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How to Find a Programmer for Startup: from Search to Hire

Whether starting a business or launching a new product in an established corporation, entrepreneurs are required to bolster this process by building a well-connected and working startup ecosystem. As an entrepreneur, the key concern to realize and lay down is to create a community that will leverage your business strategy and goals. With this in mind, you need a team: programmers, managers, investors, partners, and other members. The following article will tell you how to hire developers for startup and maintain your business strategy.

What Is a Startup Ecosystem

The more complex, diversified, and developed your ecosystem is, the more added value you will get to facilitate a startup thrive. An ecosystem of a startup includes partners, employees, investors, government, lawyers, and other powerful entities that influence the growth of your newly born business or project. While investors and partners generate ideas and enrich the capital of the project, software engineers and other IT specialists actually develop the product. Therefore, it is crucially important to find a programmer for startup that would follow the blueprint in an exact match with your business goals. Such goals may be accomplished with the help of a good startup staffing agency.

The Specifics and Limitations of Finding Developers for Startups

Building a team of developers or augmenting an existing team often brings challenges and limitations for an entrepreneur. Let’s go through the common pitfalls that you may face in the process of finding and hiring developers for your startup.

First of all, you need to define which technologies you will be using. The key factor that defines a developer’s willingness to work on a project is a tech stack you offer. Working with legacy technologies will not attract experienced and world-class engineers; instead, outdated technology can considerably affect the speed of development, its quality, and put out a fire during a product’s release and maintenance.

Secondly, quite often, due to a limited budget, founders want their developers to perform side duties that are not included in their main specialization to save money for hiring several specialists. For instance, sometimes entrepreneurs want a developer to do both backend and frontend tasks, which would be a kind of full-stack developer. In this case, you should understand that if an engineer’s main specialization is either backend or frontend and you want them to do both, the quality of these services will be extremely undermined.

Last but not least, in the early stage of the product life cycle, you may have doubts about the size of the team you will need and the duration of the project. First, you decided to hire one frontend developer and one QA specialist, but eventually, a month later, they claimed they needed to extend the team. However, going through the hiring process again to scale up your team will eat your budget and time.

How to Find Developers for Your Startup: What Options Do You Have?

With a variety of opportunities these days, you may struggle with the question “where to find software developers for startup?”. Well, it all depends on your needs, financial capacities, and, finally, your project’s complexity and duration. Let’s see the most-used models of hiring.

Time to Build an In-House Team?

The first way that comes to mind is to set up an office with full-time in-house employees. On-site staff can easily integrate your corporate culture, be in your daily control, and create the overall philosophy of the company. You see them every day, get to know what they need, support them, and bring all employees into one working mechanism.

According to the recent research, 70% of the US in-house labor force feel undermotivated, less engaged in the company’s operations, and unsatisfied with overall performance in a company. That is why keeping office employees requires you to have a professional team in HR Management to retain your staff members and prevent turnover. Moreover, maintaining the office for a big number of employees will cost you money.

Outsourcing MVP

A good entrepreneur is an experienced entrepreneur who knows what failure looks like. However, wise startup founders often validate their business model by developing Minimum Variable Product (MVP). Such development is basically a trial of your future product to define its demand among your target consumers before launching your core product. It has a minimum set of features but allows you to understand if further development will yield results. Outsourcing a project allows you to find the needed expertise around the world, save money (there are lots of IT destinations where average developer’s salary can be twice as low as EU or US rates) and give more time for investor relations, sales, and marketing while software development is covered by your vendor.

Outsourcing startup development implies that all stages of project development are delegated to the third party. Such an approach is beneficial if you do not possess a sufficient level of technical expertise and believe that outsourcing vendors will do it better since they have experience and full control of the project. However, delegating product development at an early stage can be very risky in terms of not meeting deadlines and budget terms because a startup needs the flexibility to adjust requirements and be ready for a pivot.


Another model that you can use to hire MVP developers is nearshoring, which, compared to outsourcing, provides you with the experts while you should possess the expertise. The MVP development via nearshoring model allows you to have total control of your dedicated team, while a nearshoring vendor stands as a mediator between you.

Nearshoring vendors thoroughly analyze your needs, search for candidates, suggest the ones who are a match, facilitate the whole recruitment process and provide selected candidates with office space, needed hardware and software, and make sure your extended team is happy personally.

In-House EmploymentOutsourcingNearshoring


  • Team can easily align with a corporate culture
  • Engagement with other departments
  • Well-established communication


  • Higher salaries
  • Limited pool of local candidates
  • Extra costs for office space, educational and entertaining activities


  • Ability to build a product without having the technical expertise on the client’s side
  • Relatively low labor costs
  • A big variety of vendors across the world


  • Low involvement in the project’s execution
  • Lack of flexibility once initial requirements have been approved
  • High chances of missing the deadlines and exceeding the budget


  • Rich pool of IT specialists on a global market
  • Affordable labor prices
  • Direct interaction with a team, its management, and full control


  • Cultural and language barriers
  • Communication gaps

As you can see, the question ‘Where to find developers for startup?’ should rather be articulated as ‘what is the best model for hiring developers?’ It all takes time to define whether you have enough resources to maintain in-house staff, delegate your core idea to an outsourcing vendor, or hire dedicated development teams who will bolster your project under your close supervision and engagement.

How to Find Developers for a Startup: The Actual Roadmap of Hiring

Since we have defined that nearshoring so far is the most accurate and reliable way of building a team, let’s see how its process of hiring works.

Before we hire developers for a startup, we collect as much information about your project as possible: requirements to the candidate(s) and the number of employees (necessary skills, experience, particular expertise, personal qualities, achievements), project’s timeframe, tech stack that you will be using (and we clarify if you are ready to think out of the box and implement new technologies), property rights, and data that must not be disclosed.

After signing the NDA we start researching the pool of talents. It takes about 2-3 weeks to pass a shortlist of candidates for you to review and we proceed with a client’s interview and a test task to validate the expertise (if it’s required). After a particular candidate is approved and accepts a job offer, we schedule the start date and are ready to begin. Now the question on how to find developers for startup is no longer a problem.

3 Success Stories of Startups Who Hired Developers in Ukraine

There are numerous success stories of tech giants hiring Ukrainian developers; however, let’s take a look at several startups that decided to go for a nearshoring journey and didn’t regret it.

In 2017, Mobilunity officially became a dedicated development team provider for a Swiss-based insurtech startup called esurance. They started with only 2 developers and as of 2020, there are 16 dedicated software developers, quality assurance engineers, CTO, and Scrum Master who passionately contribute to building the platform from our Kyiv office. Since one of our core benefits is Western Management, we managed to create excellent communication despite cultural differences and language barriers.

A well-known machine-learning platform DataRobot has gained about $125 million in investments after hiring remote developers in Ukraine. They have been performing execution, business analytics, software development, and other services that added value to the growth of this startup.

Another startup that prospers with the collaborative approach of a Ukrainian development team is AppsFlyer. They opened their R&D center in Ukraine to create a Service Development Kit that has gained a great deal of users around the world. AppsFlyer’s technology is found on 98% of the world’s smartphones, making it the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics.

Finding Developers for a Startup Is Not a Headache

Whether you need to hire a team of developers to build a product or just an MVP, you need to create a healthy working environment to make sure the flow of the project ends with a quality and competitive product. By bringing aboard in-house teams you get a well-established corporate culture, daily interaction with your team but spend good money for their retention and office maintenance. Outsourcing, on the other hand, allows you to get external expertise and delegate the whole development process but doesn’t give you the freedom to change requirements once you have started the cooperation. By nearshoring to Ukraine, you can hire developers for startup, who will perform their duties in a timely manner, with dedication, and will add value by implementing the newest technologies. In Mobilunity, we take care of your inquiry from the very beginning (analyze your project, needs, requirements, financial capacities), do our best to find you a perfect and make sure all the parties are happy and retention rate is sky-high.

Find developers for startup is an easy task, which can grow your company and help you achieve business goals. Mobilunity’s team is here to help!

All salaries and prices mentioned within the article are approximate NET numbers based on the research done by our in-house Recruitment Team. Please use these numbers as a guide for comparison purposes only and feel free to use the contact form to inquire on the specific cost of the talent according to your vacancy requirements and chosen model of engagement.

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