is cost-effectiveness. Let’s see what benefits and pitfalls each of the most popular regions has. 


Bloomberg reported that tech services comprised about 10% of the country's exports in 2020. Argentina’s tech centers in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Mendoza deliver high-quality IT solutions for businesses. Argentina’s tech specialists are best known for mobile app development, Cloud solutions, and DevOps expertise. 

English proficiency level: 58,38 (upper-intermediate)

Average hourly wage: $30–50/hour

Time zone: GMT-3

Other countries’ average hourly wages in the Latin America region:

CountryAverage software development hourly rate
Costa Rica$44
Region’s average$50


China has 4+ million tech graduates each year. They are best known for Python, Shell, and Big Data skills.

English proficiency level: 53.44 (Intermediate)

Average hourly wage: $25-$50

Time zone: GMT+8


Probably, this is the first country that comes to mind when you want to hire a developer to make an app due to the relatively low hourly wage. 

English proficiency level: 55,49 (Intermediate)

Average hourly wage: $12–$25

Time zone: GMT+5:30

Other Asian countries' average hourly wage:

CountryAverage software development hourly rate
Sri Lanka$28
Region’s average$28


Georgia is known for its attempts to attract talented IT specialists by simplifying business procedures. And it’s working!  More than 14,300 technology companies and 165,000 employees call Georgia home. You should definitely keep an eye on this country if you’re looking for medical software development. 

English proficiency level: 46,36 (Intermediate) 

Average hourly wage: $25–40 

Time zone: GMT+4


Back in the day, Armenia served as the scientific hub and research center for the Soviet Union. Now the world’s most powerful technology firms, like Intel, Microsoft, and Google, have a physical presence there, and the IT industry is growing. 

English proficiency level: 45,18 (Intermediate) 

Average hourly wage: $15–30 

Time zone: GMT+4


Polish tech universities graduate 13,000+ specialists per year. This gives you access to a large pool of talented tech specialists. Polish developers are best known for their Python, Shell, Ruby, Java, and .NET Frameworks skills.  

English proficiency level: 63,76 (Upper-intermediate and advanced) 

Average hourly wage: $25–50 

Time zone: GMT+2

Other Eastern European countries' average hourly wage:

CountryAverage software development hourly rate
Czech Republic$38
Region’s average$37

Нow to hire an app developer: 7 simple steps

A development team is your most valuable asset while making a mobile app. With so many platforms, companies, regions to choose from, it’s easy to get confused or miss something. Here we describe a step-by-step process on how to hire developers.

Steps of hiring a team

Step 1: Define the demands for a mobile app

What type of app would you like to build? Who is it for? What problem will it solve? What industry will it belong to? If you don’t have a clear picture yet, then maybe our blog posts will help you specify what exactly you are looking for. Here are just a few of our in-depth guides for building apps for different business segments. 

  1. How to Build a P2P Payment App in 2023: Moving Toward a Cashless Future

  2. How to Make a Logistics App for Your Business: The Complete Guide

  3. Meditation App Development: Everything You Need to Know

  4. How to Develop a Fintech App: Features, Trends, and Costs

  5. How to Develop a SaaS Application in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

This step is essential since it serves as a base for further actions, like deciding on the app development budget, determining a list of features for future apps, and understanding the profile of app developers for hire.

Step 2: Make the app development budget

The app development process is usually a lengthy process that consists of idea verification, wireframing, prototyping, the development itself, testing. That’s why we recommend starting with MVP building to be able to verify your business idea without wasting much time and money. 

The final cost of app development depends on many factors, like:

Complexity estimate
  • Design complexity

  • The location of your development team

  • Third-party integration 

  • Cloud hosting

App development costs composition

Step 3: Determine the option of hiring and finding an app developer

We’ve already talked about the pros and cons of hiring mobile app developers on a staff augmentation or outsourcing basis, as well as the benefits of hiring freelancers and assembling in-house teams. We’ve also talked about popular regions to hire mobile app developers. The final choice will depend on the size and length of your project, your business goal, and budget. 

However, if you’re looking for a dedicated team to build an app for you, with superior customer service, English proficiency, and high security standards for code and all associated infrastructure, but with lower hourly wages, we recommend choosing an outsourced software development company that usually has very experienced app developers within their team. They have a demonstrated history of working in different industries and the ability to see and analyze the problem from a broad perspective.

Step 4: Decide on a set of skills and experience of an app developer 

Whether you’re looking for an iOS or Android developer, or want to hire a hybrid app developer, it’s important to know what technology they should be aware of.

App developers' skills and requirements

You may also be interested in the difference between cross-platform and native development. In short, cross-platform apps function on both Android and iOS, while native apps need different teams to work on a version of an app for each different platform. We cover the pros and cons of both approaches in this guide

Step 5: Research feedback from previous customers 

When you hire someone to build an app, you expect them to have an impeccable reputation. It’s totally fine to approach the company and ask them for contacts of their previous clients. Pay attention to the area and the number of repeated deals, this speaks a lot about the quality of work they deliver. People can purchase something once. But they don't come back to buy app developers’ services again unless their code works. Also, it’s always a good idea to examine a company's portfolio in order to understand what industries they serve and what projects they are proud of. 

You may go even further and do a quick background check on your potential business partner. This step will give you the answers to such important questions like cultural and business values and whether the company has some ethical or financial issues. If they have any, it’s a huge red flag and we recommend not to establish any working relationship with these app developers. Even if their pricing is that low that you almost can resist. It may happen that you’ll pay much more if something goes wrong with that team.

Another bit of advice is to go through employees’ profiles on professional social media, like Linkedin. Pay attention to what they post and how they interact with other app developers in comments. It says a lot about the working ethics in a company.

Step 6: Contact the developer or company 

It’s easy, just go to the Contact us section on a company’s website.

Contact us page

Probably, the next thing that will happen is the interview with the team. This is an excellent opportunity to check their hard and soft skills. Below are the examples of questions that you can ask during the interview. The list includes but is not limited to:

  • How many developers do you have within your team? 

  • In what industries do you have the most experience?

  • What programming languages, technologies, frameworks, libraries, and tools are you familiar with? 

  • Do your app developers have specific awards or accomplishments? What are they?

  • How will we communicate during the project development? What communication means will be used? How often?

  • Who can I contact in case of an emergency? 

  • How do you structure your everyday work?

  • What tools do you use to track the project development progress? How do they report on progress?

  • Who will be responsible for the project management?

  • How do you cope with instability? Please share your experience. 

  • What are your payment terms and processes?

  • How do you secure code and associated infrastructure? 

  • What happens after the delivery? 

Step 7: Negotiate the terms of cooperation and arrange an app developer 

When you get answers to your questions, have a clearer picture of your future mobile app, and have that, “It’s a match!” feeling with a company, it’s time to negotiate the terms of cooperation. 


Three tips for negotiating a contract that you shouldn’t miss. They will help you avoid unpleasant and dangerous (such as data leakage) situations while working with app developers.

1. Discuss the bases before this final stage.

It’s great to get all bases (the project timeline, scope and plan of work, team augmentation terms, communication methods, payment terms, guarantees, data security, and intellectual property terms) covered during the initial interview so the contract negotiation time is dedicated to minor issues discussion. 

2. Always keep in mind protection clauses.

Intellectual property (IP) rights, data security, NDAs, conflict resolution, and acceptance criteria are all important clauses to include in your contract to protect both parties from the conflicts. 

3. Specify determination terms.

This section will determine how long the contract will be valid. It will also provide answers to two important questions:

  • How can the contract be extended and/or renewed? 

  • What happens when/if you no longer want to use the software?

When the agreement is signed, you’re all set! Technically, everything is now ready to start developing an app. 

How much does it cost to hire an app developer? 

The cost depends on several factors like project complexity or the type of arrangement (in-house, offshore, freelance app developers, staff augmentation, outsource development company)

Imagine you choose staff augmentation or an outsource software development company. 

In these cases, three major factors influencing the cost of hiring mobile app developers are the location, skill set, and seniority level of an app developer. 

North America$25-40$40-70$80-150
Latin America$10-15$15-25$30-45
Eastern Europe$5-10$12-20$16-27
Western Europe$16-25$27-36$37-51

Final words

Creating a mobile app isn’t easy. However, nothing is impossible. A successful app starts with the right choice of professional app developers. This in-depth guide covered all the important steps and aspects to consider in order to make an informed decision.  

Need a mobile estimation? 

If you want to hire dedicated mobile app developers, you’re in the right place. Within our team, we have talented Product/Project managers, hybrid, iOS and Android app developers, backend developers, QA engineers, UX/UI designers, business and product analysts that will turn your ideas and requirements into a well-performing and bug-free app. Feel free to contact us to discuss your idea. It’s free and has no commitments or obligations.

👨‍💻 How much does it cost to hire a mobile app developer in 2023?

The hourly wage of Middle tech specialists ranges from $15 to $70, depending on the region.

👩‍💻 How do I find mobile app developers?

You can find them on platforms like Linkedin, Fiverr, Upwork, Clutch, or ask for references from your colleagues and friends

👨‍💻 What should I think about before hiring a mobile app developer?

Pay attention to their portfolio, industries they serve, testimonials from their clients, and employees’ profiles on professional social media.

👩‍💻 How do I go about hiring app developers?

1. Define the demands for a mobile app; 2. Make the app development budget; 3. Determine the method of hiring and find a programmer; 4. Decide on the skill set and experience you’d like in a developer; 5. Research feedback from previous customers; 6. Contact developer or company; 7. Negotiate the terms of cooperation and arrange a developer contract.

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