How much does it cost to hire an app developer remotely

by Liam Martin
cost to hire an app developer

Are you looking to hire a remote team of productive app developers? Wondering how much does it cost to hire an app developer?

Before you actually hire, it is essential to understand the benefits, basic resource requirements and costs of hiring and managing such a team. 

You have to consider all that app development entails: the tasks that culminate in creating computer programs and applications used to operate many mobile devices. 

Developing an app usually requires teamwork. Each team focuses on a particular segment of the app development process.

How much does it cost to make an app? Well, it depends on many different factors. While some teams generate the app ideas, others handle research, development, designing, building, and marketing the app.

Having an effective app development team is key to the success of any software development business. Building an efficient app development team requires a lot of planning and organizing. In other words, you have to be deliberate about assembling a team that will achieve your set goals and objectives.

This guide contains:

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So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Benefits of a remote app development team

Your app developers may need to work remotely. The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore the necessity of remote work for the survival of any business. While many industries closed down, those who had remote workers witnessed an increase in profits.

Apart from an increase in productivity, businesses with remote teams saved a lot of money on real estate, office equipment, and commuting costs. 

With the help of state of the art remote tools, businesses can now efficiently manage their distributed teams.

According to Upwork, about 63% of firms now have remote workers, which shows the growing popularity of remote teams. The estimate is that, in the next ten years, one in three full-time employees will be working remotely.

So, if you are thinking of building a remote app team, now is the time to do it. However, it is necessary to verify everything before you find a programmer or any other team member. 

In this article, we shall give a breakdown of the costs of hiring and managing an app development team.

3 reasons to hire app developers remotely

Reason to hire remotely

You may not get the desired team for app development in your local area. Even if you do, the cost is likely to be high. So, the best thing to do is to start building a remote app development team.

There are multiple reasons why you should consider going remote when hiring your product development team.

Let’s look at some of these reasons in detail here.

1. The pandemic and social isolation rules

We’ve been in this pandemic situation for months now, with no clear end in sight. This has made a lot of people aware of the need to build and manage a remote app development team.

However, this isn’t a new wave for the IT industry. Some companies like Zapier, Buffer, and WordPress had fully remote teams from the very beginning.

Due to the social distancing norms, working on projects in close physical proximity as a group is no longer feasible. Moreover, most companies now do their presentations and board meetings through remote calls and video conferencing sessions.

The possibility of a bigger team to work remotely may be challenging; however, it isn’t impossible. This pandemic has led even the largest corporations like Twitter and Google, allowing employees to work from home and managing it pretty well. 

It is clear that when you are building your team from scratch, the idea of remote management will not be scary as long as there are few members. But when the team size increases, the idea of a remote team may seem a bit difficult to implement. Here, the key thing to manage is communication. When the communication part is on track, everything will run smoothly.

As CEO of the product development team, I can add that the pandemic plays out well for the IT industry, as there is no more additional requirement to build a team under one roof. 

The remote setup helps to find reliable and well-fit developers faster and cheaper across the globe, especially if we talk about the best country to outsource software development.

2. Lower costs of recruitment and maintenance

The goal of your startup (in terms of business development) should be to limit your budgets and cutting costs.

However, going remote should not be dependent on you trying to save money. Your focus should be on bringing more talent into your team without geographical constraints. You will need to continuously manage and motivate your team even when it is working remotely.

The method will save you a lot as it is a cheaper option; however, your focus should be to compensate for the hiring methods with a new approach. It would help if you based salaries on the employee’s geographical location and the amount of work the employees put in.

Remote work stats

According to WSJ reports, workers who moved to low-cost locations in the pandemic from the Silicon valley (bay area) faced a 15% decline in the cost of living salary. Although this step triggered debates, it was a smart move by the firms to cut down costs.

Another instance of pay rate based on location is Buffer. The firm does not pay as per a single scale, but it pays its managers and developers across different regions based on multiple factors. It utilizes issues like role value, location base, overall base, and cost of living for calculating the salary. 

Talking about the USA, the average cost of hiring a developer may be about $70 per hour. Besides, there is speculation about the lack of developers in the USA. This also makes them expensive to hire if you have a set budget.

As per the experience of my company, the situation in the market of app development changes from “developer chooses company” to “company chooses developer”.

In particular, this affects the reduction of salaries for the developer, which is undoubtedly beneficial for the business.

3. Access to a pool of talent across the globe

When hiring globally, you are looking at endless potential candidates for the role in your remote team. There is an unlimited pool of talent to explore as per your needs and goals. You can hire capable employees and build a high-quality team. 

Moreover, hiring this way is quick and gives you the freedom to start onboarding the developer and putting them to work immediately. 

With the freedom of remote working and enough motivation, you will have a higher retention ratio too. 

According to the Harvard Business Review report, letting your employees work from home can boost your productivity by a vast margin.

By hiring remote developers, you will find better people (in terms of soft skills and hard skills) to work with that you may not have in an in-office team. If, for instance, you need to create a QR code for your business, you can hire an app developer anywhere in the world to build a QR code generator within hours.

This is the major benefit of shifting IT to remote cooperation. There is no more “outsourcing.” The whole industry thinks about finding expertise, whatever may be the location of the development team. Thus, it brings a new quality to product development.

How much does it cost to hire an aApp developer remotely

Building a remote team isn’t entirely cost-effective; it can come with factors that might not have crossed your mind yet.

Let’s look at those factors that affect the overall cost of building and managing a remote team.

1. Costs of recruiting remote app developers

Costs of Recruiting Remote App Developers

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, the average cost of hiring remote app developers lies between $3000 and $4000.

If we talk about remote app development, the following are the costs that you may have to pay to hire a developer in different locations:

1. US: $82k and $180k per annum

2. UK: $47k and $92k per annum

3. Australia: $50k and $100k per annum

4. Netherlands: $37k and $67k per annum

5. Germany: $49k and $68k per annum

6. Mexico: $4.4k and $29k per annum

Besides, several other factors may have an individual impact on this cost. There can be several fixed costs spanning over a large number of hires. 

This estimate may reduce or increase depending upon the duration of the process. Moreover, the size of the company may also impact the overall cost.

Therefore, the recruitment cost should be part of the budget and measured in a spreadsheet to keep track.

It is suggested not to obsess over the recruiting cost too much if you are hiring people who are worth the investment. The returns will be way higher in quality and efficiency.

The cost of the recruiting budget is calculated, with cost per hire formulas. Besides, you may use paid tools to get the best possible recruitment of developers or managers.

Top remote recruitment platforms

1. Google Cloud Talent

Google Cloud Talent is an excellent tool for getting the right employees with the required skills. One can use Machine Learning tech to navigate through the job requirements and the jobseeker. 

By harnessing Google Cloud Talent, you will see a lesser wait time and hire quickly based on specific skills and categories. Moreover, it will reduce the cost of testing multiple unqualified candidates.

2. Aggregators and freelance platforms

You may use freelance websites such as Upwork, LinkedIn, Behance, Dribbble, and SimplyHired to find new remote employees. These allow you to browse through profiles and connect personally to the people.

While interviewing, you may use tools such as HireVue and SparkHire to get to know the candidate better.

Other than that, there are several background check services like Checkr to know the employee’s reliability before hiring. Also, keep in mind the recruiting budget while employing new hires who will work with you. 

Discuss beforehand, so there are no blind spots in your deal. It’ll be costly to discover that you can’t afford to pay the new app developer you just hired during the onboarding process.

It is easy to hire a freelance writer, but you may sometimes end up with the wrong one. For this reason, it’s good to find a platform that can connect you with multiple vetted writers who can adapt their specialties and experience to your needs. PapersOwl is one such platform.

It is the same case with hiring developers. You must find a legitimate platform or source from where you can hire developers. Use Upwork, Distantjobs, Toptal, or Github.

However, as experience shows, the developers or managers with specific skills aren’t freelancers and usually work in companies. So, at this point, you need to pay attention to recruiters in terms of hunting employees. Yet, if you need a team member with a typical tech stack, freelance platforms could furnish.

3. Social media

Social Media for hiring remote app developers

While looking for potential candidates on social media, post your requirements, and stay active. Moreover, participate in healthy and result-driven conversations to convert it to work.

It is necessary to involve everyone from the team in the process to cover all the niche networks. One can also help the recruiter grow the social media presence and connect with more candidates.

Since 82% of companies attract passive candidates through social media, it is vital to focus on the applicants’ quality. Keeping open communication may help reach the hiring goal through social media without paying anything extra.

Y will need to invest in the right tools for managing your team remotely, but this is negligible compared to the enormous costs of renting office space and being tied into lengthy contracts. 

What’s more, many people forget that the talent pool of staff available to remote teams is worldwide, compared to the confines of a single city or area.

2. Cost to hire a recruiter

Always consider the usual amount you might spend on recruiting with a detailed list. Having a detailed list will help you make accurate plans. Hiring an in-house or online recruiter will help you save some more. 

Other costs to consider when hiring a recruiter include candidate assessment costs and employer branding efforts on a larger scale. You may also consult recruiter firms and agencies for hiring candidates. 

However, you should note that an internal recruiter may cost more as it will include benefits and other expenses along with the salary. So, you can reduce the per hire cost by getting an online recruiter or recruiting through software.

You can calculate your recruiting expenses with the number of hires as a dividend for last year’s recruitment expenses. Then, multiply this by your average cost per hire by your current goal for this year. 

Also, don’t feel intimidated by the higher cost per hire as they may prove to be great investments over time with consistency. 

Salary of app developers

1. An in-house team in the USA

For more transparent and clear communication, it is more effective to have in-house software developers. An in-house team helps with efficiency plus provides full involvement in the project. 

There can be a close quality check and negotiations over the work. Moreover, this will prevent any delays due to the lack of communication.

Another benefit is that the internal team will be easy to coordinate and communicate with. If you can overlook the main disadvantage of the higher cost of this, then go for it. But, if your budget is limited, an in-house team may not be the best choice for you. 

The hourly cost of a developer in the US is around $50 an hour. Other than that, there are many expenses like incentives, insurances, annual rises, etc. For a startup with a low budget, this is not an ideal option.

2. Freelancers

The cost of hiring freelance developers is around $25 per hour in the USA. Getting a freelance employee will be cheap, easy, and quick to kick start a project without delays. 

You may find freelancers on Upwork and freelancer websites to coordinate work-related communications.

Even when you are hiring freelancers, you may choose those who should be in close physical proximity. This may include a full-stack developer, software developer, and a designer for a specialized project. 

The cost of hiring them may range from $2000 to $6000 per month. Thus, the overall cost maybe the addition of these with a few more factors.

3. Outsourced work

Outsourcing may be an ideal solution for startups to get the same quality work or even better than the local candidates. Moreover, this will be at a way lower price depending upon the region you hire from. 

The average cost may go as low as $30 per hour for the most technical works. However, this may come with challenges like reliability and team building.

If the other person does not see the project working out, they may refuse to work or drop out any minute. You will no longer have an employee and be able to manage the work assigned to them. 

Therefore, it is necessary to manage the team and research the potential candidates before hiring them. You may read reviews, check with old companies and websites to learn more.

Summing up this part, we can say that the cost of outsourcing remote developers will be the same; however, the cost of maintenance of the team could be much cheaper. 

Management tools for a remote app development team

Remote Management Tools

If you decide to hire and manage a remote app development team, you have to invest in the right productivity tools. These tools will make it easier for your remote app development team to collaborate and communicate seamlessly. Also included in this list are tools that will help your team avoid distractions and better manage their time.

The following team management and collaboration tools will come in handy when managing distributed app development teams working in multiple time zones.

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a remote work-employee time tracking software that helps you and your team get a lot more done each day. It is an internet-based solution that provides:

  • Time Tracking
  • Screenshot Recording
  • Reminders
  • Computer Work Session Monitoring
  • Reporting Tools
  • Integrations
  • Invoicing and much more.


Slack is another tool used to run projects and manage them alongside your entire team. It helps keep the whole team in the loop of the project without unnecessary emails and meetings. 

It may not replace all the project management or cloud collaboration tools, but it helps make work better. You can discuss and manage tasks with Asana and centralize resolutions, different programs, and create new jobs as per your team’s needs.

This tool will keep your project on track, along with the task updates and deadline reminders. Moreover, you can easily share the files and collaborate with other teammates. There is a free trial for you to get familiar with Slack. 

You can choose from a plethora of plans such as standard, plus, and enterprise, priced according to the features and your preference.


BitBucket comes in handy for the administration of a larger number of projects and repositories. For every dedicated project and repository, workers get authorization as individual users or whole groups.

With more projects, it is not always easy to maintain an overview of all the authorizations given. Hence, the Repository Overview plugin of Bitbucket displays all projects clearly, making it easier for the system administrators to provide or check on permissions.

You must note that BitBucket has native integration with Jira.


Jenkins is a software that allows continuous integration. Continuous Integration (CI) is a development practice that needs developers to integrate code into a shared repository after fixed, regular intervals. This concept eliminates the issue of finding problems later in the development cycle.

Jenkins is easy to install and configure. Moreover, it has countless plugins that make it compatible with almost every tool in the CICD toolchain.


Trello is an online project management tool designed to help individuals and teams to collaborate better and keep their projects organized. 

They offer a freemium model that lets the users work with countless boards, lists, and cards. Trello can work well in cross-functional departments.

Also, it could work as a time tracker with an addon called “Plus for Trello”. It’s an extension for the Chrome browser.


JIRA is a customizable and centralized management system for various projects at the same time. It can track issues and find bugs in the software. 

Besides, all the projects are a part of a centralized database programmed to have the required workflow. This controls the project status and transitions. 

The free plan of JIRA lets ten users work and have 2GB storage with community support. You may choose a free membership plan in the beginning. 

A standard and premium plan would cost you $70 to $140 per month. Furthermore, you can extend this and get a customized plan for your team. 

Other tools

You may use an app for employee scheduling or free tools such as Google, Skype, and Zoom to have meetings for as many teammates. These are easy to host with a meeting link and do not require an additional login. 

You may follow the concept of other remote companies such as Gitlab to learn how to work remotely in an efficient manner. Besides, these tools bring flexibility to remote work, which will encourage your remote team.

So, the combinations of resources should be based on the specific needs of your product like;

– the size of the whole thing 

– the size of projects under the product, 

– a load of servers, 

– the size of backlogs, and 

– the number of teams working on this one.

Wrapping up

The pandemic caused a boom in the use of web and mobile apps. 

Accordingly, this has led to an increase in the demand for developers. However, the way of hiring has changed – everything went online. There are now optimal ways to find suitable resources faster and at a lower cost.

So, pay attention to freelance platforms, hiring platforms like Google Cloud Talent, to find experienced app developers.

After that, pay attention to manage your team properly: use the best management toolkit for remote product development. 

For example, you can set up a combination of TimeDoctor, Trello, Slack, and BitBucket for small-size projects to reach your business goals faster.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and have discovered how much it costs to hire an app developer and manage a remote team.

Thanks, and read more about remote work at TimeDoctor’s Business Blog.

About the Author

Maksym Babych

Maksym Babych is CEO at SpdLoad, a product development company for startups at an early stage.

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