Top 10+ Hiring Developer Tips for Custom App Development
Do you need someone to help with mobile application development services in the year ahead? If the answer is yes, here are our top 10 tips for hiring mobile app developers for your startup. Previously, we were writing about a New startup idea in 2023. If your idea is smartphone-based, you may need someone to carry out mobile web development on your behalf.
It may be that you don’t have mobile development skills, or aren’t skilled in the correct programming language. On the other hand, it could be that you do have mobile web development skills, but you need to focus your efforts on other aspects of your brand-new business.
No matter the circumstances, it’s essential to work with the right team. The right developer (or team of developers) will understand your values, work with you to create a high-quality app and get you to market in the shortest amount of time.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our top ten tried-and-tested tips for hiring mobile application developers for your new startup idea. From reviewing skills to paying the bills, we’ve got you covered.
Top 10 Tips for Hiring Mobile App Developers for your Startup
- Hire as early as possible
- Review the places you will recruit from
- Hire someone experienced with lean methodologies
- Consider how you will hire
- Know what you want to hire for
- Look at their testimonials
- Ask to see a portfolio
- Think about your budget
- Look at the legal side of things
- Know what you will get after you launch
1. Hire as early as possible
We would like to start our top 10 tips for hiring mobile app developers with timing, as money & time are 2 main aspects of startup life. Funding, marketing, sales, R&D… there’s a lot to consider when you’re launching a mobile app startup. Unfortunately, it may be that coding the app is not at the top of your list.
Even though you will have a lot to look out for, we recommend hiring web developers as soon as possible. Not only will this give you time to find the right team for your business, but you can get them started on coding the app straight away.
2. Review the places you will recruit from
Hiring can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to doing it. You don’t want to waste money promoting your startup in the wrong places or end up with someone who is the wrong fit for your company’s values.
Tapping into your current network is always a good starting point. Ask colleagues if they know anyone interested in a new development opportunity, and see what names come up. LinkedIn is always a good place to get recommendations from, as well as Twitter to a lesser extent.
Some good recruitment platforms specialize specifically in startups, like AngelList.
3. Hire someone experienced, and better with lean methodologies
We’ve talked about lean project management a lot on this blog, and with good reason. It’s one of the quickest and most effective ways of getting your mobile app to market.
When you’re recruiting a mobile app developer, look for someone with experience in lean development, as opposed to Agile or Waterfall.
Why lean project management? Agile and Waterfall focus on delivering the whole app at the end of the project. However, with lean methodology, developers can focus on the features that solve the most prominent customer pain points.
This means that your mobile app can be launched sooner and ahead of any prospective competitors.
A mobile app checklist for lean startup development
4. Consider how you will hire
Will you hire someone to join your brand-new startup, hire an agency, or a freelancer? There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these options.
When you hire someone to join your team and work with you in-house, they can fully immerse themselves in your company culture and liaise with you closely. You also don’t have to worry about them being pulled away from other projects. However, you will have to pay them more, as well as cover their holidays, pension, sick leave, and other benefits.
With a web development agency or freelancer, you end up spending less money on their services overall, which can be good if you are on a tight budget or are bootstrapping your startup. Not only this, but you can also call upon a wide range of different skillsets too. On the downside though, you are one of many customers, and there is the risk that if you suddenly part ways, your web, and mobile app development are set back.
The option you choose will depend on your needs, budget, and the industry you want to break into. Remember that you can change your mind later if you need to. For example, you can get an agency to create the code and develop the app, then hire a full-time member of staff when you start to become profitable.
5. Know what you want to hire for
Mobile app development is not a one-size-fits-all process. It’s important to know what skills are important to you, so you know which developers are the right fit for your brand-new business.
Consider the following when you start recruiting a developer:
- What industry/industries do you want your mobile app developer to have experience in? While experience in your specific industry may not be essential, it can be a help if you are in a more niche industry like healthcare or medicine
- What programming languages does your developer need to know? For example, many Android apps are written in Kotlin, while IOS app developers need to know Objective-C or Swift (better in Swift);
- What qualifications and accreditations are essential, and which ones are ‘nice to have?
- Do you need your developer to have additional knowledge? For example, if you are creating an app based on artificial intelligence or the Internet of Things, it is ideal for them to be aware of these concepts
- What values do you want your mobile app developer to have? This is especially important if you are hiring in-house, as you want your new developer to align with your company culture
Think about the whole package your mobile app developer can offer, and not just their coding skills.
6. Look at their testimonials
It’s all very well and good for your prospective developer to tell you how good they are. However, it’s another thing entirely for other people to tell you how good they are.
About 70% of people read between one and six reviews before buying a product, and the same logic needs to apply to your mobile web development recruitment strategy too.
Ways you can find social proof for web and mobile app developers include:
- Looking at their endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn
- Asking their references about how they were to work in previous roles
- Checking out sites like Google My Business, Clutch, GoodFirms, G2, Glassdoor, and Trustpilot for reviews
- Typing their name into the search engines and seeing what comes up
- Looking at testimonials and case studies on their website. Take these with a pinch of salt, as the developer will have cherry-picked the best feedback. If you have time, getting in touch with the businesses and startups that gave the testimonials and asking for their honest feedback may be useful
7. Ask to see a portfolio
All good mobile app development firms and individuals will have a portfolio of work you can look at. This will help you see the quality of their previous work, as well as their style. Even though a mobile app developer may have all the skills you are after, their style may not quite align with yours.
Take the time to go through the portfolio and ask any questions.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, borrow someone with web development experience to run through the portfolio with you. They will be able to advise what has been done well and what needs improving.
8. Think about your budget
Mobile app developers, whether in-house or agency, won’t be willing to work for free. You’ll have to review how much money you have available to spend on your web development.
The more experienced and skilled your prospective native app developer is, the more costly they will be to acquire. For example, an IOS app developer in the US can cost up to $155,000 a year, with Android developers charging $165,000 a year.
If it helps, consider their remuneration in terms of return on investment. If an app developer costs your company $165,000 but helps bring in $2,000,000 of sales, then it is a worthwhile use of money. You can use this information to help convince an investor to help you fund the developer’s salary.
Don’t forget that if you want to hire in-house but don’t have a lot of money to spend on payroll, you can offer equity as an alternative. If a prospective hire has faith in your startup model, they may be willing to take a pay cut for increased profits later on.
9. Look at the legal side of things
Even though the developer you hire is creating your mobile app, it’s crucial to ensure that the code created is yours and yours alone.
Otherwise, if things go sour, the mobile app developer could take your code and create their own app to rival yours.
Whether you hire in-house or recruit an agency, it’s sensible to put a non-disclosure agreement in place. This is a legally binding document which means your developer is not allowed to share sensitive information with others. If your developer breaches the agreement, they will have to face any consequences detailed in the document.
You can create your own NDA – there are many templates online to download. Alternatively, you can hire a solicitor or attorney to compile a bespoke NDA for you to use.
10. Know what you will get after you launch
We would like to finish our top 10 tips for hiring mobile app developers list with the aim. This is the only point that will hold you and don’t give up.
So, you’ve spent time on your MVP, you’ve worked out how you will monetize your app, and you’re finally ready to launch!
What comes next?
If you’ve hired an agency or freelancer to look at your mobile web development you may want to think about the support they can offer once your app is live. For example, will they help with any updates, support, or bug fixes?
It’s good to plan this out before you hire just so there are no misunderstandings. You don’t want to pay someone for their time only to find that the service you want is not included in the price.
In conclusion – the top 10 tips for hiring mobile app developers
Did you know that 46% of Americans spend between five and six hours on their mobile phone a day? Not only this, 11% spend seven hours or more on their smartphones!
This means that if you have an idea for a mobile app-based startup, you could be incredibly successful.
So, the top 10 tips for hiring mobile app developers we have talked about in this article are:
- Get hiring as soon as you can
- See all the various places you can hire from
- Look at developers with experience in lean methods
- Will you hire in-house or look to an external agency?
- Be aware of the skills you want to hire for
- Consider social proof
- Request previous examples of work
- Review the budget you have available
- Think about the legal implications
- Understand the services you will get after your app has been launched
If you are ready to start hiring mobile app developers for your startup, we wish you the very best of luck!
Need a little extra help with your native mobile app? You are launched can help
We have been working with a wide range of startups since 2014, working with them to launch their apps. You can find out more about the businesses we’ve worked with on our launched startups page.
Contact us today and discover how we can take you from idea and prototype, all the way through to market.