There are more than 5 billion mobile users on the planet. That's a large market to neglect by not having a customized mobile application. Mobile apps are here to stay, and odds are your company needs one, but how do you hire an app developer? More than that, how much will it cost to hire a developer, and where do you find one?
We know hiring the perfect app developer can be intimidating, but we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide. Take a look at our best tips on hiring a mobile app developer here and check out our main site for more information.
- Carefully review portfolio work: it's essential to find someone that speaks the right development language. Experienced developers should have excellent UX skills and be able to explain how previously developed apps were executed (including any obstacles and solutions to those obstacles).
- Pay attention to user interfaces: a great app is only as good as its user interface. Look for apps that are user-friendly and do not require extensive instructions to use.
- Hire someone that gets your company and what you are trying to create. Ask potential developers to summarize your product or service and listen for a clear understanding of your company. If you are planning a round of interviews, ask candidates to outline development steps. Candidates should be able to give you a clear outline.
- References matter: ask for a list of references and speak to each person listed. Find out how a designer works, whether or not they can work with a team, how a person responds to deadlines and pressure, and whether or not the app was on schedule.
- Talk about workflow: does the person you're interviewing work with a development team? How are projects usually started? Can a developer give you a rough timeline for projects? Are they good at communicating and used to teamwork platforms like Slack?
- Freelance or permanent hire: if you plan to develop several apps, you may want to hire a full-time developer. On the flip side, if you're going to create one app, a freelance developer might be more cost-effective. If you do decide to work with a contractor, make sure that person is available during office hours.
- Know what you are looking for: are you looking for someone to design and develop your app, or do you want someone to develop it? End-to-end developers will help from start to finish (and some even have marketing teams) while standard developers only work on the technical side. If you have a design in mind and know what your app should look like, you can save money by just hiring a developer that won't provide design input. If not, you'll want to find someone that has design, development, and app marketing or strategy skills. A third option is hiring a developer to work on design solely -- if you have an in-house developer, you may only need help with design concepts.
- Be transparent: it's not uncommon for companies to hide specific app details from developers for fear of intellectual property theft. But not telling a developer precisely what you have planned will lead to roadblocks during the design process. Once you begin a second or third round of interviews, hand out the Non-Disclosure (NDA) contracts for potential candidates to sign. This way, there are no surprises during the development process and no deadline delays.
- Agency details: if you are considering development agencies (in addition to independent contractors), make sure you know who you are dealing with. Find out who will be your point of contact as it might not be the person you initially engage. Schedule conference calls and video calls before hiring and ask for a detailed scope of work that includes budget information.
- Ask for feedback: once you have settled on a few choice candidates, ask for feedback on your design or concept. Can candidates provide criticism or find flaws with your plans? Can they provide ideas or suggestions? Be wary of someone that says, “I've done one just like this before." You do not want the developer you hire to create the same app with a different logo.
- Personality traits matter: developers that are great problem solvers, are independent thinkers, and have excellent communication skills are essential. As we detail in this article, hiring someone that is not a team player will wind up costing you more in the long run. Ask candidates to provide answers to hypothetical situations and listen for solutions that are logical while also paying attention to how a person communicates.
- Be careful when it comes to cost: budget is essential but not as important as hiring the right person for the job. If you get a good vibe from a candidate, do not be put off by budget concerns. A developer that fits in with your team has your company goals in mind, and is available is worth the extra cost.
App Developer Costs
The biggest concern employers have when hiring an app developer is cost. How much will it cost to hire an app developer? The answer is two-fold. How complex is the app that you want to build? The more details your app has, the more expensive it will be to develop.
Simple apps with basic functions and drop-down menus cost $30 to $50 per hour. A more sophisticated app (database requirements, design, and development, etc.) can cost $60 to $150 per hour. Again, it's essential to hire based on skill set and culture fit and not solely on rates.
Web Developer Vs. Mobile App Developer Salary
You can expect to pay more for an experienced mobile developer than a web developer. On average, mobile developers earn 40% more than web developers simply because apps are popular and in-demand. Annually, app developers tend to earn around $70,000 while web developers make $50,000, but these estimates can vary widely based on candidate experience and skillset. For more details, check out our salary guide that includes detailed salary information and updates on the latest in-demand technology positions.
Where to Hire App Developers
Start by tapping your network. Ask for referrals from friends and family members or team members. If you can't find a personal reference, try posting a job application on the internet or ask us about our staffing solutions for both large and small projects. Ultimately, your app will be the way that many of your clients interact with your company.
Whether you are selling items or services, it's vital that your app is user-friendly, meets your requirements, and helps you promote your brand. Hiring the right app developer might take a few rounds of interviews, but a shiny new app that works flawlessly is worth the effort.