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August 19, 2022

How to Hire an App Developer In 2024

Find out all the ins and outs of hiring an app developer in 2024.

Dasha Rizoy

Head of Business Development

How to hire an app developer when so many options are available? We have got you covered with a step-by-step guide and important nuances that you shouldn’t miss while hiring and managing the app development team.

Why You Need To Hire An App Developer?

But before jumping to the dos and don’ts of the hiring process, let’s understand, why you need to hire an app developper. The mobile app industry is thriving: While Apple and Google don’t officially release the exact number of apps, several reputable sources like Sensor Tower and Statista estimate it to be above 2.1 million in 2024.

A happy person with a phone

Now, guess how many times on average Americans check their phones…262 times per day, which is once in 5.5 minutes. What are they all doing there? The answer is simple: Check 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. 

Thus, the emerging need of hiring an expert developper to craft your business and take the user experience to the next level. 

How To Hire App Developers: 4 Options

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

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 time and deadlines 

  • 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 and purchase hardware and licensed software. And don’t forget about the initial cost of hiring, taxes, and paid vacation all associated with 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 freelancer app developers, there is no need to cover their health insurance or 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)

  • A large pool of developers to choose from

  • A 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 who can 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 

Option 3: Staff augmentation

It may be that you already have a close-knit in-house team but some additional tasks 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 your team’s skill set 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 the variants mentioned above. 

  • You can access 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 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 to 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 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. 


  • Possible time zone differences and language barriers

  • We give tips on 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 App Developers: 10 Main Steps

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 goals. A quick rundown of tips on how to hire an app developer!

Define Your Project Requirements

Before you get into the search to hire app developers, you have to have a clear understanding of what requirements you have including its features, target audience, and intended platforms (iOS, Android, or both). If you're planning to build the app from scratch or hire developers, you need to have a clear idea of what kind of app you want to create. Because, without this explanation, the app development process may quickly spiral into chaos. It’s recommended to make up a checklist of requirements and highlight all the features you need to discuss.

Complexity estimate

Understand Your Budget Constraints

The app development process is usually a lengthy process that consists of idea verification, wireframing, prototyping, the development itself, and 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:

  • Functionality (check out our guide to mobile app development trends!)

  • Design complexity

  • The location of your development team

  • Third-party integration 

  • Cloud hosting

Identify the Right Technology Stack

Picking the best tech stack for your mobile app influences performance, scalability, and development. Consider the demands of your app, the platform (iOS, Android, or both), the language (Swift, Kotlin, etc.), the frameworks (React Native, Flutter), the performance, community support, scalability, prices, integration, and security. Matching these variables to the needs of your project helps in determining the best tech stack. Factors like platform compatibility, development speed, and long-term scalability play a crucial role in making the right choice for a successful mobile app.

Research and Identify Potential Developers

When researching and identifying potential developers, start by exploring diverse platforms available in the tech industry. Professionals with skills looking for new possibilities often post job openings on job sites such as Indeed, Stack Overflow Jobs, and GitHub Jobs. You may discover developers with a wide range of specialties and skill levels on freelance platforms like Toptal, Freelancer, and Upwork.

Professional networks like as LinkedIn also provide comprehensive profiles that highlight the abilities, experiences, and referrals from past partners of developers. You may find competent developers by participating in tech-specific forums and groups or by going to industry-related events like conferences or meetings.

Evaluate Developer Portfolios

Next, start evaluating their portfolios. Focus on several key aspects to determine the suitability of a candidate:

  1. See whether any of the projects in their portfolio match the specifications or technological framework of your application. Examine if their prior work demonstrates the sort of growth required for your project.

  2. Analyze the code, design, and project execution quality as a whole. Take into factors such as functionality, user interface (UI), user experience (UX), and the degree to which the project achieves its goals.

  3. Verify whether they have a variety of projects in their portfolio. The development of your app may benefit from the adaptability and wider viewpoint that developers with a variety of project experiences can provide.

  4. It is important to evaluate their proficiency in programming languages, frameworks, and technologies that are pertinent to your project. You can tell they're good at what they say they are by looking at their portfolio work.

App developers' skills and requirements

Check References and Reviews

When you hire someone to build an app, you expect them to have an impeccable reputation. It’s 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 repurchase app developers’ services unless their code works. 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 as cultural and business values and whether the company has some ethical or financial issues. 

Conduct Technical Interviews

The evaluation of a developer's competence relies heavily on technical interviews. Examine their problem-solving strategy, coding abilities, and logical thinking by presenting them with real-world issues or code challenges that are relevant to your project. Evaluate their capacity to apply theoretical understanding to real-world problems as well as the ability to communicate. Collaboration relies on effective communication. Try to evaluate their attentiveness, ability to have productive discussions, and clarity of expression when expressing technical ideas.

Assess Communication Skills and Team Fit

Candidates' capacity to articulate technical ideas effectively, their capacity to work in tandem with others, and how well they fit with your company's culture are all factors to consider when gauging their communication abilities and team fit possible developers. Highlight their teamwork experience, active listening skills, and the clarity of their communication throughout the interview process. 

Negotiate Terms and Sign Contracts

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 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. 

Provide Clear Project Guidelines and Expectations

A well-defined set of project standards and objectives is essential for productive developer collaboration. Identify the project's goals, characteristics, and target demographic before you begin to draft the brief. Platforms, features, dates, and milestones should be defined with precision. Figure out how things will be communicated, what people like to use, how often they want updates, and who the main point of contact is. There must be APIs, design assets, and documentation.

Benefits of Hiring App Developers as a Dedicated Team

After getting to know the basic guidelines of how to hire mobile app developers, it’s high time to discuss what benefits you might get if you hire a dedicated team instead of individuals. 

Specialized Skill Set

A dedicated team offers a rich pool of specialized skills and experiences. This diversity allows for a more complete approach to app development, ensuring that your project benefits from the knowledge of specialists in areas like UI/UX design, backend programming, and more. You're not simply creating an app; you're creating an experience. Every component is handled by a specialized team, from attractive UI/UX design that keeps users interested to powerful backend architecture that assures seamless performance. Furthermore, as your app improves, so will the diversified skill set. Whether you need to adopt new technologies or increase functions, a dedicated team can handle it all.

Enhanced Productivity and Focus

Instead of juggling several apps, a dedicated team will put their whole weight behind yours. Their sharp concentration eliminates the need to switch gears or be drawn into other endeavors. Instead, they devote their experience to developing your software, fine-tuning every feature and function. It's like having your pit crew in the development world, optimizing each stage to get your app to the finish line as quickly and smoothly as possible. Consider simpler processes, increased productivity, and a deep reservoir of attention just for the success of your app.

Cost Efficiency

No more need for the extra office space and the recruitment headaches! Recruiting a dedicated team is like drawing from a talent pool—but without the hefty price tag. You may save money on wages, equipment, and training by outsourcing to a company with top-notch employees. Imagine going above and beyond your project objectives without breaking the bank by hiring a Ferrari instead of purchasing a whole garage full of tools. The budget may be adjusted to suit the demands of your project, and the staff can be scaled up or down like a magic trick.  This flexibility lets you focus on what matters most — building a killer app.

Flexible Scaling

With a dedicated team, you can easily adjust resources to meet the demands of your project. You are in charge of the team size and budget, so you may scale it up or down depending on the needs of the project.

Streamlined Communication

When working with a dedicated team, engaging in communication that is both direct and constant leads to more seamless cooperation. This guarantees that your vision, input, and modifications are conveyed in a clear and timely manner, hence decreasing the likelihood of misunderstandings and delays.

Long-term Collaboration and Knowledge Retention

To cultivate a long-term collaboration, dedicated staff is essential. By maintaining this consistency, you are better able to remember the complexities of your program, which will make any future changes or feature additions more seamlessly integrated.

Where to Hire Mobile App Developers?

Looking to find skilled mobile app developers? Check out these tried-and-true tips below!

Freelance Platforms

Upwork, Freelancer, and Toptal are all hotspots for freelance developers. These platforms provide a diverse range of talent with varying skill sets and degrees of expertise. You can assess a developer's talents by browsing through profiles, reviewing portfolios, and reading customer reviews. Freelance platforms allow for project-based employment, making them perfect for short-term or limited-scope initiatives. Managing numerous freelancers, on the other hand, might often need additional coordination.

Development Agencies

Development agencies house specialized teams proficient in various aspects of app development. These agencies offer end-to-end services, including UI/UX design, backend development, testing, and maintenance. Engaging with a development agency ensures access to a full suite of resources and expertise under one roof. While they might have higher upfront costs compared to freelancers, agencies offer comprehensive solutions and accountability throughout the project lifecycle.

Online Job Boards

Indeed, Stack Overflow Jobs and GitHub Jobs serve both job seekers and employers. You may access a varied pool of developers by posting job postings or looking for individuals based on specified criteria. These platforms often draw both seasoned experts and entry-level developers, resulting in a diverse pool of expertise. However, the screening procedure is critical since you will need to properly examine individuals based on applications, portfolios, and interviews.

Outsourcing Platforms

Platforms such as Clutch, Outsourcely, and HubSpot's Agency Directory concentrate on connecting organizations with worldwide outsourcing firms and freelancers. These sites compile listings of agencies and freelancers that include thorough biographies, reviews, and ratings. They provide a broad variety of services, including app development, and make it simple to compare various service providers. Navigating among multiple possibilities, on the other hand, requires careful examination of each provider's experience and customer feedback.

Networking Events and Conferences

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.

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).

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. Here’s the average hourly rate for each region!

North America$36-$43$48-$63$67-$87
Latin America$14-$22$22-$29$29-$38
Eastern Europe$19-$26$26-$36$36-$45
Western Europe$38-$48$53-$67$72-$91

Why Hire App Developers at Yellow

Our emphasis at Yellow is on developing new software solutions that provide real-life advantages to a variety of organizations, including Y Combinator startups, small to medium-sized enterprises, Fortune 500 companies, and individuals. Our experience is in understanding the ever-changing world of mobile app development, and we have a team of top-tier technical and creative skills. Wondering how to hire a programmer for an app? Yellow has the solutions you seek.


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 to make an informed decision.  

👨‍💻 How do I find mobile app developers?

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

👩‍💻 Which region is the best to outsource development?

As of 2023, Ukraine ranks first as the best outsourcing development region with an average cost range of $800-$4000. Other regions include Argentina, India, China, Georgia, and Armenia.

👨‍💻 What are the challenges in hiring mobile app developers?

The selection process for mobile app developers is complicated by fierce competition for skilled talent and the need for project-specific compatibility, making it difficult to find the right mix of technical and soft skills.

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