How To Find and Hire Mobile App Developers: A Guide

8 min read


By the end of 2022, the Google Play app store had around 3.55 million apps, with Apple’s App Store following closely behind with 1.5 million apps. Today, you can find an app for pretty much everything, from booking flights and hotels to ordering groceries and managing your sleep cycle.

So, it’s no surprise that mobile app revenue has been at an all-time high. The Games and Social Networking segments generate the most of the revenue, with the former valued at $249.9 billion. These figures make two things clear. One, apps will be here for a long time. Two, the prevalence of app development ultimately means a need for skilled mobile app developers. 

If you plan to hire mobile app developers, this guide is for you. Learn what you need to gauge to pick experienced developers to create mobile applications. 

There are three primary ways to find and hire mobile app developers:

  1. You can outsource your app project to a custom mobile development company.
  2. You can use a staff augmentation service to add pre-vetted developers to your existing software team.
  3. You can source and hire developers yourself.

In this guide, we will cover #3, sourcing and hiring full-time developers yourself.

1. Define Your Mobile App Project Requirements

The ”why,” ”what,” and ”how” of your mobile app project should be clear before you hire developers. Precisely, why do you want to create an app? Whom will it serve? What will it do? Also, where will you launch it, and for what device OS?

Everything from the operating systems to your app’s target audience and features will drive the development process. Here’s how to define your project requirements. 

Identify Your Target Audience

Your target audience is quite simply the people who will use your app. These people have the problems, interests, goals, and needs your app will address.

For example, if you’re creating an app for a restaurant, your target audience may include food lovers or existing restaurant customers. Similarly, a fitness app’s target audience may focus on health-conscious individuals or gym-goers.

The question is, how do you find your target audience? Well, the simplest way is to conduct market research. Analyze your competitors’ target audience and use surveys or focus groups to gather insights. Also, get social media insights. The people who like, share, and comment on your posts will likely be your target audience.

If you know your target audience deeply, you can solve their pain points and meet their expectations better. The more information you have about your target audience, the more your app is likely to resonate with them, increasing the chance of your product’s success.

For instance, you can create specialized features specifically designed for your target audience. An example would be adding translation and currency conversion features to your e-commerce app for international users.

Map Out the User Journey

User journey stands for the path a user takes when interacting with your app. It includes all the steps involved in using your app, from opening it to completing a specific task.

You should know your audience’s user journey to ensure a hassle-free experience at every stage. For example, if you determine your target audience is not tech-savvy, you’ll need to make the app’s interface super simple. 

Prioritize Your Features

Coming to the actual development of your app, you need to begin with a list of desired features. Sure, you can add more later on. But for the initial version, it’s best to prioritize.

You can decide which features to prioritize by considering your target audience again. What would they want? Analyze the insights you’ve collected and gauge which features are most integral for your audience. For example, if your fitness app’s target audience is primarily interested in tracking calories and workouts, those should be the first features you focus on.

Account for your app’s value proposition and purpose, too. What sets your offering apart from the competitors? Prioritize unique selling points in feature selection.

More importantly, keep your resources and technical constraints in mind. Prioritize the app features you can develop with your existing budget and resource bank.  

2. Determine Your Budget and Resource Needs

When it comes to money, the more you use, the better results you get — provided you work with skilled developers. However, business owners don’t always have a lot to spend. That’s a limitation you must keep in mind.

Identify the budget you’re ready to allocate to app development. Account for additional resources, too. For instance, you may need a designer for the user interface. If you want to create a gaming app, you might even have to get a graphic designer on board. As the team gets bigger, your budget will increase, too. 

3. Identify the Right Hiring Channels

Once you establish all the above factors, you can move on to selecting the best place to hire mobile app developers. Your options include: 

  • LinkedIn: On the plus side, LinkedIn has a professional approach. You’ll likely find a skilled mobile app developer for hire here. On the downside, the competition is high, and so are the charges. 
  • Freelance Sites: Go for freelance developers if you need a one-time thing. However, some freelancing sites don’t vet their freelancers. Quality may vary. Also, finding long-term developers isn’t easy here. 
  • Job Boards: You can hire dedicated mobile app developers from online job boards. However, the process can be lengthy and complex since you must vet applicants yourself. 
  • Development Company: Working with a software outsourcing company is often the ideal solution. Instead of hiring a separate developer for React native, a designer for UX design, and a project manager to keep cross-platform mobile app development on track, you can outsource the entire process to a development company. They’ll take care of everything from start to finish. 

The most appealing thing about outsourcing development teams is their expertise in custom app development. They can build an app from scratch that aligns with your brand’s objectives. Since these teams also have project managers and designers, you won’t need to hire them separately.

If you’re debating between offshore and nearshore development, go for the latter for more control over the work and easier communication. Nearshoring software development provides swift collaboration between teams because of the similar time zones. 

4. Craft an Effective Job Description

Once you step into the hiring process, you’ll need to create a job description for your mobile app developer. You’ll post this job description on the hiring channel of your choice. Here’s what it should include: 

  • Job Title: Suppose you want to hire a game developer with experience in Unity. Your job title should be “Game Developer – Unity.”
  • Job Overview: In this section, you’ll mention the general idea of what the job entails. 
  • Responsibilities: What will the game developers do? List their responsibilities, such as designing, coding, testing, and debugging. 
  • Skills Requirements: Mention the skills you want in a developer. The technical skills could include knowledge of Unity and C#, while the soft skills could include teamwork, communication, creativity, problem-solving, etc. 
  • Location: Where will the developer work from? If you allow remote or hybrid work, mention it in the job description. 
  • Company Description: Some companies also choose to add a brief description of what they do. You can include a bit about your company culture, too. 
  • Remuneration: While not necessary, it’s better to be transparent about the salary and benefits you’ll offer. 
  • Application Process: Do the applicants need to email a recruiter or fill out a form on your website? Mention the process with clear instructions.

5. Screen and Interview the Candidates

When your job post rolls out, you’ll start receiving applications. You can screen them manually or use an applicant tracking system (ATS). Set a screening criteria for the selection process. For example, you can set a minimum number of years of experience, required degrees or certifications, necessary technical skills, etc.

Next comes the interview phase. The interview room is the best place to learn about your potential hire one-on-one. Ask them if they have previously worked on a similar project. Create a question bank and prepare a mix of technical and scenario-based questions. You can also ask basic questions to get a sense of whether the hire will fit in with the rest of your team. 

6. Check References and Portfolios

After interviews, narrow your list of candidates to a few top choices. Then, check their portfolios and references. Check if their previous work aligns with your business goals.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact their references and ask about their work ethic, past performance, communication skills, and other relevant qualities. You want to avoid hiring someone unable to meet your expectations. 


When it comes to mobile app development, Flatirons can take charge of the whole process, from prototyping and testing to development and routine maintenance. As a nearshore software development company, Flatirons lets you work with developers in the same time zone as your in-house teams. So, collaboration is never an issue.

Our team specializes in cross-platform app development using React Native and Flutter. From iPhone and Android to iPad app development, we create apps with excellent user experience for your end users. Since half of our team comprises UI/UX web designers, you can rest easy knowing your custom apps will be not only functional but visually stunning. 

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