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How to Find and Hire Software Developer for Startup

How to Hire Software Developer for Startup

Each product launch requires thorough preparation. Having the right team at your side is a must nowadays. You need to know where and how to find programmers for your startup. It’s not an easy deal if you don’t have a technical background or the local market has a shortage of engineers. We’ll discuss this and other important questions below.

Benefits of hiring software developers

Here we will reveal the main reasons for companies choosing to outsource software development.

Cost efficiency

The main point when focusing on outsourcing software development is the lower price for the same services. The quality of the developers’ expertise is high but the fees are lower due to the lower taxes as well as the cost of living. That really is a good alternative for startups to have a head start.

Pool of talents

A startup may face the shortage of developers of certain qualifications on their own market. Ukraine, among other European countries, is famous for its huge technical resource market. According to the Global Sourcing Association (GSA) data, the Ukrainian IT market value is the biggest in Eastern Europe — up to $4.5 million. Hiring a developer for a startup here may resolve your problem of a deficit of skilled developers in your country.

Faster time to market

Entrusting the software development to a team of experts you can rest assured that the work will be completed on time. The process is managed by a professional project manager who helps to avoid pitfalls and to achieve the project delivery on time and within the budget.

High-quality software development

By hiring experienced developers with expertise in specific domains you can be sure that you will get a high-quality product that will satisfy your needs and be more competitive than others or, maybe, even a unique one.

What to look for in developers

The skills of your engineering team are everything, as you entrust the product to their hands. That's why it's important to realize what developers will suit you best.

On the one hand, there is no ideal candidate. The process of recruiting isn’t fast, as you need to review applications, provide testing and interviews with candidates, perform pre-employment tests when hiring in-house developers.

On the other hand, there is another brilliant option — to hire a whole team of experienced developers ready to start work within one week without any recruiting hassle. Learn more about this engagement model in our article about dedicated teams.

Before getting down to hiring, decide on the following:

  • Do you need a code solution or you will use non-code tools?
  • What kind of tech talents do you need — frontend, backend, mobile app developers?
  • Do you need a full-time development team or an on-demand engineering team?
  • What will be the relevant experience of your developers?
  • Is it possible to find such employees in the local market?

After answering these questions you will know what team of developers you need. Now you may start looking for the right people who will have the necessary skills, tech background, and experience.

How to find the person with the necessary skills

After choosing potential candidates by their resumes you need to have interviews to see if they really are the right people for your team. Among the effective tools of selecting developers are face-to-face communication, requesting sample cases, or hosting real-time programming sessions. Learn more about their tech experience, successful projects, and hobbies. That will give you insight into what kind of professionals they are and whether they are passionate about programming.

Check specific experience

Learn more about their previous experience and accomplishments. By learning what they started from and what positions they occupied, you can decide whether they are really interested in software development.

Find out about employees' hobbies

If your future employee’s hobby involves technology, it may be a sign that this person is really fond of coding. Digital art or blogging, programming or website design – these are great ways to foster a person's creativity, which help you to understand that an employee is worth considering.

But if you need a whole team, the process is more demanding, and you need to be ready to go through it seamlessly. Here we have collected some useful tips about how to hire a developer for a startup.

How to hire experienced developers

Why is it not easy to hire professional developers? Most startups face an issue of tight budgets on the one hand, and the necessity to get professional developers on the other. Usually experienced software developers have higher rates and demand other benefits such as financial coaching, life and health insurance, paid vacation, profit-sharing, and a variety of other common perks that are hardly possible for startups.

How to hire programmers for a startup? But there is a way to hire experienced professionals at a fair price – consider developers overseas. The cost of outsourcing fluctuates from country to country. You can find out that Ukraine is the leader of outsourcing and outstaffing in Eastern Europe. Moreover, the average software engineer’s hourly wage is $30 - $50, which is much lower than in other countries.

By choosing an outsourcing company you do not have to worry about recruitment hassle, development issues, financial coaching or team motivation, administrative expenses, and other associated costs as they are covered by the software development company. Learn more about the advantages of outsourcing software development in our article “Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Software Development”.

Where to find software developers for startups

Better to start from a broad search for companies that provide software development services or app development. If you define the technology stack, you can use it in your search. All this information is presented on the sites of IT companies.

The next step is to check if their services, prices, or portfolio fit you. Ask for a consultation and a quote. That’s how you can get an estimation for your project and check if the agency meets your demands.

You need to be sure that you will have experts at all software development stages, including gathering requirements, architecture design, UI/UX design, deployment, and maintenance. With a reliable partner, you will be able to build competitive business solutions through effective and transparent cooperation.

Wondering how to find a developer for your startup? Most startups use hiring online job boards for their search of engineering teams. Here I will highlight just a few of them: Upwork, Toptal, LinkedIn, AngelList, and Stack Overflow.


Upwork is one of the most popular freelance marketplaces. You can find plenty of candidates by choosing Upwork. It is well known for its useful filters and available description of the candidates’ work experience. There is no pre-vetting procedure on the site. Candidates fill out their profiles and you can check their previous projects. However, there is no guarantee that the developers will be highly qualified or motivated about the project. Also, you may face security issues.

Salary varies significantly as developers listed may come from anywhere. You can get a developer at an hourly rate from 3$ to $170, depending on their experience, seniority level, skills, and location.

You can monitor productivity only through hourly payment. It may be possible if you use the time and material model. With automated time tracking and build-in tools providing information about the work done, you can monitor the whole process of work and estimate time spent on each task.

You need to manage the processes of selection, recruitment, and retention of the employees. You will have a two-week free trial to check whether the platform suits you or not. The main downsides of using the platform are, firstly, that you pay 23 % of the rate you pay the programmer for the service and secondly, it’s not possible to hire a dedicated team. You need to gather the team by searching for each developer separately by their profiles.


Here you can find a community of vetted freelancers. That is good news, but the choice is restricted only to the platform candidates. Toptal has a boring process when the skills, ethical values, level of English, and education will be analyzed. You can choose between part-time or full-time collaboration, and between hourly or weekly payment. Invoices are billed twice a month.

Since Toptal works only with middle or senior-level programmers, you will find prices much higher. Additionally, you will pay some vendor fees. The platform doesn’t charge recruitment or termination fees. You will get invoices on a half-monthly basis. Such additional services as handling paperwork, managing weekends, vacations, and terminations can be available. One of the benefits of the platform is Toptal support. First, you will be interviewed about your demands and expectations, then you will be advised about relevant programmers. A 20-hours probation period will help you to define whether you need this service or not. Furthermore, you can find programmers for a startup for either a 20 or 40-hour weekly workload.

Among the main disadvantages are rather high service costs and programmers’ fees compared to other platforms. It will take more time to gather a team of developers as you need to hire each programmer separately.


Linkedln is the largest platform helping to connect professionals from different parts of the world. Here you can search for both a company and an individual freelancer. You can learn about their locations, the number of employees, and even discover their projects.

You can send a direct message to the company’s representatives and discuss your project details. After meetings with the management and interviews with the potential engineers, you can be sure you are on the right track and move to the stage of contracting.


AngelList is a platform where you can find startup programmers who are ready to work on a part-time and full-time basis. You will pay for their services depending on their seniority level, engagement in the project, and personal preferences. There are no recruitment and retention options but you can find some investment opportunities.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a big community of developers who interact and communicate with each other. It can be another tool to find a software developer for a startup. You can search for suitable candidates by interacting with the most active members in certain groups, discovering their profiles, and learning more about their inspirations and interests. You can also make a board with your vacancy and get some applications. After vetting, all the recruitment processes are the responsibility of the startup. On the platform there are programmers of different seniority levels and wage range, who are ready to work part-time or full-time. Attention: the platform charges an initial fee for using it.

Partnering with an outsourcing company

A freelance platform is a great source of hiring programmers for a startup at first glance. There you can reach remote employees for part-time work, hire engineers even on tight budgets, and test outsourcing itself.

But if you need a stable and long-term collaboration with a team of senior developers, the right choice is to contact a technical partner and sign a contract to develop top-notch products. You get plenty of benefits:

Flexible hiring process

The agency provides individual developers or a team depending on your project scope.

Hassle-free recruitment

Recruiters know how to find a software developer for a startup and will do all the job of gathering a team for you.

Access to the pool of talents and the latest technologies

A company’s experts follow the latest technology trends. A tech partner maintains the qualification of employees at the highest level and provides training according to technology certifications.

Full project estimation

Estimating process includes calculation of all stages of a project, including all possible risks and resources needed for project delivery. You will pay a fixed hourly rate based on the number of hours to be spent on your project.

Full-cycle software development process

The agency can develop your project from scratch: from idea validation to software support and maintenance.

No upfront fees and termination payments

You will optimize your expenses by paying a negotiated hourly wage without additional costs and prepayments.

Long-term collaboration

Partnering with a development company enhances project productivity and provides better results. The engineering team is always eager to dive deep in business needs and build successful partnerships with its clients.

Hiring software developers for startup: Tips for successful cooperation

I have prepared a checklist of actions that startups need to take before hiring an outsourcing company:

Establish the budget

Planning your expenses is important to understand in advance that you will have enough budget for infrastructure, developers’ salaries, and operating costs.

Define the outsourcing destination

To choose the best fit it’ll be useful to check top-ranking outsourcing destinations. This analysis allows you to choose the best fit with your geo and cultural affinity.

Choose your collaboration model

Evaluate the budget and the functional scope of the project in order to find out what team will be the best for you. You can hire either a reliable outsourcing partner or a freelancer.

Make a shortlist of worthy candidates

Look through the potential candidates' portfolios in order to find the developer who fits your needs best. Conduct negotiations and consultations and ask for a quote.

Check the tech experience

You can choose between a software development company, a freelancer, or a local tech agency by checking their tech experience. Arrange all the necessary interviews with your potential engineering team and company representatives in order to check their skills, tech background, English level, and previous experience.

Draw the contract scope

To get the desired result you need to define and manage all the rights, duties, and scope of responsibilities by signing a contract. It’s important to set software requirement specifications for clear understanding and transparent cooperation between the parties. We advise signing a statement of work and a non-disclosure agreement to protect your rights and interests.

How we help startups to expand their engineering teams

To successfully launch a product and enter the market, you need an expert team that will help you to avoid mistakes during product development. You can expand your development capabilities, tap into new tech expertise, and build your software product with our team extension services.

Here we have collected several tips on how our company helps early startups to create their software development team and deliver top-notch products.

Step 1. Identifying the requirements

We start our process by gathering requirements for your project. We need to know the project details, team size, required staff, job description, and a preferred workflow to build an effective team that suits your business needs.

Step 2. Setting up the team

On the stage of contract negotiation we evaluate the scope of work and form the required team. If you need extra staff, we can provide additional employees within a month. When there is a true emergency, we have access to the talent pool and are able to form a team using our partnership network within a week.

Step 3. Team selection

By partnering with DigitalSuits you will get a smooth process without worrying about hiring software developers for startup as we cover the process completely. Our recruiters have access to all available recruiting sources and pre-vet the developers’ tech background to give you a choice from the best candidates.

Step 4. On-boarding process

Integration process is also our scope of responsibility. You don’t need to worry about any integration formalities as our recruiters will handle it as smoothly as it is possible. You can choose the onboarding flow and tools by yourself.

Step 5. Satisfying result

As a result, you will have top experts and developers ready to start work. You can manage them directly or use a project manager provided from our side. This excludes any administration or management tasks.

Our successful experience of software development for startups

We’d like to share our successful experience of digital transformation provided for the insurance UK-based startup.


Claim Technology is a pioneer that offers a claim-as-a-service solution to the market. This startup enables digital transformation for insurance companies, law firms, and brokers.

Business needs

The idea is to provide digital transformation services to insurance companies by using a claim-as-a-service platform. It fulfills the following major goals:

  • optimizing the interaction between clients and insurance companies
  • speeding up data processing
  • as a result, reducing the costs of administration work


Our team developed an ecosystem of several applications that used a common API. We singled out product-specific processes as separate services that could be connected to the BPMN workflow engine. Also, we made a special interface for easy data management on the client side without coding. The separately connected services let us achieve the necessary flexibility and compliance with all requirements of the company's business processes.


We developed a stable claim-as-a-service platform with a wildcard domain. That flexible solution allowed the service to provide an allotted domain for registered companies, linked apps for data management, and access to API for integration with IT infrastructure.


DigitalSuits team has vast experience in augmenting teams and remote collaborations. We are ready to find the developers you need and take your product development through all its stages, achievinging the desired result without pitfalls. We have worked in this area for more than 6 years and successfully implemented many startups' projects helping them to take their place in the market. We have experience with:

  • dedicated software development that can provide autonomous experts to expand your team or add more competency
  • providing startups with programmers of different qualifications and domain expertise. For example, we're one of the top experts among Node.js development companies

If you are ready to start, reach us for further consultations!

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