how to hire a top-notch developer dedicated only to your project

How To Hire A Team of Developers Without A Pesky Recruiter

Hire a team of software developers who can start almost immediately without needing to pay recruiter fees

IT professionals are constantly in demand because the talent pool of software developers is limited in most geographies. The UK, Europe, and the US are no exception.

In the UK, we are seeing a general widening of the skill shortage of digital specialists:

Over a million recruits are needed into the digital specialist workforce by 2023. 42% of employers recruiting digital specialists are already struggling to fill their vacancies, according to Tech Partnership Report.

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When you are looking to hire a team of developers, your first thought might be to consult a recruiter.

One of the main concerns about recruitment services is the cost because the average recruitment fee in the IT sector in the US is 20% of the hired developer’s salary. In Ukraine, an offshore destination, the price isn’t much lower, equaling 15% of the wages of the hired developer. And if the company needs to hire a development team, they should be ready to increase the budget.

Secondly, as indicated above, some vacancies are challenging for software developer recruiters to fill because available talent does not exist in the UK or the US, but remote developers can satisfy demand.

And thirdly, it can take months and months to fill a position with an in-house developer, particularly in cities like London, where there are only 0.4 candidates for every digital job posting.

We, however, live in a digital world with other options to hire software developers without needing a recruiter. In our previous articles, we’ve already hinted at one possible solution to the issue of finding a dedicated team of developers (first point below).

Traditional recruitment services alternatives: where to hire a team of developers

1. Ask your professional circles for a referral

It is often an excellent first step in the hiring process as employees in the IT industry, on average, change jobs every 3-4 years. Building a team of dedicated programmers you know and whose relevant experience is doubtless is always the best possible alternatives.

2. Attend tech events to look for talented developers

Events are one of the best ways to attract tech talent. Usually, the focus of such events is a specific technology or programming language. So if you are looking for:

      • Python developers — PyCon is an event that gathers the best developers
      • Java Day — attracts top Java developers.
      • Frameworks days organizes events for PHP developers and web developers.

Networking at these events can result in the formation of strategic partnerships with passionate developers.

3. Try online software development hiring platforms such as YouTeam, TopTal, Upwork if you’re open to remote candidates

You can use these platforms to search both for individual software developers and a team of developers.

  • Upwork is currently the most well-known option to hire freelance developers.
  • TopTal positions itself as an exclusive network of top freelance software developers only admitted after passing through a meticulous screening process.
  • YouTeam, a Y Combinator-backed marketplace for on-demand engineering staff augmentation, offers quite a different approach. We have developed a thorough vetting process to ensure that only the best software development companies are admitted to our hiring marketplace. YouTeam leverages a network of 20,000 vetted engineers in Europe and Latin America. We don’t work with freelancers, and we offer you to hire a full-time software development team from vetted IT service providers. This model helps eliminate many risks that can occur when you hire freelance developers in a different country.

Browse 500+ Dev Teams Available for Hire

If this description is not 100% clear, please check out the power of our search algorithms and hire a developer on our platform. It takes us only 48 hours to source a list of candidates available to start next week. We also handle all the financial and contract questions. Plus, it’s free for clients to get a list of sourced software developers and even do interviews! We do not charge anything until the hiring contract is signed.

More places to hire the best developers

Other places where you can find and hire a team of developers are GitHub, hackathons, tech blogs, and even universities.

Open source coding platforms

Websites like GitHub are a great place to check out the code samples of talented developers and view the open-source projects to which they contribute. To search GitHub for tech talent, you will need a GitHub account. You can look up the developers by language, location, and number of followers.

When exploring their profile, pay attention to their projects and check their public activity on GitHub. Having collected all of the necessary information, you can write a message to the person you find a perfect fit for your project.

If you’re lucky, you can find a group of developers that worked on tasks similar to yours and hire a development team that will instantly reinforce your project.


Hackathons are the best option for those who try to understand how to hire a development team for a startup. A hackathon is an event where software developers work together to build new software. Some hackathons are explicitly designed for networking so that you can find a lot of talented developers there. Many hackathons are dedicated to specific technologies so that you can choose those relevant to your project.

hire a team of developers
@frantic — Unsplash

You can look for such events at, a platform that currently hosts over 4,500 hackathons. It is possible to narrow down your search by specific categories such as fintech, health, IoT, mobile, science, travel, and much more.

Technology blogs

Many developers have their blogs, which can be an excellent source for potential candidates. Besides, a blog can allow you to learn about the candidate before contacting them. A blog will demonstrate the candidate’s written communication skills (which is perfect if you are hiring remotely) and critical thinking, problem-solving, and of course, technical skills. By the way, here is a list of top software development blogs as of 2019.

Aiming to get blogs authors to your team, remember that pro engineers of that level most likely are not open for relocation and office work. But this option is great if you need to hire remote developers.


You may be surprised, but it is also possible to find talented coders among students. If you have contacts at tech universities, you may contact them and ask them to recommend their best students. Though they may have no working experience, they may have their projects and be passionate about coding. Universities often have their hackathons where you can find their top students as well.

hire a team of developers
@sickhews — Unsplash

It is also possible to visit the university to present your project and give the students an email address to send their code samples if they are interested. Or you can invite everyone interested in an interview, either on Skype or live.

7 tips to hire the best team of developers

We will conclude this article with some helpful tips on choosing the best software development agency for your project.

1: Define the technology stack

To find the best developers for your project, you must know the project requirements, including the tech stack. Consider what the goal of the project is and what you have to develop.

Front-end developers work with the client side and ensure users seamlessly interact with your product. Tho, the front end is the inevitable part of the development process and UI design. The most used programming languages among front-end developers are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Back-end developers attend to the server-side of the product. They build the business logic that includes the server, an application, and a database. Back-end developers use Java, Ruby, Python, C# to name a few, and MongoDB, SQL databases.

You may also need QA specialists to run tests and detect bugs, so your dev team can release a  highly functional product.

For example, if your future product is AI-related, you may consider Python as the primary technology for the project. If you are going to build an e-commerce store, you may think of PHP. For cross-platform mobile apps, you can choose React Native, and so on. 

If you have an idea but little tech knowledge, then having a technical co-founder or CTO will help you determine the technology more clearly. Knowing the tech stack will help you narrow down your search.

2: Research the market

To begin with, we recommend looking through the websites that feature the development agencies and show their rankings and customer feedback. For example, on, you can search either by category or by technology. The search results will show you the top-rated companies that provide development services in the chosen technology or language.

Each company profile has several sections available for your conveniences, such as Summary, Focus, Portfolio, Reviews, and Verification. By browsing those sections, you can learn about the company’s industries, view their case studies, read the client reviews, and see which verification level the company has – bronze, silver, or gold. Other websites where you can look for company profiles are LinkedIn, CrunchBase, IT-Suppliers, etc.

3: Choose the company location

Your development team must be not necessarily based in the same location as yours. You can hire an offshore development team based in Asia or Eastern Europe, the most popular outsourcing destinations, and collaborate with them remotely. That will give you a wide range of advantages, such as lower costs versus high quality (but not for all locations). Consider other benefits of hiring a remote team, such as enormous tech talent pool, fast speed of hiring, temporary solutions for a few months or years.

Suppose you are interested in offshore software development. In that case, you can read about the offshore destinations and choose the one that fits your requirements and has a relatively convenient time zone. Then you can include the location in your search on LinkedIn, Clutch, or other relevant websites.

4: Estimate your budget

When choosing an agency for your project, keep in mind the budget as well. On Clutch, you can view an agency’s average hourly rates in search results. Please be aware that the price depends not only on the qualification but also on the company’s region. As we have already mentioned, offshore companies provide lower average rates than those located in the United States. For example, an hourly price range in the US would be between $35 and $150.

At the same time, for the same services, you would pay $20-45 in Eastern Europe, $15-40 in Continental Asia, and $20-45 in South East Asia. But do not make a mistake by choosing a company with the lowest prices as you may end up paying twice. Always carefully read the reviews and make sure that the company has a proven track record.

5: Study the reviews

Reviews are a great way to check if the company is trustworthy and that an hour paid is an hour worked. and display the reviews from actual clients, giving you an idea of the company’s performance on past projects. Testimonials from real clients on the agency’s website are also a good sign of reliability. It is also possible to reach out to its former clients and ask about their experience and recommendations.

6: Go through the portfolios

Narrow down your search to several companies and carefully study each portfolio. Pay attention to the level of detail they use to describe the projects they worked on. Do they highlight the challenges that the client was facing before hiring them? Do they outline how they resolved those challenges and which technologies they used during the project? Do they specify how long did it take them to complete the project? Consider work aspects featured in the portfolio and how they can be reflected in your project. It is also possible to visit the websites or find the apps for the completed projects and read customer reviews.

7: Shortlist the companies

Now you are ready to choose 3-5 companies that fit your requirements best and start contacting them with your proposal. You can ask each of them for a price quote and timing and choose the optimal one for your budget and deadlines. And, of course, discuss all of the necessary organizational and legal moments.

How much would it cost to hire a team of software engineers?

Most companies from the US and Canada would prefer to opt for nearshore outsourcing and hire developers from Latin American countries. At the same time, businesses in Western Europe and the UK outsource to Eastern Europe. However, some companies prioritize finding desired talent over the location. In that case, they ensure a time overlap of 2+ hours. Keep in mind that the country of a development service provider will influence the rates. Also, the developer’s years of experience (junior, middle, senior), tech stack, soft skills, English proficiency, hiring model you choose will additionally contribute to salary rates.

Hiring a contractor from a dev house may not be the cheapest option; however, you cut costs for office rent, gadgets, health insurance coverage, other benefits that you provide for an in-house employee. 

Below we have collected hourly salary rates of senior developers from YouTeam’s platform and compare them with the US developers’ rates based on the information from Indeed and Glassdoor.

Hourly rates of senior developersHourly rates of senior developersHourly rates of senior developers
The USEastern EuropeLatin America
Ruby On Rails$73.9$53.9$59.8

So, how do you choose the best team of developers?

Despite the large tech talent pool worldwide, hiring a team of developers for a complex, long-term project is still challenging. If you are struggling to find a particular skill set in your geography, don’t fret. We invite you to access our (YouTeam’s) huge talent pool of 20,000+ experienced, vetted software developers. Check out these example searches:

We hope that now you know how to hire a software development team successfully. Good luck!

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Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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