how to hire a top-notch developer dedicated only to your project

How To Hire A Team of Developers Without A Pesky Recruiter

Hire a team of software developers who can start almost immediately without needing to pay recruiter fees

IT professionals are constantly in demand because there’s a shortage in the talent pool of software developers—the UK, Europe, and the US are no exception.

In the UK, we are seeing a general widening of the skill-shortage gap for digital specialists:

Over a million recruits will be needed for the digital-specialist workforce by 2023. However, around 40% of employers recruiting digital specialists are already struggling to fill vacancies, according to Society for Human Resource Management.

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When employers are looking to hire a team of developers, their first thought might be to consult a recruiter.

One of the main concerns about recruitment services is the cost—the average recruitment fee in the US is 10-40% of the developer’s salary. Even in Ukraine, a popular offshore destination, the added expense isn’t much lower—equating to about 15% of a developer’s wage. Furthermore, if a company needs to hire a development team, the recruitment fees can really put a dent in their budget.

Secondly, as mentioned above, some vacancies are more challenging for software developer recruiters to fill because of talent scarcity in the UK and the US. Fortunately, remote developers can help to satisfy demand.

We, however, live in a digital world with other options for hiring software developers without a recruiter. In a previous article, we’ve already hinted at one possible solution to the issue of finding a dedicated team of developers (first point below).

Traditional recruitment services alternatives: where to hire a team of developers

1. Ask your professional circles for a referral

This is often an excellent first step when beginning the hiring process as employees in the IT industry change jobs every 3-4 years, on average. Building a team of dedicated programmers on recommendations from colleagues can save employers time and effort. Hiring managers are often more reassured and at ease knowing that candidates have the relevant experience.

2. Attend tech events to look for talented developers

Conferences and fairs are some of the best ways to find and attract tech talent. Usually, these events focus on a specific technology or programming language. For example:

  • PyCon draws the best Python developers
  • Java Day attracts top Java developers.
  • Frameworks days organizes events for PHP developers and web developers.

Networking at these events can result in the formation of strategic partnerships with passionate developers.

3. Try online software development hiring platforms such as YouTeam, TopTal, Upwork if you’re open to remote candidates

You can use these platforms to search for individual software developers or a team of developers.

  • Upwork is currently the most well-known option for hiring freelance developers.
  • TopTal positions itself as an exclusive network of top freelance software developers—admitted to the platform only after meticulous screening.
  • YouTeam, a Y Combinator-backed marketplace for on-demand engineering staff augmentation, offers quite a different approach. They have developed a thorough vetting process to ensure that only the best software development companies are admitted to the hiring marketplace. YouTeam leverages a network of 20,000+ vetted engineers from more than 400+ agencies in Eastern Europe and Latin America. YouTeam doesn’t work with freelancers—software engineers are from vetted IT service providers. This model helps eliminate risks that can occur when hiring freelance developers in different countries.

Browse 500+ Dev Teams Available for Hire

Skeptical employers are invited to check out the power of the YouTeam search algorithms and to hire a developer from the platform. It takes only 48 hours to source a list of candidates available to start within a week. They also handle all the financial and contractual requirements. Plus, clients get a list of sourced software developers and can conduct interviews for free! No charges or fees are incurred until a hiring contract is signed.

More places to hire the best developers

Other places to find and hire a team of developers include GitHub, hackathons, tech blogs, and universities.

Open source coding platforms

Websites like GitHub are a great place to check out the code samples of talented developers and view the open-source projects to which they contribute. To search GitHub for tech talent, employers must register a GitHub account. Hiring managers can search for developers by language, location, or a number of followers.

When exploring profiles, recruiters should pay attention to a candidate’s projects and check their public activity on GitHub. After narrowing down some potential candidates, employers can send a message to learn more and to see if the person is a suitable fit for their project.

With a bit of luck, employers may find a group of developers that have worked on tasks similar to what’s needed and hire a development team that will instantly enhance your project.

Hackathons

A hackathon is an event where software developers work together to build new software. Hackathons are the best option for those trying to understand how to hire a development team for a startup. Some hackathons are explicitly designed for networking to make it easier to find a lot of talented developers. Most of these events focus on specific technologies so that recruiters can choose events most relevant to their project.

hire a team of developers
@frantic — Unsplash

Such events are listed on sites such as Hackathon.io, a platform that currently hosts over 5,481 hackathons. It is possible to narrow a search by filtering for specific categories such as fintech, health, IoT, mobile, science, and travel.

Technology blogs

Many developers maintain blogs, which can be an excellent source for discovering potential candidates. Additionally, a blog allows an employer to learn about the candidate before contacting them. A blog also demonstrates the candidate’s written communication skills (which is perfect if hiring remotely) and critical thinking, problem-solving, and of course, technical skills. Here is a list of top software development blogs as of 2022.

Aiming to recruit blogs authors? Keep in mind that pro engineers of that level most likely are not open for relocation and office work—this option is for hiring remote developers.

Universities

Employers may be surprised to learn that it is also possible to find talented student coders. Contact deans or professors at tech universities to recommend their best students for paid internships. Though they may have no working experience, they’re likely to be passionate about coding and may be working on projects of their own. Universities often host on-campus hackathons, which can be good places to discover great coders.

hire a team of developers
@sickhews — Unsplash

Another way to attract students is to visit universities to present a project. Employers can provide students with an email address and invite them to send in code samples or set up interviews.

7 tips to hire the best team of developers

We will conclude this article with some helpful tips on choosing the best software development agency for a project.

1: Define the technology stack

To find the best developers for a project, employers must know the project requirements, including the tech stack. They need to consider the project’s goal and what needs to be developed.

Front-end developers work with the client-side and ensure users seamlessly interact with a product. The front end is an unavoidable part of the development process and UI design. The most used programming languages among front-end developers are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Back-end developers attend to the server-side of the product. They build the business logic that includes the server, an application, and a database. Back-end developers use languages such as Java, Ruby, Python, and C# for coding and MongoDB and SQL databases.

Companies may also choose to hire QA specialists to run tests and detect bugs so that the dev team releases a  highly-functional product.

For example, if the product is AI-related, Python is considered to be the best technology. However, if the project is to build an e-commerce store, PHP may be a better fit. For cross-platform mobile apps, React Native is the go-to framework. 

If a company has an idea but little tech knowledge for a project, then having a technical co-founder or CTO will help determine the technology more clearly. Knowing the tech stack will help narrow down a search.

2: Research the market

To begin with, we recommend visiting websites that rank development agencies with customer feedback. For example,  users can search by category or technology on Clutch.co. The search results will show the top-rated companies providing development services in a chosen technology or language.

Each company profile has several sections available for conveniences, such as Summary, Focus, Portfolio, Reviews, and Verification. By browsing those sections, visitors can learn about the company’s industries, view their case studies, read the client reviews, and see the company verification level—bronze, silver, or gold. Other websites to search for company profiles include LinkedIn, CrunchBase, and IT-Suppliers.

3: Choose the company location

A development team can be based anywhere in the world. Employers can hire offshore development teams based in Asia or Eastern Europe—the most popular outsourcing destinations—and collaborate remotely. These dev teams provide a wide range of advantages, such as lower costs with high quality (true for many locations). Consider other benefits of hiring a remote team, such as an enormous tech talent pool, quick onboarding, and temporary solutions lasting a few months or years.

Let’s suppose a company is interested in offshore software development. In that case, they can read about offshore destinations and choose the one that suits them best. That location can then be used to filter searches on LinkedIn, Clutch, or other relevant websites.

4: Estimate your budget

When choosing an agency for a project, employers should keep their budget in mind as well. On Clutch, hiring managers can view an agency’s average hourly rates in search results. Please be aware that a developer’s rates are dependent on their qualification—which can vary drastically by region. As we have already mentioned, offshore companies provide lower average rates than those located in the United States. For example, prices range between $75 and $150 an hour in the US.

At the same time, developers charge an average of $45-80 in Eastern Europe and $35-65 in Asia for the same services. However, employers should be leery of choosing a company with the lowest prices— as it may end up costing twice as much. Employers should always read reviews carefully and make sure that the company has a proven track record.

5: Study the reviews

Reviews are a great way to check if a company is trustworthy and that an hour paid is an hour worked. Clutch.co and Goodfirms.co display reviews from actual clients, giving employers an idea of a company’s performance on past projects. Testimonials from real clients on the agency’s website are also a good sign of reliability. It is also possible to reach out to its former clients and ask about their experience and recommendations.

6: Go through the portfolios

Companies can narrow down a search to study each portfolio carefully. Paying attention to the level of detail developers use to describe their past projects can be an important indicator. Do they highlight the challenges that the client was facing before hiring them? Do they outline how they resolved those challenges and which technologies they used during the project? Do they specify how long it took them to complete the project? Consider work aspects featured in the portfolio and how they can be reflected in a project. It is also possible to visit the websites or find the apps for the completed projects and read customer reviews.

7: Shortlist the companies

After narrowing down 3-5 companies that fit the requirements, hiring managers can start contacting them with a proposal. They should also ask for price quotes and a timeframe for completing the project. Of course, all necessary organizational and legal issues should be addressed.

How much would it cost to hire a team of software engineers?

Most companies from the US and Canada prefer nearshore outsourcing and hire developers from Latin American countries. On the other hand, businesses in Western Europe and the UK are more likely to outsource to Eastern Europe. However, some companies prioritize desired talent over a location. In that case, they ensure a time overlap of 2+ hours. Keep in mind that the country of a development service provider will affect rates. Also, the developer’s experience (junior, middle, senior), tech stack, soft skills, English proficiency, and hiring model will additionally contribute to overall salary rates.

Hiring a contractor from a dev house may not be the cheapest option. However, employers eliminate other expenses such as office rent, health insurance, and other benefits commonly provided for in-house employees.

Hourly rates of senior developersHourly rates of senior developersHourly rates of senior developers
The USEastern EuropeLatin America
Angular$61$49.20$55.10
Python$70$45.40$57.60
JavaScript$65$48.80$53.70
NodeJS$57$46.40$57.30
Ruby On Rails$74.36$49.90$53.10
PHP$51.62$47.70$54.90

So, how do you choose the best team of developers?

Despite the large tech talent pool worldwide, hiring a team of developers for a complex, long-term project is challenging. If you are struggling to find a particular skill set in your geographical region, don’t fret. We invite you to access YouTeam’s huge talent pool of 20,000+ experienced, vetted software developers. Check out these example searches:

We hope that now you know how to hire a software development team successfully. Good luck!

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Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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