May 24, 2023

How to Hire Developers for a Startup? A Guide for the Non-tech Founder

Hiring developers is a challenging process for startups, especially for non-tech founders. Learn how to make the right hire with minimum risk in this guide.
Divya Tripathi
Divya TripathiBusiness Development Manager
Divya Tripathi
Ahona DasTechnical Content Writer

Hiring Developers as a Non-tech Business Owner

So you are a non-technical startup founder or a person with a great tech-enabled business idea that you believe could make an impact.

What is the most essential requirement for your business idea to succeed in a competitive market? The answer is quick execution.

When running a successful business, the correct timing can be a game changer. Aligning the right opportunities with the right time is a blink-and-you-miss-it game that requires some degree of skill and expertise. As a non-technical person, grappling with technology platforms and tools necessary for your business to function and expand may seem intimidating.

Does this mean your business idea will buckle under the pressure and fizzle out? Not really. Do you need to become a programmer to figure things out? Not really. Airbnb, Pinterest, Alibaba, Pandora, and LinkedIn are just a few companies out of many that owe their success to non-technical founders.

How did they achieve this? By hiring the right technical talent and expertise to understand, relate and align with their vision and bring it to life. Through this article, we understand how you can select and hire an app development company to build and maintain your dream product.

Challenges Associated with Hiring the Right Technical Experts for Your Project

While almost every software development company out there promises the best results, few live up to the expectations. The following is the breakdown of the challenges in software development :

  • Lack of guidance in determining a project plan suited to your budget.
  • Find the right talent to meet your project’s unique requirements.
  • Aligning the development company with your business goals and vision.
  • Hiring a development company that is experienced and up-to-date with the latest technologies.

One great way to determine whether an app development company is suitable for hiring is by determining the flexibility of their skill sets. As Jason Wong, Research VP at Gartner, said, “Development platform vendors are expanding their value proposition beyond mobile apps and web development to meet user and industry demands.”

Hiring In-house Vs. Hiring an Offshore Development Team

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While in-house development may sound easier than selecting and hiring an offshore app development team, some factors must be understood before making a final decision. A quick gist of the pros and cons of both approaches to help you decide:

  • The cost factor: The cost of app development in-house in the USA or UK is certainly higher than offshoring the project to an experienced team from countries such as India, Brazil, Vietnam, or the Philippines. Outsourcing reduces costs by about 50%— eliminating the overhead expenses associated with hiring and managing an in-house team.
  • The time factor: With extra time spent on recruiting, onboarding, and setting a workflow for your in-house team, you may end up losing precious development and deployment time. In contrast, an offshore agency will assign a team of skilled developers, designers, QA analysts, and project managers with years of app-building experience, significantly reducing turnaround time.
  • Skillsets and scalability: Working with an in-house team means access to limited talent, skillsets, and expertise, while selecting an offshore app development company ensures unrestricted access to a diverse talent pool. Offshoring also allows flexibility in scaling- you can adjust your short-term or long-term requirements with the agency, hassle-free.
  • Quality of the application: While developing your product in-house may be subject to roadblocks and a half-baked product your users may not be satisfied with, the right offshore agency will have the right expertise to turn out a product that is user-friendly, scalable, and bug-free, following the latest industry standards.

Summing up, depending on your project requirements and app complexity, outsourcing your project to an offshore company may help save money, reduce deployment time, and help you focus better on your core business goals rather than the related technical aspects.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting the Best Agency for Your Business Requirements

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The following checklist will help you to create the perfect job description and land your dream partner. Take your time, know and assess your options and make informed hiring decisions to give your startup that special edge.

  • Plan and define your business goals: The agency you wish to partner with must be aligned with your business vision and long-term goals to provide the best development services. Setting your requirements and goals ahead of contact is a must. This involves figuring out the type and complexity of your project, your budget, key milestones, and the timeline for the project.

  • Start your search: Referrals from business acquaintances, online directories such as Clutch, Goodfirms, or Business of Apps, LinkedIn, GitHub, social media, and industry meet-ups, events, and hackathons are a great place to start. A thorough search on these platforms will give you an initial idea about the company and bring you one step close to finding your perfect match.

  • Check out case studies and portfolios: Examine the company’s reviews, ratings, testimonials, and feedback from previous clients. You might be looking for front-end, back-end, full-stack, database management, or cloud computing skills for your startup.

    Evaluate their case studies to determine whether they have worked on projects that align with your ideas and to understand their area of skill and expertise. Thorough research helps understand the technical expertise of the company and its knowledge of the latest tools, frameworks, and tech stacks.

  • Determine a collaboration model: Depending on the complexity of your business idea, fixed price, dedicated development team, and time and material are some of the collaboration models that the agency you wish to partner with may suggest for you. You must have an idea regarding these models in advance. The following table simplifies the app development pricing models:


  • Settle communication and time-zone differences: A good software development agency will identify overlapping working hours between your team and theirs to collaborate and hold meetings in real-time. Communication tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, JIRA boards, and other project management tools are necessary for regular updates and swiftly addressing roadblocks or escalations.
  • Understand their scope of work: The ideal app development partner will assist right from building your MVP ( Minimum Viable Product) to deploying your final product and post-launch services. The development company you select will:
    • Create a roadmap to plan and execute your project following best industry practices efficiently.
    • Assist from scratch, including ideating the project, conducting market research, designing, developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining post-launch.
    • Align your project requirements according to your budget through methods such as the MoSCoW approach.
    • Offer project management teams such as a Business Analyst team, and an Account Management team to ensure smooth collaboration and easy feedback and roadblock resolution.

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The MoSCoW Approach

  • Additional (but important) factors: Ask and answer these questions to ensure trust and complete transparency between you and your potential development agency:

    a) Will they sign an NDA?

    b) Are they following all the required legal compliances?

    c) Can they customize and plan for my project as per my requirements?

    d) How involved will I be in my project?

    e) Am I completely transparent about my budget and my requirements?

    f) Do I like the company culture and soft skills such as communication and teamwork?

What Makes GeekyAnts the Right Choice for Your Startup?

Launching a company has never been easier than today’s digital setup, and with a little determination and a strong development team, the sky can be your limit. Considering the multiple factors that can make or break your project, partnering with an experienced digital studio such as GeekyAnts web and mobile app development company is a smart step toward your dream project.

With a rich experience of creating high-quality digital solutions for businesses of every scale for over 17 years, GeekyAnts is your ideal development partner with the right kind of talent and technical expertise to ensure a seamless collaborative experience.


  1. When to hire developers for a startup?

    Hiring developers for your startup should be done at the strategic phase, to ensure maximum benefits for your business. You should start the hiring process once you have a working startup idea. A thorough market research will ensure that you have a viable idea with a stable user base. Once you are certain about the success of your investment, you will need to build an MVP for your product. Here is where you will need assistance from a development team as a non-tech founder.

  2. How many developers do I hire for my startup?

    When hiring developers for a business, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how many developers you may need. Depending on your startup, the complexity of your project, and the timeline and resources you have in mind for your project, you can start with a core team and then increase and scale the team as your business grows and scales.

  3. What is the cost of recruiting a developer?

    The cost of recruiting developers depends on the location of the developer, his experience and skillsets, and the recruitment approach. Generally, hiring in-house in the UK or the USA is usually more expensive than outsourcing from developing economies such as India, the Philippines, or Indonesia. For more information about the cost of hiring a developer or a development team, talk to us right away.

  4. Can you suggest the best way to hire a developer?

    Some of the best ways to hire developers are:

    1. Referrals from colleagues or industry connections
    2. Online platforms such as Clutch, Goodfirms, or Business of Apps
    3. Tech meetups, events, conferences, and hackathons
    4. Collaborative platforms such as GitHub or GitLab

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