How to Hire Developers for a Startup: Hiring Models, Required Talents, Hiring Process, and Costs

How to Hire Developers for a Startup - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft offers professional software development for startups since 1989.

How to Hire a Developer for a Startup: A Summary

Hiring models

Possible hiring models: in-house employment, team augmentation, dedicated team.


Costs: depending on the hiring model.

Key steps

Key steps of the hiring process: defining requirements for candidates, screening & interviewing, hiring, onboarding, team building, scaling a team.


Talents usually required for a startup: software architect, UX/UI designer, front-end developer, back-end developer, QA engineer.

ScienceSoft is ready to provide all the necessary talents for hire under both team augmentation and dedicated team outsourcing cooperation agreements. We assist with onboarding and team building of our experts as well as help startups optimize the costs.

Hiring Models

One of the key steps in hiring software developers is choosing the right model. The models differ in costs as well as in the way employment and management responsibilities are distributed.

In-house employment

You provide long-term employment to a team of developers, fully take care of their onboarding and training, and make sure that each of them has necessary hardware and software to perform their job (either in your office or remotely).

  • Employment and related legal paperwork responsibility – your company.
  • Management – your PM or a team lead.
  • Payment developers’ salaries, which include payroll taxes and sick leave payments.

Caution: You can build a cohesive and devoted team with this hiring option, but the process may be too costly and time-consuming and cause serious delays in project time-to-market, which is critical for a startup.


You partner up with either freelancing programmers or an IT company that lends you its resources under a team augmentation or a dedicated team arrangement.

Caution: Cooperation with freelancers can’t ensure risk mitigation in data confidentiality, adherence to schedule, and software quality. ScienceSoft doesn't recommend this type of outsourcing for startups.

Among startup-friendly outsourcing options, you can choose between team augmentation and a dedicated team.

Team augmentation

You have one or several developers from a staffing vendor with a large pool of IT experts to join your existing in-house team temporarily.

  • Employment and related legal paperwork responsibility – vendor.
  • Management – your PM or team lead.
  • PaymentT&M (according to developers’ hourly rates).

Best for: Established startup teams that prioritize fast time to market and face a tight deadline; startups that experience skill gaps or enter a software evolution stage and need to scale up their team.

Dedicated team

You have a self-managed development team from a staffing vendor to work on your project (or its part) while complying with all your tech, business, and management requirements.

  • Employment and related legal paperwork responsibility – vendor.
  • Management – vendor.
  • Payment T&M (according to developers’ hourly rates).

Best for: Idea-driven startup initiatives with no in-house development team yet; startups who have a number of products in development and whose in-house team’s efforts have to be focused on a top-priority product.

If you still don’t know which model to choose, feel free to consult ScienceSoft's article on in-house and outsourcing pros and cons.

Talents ScienceSoft Usually Employs in Software Development

Your team’s composition is usually defined by the scale and type of software your startup creates – a web app, a mobile app, SaaS/XaaS, etc. Below, ScienceSoft gives a list of common developer roles for a startup with a mid-scale software project of any type.

Software architect

  • Plans out a software architecture.
  • Oversees architecture compliance with the project requirements.
  • Configures the cloud infrastructure (for a SaaS startup).

UX/UI designer

  • Plans out a visual representation of your software’s functionality.
  • Ensures intuitive user-software interaction.
  • Prepares visual assets for a front-end developer.
  • Implements UI design mockups.
  • Delivers code of the client-side scripts using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript languages (for web apps) or Objective-C/Swift, Java/Kotlin, C# (for iOS & Android apps).

Back-end developer

  • Delivers code of the server-side scripts using .NET, Python, Java, Node.js, PHP, or Go languages.
  • Sets up databases.
  • Performs API integrations.

PM/Team Lead

  • Plans out development schedule and distributes tasks.
  • Overviews the team’s productivity.
  • Communicates with all project stakeholders.

QA engineer

  • Creates and runs different types of tests based on software requirements.
  • Logs testing results.
  • Verifies software compliance with the initially established quality standards.

Consider ScienceSoft as Your Outsourcing Partner

With over 34 years in outsourced software development and cooperation with startups, ScienceSoft offers reliable team augmentation and dedicated team services.

Team Augmentation

Hire experienced talent to speed up time to market, get rid of skill deficiency, or scale your team after MVP launch. We offer:

  • Onboarding within 1 week.
  • Fast and easy team scale up and down (<1 week).
  • Assistance in designing various architectures (mircoservices, headless, PWA, etc).
  • CI/CD automation and the IaaC approach.
  • Assistance in implementing advanced features (AI, IoT, blockchain, AR, VR, etc.)
  • L1-L3 support and maintenance services.
See our offer

Dedicated Team

Hire a self-managed team of skilled tech experts to work on your project or its part. We offer:

  • Collaboration launch in 1-2 weeks.
  • Software concept analysis by our business analysts with 5-9 years of experience.
  • Services of conversion-driven UX/UI designers.
  • Agile software development and iterative software evolution.
  • Result-oriented management by a full-scale Project Management Office.
  • Transparency in cooperation and use of proven KPI metrics.
See our offer

Why Partner Up with ScienceSoft

  • Full-service software development company since 1989.
  • 750+ IT experts on board.
  • Over 3,600 success stories (including projects for Viber, eBay, MTV).
  • For the second straight year, ScienceSoft USA Corporation is listed among The Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies by the Financial Times.
  • 4.8 rating on
  • HIPAA, FDA, PCI DSS compliance.

ScienceSoft's experience in agile development ensured smooth project implementation and iterative development of Enonic XP. This enabled us to adjust to the changing market requirements and incorporate features that made us stand out from competition. ScienceSoft's team has become an integrated part of Enonic, and we appreciate their efforts and passion for the product.

Morten Øien Eriksen, CEO at Enonic, a provider of an innovative CMS platform

How to Hire Developers for a Startup: Tips for Each Process Step

1. Defining requirements for candidates

ScienceSoft’s first tip on how to find developers for a startup is to make sure you understand who you are looking for. Your requirements to future candidates should describe both the work approach you expect (proactivity, leadership, time-management, etc.) and technical competencies based on your software’s technical stack from a software requirements specification (SRS).

Your SRS is Yet to be Created?

Let ScienceSoft’s startup consultants and experienced PMs handle it! Equipped with the knowledge of 31 industry, they will translate your software idea into features and suggest the best-fit technology stack for it. On your demand, we can provide talents skilled in the chosen tech stack, too.

2. Screening and interviewing

The table below shows the scope of your screening and interviewing responsibilities for both in-house and outsourcing hiring models.

Note: In case of team augmentation and dedicated team arrangements, your first step is to find an outsourcing vendor you trust and partner up by signing a Service Level Agreement.

In-house hiring

Team augmentation

Dedicated team

Screening and high-level interviewing

Technical interview

Note: The technical interview should test a candidate’s theoretical understanding of the development technology, strategic approach to coding practices, and practical experience in development (best to verify with a technical task).

3. Hiring

In case of in-house hiring, you’ll need to allocate a significant amount of HR and legal efforts to enroll each developer you decide to take on board.

Vendor cooperation is based on a Service Level Agreement, which stipulates that the vendor remains the legal employer of all developers while you leverage their skills in your project. In other words, SLA is the only major paper you need to take care of regardless of how many talents you will need to join your team in the long run.

Note: You need to set up vendor management processes to ensure successful vendor cooperation. These processes usually aim to control track vendor KPIs and oversee the adherence of hired developers to the schedule. Vendors who ensure transparent collaboration (e.g. ScienceSoft) can facilitate your vendor management efforts by giving you access to their internal reporting tools.

4. Onboarding

For startups, in-house onboarding includes instilling company values and sharing motivations behind the software idea in new hires. It implies significant newcomer training efforts that can come at a high cost for the productivity of your in-house resources.

Cooperation with a vendor - even with an offshore one - is a sure way to speed up onboarding as a vendor’s developer pool consists of experts for whom quick adjustment to new requirements and onboarding in 1-2 weeks are parts of the job description. Regular communication between your startup and a vendor’s developers will streamline your collaboration from the get-go and accelerate the ramp-up even further.

5. Building a team

To build a real team, you need to teach developers to feel and show respect for each other’s skills and duties, communicate in a friendly manner in any situation, and be always ready to request and provide help. In in-house employment, ScienceSoft usually achieves with the help of long-term HR training or during a small, carefully managed test project.

However, spending so much time and effort on training can be considered a luxury for most startups. A dedicated team cooperation model may be a good alternative since it allows you to enjoy the results of cohesive teamwork without investing in team-building and fully entrusting it to a vendor instead.

6. Scaling a team for software evolution

After an MVP release to the market, you can face new challenging needs during software evolution: implementation of advanced features (e.g., AI, blockchain, AR), CI/CD setup, continuous software maintenance and support, etc. For an in-house team, this implies a number of new roles and a months-long wait for the recruiters to fill the openings with the fitting candidates, which can hold back your software growth.

With outsourced cooperation, your needs can be addressed within a few days after signing a ‘team scale up’ addendum to the SLA. When cooperating with ScienceSoft, you get access to the vendor’s pool of experts in cutting-edge tech, DevOps, L1-L3 support, or other fields and can welcome new necessary talents in your augmented or dedicated team in 1-2 days.

Want to Launch Your Startup Project with a Vendor?

ScienceSoft offers staff augmentation and dedicated team services with fast onboarding and quick project launch in just 1-2 weeks.

Technologies ScienceSoft Works With

Back-end programming languages

Microsoft .NET


19 years





Our .NET developers can build sustainable and high-performing apps up to 2x faster due to outstanding .NET proficiency and high productivity.

Find out more


25 years





ScienceSoft's Java developers build secure, resilient and efficient cloud-native and cloud-only software of any complexity and successfully modernize legacy software solutions.

Find out more


10 years





ScienceSoft's Python developers and data scientists excel at building general-purpose Python apps, big data and IoT platforms, AI and ML-based apps, and BI solutions.

Find out more


10 years



ScienceSoft delivers cloud-native, real-time web and mobile apps, web servers, and custom APIs ~1.5–2x faster than other software developers.

Find out more


16 years





ScienceSoft's PHP developers helped to build Viber. Their recent projects: an IoT fleet management solution used by 2,000+ corporate clients and an award-winning remote patient monitoring solution.

Find out more


4 years

ScienceSoft's developers use Go to build robust cloud-native, microservices-based applications that leverage advanced techs — IoT, big data, AI, ML, blockchain.

Find out more

Front-end programming languages




21 years





ScienceSoft uses JavaScript’s versatile ecosystem of frameworks to create dynamic and interactive user experience in web and mobile apps.

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JavaScript frameworks

Angular JS


13 years



ScienceSoft leverages code reusability Angular is notable for to create large-scale apps. We chose Angular for a banking app with 3M+ users.

Find out more
React JS



ScienceSoft achieves 20–50% faster React development and 50–90% fewer front-end performance issues due to smart implementation of reusable components and strict adherence to coding best practices.

Find out more

ScienceSoft uses Meteor for rapid full-stack development of web, mobile and desktop apps.


By using a lightweight Vue framework, ScienceSoft creates high-performant apps with real-time rendering.


With Next.js, ScienceSoft creates SEO-friendly apps and achieves the fastest performance for apps with decoupled architecture.


When working with Ember.js, ScienceSoft creates reusable components to speed up development and avoid code redundancy.




16 years





ScienceSoft’s achieves 20–50% cost reduction for iOS projects due to excellent self-management and Agile skills of the team. The quality is never compromised — our iOS apps are highly rated.

Find out more


14 years





There are award-winning Android apps in ScienceSoft’s portfolio. Among the most prominent projects is the 5-year-long development of Viber, a messaging and VoIP app for 1.8B users.

Find out more


11 years





ScienceSoft cuts the cost of mobile projects twice by building functional and user-friendly cross-platform apps with Xamarin.

Find out more
Apache Cordova

ScienceSoft uses Cordova to create cross-platform apps and avoid high project costs that may come with native mobile development.

Progressive Web Apps

ScienceSoft takes the best from native mobile and web apps and creates the ultimate user experience in PWA.

React Native


8 years



ScienceSoft reduces up to 50% of project costs and time by creating cross-platform apps that run smoothly on web, Android and iOS.

Find out more

ScienceSoft will save you from double or even triple expenses associated with platform-specific coding by creating cross-platform apps in Flutter.


With Ionic, ScienceSoft creates a single app codebase for web and mobile platforms and thus expands the audience of created apps to billions of users at the best cost.




34 years



ScienceSoft's C++ developers created the desktop version of Viber and an award-winning imaging application for a global leader in image processing.

Find out more


4 years



We used Qt to deliver a cross-platform desktop app for a global leader in image processing, a desktop version of Viber, VoIP messenger with over 1 billion users, and an anti-procrastination app acknowledged by The Daily Telegraph and BBC.

Find out more


19 years





Our C# developers created the world’s largest PLM software. Their recent projects: development of SaaS for vCIO services management and underwriting software for a global aviation insurer.



15 years



We have delivered WPF-based solutions for a leading market research company and a global leader in image processing.


We use Objective-C to implement native macOS features in desktop apps.



10 years



We use Python for rapid development of cross-platform desktop apps.

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Databases / data storages


Microsoft SQL Server

Our Microsoft SQL Server-based projects include a BI solution for 200 healthcare centers, the world’s largest PLM software, and an automated underwriting system for the global commercial insurance carrier.


We’ve implemented MySQL for Viber, an instant messenger with 1B+ users, and an award-winning remote patient monitoring software.

Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database is great for handling large volumes of data and varying database traffic: it easily scales up and down without any downtime or disruption to the applications. It also offers automatic backups and point-in-time recoveries to protect databases from accidental corruption or deletion.


ScienceSoft's team has implemented Oracle for software products used by GSK and AstraZeneca. We’ve also delivered Oracle-based SCM platform for Auchan, a retail chain with 1,700 stores.


ScienceSoft has used PostgreSQL in an IoT fleet management solution that supports 2,000+ customers with 26,500+ IoT devices. We’ve also helped a fintech startup promptly launch a top-flight BNPL product based on PostgreSQL.


Apache Cassandra

Our Apache Cassandra consultants helped a leading Internet of Vehicles company enhance their big data solution that analyzes IoT data from 600,000 vehicles.

Find out more
Apache Hive

ScienceSoft has helped one of the top market research companies migrate its big data solution for advertising channel analysis to Apache Hive. Together with other improvements, this led to 100x faster data processing.

Apache HBase

We use HBase if your database should scale to billions of rows and millions of columns while maintaining constant write and read performance.

Apache NiFi

With ScienceSoft’s managed IT support for Apache NiFi, an American biotechnology corporation got 10x faster big data processing, and its software stability increased from 50% to 99%.


ScienceSoft used MongoDB-based warehouse for an IoT solution that processed 30K+ events/per second from 1M devices. We’ve also delivered MongoDB-based operations management software for a pharma manufacturer.

Highlights of ScienceSoft Cooperation with Startups

Rakuten Viber Desktop, Mobile, and Web Application Development for a Startup

  • 3 teams, 40+ developers, 5+ years.
  • Windows and Android versions of the VoIP app with over 1.17B downloads.
  • Web app on Zend Framework.
  • Scrum development and CI/CD with Jenkins & GitLab.

Java Back End for an Innovative Hotel Self-Service App

  • Multi-tenant microservice architecture.
  • Fast and responsive performance despite high-volume data processing.
  • Integration with internal hotel management systems, etc.

Web and Mobile Apps for a Cleaning Services Startup

  • Integrated iOS/Android apps for cleaners, clients, and a web admin panel.
  • Team of 2 React Native developers, a PHP developer, a QA expert, and a PM.
  • 7 months; Scrum methodology.

Web Application for Managing AR Content in a Startup's Digital Signage Solution

  • Web-based multi-user interface to manage AR advertising templates.
  • The solution is now widely used by marketing brands across the globe.
  • 5 mid/senior JavaScript experts, 6 months, Scrum.

Web and Mobile Apps for a Car Washing Service Startup

  • Integrated iOS and Android client apps and a web app for order management.
  • A team of a React Native developer, a PHP developer, and a QA expert.
  • Agile methodology, 11 months.

Fast time to market

Immediate project start, major releases every 2-6 weeks, minor updates up to several times a day.

Quality result

Clean code and high-quality unit tests.Established Lean, Agile and DevOps culture.

High competence

Proficiency in the latest frameworks and language versions, architecture designs, and innovative techs.

Costs of Hiring Software Developers for a Startup

Hiring costs depend on multiple factors:

In-house hiring

Team augmentation

Dedicated team

Cost structure



Services reimbursement

About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is an IT consultancy and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We offer software development team augmentation and dedicated development team outsourcing to startups, assisting them in faster software launch and scaled support & evolution. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we ensure adherence to the required quality and data security standards.