How To Hire An App Developer Without Mistakes? [Complete 2022 Guide]

1694 Updated 08.03.2022
Pavlina Svarychevska

Head of Business Development

5/5

Table of contents

The stakes are high in creating profitable and high-quality software applications. Thus, all kinds of businesses, from early start-ups to large enterprises, hire remote developers and teams to help them deliver great products to the software market quickly and efficiently.

Hence, any mistakes in the software development process can cost a fortune, from damaging a company’s reputation to poorly developed software leading to failure. You should hire highly-skilled professionals to avoid mistakes right from the start to ensure smooth collaboration and successful project outcomes.

So, this guide aims to break down the hiring process into essential steps to help you build a strong app development team and execute your ideas correctly.

When to hire app developers for outsourcing?

Positioning ourselves as partners you can hire to outsource various tasks, and we would like to share why our clients come to us and what problems they seek to solve.

Lack of time to focus on business

When you need to micromanage your team and participate in every process – it means you lack time to complete your own business tasks. You can leave all development routines to the outsourced team by hiring app developers. Instead, you can spend more time planning your budget, building your business strategy, or dealing with urgent matters.

Need to reduce development costs

If you decide to hire app developers, programming outsourcing is a better option than hiring in-house specialists. In addition to hiring and onboarding hassle, paying monthly wages, and other benefits associated with such an employment model, you’ll need to pay for office rent and office-related expenses.

Instead, you can contact an already assembled team with the right competencies to get the job done cost-effectively.

Lack of the necessary specialization of developers in your region

You may need to use specific technologies across your business domain when your digital product is developing. The lack of required expertise in your region and increased salaries shouldn’t hamper your ongoing processes. Outsourcing companies like Northell can offer relevant app developers’ qualifications, the usage of advanced technologies, and niche-related experience in no time.

Slow time-to-market

In a world of rapidly changing requirements, businesses are looking to make decisions faster to outperform competitors and generate revenue more quickly. Hiring an app developer will help you achieve these goals without wasting additional resources and time.

Need for high-quality solutions

In the case of hiring remote teams for outsourcing, in any case, you can guarantee a successful and high-quality result. This is because any outsourcing vendor is highly motivated to bring your product to the market successfully. This may require building your product from scratch, developing, and providing product updates until your product fully meets your expectations.

Who needs to hire an app developer?

If you’re a startup, you may not have enough industry experience to launch your product correctly. If you’re already a mid-sized company, you may lack app development speed or need to streamline your product development workflows.

Or, if you are an enterprise-level company with well-defined processes and a partially formed team, you may need to hire seasoned app developers for multiple projects. In any case, if you decide to hire app developers, you need to cover specific needs. Let’s discuss this in detail for each option.

Startups

As a startup, there are certain reasons why you might consider outsourcing. A limited budget and lack of experience in a particular field are often key factors in hiring app developers. In addition, it is often difficult to rely on hiring a local pool of software developers. This is often expensive and wasteful for your limited budget.

Instead, you can hire app developers from the global talent pool and find niche specialists for your specific industry. In this case, you also do not need to take on administrative tasks and pay monthly remuneration even during periods of developers’ inactivity. Instead, you can pay for exactly the services you requested and get full-featured software effortlessly.

Mid-sized companies

When you are a mid-sized company, you may need certain developers to test, deploy, and maintain your products. In some cases, you don’t have enough specialists to whom you can assign these tasks in a way that doesn’t affect the overall project’s progress.

Improving team productivity requires streamlined and well-tuned workflows or enough in-house employees to deliver quality software updates on time.

In such a case, hiring app developers for outsourcing is the optimal way to ensure high project performance. Plus, you can outsource these tasks for a specific project stage. Therefore, you won’t have to waste time on the recruiting and onboarding process or overburden your in-house team with extra tasks.

Enterprise-level companies

In the case of enterprise-level companies, you already have efficient workflows and a partially formed team. However, as your company’s business grows, skilled specialists may often need to take on new roles and functions for several new projects.

Thus, outsourcing specialists can solve your short-term problems or help you avoid risks by testing your in-house products and any ideas to see if it meets the market demand.

3 ways to hire an app developer

The most widespread options for hiring app developers are:

  • In-house app developers’ employment.
  • Hiring freelance app developers.
  • Choosing an outsourcing development company

Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of each option and determine which one suits you best.

Employ an in-house app developer

The main advantage of in-house app developers’ employment is the ability to fully control the development process and communicate at a high level. On the other hand, you need to have management skills or hire project managers or CTO to keep the development process efficient.

You’ll need to allocate substantial financial and time resources when hiring an in-house app developer. If you employ in-house app developers, you must take care of renting an office, purchase the necessary hardware and software for the job, resolve legal issues, and provide your employees with office benefits, monthly wages, and sick and vacation payments.

Pros Cons
In-house app developers
  • Direct access to employees
  • Expertise in a company’s profile
  • Personal engagement
  • Full control
  • Financial obligation
  • Possible overheads
  • Full responsibility for risk and task management

Hire a freelance app developer

When you decide to hire a freelance app developer, you should already be aware of the number of free platforms and websites where you can find the perfect match.

The main advantage of this option is that freelancers charge less than you would have to pay a full-time in-house specialist. Plus, you are open to a global pool of talents and specialized professionals in any field.

However, it would help if you found a self-organized, committed, and experienced professional to help you meet your goals. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with organizational issues and spend more time interviewing a candidate online. Also, hiring freelancers is best for small tech tasks rather than working on a long-term project from scratch.

Pros Cons
Freelancers
  • Direct access to a pool of diverse candidates around the world
  • Numerous free hiring platforms 
  • Technical knowledge for an interview required
  • Possibility of language barrier 
  • Security threat
  • Risk of improper commitment
  • Need for constant management

Choose an outsourcing development company

One of the easiest ways to hire professional app developers with proven skills and experience is to hire an outsourcing development company.

This option allows you to pick any company from the world’s popular outsourcing regions that suit your budget and requirements. Moreover, this option prevents you from being directly involved in the recruitment and onboarding process. From a financial perspective, you are free from additional costs for office rent and other benefits under an employment contract. The outsourcing company takes full responsibility for team management and product delivery.

You might think this option has specific challenges, like time zone differences or possible language barriers. However, these problems are easy to prevent if you hire an experienced IT vendor with a transparent communication process and a team with decent English skills.

Pros Cons
An outsourcing development company
  • Open to the global pool of IT vendors
  • No need for micromanagement
  • Improved cost-efficiency
  • No recruiting and onboarding hussle
  • Fast project launch
  • Possible language barrier and time zone difference
  • Risk of improper commitment

Benefits of hiring app developers from Northell

While discussing ways to hire app developers, we would like to give you a clear idea of what you get by choosing an outsourced development team.

Extensive portfolio

Our design and development expertise is valuable to our clients who do business in the following sectors:

With the extensive portfolio of our product development team, we can scale your solutions and apply the best design and development practices. By getting acquainted with the real experience of working on projects from your business area, you can easily understand how the team works and what methods use to solve technical problems.

Custom mobile app development services

Our expertise in custom mobile app development solutions ranges from developing solutions for early startups to enterprises across numerous business domains.

Northell team comprises middle and senior-level specialists experienced in developing world-class scalable solutions from scratch. We can also redesign your existing application or suggest related design and functionality improvements. Reach out to our experts now.

Web development services

If you decide to hire app developers to create a profitable web solution, seek professional help from our experts. From creating booking engines to the largest online marketplaces, you need an experienced team with extensive experience in your field, capable of building your product using powerful tools and technologies.

Personalized approach

Whether you’re building a website, mobile app, or all at once, we start any product development workflow with a personalized approach to any case. This entails concept definition and evaluation, which means we develop a Lean Canvas model to help you validate your idea and mitigate potential risks in project implementation. We conduct market research and collect relevant information to create a product roadmap.

After that, we assign tasks and roles to launch your project. Northell team develops, tests, and deploys your solution, fixing potential issues and accelerating your product’s success in the market.

Own UX lab

One of the biggest benefits of partnering with Northell is our in-house UX lab. Using the powerful Eye-tracking tool, we can:

  • Determine what part of your web product is visible to users on the first-page load
  • Analyze user reading patterns to understand which parts of your product page get the most attention
  • Increase the conversion rate of your web product

Using the UX Eye Tracker tool, we can determine user behavior when interacting with your product and quickly and efficiently identify usability gaps.

Transparent design and development workflows

We understand the importance of transparency during every short iteration of the design and development process. All project stakeholders should be able to participate in the process, propose solutions and improve the overall process. By following this approach, we facilitate remote collaboration, build trust, ensure team self-organization, and resolve any misunderstandings in a timely manner.

Different cooperation models

By partnering with Northell, you’re not limited to a single cooperation model. You can choose any option according to your needs, budget, and project timeline. We offer our clients three options: time and material (T&M), fixed price (FP), and dedicated team.

  1. Time and material. This model implies payment only for the time spent on development. This pricing model is suitable for small or medium-sized projects with no predefined requirements or projects requiring limited resources.
  2. Fixed price. This model is a contract in which both parties, the client and the vendor, agree on the scope of work, the time frame, and the required budget before development begins. This model works best for small projects.
  3. Dedicated team. In this model, the client pays monthly salaries to hired professionals throughout the project. This type is best suited for long-term projects that require specific domain expertise.

Want to know all the peculiarities and differences between a fixed price and a time & material cooperation model? Check out this article.

Where to find app developers to hire?

You may have different options to understand where to hire app developers: from attending special professional conferences to self-search. Let’s consider each of them in detail.

Scanning online platforms

The most cost-effective and easiest way to hire app developers is to use professional platforms and site aggregators to find top-rated companies and freelancers worldwide. These platforms are enough to find all the up-to-date information about different IT professionals and vendors at an affordable price, for example,

Platforms for hiring full-time or part-time app developers Platforms for hiring freelancers  Platforms for hiring IT providers
  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • Upwork
  • TopTal
  • Fiverr
  • Clutch
  • GoodFirms
  • TopTal 

Searching for referrals

This option will suit you if you’re an expert with a vast professional network. If you don’t have such a network, you can expand it by attending professional conferences to make partnerships or find the right talent.

However, there is a risk of delaying the search for the right software provider. Otherwise, you need to know many people in your industry to help you suggest a particular developer or company.

Networking at tech events

The last option is to search for experienced specialists at specialized technology events. The most significant advantage is the opportunity to personally meet with potential partners and discuss the possibilities of cooperation.

These events invite thousands of app developers and leading industry experts to share their knowledge and experience with the broader community. In case you don’t find your potential candidate, at least you will get valuable contacts.

How to hire an app developer in 7 steps?

If you plan to hire app developers, there are specific steps you need to complete before starting the onboarding process. Moreover, it’s essential to find reliable developers with suitable expertise to help you build your products. Based on our recruiting background, we’d like to share tips to help you find right-fit candidates.

How to hire an app developer in 7 steps

How to hire an app developer in 7 steps

1. Choose a platform to build your app

When you decide to hire an application developer, it is important to determine which platform your app will be developed for. For example, if you’re building a mobile app, you might need a native app for Android or IOS platforms, or a cross-platform app built with Flutter.

Review the technology stack required for client-side and server-side app development if you are building a web application. Once you get that clear, you can narrow down your search and find the technical competencies you need.

2. Estimate your budget limit

Double-check your application requirements and choose the most suitable outsourcing model. This step is critical to hiring a team that fits your budget and delivers the value you expect. For example, if you’re hiring freelancers, make sure they can handle all of your project’s needs. You must ensure that the application’s design, functionality, and quality will be provided by the specialist you hired.

3. Research dedicated platforms and check clients’ reviews

A good practice when hiring app developers is researching dedicated platforms and checking real clients’ testimonials. In this way, you’ll be able to match the quality, schedule, and price according to your expectations. You can perform filter-based searches and validate candidate and company information by looking at customer testimonials and skills proof.

If you are looking for an outsourced IT provider, search on Clutch, GoodFirms, or TopTal. If you decide to hire freelancers, check out Upwork, TopTal, or Fiverr. Platforms for hiring app developers on a full-time basis are LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or Indeed.

4. Review case studies and company portfolios

As a logical extension of the previous point, you should study case studies and company portfolios when evaluating online platforms. If you can’t find this information, some professionals and companies can provide you with the required portfolio upon request.

By examining case studies, you can understand the expert’s domain and the industries for which the projects were implemented. In addition, case studies reveal important details such as project goals, technology stacks, process steps, challenges, and solutions provided by the company. This can help you narrow down your search and find the right qualification and relevant niche experience faster.

5. Contact the app developer or a company

If you’re missing some information or don’t have a clear idea about a potential partner, contact the specialists or the company to clarify what you need. You can ask for information about technology, development or design skills, and legal issues to decide whether or not to start the interview process.

6. Start the interview procedure

While interviewing to hire an app developer, there is a basic list of points to keep in mind:

  • Seniority and years of programming experience
  • Number of successfully released apps to app stores
  • Tech specialization (Swift developer, Android (Kotlin) developer or front-end or back-end developer)
  • Professional achievements, awards, certificates
  • Ability to handle tight deadlines and prioritize tasks
  • Social involvement and contribution (participation in tech events, conferences)
  • Level of involvement in your project concept
  • Character traits and teamwork skills

Later in this article, we will go into more detail about the hiring process, tips to help you successfully interview candidates, and what mistakes to avoid. However, you can always avoid this step by hiring an outsourcing software development company that takes full responsibility for recruiting and onboarding employees.

7. Discuss legal nuances and recruit a team

After completing the above steps, discuss legal issues and sign a non-disclosure agreement.

In our recent article on programming outsourcing, learn more about the legal aspects that need to be included in your contract.

How to successfully manage app developers?

After all the recruiting work is done, you need to understand how to effectively manage remote teams. Your successful outsourcing experience largely depends on quality workflows, clear communication, and high team commitment. To do this, here are some useful tips to help you manage your remote teams effectively.

  • Stay flexible if the project plans are changed. New or priority features can be planned for a new iteration.
  • Map the scope of tasks correctly, and set task priorities and KPIs for your employees.
  • Hold daily or weekly meetings to evaluate the progress of the team or developers regularly.
  • Hold relevant project information and documents in one place. For example, you can use any SaaS software without installing any software on your computer.
  • Use Google Drive or Dropbox to understand your employee’s schedules and calendars.
  • Use the right collaboration tools for the project, task management, communication, design, and development, for example,
  1. Communication tools (Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts)
  2. Project and task management tools (Trello, Jira, ClickUp)
  3. Design tools (Moqups, InVision)
  4. Developer tools (GitHub, Bitbucket)
  • Encourage team-building activities to build team spirit and bring you together with your team to discuss daily tasks or engage in day-to-day conversations.

Northell teams use this approach to ensure transparent business communication and motivate teams to achieve great results.

Questions to ask an app developer in an interview

The interview process is quite challenging. The overall project success depends on the quality of the app developers team you hire. The interview process allows you to filter your candidates’ search and find the best fit to achieve your business and product goals.

The development team must be dedicated and qualified enough to ensure the success of your project. To understand whether a particular candidate meets your selection criteria, you should ask the right questions. Let’s divide them into groups and add some sample questions.

Questions to an app developer about expertise

What kind of experience do you have in this industry?

Why it matters What to expect
Having similar experience in your industry will give you an idea of ​​whether the candidate knows the industry specifics, knowledge of mechanics, preferred technologies, etc.  A perfect candidate already knows industry-specific terms and requirements to build successful solutions or has similar experience in your field.

What programming languages are you proficient in and what projects have you used them for?

Why it matters What to expect
Demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of the required programming language and its use in previous projects. Knowledge of at least one programming language required for your project, and information about the project where this language was used.

Have you worked with such technologies before and how did you solve certain problems with their help?

Why it matters What to expect
Despite knowledge of programming languages, another stack of technologies is used to create digital products. Relevant use cases to see if the candidate understands what technologies are used to develop your solution or what technologies the candidate will use to develop your solution.

Technical questions

How do you design and develop software solutions?

Why it matters What to expect
The ideal candidate should understand the entire software development life cycle from idea concept to final deployment. By listening to the process that the candidate describes, you will learn the workflow and evaluate the ability to successfully complete projects.  A candidate should demonstrate a profound knowledge and all nuances associated with the application development process. Troubleshooting steps should also be highlighted. 

How will you choose the tech stack for my project?

Why it matters What to expect
It is important a candidate should be able to choose the required technology stack to meet your product requirements. If you have this stack, make sure candidates are familiar with these technologies. A strong candidate must provide an example of the required technology stack and demonstrate associated competencies.

Financial questions

How do you rate your services?

Why it matters What to expect
By asking this question, you’ll understand how the particular candidate rates himself and whether this answer matches your wage bracket. The candidate must show confidence and answer this question directly.  

How do you ensure you’re not exceeding the client’s project budget?

Why it matters What to expect
It’s important your candidate understand why such situations happen and know how to deal with them.  The candidate must understand how vital it is to work within the budget. If this doesn’t happen, then the requirements for the project are changed, or the developers cannot complete the agreed scope of work on time and with the required quality.

Security-related questions

What steps will you take to mitigate application security risks?

Why it matters What to expect
The development of software solutions entails a certain responsibility to minimize potential security risks and prevent the leakage of confidential data. The candidate must demonstrate the importance of ongoing security checks throughout the process and provide an example of situations where a security breach has been successfully prevented.

General questions

Can you give an example of a specific case where you had to work to a tight deadline? What were the results?

Why it matters What to expect
Stressful situations can show you how a specialist copes with them and whether he has the teamwork and time management skills to ensure that work is completed on time and with the required quality. The candidate must demonstrate a high commitment to the project despite facing high-pressure situations. In addition, prioritization, delegation, and other strategies should be mentioned to support this point. 

Important things to check when hiring an app developer

Let’s portray an ideal candidate who is able to develop successful applications based on important aspects that need to be taken into account.

Soft skills

Assessing an app developer’s soft skills will give you a clear insight into how well the particular candidate will integrate into your company’s work environment. Soft skills can also show the developer’s ability to collaborate in a team and resolve possible disputes. At Northell, we consider such important soft skills to look out for:

  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Negotiation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Proactivity

Hard skills

Hard skills are required to hire app specialists able to deliver top-quality applications. Whether you decide to create web solutions, native apps for IOS, Android, or cross-platform apps, experienced programmers need to be familiar with specific technologies and know how to use them in practice. Look at the table below to understand what skills and knowledge you need to verify in each case.

Skills and knowledge  Native Andriod app developer  Native IOS app developer  Cross-platform app developer  Web app developer
Programming languages  Kotlin, Java Swift Kotlin, Swift, Dart Frontend: HTML, CSS

Javascript, Typescript 

Back-end: Java, PHP

Frameworks  Android UI Core Data React Native, Flutter Frontend: Bootstrap, Vue.js, React

Back-end:

Node.js

IDEs Android Studio Xcode Xamarin JSFiddle
Additional knowledge  Material Design Guidelines Apple Human Interface Guidelines

Portfolio

We’ve already mentioned the importance of reviewing the portfolios of app developers or companies to decide if previous experience is right for your project. Regardless of the candidate’s experience level, even a junior developer must demonstrate a few application examples. Typically, developers add a link to their GitHub accounts to showcase their portfolio and skills. If you hire an outsourcing development company, look at examples and the industries they’ve created solutions for.

Client’s reviews & testimonials

In our previous section, we mentioned the platforms where you can find potential candidates and check customer reviews and ratings. If you’re hiring a freelancer, you can check out the related recommendations on the LinkedIn page. When hiring an outsourcing development company, you can read customer reviews and check ratings on Clutch.

Mistakes to avoid when hiring an app developer

There are frequent situations when the hiring process is delayed, and it isn’t easy to find the perfect partner. Review the list of mistakes you should avoid when hiring the right partner.

Hiring an app developer without specifying needs and goals

While interviewing app developers, you should specify the problems your application will solve. This way, you avoid ambiguity and situations where the work done doesn’t match the expected plans for your project.

If you can’t bring your business and product requirements together, seek professional help and enjoy a clear project roadmap.

Hiring cheap programmers

Hiring developers with the lowest rates for development services doesn’t mean you will achieve the required quality. Experienced app developers require years of experience, a proven portfolio, and industry knowledge to develop successful products. Research the pool of candidates at each milestone of the salary range and select the most suitable one based on the mentioned factors.

Hiring app developers without considering suitable job conditions

There are everyday situations when recruiters don’t mention suitable job conditions. When appropriate working conditions are not negotiated initially, this can lead to missed deadlines and delays in work. So keep this factor in mind and ask the potential employee for suitable working conditions from the very beginning.

Hiring app developers without viewing portfolios and work reviews

By requesting an app developer portfolio, you can see if previous experience is relevant to your project. It’s also better when your potential candidates can provide feedback on their work so you can evaluate how the work is being done and understand the overall client experience. In this way, you will quickly and efficiently screen suitable candidates.

How much does it cost to hire an app developer?

Considering where, how, and who you need to hire to build your app, check out the cost ranges and factors that affect the cost of hiring an app developer. So, the final cost of hiring an app developer will depend on the several factors:

  • Project complexity and duration
  • Seniority level (Junior, Middle, Senior)
  • Location of app developers
  • Tech skills
  • Web and mobile development type

Find out the average development costs by app developers’ location:

Map

Map

At Northell, you can view the timeline needed to bring our client’s ideas to life, depending on the project’s stage and size.

To calculate the total cost of a project, you need to multiply the time it takes to complete a particular feature or service by an approximate hourly rate. In any case, you can contact us and get an accurate estimate that meets your expectations.

Conclusion

Building a successful application is no longer an obstacle with our in-depth guide. All intricacies of the hiring process are possible to oversee and mitigate before starting your search. Plus, by entrusting application development to Northell professionals, you will also receive:

  • Fully customized web or mobile app
  • Full compliance with software quality standards
  • Fast return on investment
  • Support for maintenance and product improvements

Follow our tips to assemble a team of the best specialists in your domain and get in touch with us for project estimates.

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