CEO at Relevant

How to Hire Ukrainian Developers in 2023: A Complete Guide

December 15, 2022

The Ukrainian IT industry has long stood out with its exceptional tech talent, strong engineering education, favorable business environment, and competitive costs to hire Ukrainian programmers. During the first quarter of 2022, the Ukrainian IT market generated $2 billion in revenue, showing stable growth and proceeding with creating winning opportunities for foreign business owners. In this ultimate guide, you will find out how to hire Ukrainian developers and get a competitive edge for your future project. So let’s dive in.

IT outsourcing market in Ukraine: Facts and statistics

The Ukrainian IT market has grown steadily since 2000. Today, Ukraine is globally recognized as one of the most popular outsourcing destinations in Europe. What makes outsourcing to Ukraine promising and effective? Below are the main reasons.

reasons of outsourcing to Ukraine

Favorable time zone

Ukraine is located in the Eastern European time zone, which is only 1-2 hours ahead of most European countries and seven hours ahead of the East Coast. Because of the convenient time zone overlap, Western European and US-based businesses can easily collaborate with Ukrainian teams. 

Reasonable pricing 

Hiring software developers in Ukraine, based on outstaffing or dedicated software development team business models, is a more cost-efficient option than hiring Americans or Western Europeans for the same job. The average hourly rates of Ukrainian programmers range from $25 to $80, depending on their seniority, skills, English proficiency, and competencies.

Exceptional quality

Ukrainian programmers are known for providing world-class software development services and are recognized by many industry rating platforms. For example, HackerRank rates Ukraine higher than the UK or the US in the global ranking of the best developers worldwide

Considerable talent pool 

Today, Ukraine can boast of having up to 285,000 IT specialists, and that number continues to grow rapidly. Over 20,000 tech graduates enter the Ukrainian IT market each year, and the quality of Ukrainian engineering education is also exceptionally high.

High English proficiency level

Besides solid technical expertise, Ukrainian IT professionals have a good command of English. Most developers speak English at an intermediate level or higher. Based on the EF English Proficiency Index, Ukraine holds 44th place out of 100 countries and regions. 

Global recognition

Ukraine holds the top spot in many international rankings related to the IT industry. For example, Ukraine ranks first in the Science and Technology category of The Good Country Index and in the Outsourcing Market in Eastern Europe ranking. Also, many global tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle, Huawei, and Samsung have established their R&D centers here. 

A strong tech community

Ukraine frequently hosts the largest European tech events, including The Agile Eastern Europe Conference, Lviv IT Arena, and DEV_Challenge. There are also a significant number of IT clusters and communities that hold regular meetups and conferences.

Diverse development expertise

Ukrainian developers are proficient with cutting-edge technologies, including but not limited to  JavaScript, Node.js, Python, Ruby, and PHP. They are also well-versed in AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR/AR (Virtual/Augmented Reality), and IoT (Internet of Things). That’s why startups looking for a specific tech skill set frequently consider Ukraine as their outsourcing destination.

Taking intellectual property protection seriously

Cooperation with Ukrainian companies usually starts with signing an NDA to ensure the confidentiality of the sensitive information you share during your project’s development. Further down the line, your project may need to meet international security requirements such as ISO, HIPAA, or PCI. Ukrainian software developers will be able to help you stay legally compliant as well. 

Cultural fit

Ukrainian developers are generally open-minded and communicative, have a strong work ethic, and share Western culture and values. They mainly choose a career in the IT sector because of their passion for technology. In addition, they are hard-working and eager to learn. 

Main software development cities of Ukraine: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and Odesa

The Ukrainian IT industry is flourishing with an ever-growing number of new software development companies and startups. Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and Odesa have powerful IT clusters and are the top five centers where the vast majority of tech talent concentrate. Here is a brief overview of these cities.


Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is one of the top 35 most developed urban startup ecosystems. It houses the largest IT talent pool in the country as well as world-known tech universities; there are a lot of coworking spaces, plenty of professional communities, and the world’s tech giants’ R&D centers.


Being the second-largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv is home to more than 450 IT companies with over 25,000 specialists. Kharkiv has over 3,000 IT students graduating each year, and its IT сluster is constantly growing. Kharkiv is also the birthplace of GitLab, the first Ukrainian unicorn.


Lviv is another major tech hub in Ukraine. It is home to around 460 IT companies, most of which provide software outsourcing services to the US, the UK, and Western Europe. In 2019, the Lviv IT industry’s overall economic impact exceeded $1 billion. With around 26,500 tech professionals and a 45% growth rate for IT companies, Lviv has every chance of outperforming Kyiv in terms of tech talent. This city also hosts the largest tech event in Eastern Europe, Lviv IT Arena, taking place in September.


Dnipro is the fourth-largest IT destination regarding the number of IT specialists, and it has the second-largest number of R&D centers in Ukraine. In addition, the city is home to many international companies, including Playtika, WIX, Healthjoy, CandyGrill, and Techery. Dnipro has around 13,200 IT professionals and holds 7.9% of all Ukrainian IT resources.


Odesa is one of the fastest-growing Ukrainian startup hubs. It is home to around 150 IT companies from various industries—from automotive, cybersecurity, and AR to big data and mobile development. The city can also boast of being home to Looksery, the startup purchased by Snapchat for $150 million.

So, there are several leading cities to hire the best Ukrainian IT professionals. Now, let’s find out how to hire software developers in Ukraine.

How to hire Ukrainian developers in 11 steps

Gathering a value-driving development team can be challenging while getting lost in the opportunities the Ukrainian IT market offers is quite easy. Below is a step-by-step guide to hiring Ukrainian developers in the smartest way possible. 

Step 1. Decide on a service type

The first step to hiring Ukrainian developers is to decide on the engagement model that matches your project goals best. There are three options to choose from:

  • IT outstaffing in Ukraine. This service means hiring remote developers in Ukraine to scale your in-house tech team and better cope with additional workload or effectively address talent shortages. 
  • hiring a dedicated development team in Ukraine. This development model means gathering a cross-functional team to create a software project from scratch.
  • outsourcing web or mobile development to Ukrainian teams. Software development outsourcing means hiring a team according to a Fixed price model, Time and Material (T&M) model, or dedicated development contracts depending on your business needs and project specifics. 

When making this decision, you have to carefully analyze your business goals, project specifics, growth opportunities, and management requirements. As an option, get in touch with Relevant for a quick consultation.

Step 2. Make a vendors’ list

Once you decide on a service type, start researching trusted resources like Clutch or GoodFirms to compare the companies by size, location, expertise, hourly rate, and customer feedback. Asking for a recommendation from your colleagues and partners is also worth trying. Next, shortlist 5 to 10 vendors you feel could be a good fit for your project.

Step 3. Evaluate shortlisted vendors

At this stage, you have to study the websites of your shortlisted vendors to find out: 

  • What technologies their teams are best-skilled with
  • What the development and management processes look like
  • What successful projects do they have in their portfolio 

Step 4. Prepare your question list

Now, it’s time to get in touch with your shortlisted vendors. Your email can include questions about their rates and the way they handle confidential information, requests for referrals, or information about some projects in their portfolio. You can also ask a vendor to sign an NDA prior to sharing any of your project specifics.

Step 5. Communicate your project specifics

Once you have received their answers, it’s time to schedule calls and speak with the shortlisted vendors. During a call, you can share some of your project specifics, communicate your values, and ensure that they align with a vendor’s values. When your outsourcing company understands your mission and has the same project vision, it becomes your trusted partner and invests in your company’s growth.

Step 6. Ask for preliminary estimates

Before going too far, ask your shortlisted vendors to prepare some preliminary estimates or to put the price range in the picture. Also, ask about any hidden costs that may come down the line.

Step 7. Choose an engagement model

Sharing a vision for a project, discussing the ins and outs, and agreeing on the scope are all crucial for successful cooperation. However, there is one more aspect that is equally important: choosing an engagement model (e.g., fixed price, T&M, or a dedicated team). Choosing the model will impact your total project budget. 

  • A fixed price contract, as the name suggests, means you have to pay a pre-discussed amount for a certain amount of work. Usually, small-to-medium projects with a highly predictable development path choose this type of contract.
  • A Time and Material contract, in turn, is a choice for projects with low to no predictability. For example, this model is a good choice for data migration or legacy system modernization since you can never know what technical surprises the legacy code has. 
  • A dedicated development contract is the most expensive one. Usually, companies in need of cross-functional development talent choose it. This type of contract makes the most sense for large projects with ambitious scalability goals.

Step 8. Choose a vendor

When choosing a vendor, take into account not only the facts you’ve gathered (e.g., tech stack, estimations, engagement models) but also the way a company communicates.

Whether you want to outsource software development, hire a dedicated team in Ukraine, or find engineers to expand your in-house team, communication culture is a vital part of any partnership. Sometimes a vendor can seem like the perfect choice, but it takes them a couple of days to respond to your messages, and your collaboration is unlikely to be seamless and effective. In this case, it would be better to choose another vendor.

Step 9. Legal matters

All trustworthy Ukrainian software development companies work legally. So once you’ve chosen a vendor, you need to sign a contract and agree on the payment schedule based on the engagement model you chose. 

Privacy and data security are other important issues to keep in mind, so you can never be too cautious about addressing them appropriately. Apart from signing a non-disclosure agreement, ensure the company follows modern security standards and conducts regular audits to protect all your sensitive data.

Step 10. Meet your team

When all these things are set, it’s time to get acquainted with your team. Communicate your priorities and agree on the working process, meeting schedule, deliverables, and other important matters. Just like hiring in-house team members, outsourced staff also require an onboarding process, so don’t forget to introduce your toolset and the in-house team members developers will work with.  

Step 11. Start working

It is always exciting to start a new project and watch it transform from just a few lines of code to the first working prototype and then to the full-fledged product. Keep track of the project progress, listen to your team’s suggestions, and make decisions to build your ideal software. 

How to hire Ukrainian Developers in 11 steps

The whole process of choosing a vendor may seem complicated at first. But it is worth all the effort, and here’s why.

Hiring a development team in Ukraine: Terms and options

It may seem that hiring a freelancer is easier than partnering with a vendor, and it will take all the burden off your shoulders. But that’s never the case. Finding a perfect fit isn’t always fast and easy—actually, the average time to hire a software engineer can vary from 3+ weeks for junior specialists to 6+ weeks for seniors.

average time to hire a software engineer

If you have a pressing deadline or just need a reliable vendor, hire a trustworthy development company, not an individual developer. Here are the benefits an outsourcing vendor can offer:

  • Extensive talent pool. If the tech company has available developers on board, you can interview them instantly and start working in the shortest possible time. If your project needs specific tech talent, your development vendor will be able to source the right candidates as well. 
  • Risk mitigation. When working with an outsourcing software development company, you don’t have to worry about legal compliance, project management and work progress tracking, transparent billing, and payroll.
  • Simplified scaling. If you need to scale the team during a development process, an outsourcing company can help you do that very quickly.

Leaving the hiring process to a software development team is the right choice. In addition to saving time, it is also cost-effective. Let’s take a closer look at the cost of outsourcing to Ukraine.

Software development rates in Ukraine

The cost of project development is one of the key considerations when choosing a software vendor. Competitive software developers’ rates make Ukraine one of the most popular software development destinations. Let’s research the numbers.

Hiring an experienced developer in the US can cost you, on average, $100 to $150 per hour. If you decide to hire dedicated developers in Eastern Europe, the hourly rate to hire them will be more competitive without compromising the quality of the final product. Hourly rates in Ukraine range from $25 to $80. Such a cost-effective opportunity is especially promising if you have a tight budget.

Like anywhere else in the world, the exact rates of Ukrainian developers will depend heavily on their area of expertise, technology, and seniority level. To help you get an idea of possible pricing, we’ve made a table listing roles and corresponding rate breakdowns

Business analyst$40-$63
Project manager$45-$70
Junior engineer$25-$42
Middle engineer$35-$60
Senior engineer$55-$90
Junior QA$25-$42
Middle QA$30-$49
Senior QA$40-$63
UI/UX designer$35-$56

Are there any challenges when hiring developers in Ukraine? 

Ukraine has a vibrant tech community, thousands of talented professionals, and a fast-growing IT ecosystem. Still, most business owners are concerned about software outsourcing challenges or roadblocks that could appear along the way. So, let’s discuss the ones you should keep in mind when cooperating with Ukrainian IT companies.

Government regulations

Sometimes, a country’s laws regarding outsourcing stand in the way of successful cooperation between local providers and foreign clients. The Ukrainian government, in turn,  creates all the conditions to drive the IT industry. It supports and stimulates its development by adopting reforms and laws, such as a simplified tax regime for IT professionals. Ukraine has had its tough times, but political events have never negatively influenced the government’s attitude toward the IT industry.

Legal aspects

Developing software projects implies sharing intellectual property and exchanging large amounts of money. When you hire a development team in Ukraine, you may have concerns about being legally unprotected. A reliable Ukrainian software development company will offer to sign the following three documents that will secure you:

  • Software requirements specification (SRS) document. This document’s main purpose is to describe how your software will be developed and how it should function. The SRS includes definitions for the functional and non-functional specifications of the software, along with use cases.
  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This is an agreement between your company and the vendor aimed at protecting confidential information disclosed during the development process. The main provisions should include the definition of confidential information, exceptions to the concept of “confidential information,” obligations, terms, and remedies. 
  • Statement Of Work (SOW). This document covers every critical aspect of your cooperation. It should clarify every point of your agreement, such as terms, schedules, payment methods, work standards, and delivery acceptance criteria. 

Corona crisis

Despite the global corona crisis, the Ukrainian IT market has continued to grow. Last year it increased by 20.4%. The majority of software development companies in Ukraine switched to remote work, which is as effective as in-office work. 

Success stories of hiring Ukrainian developers

Grammarly, Readdle, Looksery, MacPaw, and Depositphotos have one thing in common—all of them are of Ukrainian origin. There are also other less-known but no less successful projects created in Ukraine, so let’s take a closer look at some of them and discover the stories behind their creation.

Why these 200 tech companies & startups outsource to Ukraine
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Airthings is a Norwegian tech company. They have been producing indoor radon monitoring solutions for more than a decade. However, they lacked real-time collection, processing, and visualization of data from their IoT devices. 

The company contacted Relevant to help them tackle performance issues and solve the user’s problems. After a round of brainstorming and discussion about the required feature set, our engineers created a new dashboard on the Airthings website that connects all devices and can be customized according to a user’s preferences.

To decrease load times and improve rendering speed, developers used the clustering approach. It positively impacted rendering speed and helped display a map that shows the location of and data from each device without any delays. Alexander Sagen, Head of Cloud & Web Software at Airthings AS, was delighted with the quality of Relevant’s services and left positive feedback. Here’s what he said:

feedback on hiring Ukrainian software developers


Biderator is an auction platform for the construction sector. It connects contractors to clients and provides them with a transparent bidding process.

A client with over 20 years of experience wanted to develop Biderator to solve the everyday challenges of the construction businesses, so they sent Relevant a request. Despite the time zone gap, our team managed to set up a comfortable and collaborative environment. 

Since there were multiple stakeholders, we used modern facilitation techniques and old-school methods (e.g., the RACI matrix). Once the feature set was discussed and agreed upon, our engineers designed the architecture and developed the web application using progressive programming languages—Angular on the front end and Node.js on the back end. As a result, Relevant contributed their efforts to the website development process, which made Vahid Walker, CEO, and Founder of Biderator, hope to collaborate with our team in the future. Here’s what he thinks about our cooperation in general:

feedback on hiring Ukrainian software developers


Reasonable software development rates, a considerable talent pool, and highly experienced engineers are only a few reasons why Ukraine ranks among the best countries to outsource software development

If you have already decided to hire software developers in Ukraine, your next step should be finding a qualified tech partner. When choosing an outsourcing provider, pay attention to their expertise, experience, customer reviews, and completed projects. 

Relevant has been operating worldwide for eight years, helping businesses and startups scale their engineering teams and build the right products cost-efficiently. We have 200+ projects under our belt and can implement the most challenging outsourcing tasks. So if you need a skilled software development team, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.


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CEO at Relevant
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