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How to Hire a Dedicated Development Team in Ukraine: A Step-by-Step Guide

Vira Kostohlad

Vira Kostohlad

Head of Recruting

12 min

Looking to augment your software engineering team with top talent from Ukraine? 

This guide covers everything you need to know about hiring dedicated developers in this growing tech hub.

We’ll discuss:

  • The key benefits of building your dev team in Ukraine including access to high-quality engineers at affordable rates
  • Real-world examples of US companies that have already tapped into the Ukrainian talent pool
  • Budgeting considerations – how much it costs to hire a dedicated team in Ukraine
  • Finding and vetting the right partner for your needs
  • Managing common outsourcing challenges like legal and security issues

And if you prefer skimming highlights to reading paragraphs, check out the infographic summary at the end.

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Why Hire a Dedicated Team in Ukraine?

Ukraine is one of the juiciest destinations for many the US and European startups due to its competitive prices, exceptional work, and huge talent pool.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing war, Ukraine’s outsourcing sector saw a 20% increase in 2023. In the same 2023, the country’s IT outsourcing accounted for 8.3% of its total export.

Below are some reasons to consider opting for a dedicated team.

1. Cost Savings

Opting for Ukraine-based software developers, either by dedicated software development team model or outstaffing, is a more cost-effective option than hiring Western Europeans or Americans. How?

According to this article, costs related to software development vary with location. For example, hiring a US-based developer will cost about 120-150$ per hour, while the UK and Australian-based ones both cost 100-120$ an hour. However, a Ukrainian developer will cost $30-50 hourly.

Note: A dedicated Ukraine-based team may bill you higher than this depending on the functionality, project complexity, project methodology, and onboarding process.

Beyond cost, another benefit to hiring an agency in Ukraine is the quality of deliverables.

2. Quality Talent

As any tech lead knows, there’s no substitute for quality coding. Poor code often results in bugs, technical debt, cost overruns, and missed deadlines. So it may be surprising to some, but Ukrainian developers write better codes than US-based coders.

A report released by HackerRank shows that Ukraine-based developers are much better than those domiciled in the US or the UK. The statistic rated the US software developers 27th globally on 550 technical assessments. In contrast, Ukrainian application developers ranked 5th globally.

Other than quality, another benefit to outsourcing to Ukraine is the country’s talent pool. Let’s also talk a bit about that.

3. Deep Talent Pool

Ukraine has more than 200,000 IT specialists, and this figure keeps growing at an astronomical rate. Beyond this, over 20,000 graduates from IT-related sources enter the nation’s IT sphere yearly. With that in mind, it’s safe to conclude that Ukraine has one of the world’s largest bodies of IT specialists.

Another reason to patronize a Ukrainian tech agency is the nation’s tech community. What does that mean?

4. Vibrant Tech Community

Ukraine has a vibrant tech community. The country houses some of the largest European tech events, including Dev_Challenge, Lviv IT Arena, and the Agile Eastern Europe Conference. The Eastern European nation also features a significant IT community and clusters that hold frequent conferences and meetups.

The nation’s tech community has proven itself as a leader in some noteworthy tech stacks. Let’s dwell on that a bit.

The illustration shows some of the reasons why it is worth hiring a dedicated team in Ukraine

5. Knowledge of the Latest Tech Stacks

Ukraine-based software developers have expertise in a variety of tech stacks. According to the Ukraine Digital News and Aventures, the most proficient programming languages in the country are:

  • Javascript (18.4%)
  • Java (15.4%)
  • C# (13.7%)
  • Python (13.2%)
  • PHP (10.8%)

Another LinkedIn research shows the spread of program-specific developers. This report shows that the country has 9,000 PHP developers, 8,000 Javascript developers, 8,000 Java developers, 3,000 Python developers, and 1,000 Ruby on Rails Software developers.

Ukraine is currently the best globally by several high-quality C++ engineers and Unity 3D developers. It’s ranked second in the number of Magneto, Scala, and JavaScript developers.

The software development outsourcing industry in Ukraine has the 3rd highest number of developers for PHP, Symfony, Ruby, ASP.NET, Python, and Node.js languages.

Thus, Ukraine is a suitable location if you’re interested in hiring a dedicated web development team or assembling an app development team here.

6. Strong Work Ethic and Cultural Fit

Due to the significant disparity in earnings of junior and senior-level professionals, Ukrainian developers are very motivated to advance faster. As such, Ukrainian developers are committed to their jobs.

Beyond financial perks, 82% of software developers in the country say they work in software development because they’re interested in the technology. Programmers in Eastern Europe tend to rely on clear requirements and detailed planning. And as soon as they have a clear understanding of your requirements, they intuitively create your desired solution.

Ukrainian developers are generally communicative, and open-minded, and share western culture and values.

7. English Language Proficiency

Another statistic about the country that’s worthy of note is that 85% of developers in outsourcing speak English. This is because some Ukrainian software outsourcing companies make English fluency a criterion for selecting their developers.

Also, most software development and IT outsourcing agencies in Ukraine offer free English classes for their employees. This increases their proficiency.

With this in mind, you can benefit maximally from the nation’s talent pool as there’ll be little or no language barrier.

The illustration shows the reasons why you should hire a dedicated software development team in Ukraine

8. Overlapping Time Zone

Ukraine is geographically located in a time zone that’s an hour to most European countries. Ukraine-based developers share 7 out of 9 business hours with most western nations.

For comparison, a London-based startup collaborating with a software development agency in the Philippines only shares three business hours.

Ukraine’s timezone makes it very convenient for nearshoring as it guarantees smooth workflow and communication between dispersed teams.

The nation is also well suited as a preferred offshore choice for US-based startups. The 7-hour time zone difference between the East Coast and Ukraine provides more suitable shared working hours than the Philippines, Vietnam, India, and other prominent outsourcing destinations.

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9. Globally Recognized Tech Hub

Top-notch tech products and collaborating effectively with foreign tech startups make Ukraine stand out in web development outsourcing or app development outsourcing.

As of now, it holds numerous awards as the most desirable region for tech outsourcing. For example, it ranks first in the category of Outsourcing Marketing in Eastern Europe Ranking.

The country also ranks first in the Science and Technology category of The Good Country Index. It’s also worthy of note that many tech giants like Huawei, Samsung, Oracle, and Microsoft have an R&D office there.

Illustration shows why it is worth hiring a dedicated team of Ukrainian product developers

As an inspiration to outsource with an East Europe country, we’ll discuss some startups doing that.

3 Well-Known Companies with Ukrainian Dev Teams

Below is a compendium of well-funded startups that outsource development to Ukraine through IT outsourcing vendors. This list has startups that have raised more than $2M and are fast-growing.

Example 1. SMARTLING

Smartling is a startup that helps localize content across various platforms and devices through its cloud-based translation management system.

What’s awesome about Smartling: is they were declared a leader in the “G2 Crowd Grid for Translation Management”.

In early 2023, the company reported a 211% year-over-year increase.

Vimeo, Kodak, Shutterstock, Spotify, TED, Pinterest, and Slideshare are among the company’s clients.

Start DateTarget MarketHeadquartersRaised Fund
2009Smartling targets startups that want a multilingual product.New York, USA$223.1 million

Example 2. SHAPE

Shape is a Germany-based startup that offers several products under various categories, including social networking, entertainment, utilities, and productivity.

Its cut-out solution is an IM+, iDisplay, Business Card Reader, Sicher with millions of users.

Shape has formed noteworthy alliances with leading tech companies and online distributors such as Apple, Oracle, Google, and more within the last decade.

The startup is undoubtedly a leading web-based services provider and independent vendor. The company currently uses software engineers based in Odesa, Ukraine.

Start DateTarget AudienceHeadquartersRaised Fund
1999The company’s target audience is end-users and customers in need of software products.Stuttgart, Germany$10 million

Example 3. ELEMENTUM

Elementum is a US-based startup that automates supply chain processes. It also helps to unify logistics, procurement, inventory, and manufacturing operations in real-time.

Elementum has won a wide range of awards, part of which include Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work. BASF was one of the first startups to leverage Elementum’s technology.

Now, the company’s solution is being used by Dyson, Office Depot, OSI, Flex, and many more. Elementum’s development team is currently located in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Start dateTarget AudienceHeadquartersRaised Fund
2012Elementum is a B2B startup that targets businesses with complex logistics structures.California, United States$67 million
This picture describes examples of well-known companies that hire Ukrainian development teams for their own projects

Now that you’re inspired to outsource your software development process to a Ukrainian IT company let’s educate you on your options.

Cost to Hire a Ukrainian Team for Web Development

A software vendor builds a product development team from the ground up. Albeit, this team is tailored to fit a client’s expectations and project requirements.

The offshore development team takes care of recruiting team members and aligns the team’s workflow with laid out developmental processes.

In the instance of an external and internal team, the vendor may help to synchronize the team effort to ensure top-notch effectiveness.

Let’s elucidate further on the different team models available.

1. Long-Term Dedicated Team

One of the most prominent outsourcing models is partnering with an offshore development team for long-term goals.

This model often consists of remote software engineers and support professionals that are tasked with designing, building, and maintaining software according to project expectations.

The workforce employed by the vendor work full-time on your project.

This project is best suited for:

  • Well-funded, long-term continuous projects;
  • Startups that lack the resources or time to hire developers in-house;
  • Lack of technical expertise needed to develop and manage a project within your product among in-house developers.

Opt for this option if it aligns with your expectations.

The illustration shows the first model of hiring a dedicated product development team from Ukraine, based on long-term cooperation

2. Expanding Your Existing Team

The crux of this model centers around outsourcing to an expert with a specific skill you need in your in-house team. This outsourcing model ensures that strategic competencies remain within the confines of your office environment. This production outsourcing model centers around time and materials contracts.

Let’s take this example for a better understanding of this outsourcing model. Let’s assume you need 1 or 2 back-end developers with technical expertise in Python: you can approach a vendor to provide you with a suitable Python developer with requisite years of experience.

With this outsourcing model, your startup reduces project management, ingestion, and payroll cost. It also gives your full control over the team’s workflow and productivity.

Lastly, this model cancels out cumber recruitment processes and employment formalities.

The illustration shows the second model of hiring a dedicated product development team from Ukraine, necessary to expand your team

3. Project-Based Team

This outsourcing model is quite antagonistic to the first described model. How? It involves hiring a team of developers to execute a single task for your team. For example, let’s say your product is a website builder.

The development process consists of a subset of projects: template constructor, collaborative review tool, drag-and-drop constructor, and so on.

Due to the project’s complexity, your in-house team may build a template constructor and co-review tool, while the drag-and-drop constructor is developed by the outsourced team.

In this outsourcing model, a startup outlines a list of deliverables they want to a development service provider.

Then the founder discusses their expectation with the team’s project manager or a business analyst. These professionals then communicate the expectation to their team members and ensure the team meets set-out milestones.

This outsourcing model works best for startups in need of:

  • A quick solution;
  • A cost-efficient workflow;
  • A sophisticated one-off project with quick deliverables.
This picture describes the third model of hiring a special product development team from Ukraine, based on a project-based approach

Now that you understand the different Ukrainian outsourcing options at your disposal let’s elucidate on software development costs in the country.

Ukraine Software Development Rates

The average developer salary in Ukraine ranges from $2k to $5k a month. The exact amount you’ll pay a developer depends on the developer’s level of experience and location.

Software developers’ rates in Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, and Kyiv range widely between $24k and $72k yearly.

Here’s a spreadsheet showing software developers’ rates for Python and Javascript:

Seniority levelJavascriptPython
Junior$1,300 – $1,900$1,100 – $2,100
Middle$2,000 – $3,500$2,100 – $3,600
Senior$3,500 – $6,000$3,600 – $6,500

Now that you know the cost software developers in Ukraine charge. Let’s discuss further the cost implication of outsourcing to a Ukrainian development center.

Budget for a Dedicated Ukrainian Team

The cost of hiring a dedicated development team in Ukraine varies from $6,000 to $10,000 per month.

The exact cost depends on a range of factors. Among them are the number of developers, seniority level, technology experience, English level, and much more.

Consider the case when you need to hire a 7 people team to develop a web platform in 6 months: a project manager, a business analyst, an UX/UI designer, a backend developer, a frontend developer, a QA tester, and a DevOps.

Eastern Europe, in general, offers one of the cheapest dedicated teams.

To better understand the cost implication of hiring a Ukraine-based dedicated team, we’ll discuss the cost as it relates to other nations.

LocationAverage cost, $
The USA210,000
The UK170,000
Western Europe120,000
South Asia40,000

The above spreadsheet shows that outsourcing companies in high-income nations generally charge more than those in middle-income ones. As such, the primary determinant of the cost of implementing a dedicated team model is location.

Note: In your quest to find cheap alternatives, avoid outsourcing to ridiculously cheap software development companies.

Now that you’re acquainted with the cost of hiring a dedicated team, let’s discuss the steps to hiring one.

How to Hire a Ukrainian Team

You can hire a dedicated development team in Ukraine by surfing for a vendor online. Or offline through your network and verifying that their talent pool fits your expectations.

Having a successful time sourcing for a team depends on these:

  • Know where to find a Ukrainian development team;
  • Knowing how to evaluate and choose a team;
  • Identify ways to hire a team.

Let’s carefully discuss each point to make your tech talent outsourcing in Ukraine a success.

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Where to Find Ukrainian Developers

The most popular way to find an offshore talent pool to increase your team size is online. There’s also an offline option, but it requires having a broad network of tech experts or having someone in Ukraine to help with the search.

Below is a spreadsheet of where a founder can find needed talent

Where to FindDetails
Freelance platformsYou can do this by streamlining your search on popular freelance platforms to software agencies in Ukraine. A great platform for this is Upwork.
Business listingsBusiness listings like Clutch help to detail a list of companies in the IT market. You can streamline your search to Ukraine for optimized results.
Online meetupsUkraine hosts some of the most prominent online meetups. Examples of such online meetups are IT Arena, iForum, etc.
Your NetworkReferrals account for over 30% of new hires. As such, a seasoned tech founder can easily ask within its network for referrals.
The illustration shows online sources through which you can find Ukrainian development teams

Let’s discuss how to choose the most suitable Ukrainian team for your project.

Choosing the Best Team Fit

Choosing the best-fit developers from your options can be difficult. Irrespective of their claims, you’ll have to extensively research, validate their claims, and establish a communication model.

Below is a detailed exposé of how to make an apt choice.

1. Carry out an Independent Research

Research about the company on platforms like Clutch or Good Firms. During the research, check for the following:

  • Location (popular locations are Kharkiv, Lviv, Kyiv)
  • Hourly rate
  • Reviews on clutch
  • Project portfolio
  • Tech stack

Once you have those boxes ticked, the next line is to open communication with the team.

2. Communicate with Your Team

As statistics show, 85% of developers in the Ukrainian IT market speak English. Thus, language shouldn’t be a barrier.

Properly detail the founder’s idea, expected deliverable, and timeline as a startup. You should schedule a one-on-one call to discuss a proper engagement model and iron out your differences.

An excellent communication model helps to create an effective product development workflow. Which in helps your marketing and sales team to turn leads to customers with higher user satisfaction and a noteworthy retention rate.

3. Conclude Necessary Agreements

Once you’ve identified a suitable team, the next step is to make your agreement legally binding. Notable ways to do this include:

  • Sign a Non-disclosure agreement
  • Get a detailed and transparent contract

Note: You must regularly measure the performance of your offshore team. Find gaps, and establish ways to fill them.

The illustration shows basic steps to go through in order to choose the most suitable dedicated team in Ukraine

Common Outsourcing Challenges

Challenges such as security and legal issues prevent some tech companies from outsourcing to Ukraine. Let’s dig deeper.

1. Legal Considerations

There’s intellectual property sharing when developing software projects, and it also includes financial exchange. When hiring a development team, ensure that you sign these three documents:

  • Software requirements specification (SRS)
  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
  • Statement of Work (SOW)

Once those documents are signed, then your software is appropriately protected from a legal stance.

2. Security Concerns

One of the most significant concerns for startups is security. This is primarily a course of worry because you’re trusting newly found entities with sensitive information.

However, this won’t be a problem if you’re partnering with a vendor of repute. Also, Ukraine has laws to protect contracts and prosecute hackers.

Illustration shows problems you may encounter when working with a dedicated development team in Ukraine

Looking for a Reliable Dev Team?

Hiring a dedicated development team in Ukraine is a smart way to get quality software engineering talent and significant cost savings.

As you’ve seen, top US companies are already taking advantage of this rapidly growing tech hub.

The result? You get an expanded, motivated squad of technical experts working in perfect sync with your in-house staff.

If you’re ready to hire your own high-performance Ukrainian developers, SpdLoad can help.

As a leading Ukraine software development company, we’ve been connecting US startups and enterprises with our talented engineers for over 10 years.

Get in touch today to discuss building a dedicated team tailored to your specific needs and budget.

Let’s take the first step toward scaling your business with top 1% of technical talent!

Bonus Infographic

Here is a summary of our detailed guide. Learn the step-by-step process of hiring a dedicated development team in Ukraine, the main reasons for hiring, and the benefits of the dedicated development team in Ukraine.

This infographic describes the detailed process of how to hire a dedicated development team in Ukraine with the main reasons and benefits

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