How to hire freelance Mobile App developers in 2024

Updated on May 21, 2024
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Kelly Wilson
Written by Kelly Wilson

Strategist and entrepreneur, with experience in hiring developers across various industries. Kelly has established herself as a trusted expert in identifying and recruiting top tech talent. She shares advanced tips on how to identify the right talent, create hiring strategies, develop your tech teams and much more.

Expertise: IT Recruiting, Tech, Marketing

Mobile app development is a crucial aspect of any digital strategy, and hiring skilled mobile app developers is key to the success of your project. Our guide to hiring mobile app developers includes a list of top recommended talent platforms, such as Upwork, Toptal, and Freelancer.com, to help you find the right talent for your mobile app projects.

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Here are the top 5 sites to hire freelance Mobile App developers:

Based on facts publicly available as of 01.01.2024

1. Toptal

Toptal initially started as a tech talent firm, but over the years, it expanded its pool of professionals to include experts from all fields. The platform works as a matching service where it matches you with the best candidate based on your requirements.

You have the option to work with the candidates on a demo basis and decide whether you want to continue with them or not.

One of the key value propositions of Toptal is it thoroughly vets all applicants. Only 3% of the applicants make it through their battery of tests. If you’re looking to hire mobile developers, Toptal should be your first choice.

Key points:

  • Enjoy a risk-free trial for up to 5 days.
  • Completed over 60,000 projects for 25K+ satisfied clients.
  • Trustpilot rating of 4.8 out of 5.

2. Upwork

Formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Upwork is one of the largest freelance marketplaces where you can hire freelancers from a wide range of fields. This includes freelance Mobile app developers, website developers, software developers and many more from around the world.

On Upwork, you can go through the profiles of mobile app developers, check their ratings and reviews, anc choose the one that meets your needs. The platform currently has around eighteen million freelancers on it and five million registered clients.

Key points:

  • Post jobs or let Talent Scouts find prospects for you.
  • Although you’ll need to vet most candidates, top developers earn talent badges.
  • Use many site features without a subscription.

3. Gigster

Gigster is another great one-stop destination to hire mobile app developers. It is a platform where you can get your mobile app development projects built on demand.

The freelance mobile app developers on the platform have experience working with some of the top brands such as Google and they’re graduates from some of the top schools such as MIT. When you hire mobile app developers at Gigster you can rest assured that you will be working with some of the most experienced and skilled individuals.

Key points:

  • Utilizing Gigster’s fully managed teams requires minimal involvement from you.
  • Only 1% of site applicants meet Gigster’s stringent vetting standards.
  • A free technical proposal outlines project pricing and terms.

4. Slingshot

Slingshot is a digital agency that specialises in mobile app development and software development. The company has a team of experts who understand your mobile app project requirements and share the best possible solutions.

Based in Louisville, KY, the agency has over a decade of experience building some of the most user-friendly apps. They have experience working with various industries such as healthcare, NGO, Food and beverages etc.

Key points:

  • Senior-level designers build and test prototypes to validate decisions before coding begins.
  • Slingshot provides proactive monitoring and ongoing maintenance services.
  • This agency builds iOS, Android, and cross-platform mobile apps.

5. Qburst

Having served clients such as the United Nations, National Geographic, Rosetta Stone and many more, Qburst is a custom software and consulting agency that offers more than a third of their services for mobile app development.

Having worked in various sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, engineering, education and a lot more, they have skilled and expert mobile app developers.

If you’re looking to hire mobile app developers with years of knowledge, then Qburst is a good choice.

Key points:

  • Qburst provides mobility solutions for gaming, IoT, wearables, AI, and more.
  • Increase your conversion rate with progressive web apps.
  • Qburst can help with mobile strategy guidance, app development, and enterprise solutions.

Guide to hiring great freelance Mobile App developers

Guide to hiring a great freelance Mobile App Developer

The digital age encourages people to expect convenience, immediate interactions, and uninterrupted connectivity. While mobile phones were once bulky luxury items, most people today consider them a necessity.

Many companies realize the potential of mobile apps to increase sales and brand awareness, but hiring the right mobile app development services is challenging if you don’t understand what to look for and where to find it.

“From experimenting with AR/VR technology to utilizing the power of personalization to deliver an even more intuitive smartphone experience, apps are becoming bigger, bolder and more brilliant.” - Elad Natanson, Forbes contributor

These mobile phone statistics may surprise you:

  • Approximately 85% of the world’s population uses smartphones.
  • 95% of Americans own some type of mobile phone.
  • 79% of smartphone owners use them for online purchases.

Some consumers even use their phones to research products while shopping in physical stores. The number of people using their phones to find businesses “near me” grows significantly every year. Companies and organizations without mobile applications often miss opportunities.

Tablets are also mobile devices, with many people owning laptop or desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. These consumers expect their mobile apps to sync in real time across all devices.

Mobile apps can offer measurable benefits to businesses. Recent studies showed that restaurant mobile apps quickly grew from producing supplemental sales to account for 50% or more of overall sales in some instances.

As more companies join this trend, the demand for talented developers continues to grow. Software development companies and freelance app developers can create applications to meet various business goals. This guide will help you learn more about mobile app developers and provide invaluable hiring tips.

Start by exploring the top 3 platforms to hire mobile app developers.

Top 3 freelance talent platforms
Freelance PlatformTrustpilot scoreKey pointVettingGuaranteeFee to post projectsTalent statusRate & Share
1Toptal4.8High-profile clientsTop 3% Talent. Rigorous VettingPay only if satisfied$500 as a credit for the first projectFreelancersYes
2Upwork3.9Large freelancer marketplaceAdditional Expert-Vetted programPayment protectionNone, client pays commissionFreelancersYes
3Gigster2.8Invite-only network of world-renowned expertsYesYesNone, client pays commissionFreelancersYes

The Benefits of Mobile Apps

There are various important advantages that make business benefit from developing and launching an app:

  • Brand awareness
  • Build customer relationships
  • Generate profit

You will spread your brand to more customers if you create a mobile app. Since people can easily access it online and download it for free, they will learn about your business. Then, as it spreads, you will reach leads and potentially gain customers as they seek more details.

Many companies find ways to monetize their apps. For example, they can add features to the app people must pay to use, while others incorporate ads to build revenue.

As your customers have positive experience with your app, they will develop a stronger relationship with your business.

What Is a Mobile App Developer?

A mobile app developer is a programmer who creates apps for smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. They design the apps first and then they develop them using programming languages such as Java, Objective C, Swift, etc. The main focus of these developers is to create high quality apps that meet business needs and provide maximum functionality.

Mobile apps are growing at a rapid rate. According to Statista, by 2025 there will be 7.49 billion mobile users. This means that businesses must think about developing and optimizing their mobile presence if they want to stay competitive.

App development requires a lot of skills including programming along with designing, testing, deploying and maintaining applications. There are also other areas where one has to work on like UI/UX design, application maintenance, data storage, security, analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, user experience (UX) and much more. These all require different skill sets and expertise and hence, hiring an expert team of app developers is important.

Why Hire a Dedicated Mobile App Developer?

A dedicated mobile app developer is essential for building high quality apps that work well on all devices. They also provide ongoing support when necessary, such as adding features, fixing bugs, and improving performance.

App development for businesses
What is app development used for?Developing mobile applications for smartphones and tablets
Advantages:Access to a Growing Mobile User Base, Enhanced User Experience and Engagement, Ability to Utilize Device Features and Functionality
Disadvantages:Fragmentation Across Platforms and Devices, Increased Development Complexity, App Store Approval Process and Guidelines
Related programming languages:Java, Python, C++, Kotlin, and Rust
Freelancers average hourly rate:Average of $47 per hour, depending on factors such as skill lever, experience, location and complexity of the project.
Where to hire?Freelance marketplaces, talent platforms, outsourcing firms, development communities

How To Hire Mobile App Developers

Before you can hire experienced app developers, you must define your project. Determine your:

  • Budget
  • Nature, scope, and goals
  • Timeframes and longevity
  • Team composition and hiring method
  • Job description, responsibilities, and required qualifications

Will you hire employees, a dedicated team from a mobile app development company, or will you utilize freelancers? You can often find freelance developers whose work quality is as good as or better than you might identify in local talent pools. When you decide how to staff your team, use the sites on our list to source promising candidates.

What does your ideal candidate look like? You might prefer to hire developers who are familiar with your industry or who have experience working on similar projects. You may need someone with expertise in additional programming areas as well; learn more about them in our other guides.

Some mobile apps are native, only functioning on one operating system. Others are cross-platform, adapting to multiple OS. Mobile app developers may specialize in Android, iOS, or other platforms, but many utilize cross-platform development tools. Be sure to decide which format you will use and hire the right skilled developers.

You will come across junior-, mid-, and senior-level developers. Each level likely has most of the same core skills, but higher levels have more experience using them. Senior developers may also have project management experience, but they typically cost significantly more to hire.

You don’t necessarily need to build a team with only senior developers to obtain high-quality work. Instead, choose the best all-around candidate for each role, considering each applicant’s technical expertise and soft skills. Your budget may be part of your decision-making process.

Remember that your hiring process must be unbiased and fair, considering diversity and inclusion. Be consistent: Ask each person you interview the same questions and use the same scoring model.

What Skills To Look for When Hiring Mobile App Developers?

Good mobile app developers should be skilled at taking ideas from concept to completion. They should be able to create apps that look great and work well across all platforms. They must also be able to collaborate with designers, project managers, business owners, and other stakeholders to ensure that they meet deadlines and budget constraints.

There are different technical and soft skills needed when hiring mobile app developers. Here are some of the common ones you should look for:

  • Understanding of Android/iOS platforms
  • Working experience with Java, Objective C, Swift
  • Familiarity with HTML5 and CSS3, AngularJS, React Native
  • Comfortable working on a team
  • Ability to communicate clearly
  • Good at problem solving
  • Passionate about technology
  • Knowledgeable about UI design
  • Strong communication skills

Tips for Writing a Mobile App Developer Job Description

Not only must you choose the right applicant, but you also need to convince them to accept your offer over others. Your job description should point out the advantages of working for your company, its culture, achievements, and goals. Also include:

  • Project description
  • Hiring method
  • Role-based qualifications, expectations, and responsibilities
  • Timeline

To ensure that applicants have the right technical skills, use sites like Toptal that pre-vet developers. Another option is to include skills assessments as part of the application process. Comparing the scores of identical tests can help you narrow your choices between experienced developers.

Common Interview Questions To Ask When You Are Looking To Hire a Mobile App Developer

As you compose your list of interview questions, consider your goals. Shortlisted candidates possess the right technical skills, but interviews give you the chance to assess soft skills and personality traits. Desirable soft skills include:

  • Communication: active listening, written, and verbal proficiency in the language of your choice
  • Personality: confidence (not arrogance), personable, team mentality, and emotional intelligence
  • Work: critical thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity, time management, attention to detail, and the ability to perform under pressure

Posing an open-ended situational question is a good technique for judging soft skills. Omit a few critical details that should prompt candidates to ask for clarifications before answering the question.

You should also ask some technical questions to gauge how familiar and comfortable candidates are with the subject. Ask complex questions, such as:

  • Which platform would you choose for my mobile app, and why?
  • How would you protect the app's security?
  • How do you test mobile apps?
  • Would you describe the most challenging app you’ve worked on and how you overcame the issues?

Asking this type of question prevents candidates from making memorized responses, allowing you to assess thought processes, in-depth knowledge, and effective communication.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Mobile App Developer

Mobile app developer salary vary primarily depending on the years of experience of the expert. For example, the top mobile app developers will cost more than entry-level developers.

If you want a rough estimate, mobile app developers make about 70,000 dollars a year, with others making around 50,000 and some making 100,000.

How Do You Choose the Right Site to Hire a Mobile App Developer?

With the world switching towards smartphones and tablets, the need for developing new app ideas is increasing exponentially. Mobile apps are becoming an essential part of almost all businesses. With consumers switching towards mobile devices more compared to desktop computing, mobile app development has attracted industries and businesses from all sectors. There are more than 2.87 million apps available on the Google Play Store.

At the end of the day, the solution to the functionality problem on every device relies on the creation of an app native to that device. This means that the coding and web development is exclusively for the hardware of that particular device

In the case of iOS and Apple devices, this is very simple, as smartphone programmers only require versions of the iPhone and iPad applications to achieve universal usability. However, for Android devices, each smartphone or tablet runs on different hardware and different versions of the operating system. Therefore, a mobile app developer needs to keep all these aspects in mind while designing the mobile application. They should also know essential programming languages for mobile apps such as Swift, Objective-C, Java, Flutter, React Native, and Kotlin.

Ultimately, which sites you use to hire mobile app developer depends on a multitude of factors, such as:

  • What is your timeline for hiring mobile application developers or an app development company?
  • What experience or knowledge do you have about hiring mobile app programmers? Do you need a full-time, part-time, or freelance developer?
  • Are you properly equipped to test coder skillsets in the development process?
  • How many mobile app developers do you need for your app project and how will they fit within your development team? What concerns do you have about collaboration and working across time zones?
  • Are you open to working remotely while hiring a high-quality mobile app developer?
  • What is your budget for hiring iOS developers, Android app developers, or an agency?
  • Who will be your project manager and what is your project management process?
  • What quality of work do you expect for your project and how will it meet your business needs?

Hiring Mobile App developers - FAQs

How Do I Hire Mobile App Developers?
Mobile app development requires several skillsets and areas of expertise, such as:
  • Data security, storage, and analytics
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media management
  • Optimum performance on multiple platforms
  • User experience
You’ll want someone who can communicate and collaborate well and translate your ideas into a successful app. Once you’ve determined your project's goals, scope, budget, and timeline, you can locate qualified candidates using top-rated sites. Although you can hire employees, using freelance mobile app developers often saves money and time, increases flexibility, and gives access to a broader talent pool.
Are Mobile App Developers in Demand?
With the steady growth in smartphone and other mobile device usage worldwide, more businesses increase their brand awareness and sales with mobile apps. Mobile app developers are in demand, with the job market projections showing a 21% increase from 2018 to 2028.
Why Should You Hire a Mobile App Developer?
Almost 7 billion people use smartphones globally in 2023, with 270 million of them in the U.S. Mobile devices account for more than half of website traffic. Nearly 73% of e-commerce purchases in 2021 came from mobile devices, and that percentage continues to increase. To remain competitive, businesses need to increase their mobile exposure. Many hire mobile app developers to design, create, test, deploy, and maintain apps optimized for mobile devices. Companies with robust mobile apps typically expand brand awareness, increase profits, and gain new customers. A user-friendly app with multiple features gets the best results.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Mobile App Developer?
Mobile app developers average $99,148 in annual salary, which equals $48 per hour. Earnings range from $31,000 to $164,000. The developer’s experience, skill level, skill set, and location are among the factors determining pay rates.
Where can I find freelance Mobile App developers?
Some of the best platforms to hire are:
  • Toptal
  • Upwork
  • Gigster
  • Slingshot
  • Fiverr

See the complete list of sites to hire Mobile App developers.

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