How To Find A Software Developer For A Startup?

Finding developers for a startup business is a challenging task for several reasons. The primary obstacle startups face when hiring software developers is that most developers (excluding newcomers to the market) are hesitant to work for a startup. Factors such as low salaries, job security, work-life balance, and uncertain futures deter them from joining a startup. Despite the shorter hiring process at startups, developers still prefer to work for large enterprises.

Because of these reasons, startup ventures find it exceedingly challenging to recruit software developers. If you’re running a startup, this information might come as a blow, and we completely understand why you wouldn’t be thrilled about it. However, don’t jump to conclusions too quickly, as we have plenty of positive news for you in the blog.

Sometimes, even large companies and enterprises face significant challenges in finding top talent, particularly professional software developers. According to a recent survey, a staggering 64% of senior tech executives feel that sourcing skilled workers for their job openings is becoming increasingly difficult, if not significantly tougher.

Startups often opt for the outsourcing route as it is a more convenient, effortless, and cost-effective method of finding developers for small businesses. Additionally, there are numerous other advantages to working with an outsourced software development company, such as access to a pool of talent, flexibility, scalability, access to the latest technologies, reduced management burden, and many more.

In this blog, we will explore various topics that are essential for startups to consider before hiring software developers. We are confident that as a startup owner if you read through this blog, you will face no challenges in finding a software developer for your startup.

How Startup Owners Can Hire The Right Software Developers For Their Startup Ventures (5 Simple Steps)

Start-up owners are discussing how to hire a software developer for their new business

Step#1: Decide what you’re passionate about building

Most software fails because the project owner or the team working on it lacks a clear idea of what they are building. This occurs when the research and planning phase is not executed properly. Poor communication is another contributing factor to software failures.

According to a report 44% of software development projects fail due to the both project owner and the team working on it aren’t on the same page. That being said, it’s critical for both parties to be on the same wavelength before kickstarting the project. Most importantly, regardless of the type of software, there must be an objective or goal that the software will serve so be clear with it. 

There are a bunch of questions that you need to answer to hire a startup software developer.

  1. What is the goal of the project or software product?
  2. How the intended target audience will use the product?
  3. What problems will it address?
  4. What tools will be required to build the software?
  5. What users are my primary target?

Step#2: Pick The Employment Model That Suits Your Budget And Prioritise

Once you’re clear on what needs to be built, the next step is to choose the staffing structure. Generally, there are three common employment models: project-based, hiring a dedicated team, and staff augmentation. If you ask us which is best among them, it’s hard to say because each is appropriate based on respective conditions and project scope.

The first and most popular option is the project-based model. This choice is ideal when you’re clear about what needs to be built. All you need to do is communicate it with the software development team, and they will begin working on it. This option is beneficial when the project owner is well-informed about the technical aspects of the software. The team remains with you from the planning phase, the first phase of the software development cycle, to the last phase, which is the launch. Another advantage is that the team is paid once, as it’s a one-time job.

The second option, staff augmentation, allows you to bridge skill or technical gaps in your current in-house team. If you already have an in-house team and mistakenly opt for the project-based model, you’ll end up with two teams working on the same project. This not only increases the budget but may also create conflicts. However, if your development team can handle 90% of the tasks and only 10% requires additional expertise, you just need to hire someone for that specific job.

The last hiring model option is suitable when the project owner lacks clarity about what needs to be built, often occurring when the project owner isn’t a technical expert. In this hiring model, a development team is hired at the project’s outset. The client shares the project idea with them, and the team proceeds to work on and build it.

Step#3: Define The Job And Search For Candidates

The clearer, easier to understand, and more detailed your job description is, the better chance you have of hiring a professional and suitable software developer for your startup. You might be wondering why this is the case. Simply put, by providing comprehensive details about the role, only candidates with the relevant skill set will apply. This approach offers two primary benefits: firstly, only qualified individuals will apply, and secondly, you’ll avoid sifting through countless resumes, ultimately streamlining the hiring process for a software developer for your startup. However, for this strategy to succeed, the project owner must possess a strong understanding of technology in order to craft a job description that attracts the right talent.

Once you’ve crafted the job description, it’s time to begin the candidate search. If you aim to build an in-house team, platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter are suitable for posting the job. Alternatively, if you prefer to hire freelancers, which can be a cost-effective approach for startup software development, consider platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Another option is to hire a software developer for your startup through websites like Quanrio or by reaching out to software development companies. The easiest way to discover such companies is by exploring platforms like GoodFirms, Clutch, and SoftwareWorld.

Step#4: Conduct the Interview 

Software development encompasses more than just writing code, which is why conducting a thorough interview process is crucial. Elevating the process to a professional level involves conducting 3-4 stages of interviews, with the candidate passing all stages deemed best suited for the job. Simply put, a single interview won’t suffice; at least three interviews are necessary.

Here are the 3 stages of interviews for software developers:

Stage #1: Screening Interview

In the first stage, a brief interview is conducted either over the phone or via video conferencing. This interview, typically conducted by an HR specialist, focuses on discussing basic aspects of the candidate, such as qualifications, technical skills, and overall suitability for the role. Questions may revolve around the candidate’s experience, technical proficiency, and career aspirations. This stage helps companies shortlist candidates for the subsequent, more comprehensive interview.

Stage #2: Technical Interview

The second stage assesses technical skills, coding proficiency, and problem-solving abilities. An interview is arranged between the candidate and a senior software developer or someone more knowledgeable. Depending on the company and role, technical interviews may involve coding challenges, algorithmic problem-solving, system design discussions, and whiteboard exercises.

Stage #3: Behavioral Interview

If a candidate successfully navigates the previous stages, there’s a high probability of being hired. In this interview, less tangible yet crucial skills such as soft skills, communication abilities, and cultural fit within the organization are evaluated. Interviewers may also gauge the candidate’s motivation, work ethic, and alignment with the company’s values and mission. This stage holds significance as poor communication skills may render a candidate unsuitable for certain software development roles.

Step#5: Start The Job 

When all the things are finalized between both the company and the software developer. Then a date is finalized to start the work.

5 Platforms To Hire Software Developers For Start-Ups

two software developer are working of a software development projects hired from different platforms

1. Quanrio (Leading Software Development Company For Start-Ups)

Quanrio is a professional custom software development company for startups, assisting both new and existing ventures with their software development services. They offer exceptional service, particularly to startup businesses, believing that bespoke software tailored to address each business’s unique challenges is crucial for success in today’s competitive digital market.

You can hire the following professionals from Quanrio 

  • Software developers
  • Mobile app developers
  • Web app developers
  • Website developers
  • UI/UX design
  • Branding
  • QA Specialist
  • Frontend developers
  • Backend developers

2. Upwork (top-tier freelancing platform) 

The next incredible platform for hiring freelance software developers for startups is Upwork. Undoubtedly, Upwork stands as the largest freelancing platform globally. With hundreds and thousands of software developers already registered, finding one won’t be a challenge. To turn your software startup idea into reality, all you need is a team of software developers that you can easily hire from Upwork. To hire one, simply post a job with a detailed job description. Once the job is posted, freelance developers will bid on your job post. Then, you can screen candidates and arrange meetings with the selected ones.

What’s the per-hour rate of software developers from Upwork?

The per-hour rate of software developers from Upwork starts from $15 and goes as high as $120. 

3. Fiver (Most Popular Freelance Marketplace)

One of the simplest ways to find a software developer for startups is through Fiverr. It’s widely utilized by large enterprises, small businesses, and startup ventures to recruit software developers for their teams. On Fiverr, you’ll discover Python developers, Ruby developers, PHP developers, Java developers, and experts in various other languages and frameworks used for custom software development. Additionally, Fiverr offers a range of services beyond software development, particularly beneficial for startups, such as web development, logo design, graphic design, social media management, mobile app development, and more.

How to hire a freelance software developer from Fiver?

First, create a free account, and then search for the service you need for your startup. If you’re looking for software development services, search for “software developer” or “startup software development”. Upon searching, a list of freelancers will appear. Select the most suitable candidate by reviewing previous client feedback on their profile. Conduct interviews, and if they meet your requirements, you can hire them and commence work.

4. Aloa (one of the best platforms for start-ups)

Aloa stands out as one of the most prominent names in the world of startup software development. Whether you’re seeking a full-scale team to bring your software idea to fruition or aiming to bridge skill gaps within an existing team, Aloa is your go-to solution.

What makes Aloa One of the premier platforms for startups?

  • You’ll discover the world’s top software developers on Aloa, courtesy of its extensive partner network that has meticulously vetted over 10,000 software agencies globally to identify and recruit top talent.
  • Monitoring your software project is paramount, particularly for startups, as errors could result in significant costs. This platform ensures you remain updated on the project’s progress at every stage of the cycle.
  • Should you encounter any challenges during the software development process, rest assured that the Aloa team is readily available to assist you, from initial consultations to project completion.

5. GitHub

GitHub is renowned as the largest and most esteemed open-source community for developers, with over 100 million active members shaping the future of software and sharing their expertise. For startups, it serves as an invaluable platform for accessing affordable software developers. Here, developers showcase their web or app development projects, enabling you to choose someone with experience relevant to your own project. Moreover, an impressive 90% of software developers worldwide currently utilize GitHub, spanning both newcomers and seasoned professionals. This means you can easily hire a developer with less experience who fits within your budget and meets your requirements.

Why hiring a freelancer software developer is a better option for start-ups than building an in-house development team?

Always remember, whether you’re hiring a freelance software developer or building an in-house team, it will never come for free. In the end, you’ll have to compensate for the work, either through salaries or the total project budget. However, it’s crucial to consider that there’s a significant difference in cost when comparing hiring an in-house team with a freelance software developer.

For startups operating on a tight budget where every penny counts, building an in-house team can pose significant financial challenges.

Here are a few more reasons why hiring a freelance software developer is a better option for startups than building an in-house development team:

1. Freelancers offer unmatched flexibility and scalability

When you hire an in-house development team, you have to pay them whether or not there is work available, which can be challenging for startups operating on a tight budget. Conversely, if you opt for freelancers, they are hired on a project basis, meaning you only pay them for the work they do.

Another common issue for startups is the fluctuation in project availability. If a startup doesn’t have a project, they still have to pay their in-house team. However, this isn’t the case with freelance developers. Startups can easily onboard additional freelancers when a project arises.

2. Access To Diverse Skill Sets With Freelance Hiring Model

Freelance developers are often more experienced than in-house development teams. This is because they have worked on numerous projects across different industries, gaining insights into various niches and becoming proficient with a wide range of tools.

Startups face the challenge of not being able to hire a complete in-house team all at once. Building a full software development team using the in-house method can take more than a year. Therefore, if a startup requires a specific skill that isn’t readily available within their current team, they can hire a freelance startup developer without the need for long-term commitment.

3. Start-ups can develop and launch products faster

As we all know, building an in-house software development team is a time-consuming process. On average, it takes more than a year to establish a full-scale software development team. For startups, this timeframe can be even longer, as they are new to the market and face challenges in attracting software developers, with 90% of them preferring established businesses over startups. Consequently, if you’re aiming to develop and launch a product urgently, achieving this with an in-house team can be impractical. Firstly, you’ll need to complete the assembly of your in-house team, which could take months, if not a year.

On the other hand, opting for freelancers allows you to create and launch the product much faster compared to an in-house team. Hiring freelancers takes only a few days or a week. Moreover, due to their experience working on various projects, freelancers tend to be more proficient and skillful than in-house developers who often work on similar projects. In essence, startups can swiftly assemble teams with the right mix of skills to address specific project requirements.

How much does it cost to hire a software developer for a start-up?

The cost of hiring a software developer for start-ups is based on multiple factors.

Some of them are described briefly below.

1. Location has a major impact on the cost of hiring a software developer

If you hire a software developer for your start-up from regions like North America or Europe (US, Canada, UK, and Germany) the cost will be significantly higher than hiring a software developer from regions like Asia and Africa (Pakistan, India, and Nigeria).

The per-hour rate for software developers from the United States is $59. On the other hand, the per-hour rate of software developers from India is $9-15.

2. The experience of the hired software developer affects the cost

If a software developer is new in the market (less than 1 year of experience) he will ask for a lower salary than a software developer with more than 5 years of experience. 

The per-hour rate of a junior software developer is $33/hr. The per-hour rate of a senior software developer is $88,316/yr.

3. A Software developer with more Skills costs Higher

A software developer who is well-informed or familiar with the latest technologies and in-demand programming languages will cost you more.

The per-hour rate of a professional software developer who can do multiple things is between $75 and $115 per hour.

4. Employment Type Influences the Cost 

The type of hiring or employment can significantly impact the cost of software development. Freelancers typically cost less than establishing an in-house team, while outsourcing a software development project to a third-party company is also usually less expensive than maintaining an in-house team. In summary, opting for an in-house team generally results in higher costs compared to any other employment type. However, it comes with its own set of benefits that freelancers or outsourced development companies might not offer.

5. Benefits and Perks to Software Developers 

If you opt to go with an in-house development team you have to offer several benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, flexible work arrangements, paid time off, and employee wellness programs.

In the case of freelancers, all you need to do is pay the fixed per-hour rate which was finalized at the start of the contract.


How do I find a startup software developer?

Typically, there are three ways you can hire a software developer for your startup. Firstly, you can establish an in-house development team. The second option is to outsource the project to a software development team or hire software developers from them. Lastly, you can visit freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to hire freelance software developers from there.

What is the cost of hiring a software developer for a start-up?

The cost of hiring a software developer for a startup varies depending on several factors such as location, experience, skill set, and employment type. On average, the hourly rate for a software developer at a startup ranges from $35 to $55.

What are some of the challenges faced by start-ups when hiring a software developer?

Some of the challenges encountered by startups when hiring software developers include offering lower salaries, concerns about job security, maintaining work-life balance, and uncertainty about the future. Software developers often prefer to work for large enterprises or established businesses rather than startups.