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How to Hire an App Developer: Step-By-Step Hiring Guide for 2024

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
November 15, 2023
Hire App Developers in 7 Steps - 2024 Comprehensive Guide


Hiring mobile app developers who are highly skilled and have great experience is important in today's competitive market. Imagine having a groundbreaking idea for a mobile app that has the potential to revolutionize your industry but not knowing where to begin in finding the right developer to bring your vision to life.

According to Statista, apps are expected to generate more than US $935 billion in 2023. Amid this booming market, OneSeven Tech stands out with its specialized expertise in mobile app development. Our seasoned team of mobile app developers possesses the insight to transform ideas into digital realities that captivate users and drive engagement.

In this article, we will first discuss the challenges you face when hiring a mobile app developer. We will also provide the 3 best ways you can use to hire a mobile app developer. At the end, we will explain the steps for hiring top-tier mobile app developers.

What Are the Challenges When You Hire Mobile App Developers?

Hiring mobile app developers is more complex than it may initially appear, with several hurdles businesses must navigate successfully. Acknowledging these challenges is the first step in preparing for a smooth recruitment process.

Let's explore the common challenges you might face.

1. Budget

Budget considerations often top the concerns for businesses embarking on mobile app development. The financial constraints limit the pool of developers you can afford, potentially barring you from engaging the most qualified mobile app developers. If your app requires a suite of unique, cutting-edge features, only a seasoned developer with a corresponding price tag might suffice.

However, if the project involves less complex work, such as minor updates or changes, hiring a freelancer could be a more cost-effective solution. It allows for flexibility and potentially lower costs, but it's essential to establish your budget and understand the trade-offs involved when you don't hire top-tier talent. Developers from emerging economies may offer competitive rates, but this could also compromise quality.

2. Time Zone Gaps

The time zone difference presents another significant challenge, especially for IT firms that hire mobile app developers from remote locations. These gaps can lead to delays in communication and, subsequently, project milestones. 

While tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, along with project management platforms like Jira and Trello, can help manage tasks and updates, they often mean waiting for responses and action from team members in different time zones.

3. Lack of In-person Communication

Hiring app developers from another country can exacerbate communication challenges. Even with today's technology, a gap is felt when you cannot see progress in real-time or provide immediate feedback. 

Remote work arrangements can lead to misunderstandings and delays, particularly when language barriers come into play, which are less of an issue with in-person interactions.

4. Cultural Differences

Outsourcing mobile app development to regions like Eastern Europe, Israel, India, China, and other South-Asian countries is a common practice for Western businesses. However, this geographic distance can introduce cultural differences that affect how business is conducted. 

Work ethic, communication styles, and service delivery can vary significantly, influenced by local customs, cultural practices, and holiday schedules based on religious observances.

Best Ways to Hire an App Developer

When embarking on the journey of mobile app development, choosing the right developer is an important decision.

Here's a breakdown of the 3 best ways available to hire an app developer, along with their respective pros and cons:

1. In-house App Developers

Choosing in-house app developers means being ready for significant financial commitment. Employing a full-time developer when you only need short-term service can be an inefficient allocation of resources. You'll cover not only their salaries but also training, benefits, and other associated employment costs.


  • Full Control: Having an in-house team grants you immediate and complete access to your developers, streamlining project management and allowing for rapid shifts in project priorities.
  • Cultural Alignment: In-house developers can immerse themselves in your company culture, ensuring they are fully aligned with your brand and objectives fostering a deeper commitment to your project.
  • Immediate Communication: Direct, face-to-face communication fosters a collaborative environment, resulting in efficient problem-solving and a cohesive team dynamic.


  • High Costs: The expenses of maintaining an in-house team are substantial, from salaries and benefits to the costs of office space and equipment.
  • Limited Skill Set: Your team may not possess all the skills required for specialized tasks, which can be a hindrance if your project demands expertise in emerging technologies.
  • Recruitment Challenges: Finding the right talent can be a competitive and time-consuming process, and once onboard, retaining them against offers from competitors can be equally challenging.

2. Hiring A Freelancer

If the scope of your app development project is manageable, engaging a freelancer can be a smart move. Freelancers can offer a cost-effective and flexible solution, but it's crucial to set a clear agreement on costs upfront.


  • Cost-Effective: Freelancers typically work with hourly rates or fixed fees, providing a budget-friendly option for short-term projects.
  • Flexibility: They offer the ability to scale your development efforts to match the project's requirements without long-term commitment.
  • Diverse Skill Sets: Freelancers often have a broad range of experience and expertise, allowing you to choose the right professional for specific tasks within your project.


  • Limited Availability: Securing the services of a top-notch freelancer can be difficult due to their high demand and potential commitments to other clients.
  • Communication Challenges: Differences in time zones and locations can delay communication, impacting project timelines and collaboration efforts.
  • Lack of Commitment: Freelancers may not exhibit the same level of dedication to your project as an in-house team, focusing more on task completion than ongoing project success.

3. Outsourcing

Outsourcing your mobile app development can offer budget-friendly access to expertise and a commitment to quality and timely delivery, though it comes with its challenges.


  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing can be more economical than in-house development, eliminating costs associated with full-time employees.
  • Specialized Expertise: Outsourcing firms usually have teams with diverse technological expertise and are up-to-date with the latest development practices.
  • Scalability: The ability to scale the development team according to the project's and development phase ensures efficient resource utilization without the risk of over or under staffing.


  • Limited Control: Working with an outsourced team may reduce your direct oversight of the mobile app development process and daily operations.
  • Communication Challenges: Outsourcing can introduce hurdles like language barriers and time zone differences, which can affect the flow of information.
  • Potential Quality Variations: The output standard can fluctuate based on the outsourcing partner you select, making it critical to choose a proven and reliable provider.

Step-by-Step Guide to Hire Mobile App Developers

Finding the right talent for the mobile app development process is very complex and requires clarity and strategic planning. Here's a structured approach to help you navigate the hiring process effectively.

Step 1: Identify Your App Development Goals

The initial step in your hiring journey is to establish a clear understanding of your app's objectives and the type of developers that will best suit your needs. Determine whether your project requires a dedicated team member or if a freelance developer's flexibility aligns better with your goals.

You should be clear about your product's concept, design, and desired functionalities. Crafting simple sketches, flowcharts, or mock-ups can illustrate your vision and be a valuable communication tool when engaging with potential developers. These preliminary blueprints should encapsulate the workflow, software features, and the outcomes you aim to achieve through your app.

Step 2: Knowing the Type of App and Platform for Development

Clarifying the type of app you want to develop is crucial, whether you're taking the reins on design or seeking to hire app developers. The nature of the app—its core features, target audience, and monetization strategy—will significantly influence your choice of platform and development path.

Decide if you're aiming for a free app to establish a user base or if you're planning for monetization through in-app purchases or a paid model. The type of app will also dictate the technical skills required from your developers, whether it's for a native application on iOS or Android, a web-based app, or a cross-platform solution.

Step 3: Setting up the App Development Budget

Understanding the costs involved in hiring app developers is central to the financial planning of your app business. The budget will vary based on several factors, including the chosen platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), the complexity of the app, and the expertise level of the developers you aim to hire.

Developing a spend estimation is crucial as it outlines the investment required for your app's development and subsequent growth. Having a flexible budget is advisable to accommodate unexpected costs; however, it's equally important to be patient with spending to maintain fiscal responsibility. Your budget should balance your vision for the app and the practical costs of bringing it to market.

Step 4: Finding the App Development Resources

Securing the right resources for app development is a critical step in your journey. This involves ensuring that the developers or the mobile app development company you engage with are both capable and reliable.

Here's how to approach this:

Do Your Research

Before committing your project to anyone, grasp the nuances of mobile app development. This might include consulting with experts, especially if you're new to this field, to understand the cost implications and the necessary expertise.

Check App Developers' Experience

Inquire about the developer's experience with mobile app development projects similar to yours. Understanding their background gives you insight into what to expect and how they might handle your project.

Check Portfolio

Check app developers' portfolios and ensure they are qualified for your specific needs. Consider the app's requirements, such as the complexity of the user interface, and match these with the developer's skill set.

Examine Communication Expertise

Communication is key. If the developer cannot understand your vision, the end product will likely not align with your expectations. Ensure there's a mutual understanding of the project's goals.

Set Clear Standards

When you know how to find app developers, establish your expectations clearly during initial discussions to avoid conflicts and streamline the mobile app development process.

Know Their Technologies

Understand the technological needs of your app. This helps narrow down the pool of candidates to those who are well-versed in the required technologies.

Conduct Thorough Interviews

Interview potential hires rigorously. If needed, bring in a professional to help set up the interview. 

Clarify the following critical areas to determine if they are a good fit for your project:

  • References and previous evaluations
  • Industry-specific experience
  • Niche expertise
  • Proficiency with programming tools
  • Growth methodology
  • Program management
  • Communication skills

Step 5: Choose one Between a Dedicated Resource and a Freelance Developer

The decision between a dedicated resource and a freelancer is not straightforward. It depends on factors like skill level, commitment, development cost, and data security. A full-time resource may provide a more consistent growth trajectory, while freelancers can offer diverse skills from working with various clients. 

However, freelancers may not be available for last-minute changes. Choose based on the specific needs and dynamics of your project.

Step 6: Consider Time to Build

The time-to-market for your app is crucial for its success. In an app market that boasts billions of users, moving swiftly from concept to launch is key. Startups, therefore, often look for agile teams capable of adhering to a concise development model.

Typical Development Timeline

  • Stage 1: Design and Mockup – 2-3 weeks
  • Stage 2: App Development and Testing – 5-7 weeks
  • Stage 3: Submission and App Store Preparation – 1-2 weeks

Additional Factors Affecting Timelines

  • Social media integration
  • Unique UI/UX design
  • Platform-specific development (iOS may take longer than Android)
  • Backend development needs
  • Customization and graphics intensity

Step 7: Contact a Developer or a Company

Knowing how to reach out to developers or companies after a thorough review is essential. Direct communication allows you to gauge their competencies in technology, user interface, and design tailored to your project's needs.

Look beyond a simple Google search and ensure you understand their background, projects, and customer referrals before hiring. After interviewing, discuss the terms from both ends to establish a clear agreement.


In today's digital age, the path to developing a successful mobile app depends on critical decisions and steps that can make or break the project's success. From identifying your app development goals to choosing the right developer and considering the time to market, each step is pivotal. Understanding these steps in detail helps in making informed decisions that align with both your business goals and objectives and market demands.

As you navigate the complexities of hiring the right app development resources, remember the importance of clear communication and strategic planning. Whether opting for an in-house team, a freelance developer, or an outsourcing company, the right choice depends on many factors, including expertise, budget, and project timeline.

For business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to create impactful mobile applications without the hassle of navigating the hiring process, engaging with a seasoned development partner can be the key to turning your vision into reality.

OneSeven Tech stands at the forefront as a digital product studio and startup development apps studio, offering comprehensive mobile app development services. Our integrated teams are skilled in mobile app development, providing tailored MVP development services to help you build and scale your vision effectively.

Embarking on your app development journey? Connect with OneSeven Tech, where our expertise as a software development agency meets your entrepreneurial spirit to create digital solutions that stand out in the competitive marketplace. Let's bring your app idea to life.

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