The first step in mobile application development—hiring the developers—can feel like the most difficult and daunting hurdle. It may well seem like the personnel equivalent of trying to scale Mount Everest or catch lightning in a bottle. Indeed, few of the technical challenges in mobile app development are as tricky as putting the right developers on the team in the first place.
Finding the candidate with the right skills, technologies, and experience to match your team might seem impossible in an ever-shifting tech landscape—and that’s before you even consider the interpersonal skills which are required for a team to properly gel.
On the flip side, application developers have many similar frustrations. It’s a well-known struggle identifying whether a prospective firm will truly appreciate a developer’s particular—and sometimes precise—skill-set, values their knowledge and experience, and provides an environment that enables them to deliver in a team.
Marrying your expectations to the applicants is a question of both good communication skills and effective outreach. Clear and concise communication between you and your future candidates is the number one thing you can do to eliminate roadblocks and get the right developers to start applying to your firm.
That kind of communication is easy if you use Pangea to research and engage with the top development teams available. Simply tell us what you need and we’ll connect you with up to 5 companies within 72h that match your criteria, and before you know it you’ll be talking with some of the best in the business.
Even before starting the search for a developer, you need to answer a number of questions about the hiring process itself and follow best practices to identify what you actually need. Only then can you begin writing the job description that reflects your firm and the type of mobile app developer you want to hire.
But what are the questions you should be asking? Luckily, we’ve compiled the relevant whats, wheres, hows, and whos below, and even included a mobile app developer job description template for you to use as the basis for hiring your next team!
The first question to answer should be the easiest. Hiring mobile app developers is more than throwing people at a problem and hoping everything works out well. It’s about fitting the right puzzle piece into the right place at the right time.
Are you looking for a UI genius, a cross-platform wizard, a backend tinkerer, or a full-stack rock star? You may well need all of the above. If you need to know more about all the different available skill sets, check out our article on the top mobile app frameworks. Identifying the kind of developer, or developers, you need will narrow down your search.
Think about the technologies and tools you’ll expect them to know already and what you might expect them to learn over time. The more skills and technologies they come with, the larger the costs in hiring. A little space for learning and growth can leave some room to bring down salary expectations.
Deciding on a budget is the best way to make your requirements clear. You can’t get a full-stack developer with more than a decade of experience, and an overflowing portfolio for the price of a new graduate. Neither can a graduate take your app from rough outline to published success as quickly as an industry veteran.
Figuring out your budget (and timeframe) can help you narrow down the search to clarify your own expectations and that of your potential future candidates.
Once you know what kind of developer you want to hire, you next have to find them. Where to go and how to successfully hunt out an elusive available developer is one more puzzle ready to be solved.
The first resource to exhaust is your own network. Experience, particularly with mobile app developers, is the very best teacher. Reconnecting with the teams you’ve worked with before and developers you already know and trust to deliver can save a great deal of time in finding and vetting new partners.
Of course, the very fact that you are reading this article at all suggests this resource is likely already exhausted, though that might not be true of your entire network. Recommendations from colleagues, industry professionals, and staff can be immeasurably valuable when it comes to finding a team that checks all the right boxes. Leaning on these second and third-degree connections is a great short-cut to finding developers looking for a new project.
However, if these resources are not available to you, hiring platforms are an obvious choice. These boards are often the first place newly available developers look to when finding a new role to land. Here the right well-written spec will show candidates what your organization has to offer and describe what you’re looking for in them.
But if you really want to ensure that you are getting the most qualified mobile app developers, the absolute best place to look is right here at Pangea, where all the work has already been done for you to identify the top 7% of software development teams in the world. Just tell us what you need, and within 72h you’ll be connected with 5 mobile app development companies that have been vetted and selected specifically for you (all for free!)
Once you’ve decided on a developer that looks like a good fit, you need a way to measure them against the requirements and expectations of your team.
The first—and best—indication that you can get of a mobile app developer’s expertise is through their prior apps. A portfolio of previously published apps is the number one way to gain insight into a candidate’s abilities and merits. These should highlight a candidate’s strengths more than a rich CV or detailed profile. If they’re billed as a UI guru or cross-platform specialist—expect to see examples of it here.
Testimonials, the experiences of previous clients, are an invaluable insight into how a developer works. Legitimate testimonials can provide initial clues about how well a developer is likely to work in a team.
Finally, some interview questions on the technologies they use can be a great way to gauge candidates’ level of expertise. Example problems, like the kind the team previously faced or producing a small example program, can be a great way to determine both how they solve problems and how they communicate those solutions back to you.
If you would like to dive more into what you should look for in the interview, make sure to read our article on how to interview a mobile app developer.
Everything up until now has been about finding the right developers to fit. Once you’ve solved this particular puzzle, however, you still have one of the hardest problems to solve. How do they fit into the big picture?
Obtaining reliable references from past clients, colleagues, and employers is the first step to completing the picture. Finding out how a team will fit together is just as important as finding out how their work will fit into the app.
The most important thing you can do is to ask the team. At least one person who will work closely with newly hired developers should be sitting in on the hiring process. Ideally, being involved from the early stage of hiring right through to interview and offer.
Nobody will know better how a new hire’s soft skills and personality will fit in better than team members themselves. Having buy-in from the team can mean more close-knit connections further down the line.
With the right questions in mind and a clear picture of the candidate you want to hire, how to hire them, and why—you can get to work communicating those demands and sorting out the right team for the role.
We’ve included below a template mobile app developer job description to get you off and running. Feel free to use this, tweak it, and improve it to add some of the personality and requirements which match your organization and role. Be sure to set out, in clear terms, exactly what you expect and the kind of candidate you are encouraging to apply. Don’t forget to include the benefits of your firm and tell them why they want to choose you.
In a matter of hours, you may well have exactly those candidates flooding into your inbox. And if you’d rather take a more targeted approach, simply tell us what you need, and we’ll do all the leg work for you, connecting you to 5 development teams that are the perfect fit for your project in just 72h!
Example Technology Group is one of the largest technology providers in our industry. With years of experience and dozens of deployed applications in the app store, our products are used by tens of thousands of users every day. We pride ourselves on being highly regarded for our focused user experience and reliable application platform.
We are looking for passionate and qualified mobile app developers to join our ranks. You will make up a key part of our core engineering team, working to build and maintain high-quality mobile applications. We want a mobile app developer as passionate about creating high-quality apps as we are and someone willing to work across disciplines to make them happen.
We are looking for a developer with iOS/Android/cross-platform framework experience. The ideal candidate will have experience publishing apps to the marketplace. A portfolio of published apps to demonstrate will be considered a significant bonus.
Strong working knowledge of iOS/Android native languages is a must, as is experience with RESTful APIs, Agile development methodologies, and continuous integration tools.
If you’re passionate about performance and obsessive over UI, we want to hear from you! We want a team member who can turn code into user-friendly apps for our clients. As a mobile app developer, you’ll collaborate with internal teams to develop highly functional mobile applications in a fast-paced environment.
We value teamwork, innovation, and a passion for solving difficult problems. We provide employee benefits such as flexible working, competitive compensation, remote work, and a culture that values continued professional development.
To join our team, get in touch at the contact details below and show us what makes you the ideal candidate for us.
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