Hire a Dedicated Team of Mobile App Developers: An Overview of Process
- 23 Nov 2023
- 16 min
Are you a startup founder, chief technology officer, or delivery manager that’s considering the prospect of hiring app developers?
If yes, the read to learn the following:
- Definition of a dedicated app development team,
- Reasons to hire a dedicated app development team,
- Things to know before you hire an app development workforce,
- The ideal structure for a dedicated team of app developers,
- Steps to hiring a suitable team,
- And more!
If you prefer a visual text experience, go straight to the bonus infographic “How to hire a dedicated mobile app development team?”
Let’s elucidate further on the points made above.
What is a Dedicated Mobile App Development Team
A dedicated mobile app development team is a group of professionals hired to create apps for startups and manage the applications for an extended period.
These software engineers are not freelancers. They’re hired full-time by a vendor to work side-by-side with the startup’s in-house team for a purpose.
Startups that outsource via this option enjoy the luxury of beginning their project without hiring developers individually. Beyond this, the startup is absorbed in any welfare responsibility, taxes, and other HR administrative procedures. This way, they can concentrate on core business activities.
Now that you have some idea about what a dedicated mobile app development team means, let’s also discuss reasons to consider hiring one.
Why you Should Consider Hiring a Dedicated App Development Team
You should hire a dedicated app development team because it offers startups and scale-up companies a way to embark on a long-term app development process with an experienced team in the most cost-effective way possible.
Some reasons to opt for this method include:
- Flexibility in scaling workforce
- Access to talents around the world
- Cheap cost of building and maintaining an application
- Availability of a wide range of development skills
Let’s discuss the points made above.
Hiring Reason 1. Scalable Workforce
This is the ability of a startup to adjust its number of developers whenever the need arises.
This hiring model is obtainable with a dedicated team as the workforce is assembled by vendors – who have access to multiple developers and can increase team size at prompt.
Moreso, you can easily reduce your team size by renegotiating your contract with the vendor. These immunes you from lawsuits concerning retrenching and the financial obligations that accompany such activity.
For example, French employment laws grant strong protection to workers: as such, businesses must prove that there are real and serious grounds for dismissal.
Hiring Reason 2. Access to Global Talent Pool
According to Statista, there are currently over 24 million developers worldwide. However, the number of developers in the US is about 4 million, while the UK has about 400,00 developers. These statistics reflect that most developers are based outside the US and the UK.
As such, startups domiciled in those nations in need of a vibrant talent pool may opt to hire a dedicated development team to create a mobile app.
Hiring Reason 3. Cost-effective App Development and Maintenance Process
A common reason for outsourcing is cost. And rightly so, as you’ll be gaining top-notch quality for a lower price with this hiring method.
A peek into the cost of app development by region shows that the hourly rate of building an application in the US, the UK, and Australia is $100-$150.
While the cost of developing the same product quality only costs $30-$50 per hour in Eastern European countries like Ukraine.
You can benefit from this price difference through a dedicated workforce based outside the country.
Hiring Reason 4. Access to Rare Skills
Lack of skills is one of the major causes of startup failure. As a startup that wants to develop an application, it’s imperative to partner with a vibrant development team with a network of different types of developers.
Let’s take this example to help you understand better: assuming you plan to build a solution to key into Facebook’s Metaverse. Such a project requires having a workforce of developers that are experts in the Web3JS programming language.
Only about 18,000 programmers are vast in this programming language: thus, recruitment will be difficult.
Accordingly, if you’d like to build a website in addition to a mobile app, you’ll need to hire a dedicated web development team.
However, outsourcing to a dedicated app development team can easily get the job done as they have access to a vast pool of programmers. You may even outsource a developer from their workforce to join your in-house software developers.
Now that you understand some benefits attached to hiring a dedicated app development team, let’s discuss a bit on what to know before using this outsourcing model.
What to Know Before Hiring a Dedicated App Development Team
Before you hire a dedicated app development team, things to know include what you want to develop, expectations from the partnership, and the development and maintenance budget.
Let’s elucidate the things to know:
1. Know What you Want to Develop
Irrespective of the simplicity or complexity of what you’re planning to develop, it’s imperative to have an idea and communicate it with your outsourced team.
Would you like to develop a native app or web app? Would you like to develop an Android app, an iOS app, or a cross-platform app that works across all operating systems?
It’s the product that determines the tech stack, methodology, and the developers you’ll need.
There are different apps, and each application type requires a different tech stack. Below is a spreadsheet depicting the different types of apps and tech stacks needed.
|App Type||Tech Stack|
|Native mobile application development|| |
|Cross-platform application|| |
2. Define Your Expectation
What do you expect from your team? Would you rather have a reliable technical partner, a workforce of doers, a team of industry experts, or a workforce with a mix of all three?
Each of these options has its ideal management, deliverables, and engagement requirements.
For example, a team of doers gets the job done faster and cheaply but requires constant management oversight. Thus, it’s not good for startups that lack an in-house, fully dedicated management workforce.
3. Think Through Allocated Budget and Deadlines
A budget is a key to completing your project according to stipulated goals. It plays a crucial role in determining the features and functionalities of your application.
Unless you have an unlimited budget for development, management, and marketing – which is unfeasible for a startup, it’s imperative to hold a series of meetings with the team’s business analyst and project manager.
This will help you understand the exact financial implication of the workflow.
In the meeting, discuss the mode of communication, regulatory framework, and functionalities.
After the meeting, you should have the project blueprint – a piece of document elucidating agreed expenses and milestones. This will then determine the deadline for the MVP and full-scaled application.
Beyond this, you should also acquaint yourself with the constituents of your team. Let’s discuss this below.
What is the Typical Structure of a Dedicated App Development Team?
Your project intricacies determine your workforce. For a typical app development project, your team will include the following:
- Project manager
- Business analyst
- Tech lead
- UX/UI designer
- Mobile developer or front end developer
- Back end developer
- DevOps engineer
- Quality assurance tester
Let’s help non-technical founders understand the meaning of each role:
|Project manager||The project manager in the app development company coordinates all members to ensure that all activities synergize to achieve a mutual goal. |
Additionally, the PM gives feedback to the client at every milestone attained.
|Business analyst||The business analyst formulates the product’s business requirements and guides the development workflow to attain them. |
These requirements are the utmost business guideline that the UI/UX designer aims to attain.
|Tech lead/CTO||Technical leaders oversee tech designs, coding activities, and define technological stacks. |
They coordinate the activities of both iOS developers and Android app developers.
They also direct the activities of both frontend and backend engineers.
|UX/UI designer||UI/UX designers collect, research, and evaluate technical requirements. |
They then use both business and technical requirements to design the user experience and the interface through which the target audience interacts with the solution.
|Front end developer||Frontend developers implement the design of the UI/UX designers. |
They create responsible buttons that execute the actions of the product’s users by calling relevant API from the server-side and linking it to each icon.
Usually, they are required if you have a combination of web and mobile apps.
|Mobile developer||The mobile developer makes the user interface work effectively and ensures that every actionable button appropriately interacts with backend codes.|
|Back end developer||The back-end developer writes the codes that determine the entire application’s functionality, features, and goals. |
Their codes maintain the technology needed for users to interact with server-side information.
|Quality assurance tester||A QA tester checks the application to ensure that it’s efficient. They also suggest codes, business logic modification, and UI design. |
The QA tester also ensures a top-notch user experience and security.
|DevOps engineer||DevOps engineers build, check, and maintain the infrastructure to guarantee optimum app development, launch, and maintenance. |
They launch and manage the product on the app store.
Now that you have an apt understanding of team members to onboard. Let’s discuss the types of software dedicated workforce out there.
What Types of Dedicated Software Development Teams Are There?
Software development teams can be classified based on the type of company, and the cooperation between the startup and the vendor.
To help you have a better understanding of the different types of the software development team, we’ll elucidate on the types according to the classification model mentioned above.
Classification 1. By the Type of Company
Model 1. In-house development team
This hiring model is the most common. It involves hiring developers to work full-time for your company, and are remunerated directly by the startup.
Here, the startup performs the full administrative function to manage the workforce. Team members report daily, and they get directions on the project’s workflow directly from the startup’s administrators.
Although this is the most popular hiring model, it also has pros and cons.
| || |
Use this option if you have a comprehensive administrative policy and a vibrant management team on board.
Also, it’s imperative to have a reliable recruitment team that can hire quality staff on prompt.
A somewhat similar but more flexible hiring model is a local development agency. Let’s discuss this.
Model 2. Local Development Agency
A local development agency is a team of experts hired by a vendor to work for your startup remotely. In this instance, these team members are not part of your workforce, but they work full-time on your project within a stipulated time frame.
It’s worth noting that this workforce is domiciled in the same country as your startup – this confers you with some benefits.
Just like others, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. These include:
A very popular outsourcing option to consider is a team of freelancers. Let’s discuss this.
Model 3. Team of Freelance Developers
Freelance app developers are independent software programmers that build on a per project basis. They get approached by startups and individuals to help develop an application, and they get paid for the work done.
These developers are often full-stack skilled, and they have in-depth knowledge of tech stacks.
Below are some merits and demerits of this option:
| || |
Model 4. Offshore Outsourcing Agency
Offshoring is a popular means of recruiting skilled programmers by outsourcing the development process to a team based in a separate nation to the startup. This method offers the easiest way to develop top-notch products for a fair price.
The advantages and disadvantages of this outsourcing method include:
| || |
Beyond this, you can also classify mobile app development teams by type of cooperation. Let’s dive right into that.
Classification Type 2. By Type of Cooperation
We can further group outsourcing into three types, based on the type of cooperation agreement with the development company.
Model 1. Dedicated Development Team
A dedicated development team is a workforce of experts hired and managed by a vendor to help startups design, develop, and manage applications. This team is employed full-time, and they work full-time according to stipulated workflow, intending to achieve expected goals.
The model of outsourcing is best suited for:
- Financially robust startups with a penchant for capturing their target market quickly;
- Startups that want to embark on a long-term project in the most economical way possible;
- Startups that lack the time and resources to undertake a recruitment process;
- Startups need rare skills to build sophisticated functionalities within their project.
Opt for a dedicated team if the information above appropriately exemplifies your startup:
Model 2. Expanding your Team with External Resources
Here, the team gets needed experts from a vendor and adds to the in-house team. The workflow and overall project outcome are managed fully by the startup.
Also, the development of sensitive features is kept within the startup’s network for more guaranteed security. Here’s an example of how this outsourcing model works:
Let’s say you plan to build a multi-vendor app, and you lack the expertise of a designer that knows how to design an app. You can outsource a UI/UX designer from a vendor to complete the project.
With this model, you’re guaranteed to reduce recruitment costs. You’ll also maintain a top-notch overview of your workforce’s workflow rate.
Model 3. Hiring Resources on a Project Basis
This outsourcing model works in direct opposition to the dedicated app development team outsourcing pattern. Here, outsource the development of functionality within a product to a workforce of developers. What do we mean?
Say, for example, that you’re trying to build an EdTech mobile app. Such products will have a set of different features according to the role system: an Administrator’s, Teacher’s, and User’s features.
Your in-house development team may develop the product’s backend while outsourcing the admin & user dashboards development to an external team.
You should opt for this model if your startup:
- Lack of a much-needed skill due to the sudden withdrawal of a team member;
- Need a time-saving solution;
- Needs to develop functionality that’s alien to the team.
Now that you’re acquainted with the classifications and types of app development workforce let’s elucidate on the cost of hiring one.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Dedicated App Development Team?
The cost of hiring a dedicated mobile app development team ranges between $6000 to $24,000 and more per month. It depends on the number of developers, their skillset, and experience.
But note that different stages of app creation cost differently. For example, the price of app design is around 10% of the overall development cost.
Meanwhile, the marketing could cost x2-x3 more than the development budget.
As a basis for this calculation, we’ll be assuming you’re trying to build a neobank application. You’ll need a team of 4 app developers for 6 months.
|Location||Average cost, $|
Now that you’re acquainted with the cost implication of hiring an app team, let’s help with the steps to hire an app development team.
3 Steps to Hiring a Dedicated App Development Team
Before hiring a dedicated app development team, it’s sacrosanct to know what makes an excellent team and appropriately vet every prospect based on that standard.
Here’s an outline of the three most important steps to choosing an ideal outsourcing partner:
- Search for your ideal team offline and online;
- Check each prospect to ensure capacity to develop according to stipulated workflow;
- Use third-party authority services to verify your prospective partner.
Let’s go over the basics of each of the steps described above.
Step 1. Find yourself a Suitable Team
There’s no broad definition of what constitutes a qualified team, as it’s subjective to the startup. A suitable team for startup A may be grossly unsuitable for startup B. It all depends on the app idea and preference.
As such, you should search for a preferred team yourself.
You can find a team on social media platforms and freelance websites via the internet. You can also find a team offline by seeking a referral from a trusted friend or by attending a tech startup conference.
Below is a spreadsheet of where founders hire mobile app developers:
|Where to Find||Details|
|Freelance platforms||Freelance platforms host some of the most noteworthy dedicated teams. Some examples of freelance platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal. |
Most of these platforms have features that allow past clients to review the teams’ services and rate them. These reviews give you insight into the team’s development services.
|Business listings||These are platforms that give detailed information on businesses within a sector. |
As it pertains to hiring an app development team, you should use Clutch. The platform provides B2B research, reviews, and ratings on companies in the IT sector.
|Search engine||By simply typing “hire an app development team” in the text field of search engine platforms like Duckduckgo, Bing, Google, etc. |
Doing this pops up numerous search results to help you find an ideal team.
|LinkedIn is a platform for professionals around the world to showcase their qualifications. With over 800 million members and a presence in more than 200 countries, it can help you find a development team. |
To hire an app development workforce, register as a recruiter, select the skills you’re looking for, and navigate through the list of options on your screen.
|Online meetups||A great way to get an app development team is networking with vendors in online startup meetups. Examples of such events are IndieHackers, OnlineGeniuses, and the UK Startup’s Conference.|
|Your network||If you have a good network of tech entrepreneurs, vendors, and industry authority figures, you should ask these people. Quite often, they’ll have interfaced with dedicated teams.|
Beyond knowing where to hire high-quality app programmers, you should know the tricks to identify the best team.
Step 2. Choose the Most Suitable Option
Settling for an option out of many can be difficult. To go for the best option, first carry out extensive research on every development company on your list, then validate their claims, and create a template for proper communication.
Here’s how to choose the best team.
Do an Independent Research
Independent research gives you a top-notch overview of some important metrics about the company. For example, it’ll give you an idea of what past clients think about them and the team’s skillset.
At the end of your independent research, your choice should be one that can deliver on your project requirement.
Check the company’s page on Clutch and Goodfirm.
Here’s a checklist of things to check during research:
- Project portfolio
- Client reviews and testimonials
- Funds raised by startups they’ve developed for
- Team’s location
- Hourly rate
Once you’re okay with the information gotten about the team, it’s time to start communicating your idea.
Communicate with the Team
Once you’ve seen a development company you’ll like to partner with, start communicating with them.
It’s best to begin your discussion by calling them to introduce your startup and what you’d like to accomplish with the partnership. Watch out for good communication strategies during this process and ensure they’re enthusiastic about developing your idea.
Discuss how to bridge time zone differences, your preferred milestones, and overall deliverable.
Step 3. Formalize your Agreement
A word-of-mouth agreement without signing necessary documents holds no water. It’s sacrosanct to legally bind what you’ve agreed on to keep the software development agency aboard with the project.
Do the following before making any payment.
Document 1. Non-Disclosure Agreement
A non-disclosure agreement is a piece of document binding all parties involved in a contract from divulging corporate secrets about any of the parties involved.
Keep in mind that vendors also outsource key development processes. As such, ensure you craft your NDA in a way that covers all parties involved in developing, launching, and management.
Document 2. Contract
The contract is a document that lays out the specific terms of agreements, such as the time frame for the completion of the app, expected deliverables, and payment timelines.
Here’s a checklist of what a detailed contract should entail:
- Hourly rate with a detailed breakdown of estimated timeframe if it’s a project-based contract;
- Potential discounts;
- Invoicing and payment protocols;
- Credit periods and limits;
- Warranty timeframes and conditions.
If you apply the steps above, you’ll be able to hire a seasoned team that’s capable of delivering at an expected timeline.
Below is a shortcut to hiring a great app development service at a fair price.
Interested in Hiring an App Development Team?
Getting a great in-house for startups is a significant challenge. However, with the help of a dedicated app development team, you can eliminate that cumbersome process.
Get started on your tech project by hiring the best-dedicated app developers with us.
Here is a summary of our detailed guide. Learn the top tips to help you hire a dedicated mobile app development team and the top reasons to do so.