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 new 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 fee isn’t much lower equaling 15% of the salary of the hired developer. And if the company needs to hire a development team it should be ready to increase the budget respectively.

Secondly, as indicated above some vacancies are just difficult for recruiters to fill because available talent does not exist within the UK. But remote developers can satisfy demand.

And thirdly, as a result of the second point, it can take months and months to fill a position, 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

This is often a good first step in the hiring process because employees in the IT industry, on average, change jobs every 3-4 years. And building a team of dedicated programmers whom you know and whos relevant experience is doubtless is always the best of possible alternatives.

2. Attend tech events to look for talented developers

Events are one of the best ways to attract tech talent. They are usually focused on a specific technology or programming language. So if you are looking for:

      • Python developers — PyCon is an event which gathers 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

All platforms can be used to search for individual software developers or a team of developers.

    • Upwork is currently the most well-known option to hire freelance developer.
    • 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 marketplace, offers quite a different approach. We have developed a thorough vetting process to ensure that only the best offshore software development companies are admitted to our hiring marketplace. We don’t work with freelancers, and we offer you to hire a team of developers from vetted IT service providers. This model helps to eliminate a number of 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 by the model most recruiters use.

More places to hire the best developers

Other places where you can find and hire a team of developers are websites such as 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 the number of followers.

When exploring their profile, pay attention to the projects that they own and check their public activity on GitHub. Having collected all of the necessary information, you can write a message to the person that you find to be 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 developers for a startup. A hackathon is an event where software developers work together to build new software. Some hackathons are designed specifically for networking, so you can find a lot of talented developers there. Many hackathons are dedicated to specific technologies, so you can choose those that are 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 own personal blogs, which can be a great 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) as well as 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 to recommend their best students. Though they may have no working experience, they may have their own projects and be passionate about coding. Universities often have their own 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 with a presentation of your project and give the students an email address to which they can send their code samples if they are interested. Or you can invite everyone who’s interested to 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. 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 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 as well as 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 specializing in the chosen technology or language.

For your convenience, each company profile has several sections available, such as Summary, Focus, Portfolio, Reviews, and Verification. By browsing those sections, you can learn about the industries on which the company focuses, 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. This will give you a wide range of advantages, such as lower costs versus high quality (but not for all locations).

If you are interested in offshore software development, you can read about the offshore destinations and choose the one that fits your requirements as well as 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 region where the company is based. As we have already mentioned, offshore companies provide lower average prices 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 the company’s former clients and ask them 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 details 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 each aspect of the work featured in the portfolio and think about how it can be reflected in your own 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 one that is optimal for your budget and deadlines. And of course, discuss all of the necessary organizational and legal moments.

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

Despite the large tech talent pool worldwide, it’s still difficult to hire a team of developers for a complex, long-term project. 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 experienced software developers. Check out these example searches:

We hope that now you know how to hire a developer team without the need to pay the recruitment commissions.
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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