Ihor
Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant

How to Hire a Mobile App Developer: Tips, Places to Search, Costs & More

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1 of 5 users abandons mobile apps after using them only once. 3 of 10 users do so before the 11th session. Though app abandonment is on the decline, these figures are still frustrating to any app budding provider. That’s why finding a suitable software vendршor with an ideal value-per-cost ratio remains a topic of broad interest. To help you hire a mobile app developer talented enough to create a viable product, we cherry-picked some tips based on our experience. 

We’ll guide you through preparations you should make before getting into the app development phase, things to pay attention to when hiring a mobile app developer, places to search for suitable talent, and hourly rates across the best offshore software development countries.

Please note that the salaries and hourly rates mentioned in this article don’t equal the cost of hiring offshore software developers through outsourcing companies. Read more about how offshore software development costs are formed here.

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Mobile App Developer

According to Harvard Business School, about 95% of newly-launched products fail. One of the main reasons behind this sad statistics is skipping phases listed below and hiring a mobile app developer “empty-handed.” 

Problem/Solution fit

First up, define your target audience (TA) and find its “pains.” Only then brainstorm the solution. 

  1. Determine and explore your audience. 
    Begin with basics (age, gender, income, education, and occupation) and then proceed with details (personality, attitudes, values, lifestyle, struggles, etc.).
  2. Validate the problem.
    Based on the findings, brainstorm what problems your target audience might face in your industry. Don’t stop on mere hypotheses – interview 5-7 potential customers to learn whether these problems are really crucial. 
  3. Validate the solution. 
    Find the solution. Do a competitor audit and see how you can make your app stand out from them. After that, draft a rough prototype of your MVP to verify whether your solution meets your TA’s needs. 

Product/Launch fit

At this stage, you should define the minimum set of features that can bring your first customers, and advertise them. 

  1. Define an MVP
    Don’t get into details right off the bat — draft your MVP and outline its most valuable features. 
  2. Build a landing page. 
    A landing page will help you gain your initial traction and get contact information to nurture your potential customers into actual clients. 
  3. Set KPIs. 
    Set metrics to measure your product launch success. These may include the number of subscribers, leads, conversions, sales, etc. 

Have clear requirements and a roadmap

The lack of a well-defined roadmap is another reason why most products fail — with 150 products under our belt, we know this from our own experience. Lay down your requirements to match your app’s purpose and its key functionality: an accurate description of your future app is key to your success. If you are worried that someone might steal your idea, ask your potential vendor to sign an NDA.

Though the discovery phase is time-consuming, it is a foundation for your success. To this end, Relevant Software offers business analysis to help you explore your audience, identify their struggles, find a viable solution, and outline a clear roadmap.

Mobile app design process

Where to Find a Mobile App Developer for Hire 

Freelancers, remote employees, or IT outsourcing companies? It depends. Below, we’ll explain in what case each type of mobile app developers for hire might work best, and will give a list of websites where to look for them. 

Freelancers 

In case you have a small project that doesn’t really need an app development team, designers, and testers (like creating a WordPress website), finding a freelance developer will be enough. 

Upwork and Freelancer are the most popular platforms for hiring mobile app developers. Both Upwork and Freelancer function as liaisons between freelancers and employers, processing all the payments and protecting both parties from possible fraud. 

Codementor is a commercial IT tutoring platform, connecting engineering mentors and mentees. It’s a go-to website if you want to find experts in a particular field to help you acquire new skills. Codementor will also match you with independent contractors if you need to have a small project or assignment done. 

Pros of choosing freelancers:

  • Hiring freelancers is often the most cost-efficient way to gain access to a worldwide base of knowledge and skills.
  • You don’t have to pay for workplace appliances, perks, and benefits, etc. — you only pay for the job itself.
  • There are fewer responsibilities as an employer; once the project is delivered, the work relationship is either ended or paused until you collaborate on some project in the future.
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Cons of choosing freelance developers:

  • The managerial overhead of keeping track of multiple tasks done by separate contractors.
  • Potential data security issues created by providing complete outsiders with access to mission-critical systems.
  • Unless they are long-term partners deeply engaged in the company events and strategy, freelancers are less personally invested in the long-term success of your endeavor due to the temporary nature of their employment.

Remote employees

When it comes to medium- and long-term projects that require specific training, consider hiring a remote employee. An RE is more like an extension to your team, rather than an independent player.

Places to find remote employees

Of course, you can hire a mobile app developer on your own, using LinkedIn, for example. But you’ll have to weed out candidates who are not currently looking for a job or those who seek office-based positions. Instead, consider platforms specializing in remote mobile app developers for hire, such as Remote.com, Hired, and YouTeam. 

Remote.com is a go-to platform for finding full-time and part-time remote contractors from around the globe. On Remote, you can either search for candidates manually or rely on the AI algorithm that finds the best talent based on the project duration, skills, and the payment model.

On Hired, you can find both freelancers and full-time mobile app developers for hire. The platform is industry- and location-specific (some regions of the US, Canada, and France). With a 5% admission rate, Hired accepts only IT talents with degrees from leading universities and backgrounds in leading companies (Facebook, Apple, etc.). At Hired, you can also hire a mobile app developer from your city.

YouTeam connects individual mobile app developers for hire from agencies and clients. All agencies and their developers have to pass a thorough screening and will be banned if their skills differ from what they advertise. If you need a team of developers, YouTeam is an ideal option. The platform offers multiple teams working in the same office and used to collaboration.

Gun.io utilizes their own network of high-quality independent developers to tackle any software engagement — whether it requires a few hours of work from a senior engineer — or the combined year-long efforts of an entire engineering team. Gun.io only accepts fully vetted developers who have passed their technical assessments, and collected endorsements from previous colleagues to verify their skill and seniority. They present candidates based on your project specifications and set up interviews with candidates you like best. Book your freelancer for the monthly hours that you need, and swap talent as your roadmap requires.

Pros of choosing to work with remote teams:

  • You form productive and engaged teams ready for a long-term commitment.
  • The expertise gained during the project stays within the company.
  • Employees working remotely often cost less, as they don’t require office expenses and other benefits.

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Cons of choosing to work with remote teams:

  • It involves all the pains and hurdles of hiring employees and forming teams out of them.
  • If they fall ill, go on vacation, or quit, corresponding parts of your project are halted.
  • It can be difficult to accurately estimate their performance and productivity.

Outsourcing companies and agencies 

If you have a complex project, consider an IT outsourcing company or an app development agency. This gives you the privilege of hiring mobile app developers with a unique experience of work on top projects. It also guarantees that the deadlines will be met, the quality will shoot off the charts, and the management headache won’t be yours. 

For example, Relevant Software offers mobile app developers for hire, as well as UI/UX designers, business analysts, security specialists, project managers, and QA experts. Having provided 200+ effective solutions, we are proud to be listed as one of the top software development companies, according to Clutch and GoodFirms.

Pros of outstaffing/outsourcing:

  • Instant access to ready teams possessing the needed expertise.
  • Ready solutions to minimize time-to-value for your projects.
  • The technology vendor takes care of the team’s motivation, perks, benefits, and replacement if need be.

Cons of outstaffing/outsourcing:

  • You might experience management complexities.
  • Cultural differences may set teams apart.

Why Ukraine is the Best Place to Look for Mobile App Developers

There are numerous reasons why Ukraine is the best destination for IT outsourcing. But we’ve shortlisted them to five most eye-catching and valuable ones.

  • Global recognition of IT expertise. Ukraine was ranked as the best IT offshoring destination by GSA UK in 2017, and more than a dozen Ukrainian companies are listed in IAOP Global Outsourcing top 100 ratings.
  • Huge tech community and events. There are at least ten large IT clusters in Ukrainian cities. They regularly hold meetups, conferences, and hackathons, helping aspiring software engineers gain valuable experience. Several pan-European and global IT events like Lviv IT Arena, The Games Gathering, the IForum, and the Agile Eastern European Conference take place in Ukraine.
  • Quality and numbers. There are more than 200,000 tech professionals in Ukraine as of 2020, and nearly 35% of them are senior-level developers and software architects with immense experience in enterprise-grade product development.
  • Global industry leaders outsource to Ukraine. More than 100 global enterprises, including Boeing, Samsung, Microsoft, Huawei, and Oracle, have their R&D centers in Ukraine.
  • Home to world-known startups. Do you check your spelling with Grammarly? Do you monitor your pet using Petcube? Do you use Looksery to recognize friends on social media photos? All Mac users have heard about MacPaw products like CleanMyMac, Gemini Photos, and Spark email client. All of them are Ukrainian.

Ukraine stands out as one of the most affordable offshoring destinations, yet the one providing consistent quality.

All in all, the cost of hiring remote developers across the globe varies greatly. Calculating your estimate when you’re planning your project can depend on subsistence wages, taxation systems, and other factors.

Rates of Mobile App Developers in Different Countries

The rates of mobile app developers for hire vary from country to country, ranging from $100-200 per hour in the USA and Western Europe to $8-10 per hour in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Ukraine seems to be a golden mean charging $25-70 hourly while offering a high level of competency. 

UkraineUnited StatesWestern Europe
The average annual salary for a middle iOS developer, USD48 000120 00080 000
The average annual salary for a middle Android developer, USD48 000127 00055 000
* Note that the salaries mentioned above don’t equal the cost of hiring software developers through Relevant. Read more about offshore software development costs in our article.

10 Things to Consider to Successfully Hire a Mobile App Developer

Mobile app development is so popular that pulling a real pro (or a team of pros) from a vast pool of candidates seems next to impossible. However, if you know exactly what you need to develop and you bear these 10 tips in your mind, you’ll easily hire a mobile app developer to bring your idea to life.

  1. App type. Is your app going to be an extension to your business, or do you see it as a startup company? Is it a simple or complex app? What category does it belong to (education, lifestyle, entertainment, or maybe you need to implement a loyalty app development project)? Be ready to answer these questions and hire a mobile app developer accordingly. 
  2. Experience & skills. Depending on the app type, consider what tech stack to look for. Our articles on hiring an Android, iOS, and Flutter developers will make things easier. 
  3. Communication and the ability to work remotely. Communication is crucial, especially with offshore companies. Before going into details, try to contact your potential vendor via chat, email, or phone and schedule an introduction meeting.
  4. Budget. Discuss prices ahead of time. Apart from development, consider other expenses, like design, maintenance, testing, deployment, and other services. Never prioritize pricing over quality. 
  5. Timeline. Discuss the timeline in advance and see if it is reasonable.
  6. Portfolio. Look at the portfolio of a mobile app developer for hire. Download their apps (check if there might be any similar to yours), see whether they function as advertised, if there are bugs, and if they do offer value to a customer. 
  7. References. Hunt for references. Besides those listed on their website, contact their clients and consult evaluation sites, such as Clutch or GoodFirms.
  8. Look for developers that can guide you. There are always a few different ways to code one and the same app. If your mobile app developer for hire is able to suggest a better solution, take it into consideration.
  9. Look for long-term relationships. Development doesn’t stop after the release. Having processed the feedback, a vendor should fix any bugs they overlooked, add new features, and make your app easier-to-use according to the customers’ needs. Long-term relationships are a must.
  10. Compatibility. Make sure that language barriers, time zones, various communication tools, and different values aren’t obstacles to successful project completion. 
Mobile app developer for hire

iOS, Android and Hybrid mobile app developers for hire

At Relevant Software, we help companies augment their staff as well as build a mobile application from scratch. Depending on your project stage and complexity, and your existing team, our mobile app developers for hire can work as a part of your team, or solo, taking ownership of the delivery. This is how the whole process looks like: 

  1. Requirements analysis. We gather and analyze your requirements (precise description of your MVP, team size, desired workflow, etc.). Even if you are not tech-savvy, we will listen to your needs, translate them into specs for our developers, and help you set up the most efficient workflow. 
  2. Hiring. Our HR team selects developers based on their experience, expertise, level of English, and other factors to meet your requirements. If we don’t have any talents sitting on the bench, it will take about a month to do additional hires. However, in case you need to hire mobile app developers immediately, we can tap into our partners’ talent pool and find the necessary resources for you within a week. 
  3. Integration. Having completed over 150 successful projects, we can easily integrate our talents into your in-house team and set up the most efficient workflow. If necessary, you can meet our talents in person.
  4. The result. You get your very own dedicated team under your control – just as your other employees. The only difference is that we handle all the administrative tasks so nothing can distract you from your project. 

The more concise and precise the specification, the better the chance of nailing it with the product features.

Hiring iOS Developers

Apple wants iOS app development to remain standardized, so it all boils down to learning to work with Swift and Objective-C. This is why good iOS developers need to know the following:

  • OOP principles, SOLID
  • iOS SDK (software development kit) and UI kit
  • Multithreading, geolocation, networking, Apple purchase, APNS, and Core Data
  • Working with GIT version control system (VCS)
  • Using Swift testing tools

On average, iOS developers cost around $80,000/year in the EU and above $120,000 in the US. In Ukraine, you can hire a senior iOS developer for as low as $48,000/year. If you’re looking to develop a mobile app for iOS, Relevant has written a detailed guide on what to look for in an iOS developer. It includes how to evaluate their hard and soft skills, what questions to ask during the interview, and more.

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Hiring Android Developers

Android is a much more open ecosystem and is used by a wide variety of mobile device manufacturers. An Android developer must be able to write consistent, clear, and reusable code, and be proficient in:

  • Java or Kotlin
  • Android SDK, as it is the basic set of tools and principles
  • Work with APIs, as these apps must interact with a ton of software through APIs
  • Understand the back end, as this element can be pretty complex in Android apps

Android developers are traditionally in a costly segment of a job market, with annual salaries reaching up to $130,000. In Ukraine, their wages range from $6,000 to $30,000/year. 

Relevant has prepared an in-depth guide on how to hire an Android app developer, skills to look for, and questions to ask. Feel free to take a look at it!

Hiring Flutter Developers for Cross-Platform Development

Google positions Flutter as a unified SDK for web and mobile apps, and as Google and its Chrome browser are the most popular Internet tools today, Flutter could be the way the web will evolve. As of now, Flutter developers can create apps that work equally well on mobile and desktop. However, to do that, the developers must possess the following skills:

  • Knowledge of (and excitement for) Flutter
  • Experience in Android and/or iOS development
  • Experience with version control tools like Git

Based on findings by Indeed, Flutter developer salaries can range up to $130,000/year in the US. In Ukraine, you can hire such specialists for a mere $30,000/year. 

Relevant has described the hard and soft skills to look for in Flutter engineers, along with some other tips and tricks on how to hire a Flutter developer. We hope this review will help you find the best fit for your project.

Here are some of our projects: 

  • Biderator is a bidding platform that connects construction workers and their clients. Contractors compete for projects by submitting bids, and project owners choose suitable contractors.
  • FirstHomeCoach is an app that helps UK users buy property and navigate legal documents connected with it, such as mortgage or insurance.
  • Hyko is a mobile app for a smart lamp that teaches kids to turn off the lights. 

Summary

The process of hiring a mobile app developer shouldn’t be rushed. When hiring talent or a team, pay attention to their experience, skills, portfolio, references, and communication style. Your choice will depend on multiple factors – your app type, business requirements, budget, deadlines. Depending on your project type, you can choose what suits you most – hire remote software developers, freelancers, or outsourcing companies from around the globe. Remember that charging $25-50 hourly while focusing on excellence is the trait that makes outsourcing in Ukraine stand out.

There are gazillions of reliable options. But why go back and forth if your dream team is a click away? Just contact us and see how we can foster your business growth.

Written by
Ihor Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant
I make sure our clients get the highest code quality and the best tech talent on the market. I am also a Software Engineering Advisor for startups. Let's connect.

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