The true cost to hire a software developer can vary, and there are plenty of costs that go into it other than just the one-off recruitment payment and salary.

If you’re looking to hire in a new company, the first decision is whether you want to hire an in-house developer or outsource a dedicated software development team – this decision will impact the cost.

What costs are involved in hiring a software developer?

There are lots of important factors to consider when calculating the cost per hire (CPH) which can include:

  • Recruiter fees
  • Advertising costs
  • Internal salary for hiring/sourcing manager
  • Loss of productivity within the engineering team
  • Internal training/onboarding costs

It takes time for developers to be fully onboarded and reach optimum productivity within teams – the first 6 months in a new role are crucial. As part of their onboarding package, it’s likely as a company you’ll have to purchase technology, and subscriptions to allow them to do their job to the best of their ability.

Ongoing costs will include things like salary, learning and development funds if you have them, pension contributions, tax contributions, office equipment and rental space if you have physical premises.

Overall, the average cost to hire a software developer varies greatly depending on the technology, level of experience, and location – which all play huge factors when it comes to hiring. The average salary for a developer with Docker is £58,000, and comparing this to the average salary for the technology CSS-3 is £43,970. Find out more about average salaries.


‍What kind of developer are you hiring?

There are different types of software developer that you're hiring and it depends on the kind of project you're working on. Is it going to be a full-time permanent software engineer or is it a freelance developer you're looking at hiring in order to work on your development projects?

The most cost effective way of hiring a software developer might be to look at an external software development company rather than building your own dedicated teams in-house. This could mean considering offshore development (but remember to consider the time zones!) and just having an in-house project manager to manager the project.

What is the project?

If you're looking for app development, there are tonnes of specific software development companies that you can outsource this to. If it's a front end development project, then this will have an impact on the types of specific programming languages that your developers may need, compared to a back end development project.

This is something that needs to be considered and ironed out internally before you start looking externally for a software developer. All of these considerations will have a knock-on effect on the type of developer you're looking to hire, or software development company you're looking to work on the project.

So, if you've decided you want to bring a developer to work in-house on your project and it's either going to be a contract, or long term basis - you need to start attracting them!

A girl with long hair dressed casually, sat at a desk and working on an ipad


Next step, is how to hire a developer

Developers are known for being difficult to hire, there are tonnes of vacancies and not enough developers to fill them. That’s one of the reasons that tech recruitment is such a lucrative industry, companies have become somewhat reliant on recruiters to fill their roles, which can result in a huge bill.

Haystack is a careers and insights marketplace with over 10,000 active techies searching the landscape for their next opportunity. Our mission is to highlight, curate, and uncover the most interesting tech opportunities.

Developers are bombarded with messages from recruiters and they’re turning away from the traditional platforms like LinkedIn. Haystack allows for completely anonymous browsing in the app until they want to take an action such as saving a role, applying for a job, or joining a company’s talent pool. This means that companies can engage with techies how, and when they want to be contacted meaning they’re much more likely to respond, and engage.

Want to keep reading?

Want to keep reading?