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Guides How to Hire a Software Developer: The Ultimate Guide

How to Hire Mobile Developers: 4 Steps to Follow

A mobile developer – is a specialist, creating applications for different mobile devices: smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.

As per Statista data in 2021 revenue from mobile applications comprised over $693 billion. Forecasts state that in 2023 this sum will increase up to $935 billion due to paid downloads and ads in applications. The statistical data speaks not only in favor of the popularity of mobile apps but also the ones who create them.

In this article, we will help to understand how to hire mobile developers. To do this, we will walk through four key stages of the process.

Hiring a Mobile developer process steps :

Step 1. Platform

There are two essentially different approaches to the development of mobile applications: native and cross-platform development. Therefore, before starting to search for a mobile developer, figure out which approach suits you best. This will help you understand what mobile developer is required to meet your needs.

Native App development approach 

Certain programming languages, development environments, etc. are used to create mobile applications.

Native development of a mobile app primarily focuses on development for a certain platform: iOS, Android.

Cross-platform app development approach

Applications are written for several platforms at once (iOS, Android) using one programming language, which makes it different from native languages.

There are several mobile development solutions in the cross-platform approach: React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, Flutter, NativeScript, etc. More often, the choice comes down to two frameworks: React Native and Flutter. These are the most frequently used and elaborated frameworks. Chances to find developers for them are way higher.

Choosing an approach

The choice between native and cross-platform approaches depends on the need of your project, required functionality, target audience, timeline, budget, etc.

Below there is a shortlist that might help you find your way around choosing an approach to better meet your needs. 

The native approach is a good option for you if:

  • You are not short of budget;
  • Your mobile application requires a more sophisticated functionality; 
  • There is no need of being present in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store; 
  • You want to ensure the best possible user interface;
  • You plan to scale the application in the long-term perspective (making changes to native applications is easier).   

The cross-platform solution should be your choice if:

  • You have a limited budget;
  • You don’t need a complicated mobile application in terms of functionally;
  • You need a prototype or an MVP to “probe” the market;
  • You plan to get to the market of both platforms simultaneously;
  • You need a single appearance for all platforms.

Step 2. Searching for a candidate 

Having defined the required platform and understood what developer you are looking for, move to the next step – searching for a candidate.

It is quite difficult to find a professional developer of mobile applications. The place of the search depends on the goal: 

  • Need full-time developers: ask friends, to ensure broad coverage place a vacancy on aggregators, your website, and in social networks, run paid ads;
  • Need a developer for a one-off job: use freelance platforms;
  • Urgent need for developers: contact companies offering services of on-demand developers (dedicated developers);
  • Need talents: work with higher educational institutions, follow the niche reputable sources.
How to Find Software Developers Who Meet Your Needs
Learn more about where to find the developers to meet your needs in our article.
How to Find Software Developers Who Meet Your Needs

Step 3. Interview 

After you find mobile developers you like, you start the next phase – interviewing. Traditionally, an interview is divided into two stages. The first one is a theoretical part of an interview. The second – coding. A coding interview – is a technical interview aimed at assessing a developer’s programming skills. Check our article Top 8 Best Coding Interview Platforms to learn about what coding is and where to find tasks to challenge your candidates.

The complexity and topic of questions in the theoretical part are determined by the level of the mobile developer you are looking for. Levels are divided into junior, middle, senior. 

You can find out in detail about each level and understand which one is right for you by reading our article 5 Software Developer Levels: Whom to Choose.

On an interview you should thoroughly check the following:

Mobile developer portfolio

The work of the mobile developer speaks for itself. This is why his portfolio is so important. A portfolio can reveal all the details of the previous projects: requirements, problems and ways to address them, domains, technology stacks, and many other details.

After studying the portfolio, you can download one of the applications that a candidate worked on. Thus, you can evaluate the work of the application from a user perspective: startup speed, performance, and interaction between various application functions.

Note (!) before checking the application yourself, ask a developer to tell about the development process and his thoughts on the obtained results. You can find out that some drawbacks of the application are determined by circumstances that don’t depend on the developer.

Mobile developer technical skills 

When you are not a specialist yourself, and you don’t have an experienced technical director (СТО) next to you, it is pretty complicated or even impossible to assess the skills of a mobile application developer. Nevertheless, there are two options to follow:  

1. If you have no technical background, you should employ an independent technical consultant (СТО) to interview a candidate. This person will help you determine how competent a developer is and to make the final decision. This option will require additional investment but will pay off due to the economy of time and the quality of hired developers. 

How to Hire a CTO for a Startup and Not to Fail

2. If you have no budget to hire a CTO, we have prepared a couple of articles that can help you understand the responsibilities, learn and assess the professional skills of mobile developers, etc.:

How to Hire Android Developers (native)
How to Hire iOS Developers (native)
How to Hire React Native Developers (cross-platform)

Mobile developer soft skills

Soft skills – are personal traits of a candidate. They include communication skills, ability to learn, ability to work in a team, etc. Soft skills are of the same importance as hard skills. There is a simple reason standing behind this. Before your mobile application goes live, numerous meetings will be held. You need these meetings to elicit requirements, make necessary corrections, evaluate the project progress, and many other things. 

You can learn more about what soft skills are, why they are worth paying attention to, and how to check their level in an interview in our article Why Soft Skills Matter When Hiring a Software Developer.

In an interview, most attention is paid to hard skills since it is easier to assess them. An on the contrary, soft skills assessment is very superficial. Such attitude of a client to skills is a common mistake. Therefore, you might find it useful to read 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Interviewing a Software Developer

How to Hook Software Developers Right From The Start: Mistakes to Avoid
Read more about biggest mistakes when interviewing a software developer.
How to Hook Software Developers Right From The Start: Mistakes to Avoid

Step 4. Cost 

Consider the below-mentioned moments when thinking about a budget:

Model of cooperation

Find out what you are looking for. Depending on your business needs you may select a dedicated In-house team, freelancers, or a dedicated software development agency. Every model has its peculiarities.

It is also worth getting familiarized with In-house vs Dedicated vs Freelance Developers: Whom to choose.

Mobile developer salary

Rates of mobile developers vary from country to country. For example, rates in Northern America (USA, Canada) are the highest, while in Asia (India, Nepal, and Pakistan) are the lowest. In terms of costs, Eastern Europe (Belarus, Lithuania) can become the golden mean offering a high level of competence.

Model of payment

A model of payment forms the cost of services, timeline, and scope of work to develop a project. There are three frequently used models: Fixed Price – Fixed project price; Time and Material model – Fixed price per hour; Dedicated Team model – Fixed price for each team member per hour or per month. The model you choose depends on the complexity and duration of your project, the planned budget, required level of control, etc.  

More information on models of payment is presented in our article 3 Most Popular Pricing Models In IT Industry


Now you know everything you need to hire mobile developers:

  1. You know that you should start by defining your application requirements, which means choosing the implementation process: native or cross-platform approach.
  2. You know that to correctly hire mobile developers, your ultimate goals will determine your search approach. This might be: finding a full-time employee, a one-ff job developer for urgent or scheduled work. The purpose of the search determines exactly where you will search: in social networks, on freelance platforms, in dedicated agencies, higher educational institutions, etc. 
  3. You know that at the interview stage, it is important to check:
    – Developer’s portfolio, presenting the projects based on which you can judge about his experience and knowledge;
    – Hard and soft skills of a mobile developer and how to test them. 
  4. You know that the cost of mobile app development pretty much depends on the geographical location of a developer, cooperation, and payment models.

Apply gained knowledge and square up to hire mobile developers for your project. 

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