Hire Developers’ Team in California: Full Guide and Available Alternatives

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So, you have decided to build a first-class tech team in California, the mecca of the tech world. I wish you luck: while Bear Flag State attracts ambitious and bright specialists, it is marketed by fierce competition for talent. You need to be ready to fight for the best of the best to join your team, and I hope that this article will help you understand how to navigate the challenging tech market of California.
At the same time, I will offer you other options. California might be great, but it’s not your last resort to hire top developers who can deliver outstanding quality. Let’s go!

Table of Contents

Hiring Developers in California

Understanding the California Tech Scene

To understand the importance of California in the US tech scene, you only need to know one fact. Last year, according to a CBRE report, there were more than 613 thousand tech talents in California, which is almost twice as many as in the top two location — New York.

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Fig: top-ranked tech talent markets

A thriving tech ecosystem of California emerges as a cornerstone of innovation and opportunity. California boasts an unparalleled concentration of tech giants, from the iconic Silicon Valley titans to the visionary disruptors of Silicon Beach. It’s a region where innovation knows no bounds, where ideas are cultivated into industry-changing technologies. The state is home to the world’s most influential tech companies, attracting top talent and fostering an environment where creativity flourishes.

Beyond the corporate giants, California nurtures a flourishing startup culture. From garages to incubators, visionary entrepreneurs flock to this fertile ground to turn their ideas into reality. The state is dotted with innovation hubs and coworking spaces, where collaboration and invention are the driving forces.

Now that you understand the huge demand for developers in California and how big the market is in this area, we can move on.

How to Hire Software Developers in California

When it comes to hiring developers in the heart of California’s tech-driven landscape, businesses face a unique set of challenges and opportunities. This section delves into the strategies and methodologies for recruiting top talent in the Golden State.

Traditional Recruitment Methods: Hiring developers in California often starts with the tried-and-true methods of posting job listings, both online and offline. Companies cast their nets wide, hoping to attract skilled professionals looking for their next career move through online job platforms.

Job Postings, Networking, and Recruitment Agencies: In addition to job postings, networking plays a pivotal role in connecting with potential candidates. Industry events, meetups, and conferences provide valuable opportunities for forging connections. Many businesses also turn to recruitment agencies that specialize in tech talent, leveraging their expertise to identify suitable candidates.

Challenges and Competition: While the demand for tech talent in California is sky-high, so is the competition. Companies find themselves in fierce battles for the attention of skilled developers. The state’s cost of living and the allure of working for tech giants can further complicate the recruitment process.

The Cost of Hiring in California

Hiring developers in California comes with a significant price tag. Let’s delve into the financial considerations and costs associated with building a development team in the Golden State.

High Salaries and Living Costs: California’s reputation for offering some of the highest salaries in the tech industry is well-founded. The cost of living in major tech hubs, such as Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, is among the steepest in the nation. Competitive salaries are essential to attract and retain top-tier talent, but they strain company’s budget.

Taxes and Labor Regulations: California’s tax landscape and labor regulations add another layer of complexity. Navigating the state’s tax system and compliance requirements can be daunting, especially for startups and businesses operating on a tight budget.

Usually, in such publications, authors do not mention the cost of maintaining developers. And this is a big problem for the company in the development process due to the constant onboarding of new employees and in the financial process due to repeated hiring throughout the year.

Understanding the cost implications of hiring in California is crucial for businesses looking to make informed decisions about their talent acquisition strategies. It prompts many to explore alternative models, such as offshore tech staffing, as a cost-effective means to assemble skilled development teams without the burden of California’s high costs.

Pros of Working with California-based Developers

While California’s competitive tech landscape presents challenges, it also offers distinct advantages when it comes to collaborating with local talent. In this section, we highlight the benefits of working with developers based in California.

Proximity and Ease of Collaboration: Being in close geographic proximity to your development team can facilitate seamless communication and collaboration. In-person meetings, brainstorming sessions, and quick feedback loops become more accessible, fostering a sense of cohesion and teamwork.

Access to Local Expertise: California is a melting pot of innovation and expertise. By working with developers entrenched in the state’s tech culture, you gain access to a wealth of local knowledge and industry insights. These insights can be invaluable when navigating the ever-evolving tech landscape and staying at the forefront of innovation.

These advantages underscore the allure of California-based developers for businesses seeking to harness the benefits of local expertise and collaboration. However, it’s essential to weigh these pros against the challenges and costs associated with hiring in California, as explored in earlier sections.

Challenges of Hiring Locally

While California’s tech ecosystem offers unparalleled opportunities, it also presents distinct challenges when it comes to hiring locally. Let’s delve into the hurdles that businesses face when seeking to build their development teams within the state.

Limited Talent Pool: California’s insatiable appetite for tech talent has created a situation where the demand far outstrips the supply. The state’s talent pool, though rich in potential, remains limited, making it challenging for businesses to find individuals with the exact skills and expertise they require.

High Demand Leads to a Competitive Market: The intense demand for tech professionals in California has transformed the job market into a highly competitive arena. Companies must contend with one another, not only for the attention of potential candidates but also to offer the most competitive compensation packages.

Budget Constraints for Startups: For startups and smaller companies, the cost of hiring California-based developers can be prohibitive. Salaries, benefits, and the overall cost of living can strain limited budgets, potentially hindering the growth and scalability of these businesses.

By understanding the Challenges of hiring locally, you can better appreciate the alternative solutions available to build development teams efficiently and cost-effectively.

The Drawbacks of California-Based Developers

California’s vibrant tech scene is undoubtedly enticing, but it comes with its fair share of challenges when it comes to hiring and retaining top-tier developers. Here are the main of them.

High Costs

The allure of California is accompanied by a hefty price tag. Hiring developers in the Golden State can be a substantial financial burden for businesses, especially for startups and companies operating on constrained budgets. The cost of living, coupled with competitive salaries demanded by tech professionals, can strain resources and impact the overall financial health of an organization.

Limited Talent Pool

While California boasts a thriving tech ecosystem, the demand for skilled developers far outpaces the supply. The limited talent pool presents a significant challenge, particularly when seeking specialized expertise. Companies often find themselves in fierce competition for the same pool of local talent, making it challenging to secure the right professionals for their projects. This is evidenced by the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in California. According to it, the level of unemployed professionals is 2.4%, which is significantly lower than the natural unemployment rate.

Intense Competition

Competition for tech talent in California is nothing short of cutthroat. Tech giants, startups, and established businesses continuously vie for the attention of skilled mobile and web developers, driving up salaries and benefits packages to attract and retain top talent. This intense competition can lead to bidding wars and escalate the cost of hiring, particularly for smaller companies.

Legal and Administrative Complexities

Navigating California’s employment laws and regulations can be a labyrinthine endeavor. The state’s labor laws are known for their complexity, including minimum wage requirements, overtime regulations, and extensive worker protection laws. Complying with these regulations can be a daunting task for businesses, requiring dedicated HR and legal resources.

Risk of High Turnover

The competitive nature of California’s tech industry also contributes to a significant challenge: high turnover rates. Developers in the state are often presented with numerous job opportunities, leading to frequent job-hopping. Retaining talent becomes an ongoing challenge as companies must continuously compete to keep their developers engaged and loyal.

The Search for Alternatives

Given the hurdles and complexities of hiring and retaining developers in California, businesses are increasingly looking for alternatives that offer cost-effectiveness and efficiency without compromising on quality. This sets the stage for exploring offshore tech staffing as a compelling solution to address the challenges associated with California-based developers.

Exploring Offshore Tech Staffing with TurnKey Staffing

Introduction to Offshore Tech Staffing

Offshore tech staffing is a strategic and forward-thinking approach for hiring talented developers. This section provides an essential introduction to the concept and the multitude of benefits it offers to businesses seeking to build proficient development teams.

Explanation of the Concept: Offshore tech staffing involves collaborating with skilled professionals from international locations, harnessing their expertise to bolster your development efforts. It transcends geographical boundaries, enabling businesses to access a global talent pool, regardless of their physical location.

Benefits of Offshore Tech Staffing

As we delve deeper into the realm of offshore tech staffing, it’s crucial to illuminate the myriad advantages this approach offers to businesses seeking to build proficient development teams. So, let’s contemplate them!

Access to a Global Talent Pool

Offshore tech staffing transcends geographical boundaries, providing you with access to a vast global talent pool. This means you can handpick developers from diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and cultures, creating a team that offers a rich tapestry of expertise.

Cost Efficiency

One of the most compelling advantages of offshore tech staffing is cost efficiency. Offshore developers often command competitive salaries compared to their counterparts in tech hubs like California. This cost savings can be channeled back into your project, allowing you to allocate resources where they matter most.


Offshore teams offer unparalleled scalability. Whether you need to expand your development team quickly or scale down when the project demands it, offshore staffing provides the flexibility to adapt to your evolving needs.

Specialized Expertise

Offshore tech staffing allows you to tap into specialized expertise that might be scarce or costly in your local talent pool. Whether you need niche skills in AI, blockchain, or cybersecurity, you can find the right experts offshore.

Focus on Core Competencies

By entrusting the recruitment, retention, and administrative tasks to experts like TurnKey Staffing, you can concentrate on your core competencies and project goals. This streamlined approach ensures that your development process remains efficient and your team remains dedicated.

These benefits underscore the value of offshore tech staffing in today’s competitive tech landscape. It empowers businesses to build development teams that are not just skilled but also cost-effective, scalable, and perfectly aligned with their unique project requirements.

The TurnKey Staffing Advantages

TurnKey, an acclaimed offshore tech staffing agency, introduces a transformative approach known as YourShoring

YourShoring is not just a model; it’s a paradigm shift in offshore tech staffing. It’s a concept where you take the reins, guiding the entire process while TurnKey ensures your vision comes to fruition. Unlike traditional offshoring, YourShoring places you at the helm, fostering a sense of ownership and control.

The Four Offshore Tech Staffing Superpowers of YourShoring

Tailored Recruitment for the Perfect Fit: YourShoring begins with the meticulous recruitment of talent from Latin America and Eastern Europe, handpicked to perfectly align with your project’s unique needs and your organization’s culture. Your team isn’t just skilled; they’re your ideal fit.

Talent Retention Excellence: TurnKey’s YourShoring model boasts a talent retention program that dramatically reduces annual churn to less than 10%, a remarkable contrast to the industry’s 40% average. This means your team remains stable, committed, and emotionally connected to your collective success.

Transparency at Every Step: YourShoring prioritizes transparency. You know precisely how much your developers are compensated because control over developer compensation is paramount in ensuring their dedication to your project.

Legal and Administrative Support: With YourShoring, TurnKey becomes your legal shield, navigating the complexities of offshore hiring and payment on your behalf. This invaluable support empowers you to focus solely on achieving your project’s success without being encumbered by administrative intricacies.

YourShoring isn’t just a hiring model; it’s a strategic shift that places control, transparency, and cost-efficiency at the forefront of offshore tech staffing. It’s about assembling a skilled dedicated team, uniquely tailored to your needs, ready to bring your vision to life, and empowered by TurnKey’s unwavering support.

Custom Recruiting for the Perfect Fit

One size certainly does not fit all. TurnKey recognizes this fundamental truth and has honed the art of custom recruiting to perfection. 

When you embark on your offshore tech staffing journey with TurnKey, you’re not merely handed a team; you’re entrusted with a team tailored specifically to your needs and your company’s unique culture. This distinction is at the heart of TurnKey’s approach.

The Craftsmanship of Custom Recruiting: TurnKey scours the talent pools of Latin America and Eastern Europe, leaving no stone unturned in their quest to handpick the ideal developers for your project. It’s not just about technical skills; it’s about identifying individuals who seamlessly blend with your team’s dynamics and embrace your organization’s ethos.

Your development team is more than a collection of skills; they become an extension of your vision. This meticulous custom hiring process ensures that every member of your team is not just proficient but genuinely passionate about contributing to your success.

Talent Retention Program

Developer turnover is a common challenge for US tech companies, and TurnKey stands out with its talent retention program. We understand that acquiring top talent is just the beginning. The real challenge lies in retaining that talent. Their talent retention program is designed to do just that, ensuring that your developers remain committed and engaged for the long haul.

Reducing Churn to Less Than 10%: While the industry grapples with an average churn rate of 40%, TurnKey’s retention program slashes that figure to less than 10%. This means your team remains stable, productive, and invested in your project’s success. It’s not just about hiring developers; it’s about keeping them as valued members of your extended team.

Through ongoing support, career growth opportunities, and a commitment to fostering a sense of belonging, TurnKey empowers you to build a development team that not only excels in skill but also in loyalty, ensuring that your project is consistently on the path to success.

Transparent Pricing

Transparency is not just a buzzword at TurnKey; it’s a fundamental principle that guides their every action.  When you partner with us, you’re not left in the dark about financial matters. You know precisely how much your developers are paid because TurnKey believes that control over developer compensation is vital in ensuring their dedication to your project.

Empowering You with Knowledge: Transparent pricing means you have the information you need to make informed decisions. It’s about trust and collaboration, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of where your investment goes and what you receive in return.

TurnKey’s transparent pricing model enables you to plan your budget effectively, eliminate financial surprises, and ensure that you receive the full value of your investment. It’s about partnership, where your success is intertwined with TurnKey’s commitment to openness and fairness.

Legal and Administrative Support

Navigating the legal intricacies of offshore hiring can be a daunting task, but TurnKey takes on this challenge on your behalf. Employment laws, tax regulations, and administrative complexities can be overwhelming when hiring developers offshore. TurnKey steps in to simplify this process, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and managing administrative tasks efficiently.

Unburdened by Legal Complexities: By entrusting TurnKey with legal and administrative support, you can focus your energy and resources on what truly matters — your project’s success. TurnKey handles all the necessary paperwork, contracts, and arrangements to seamlessly onboard your chosen developers, freeing you from the complexities of international hiring.

This invaluable support empowers you to navigate the offshore tech staffing landscape with confidence, knowing that TurnKey has your back. It’s about peace of mind and the assurance that your development team is not only exceptional but also legally sound and compliant with international standards.

Hire dedicated developers with TurnKey

Other Alternatives

Freelancers and Remote Contractors

Hiring freelancers and remote contractors has emerged as a flexible and agile solution for businesses seeking specialized talent without the commitment of full-time hires. There are a lot of freelance platforms where you can connect with specialists, and here are some reasons why you might want to do it.

Flexibility and On-Demand Expertise: Freelancers and remote contractors offer a unique level of flexibility. You can tap into their expertise on a project-by-project basis, scaling your team as needed. This flexibility allows you to adapt to changing project requirements swiftly.

Cost Savings: Hiring freelancers and remote contractors can often be more cost-effective than bringing on full-time employees. You avoid the overhead costs of benefits, office space, and long-term commitments, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious businesses.

Access to Diverse Skill Sets: Freelancers and remote contractors come from various backgrounds and possess a wide range of skills. You can easily hire mobile app developers, software testing specialists or business development expects who work as freelancers. This diversity can be invaluable when tackling projects that require specialized expertise or a fresh perspective.

Global Talent Pool: Similar to offshore tech staffing, hiring freelancers and remote contractors opens the door to a global talent pool. You can collaborate with professionals from different regions, enriching your project with diverse viewpoints and approaches.

However, it’s essential to note that managing a team of freelancers and remote contractors requires a different set of skills and resources. Communication, project coordination, and ensuring quality can be more challenging in a decentralized workforce. Additionally, the availability and commitment of freelancers may vary.

While this alternative offers flexibility and cost savings, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully and consider your project’s specific needs before deciding on the best approach for your business.

Coding Bootcamp Graduates

At the  same time, a new source of talent has gained considerable traction – graduates of coding bootcamps. Companies now have an option of hiring individuals who have completed these intensive, short-term programs, offering a fresh perspective on accessing emerging tech talent.

The Rise of Coding Bootcamps: Coding bootcamps have emerged as a rapid pathway to acquiring practical coding skills. These intensive programs span several weeks to a few months, providing participants with immersive, hands-on training in various programming languages, web development, and other in-demand tech skills.

Benefits of Hiring Bootcamp Graduates:

Practical Skills: Bootcamp graduates often emerge with a strong foundation in practical coding skills. They are equipped to tackle real-world coding challenges and contribute immediately to your projects.

Enthusiasm and Adaptability: Bootcamp graduates are known for their enthusiasm and adaptability. They’ve chosen a career change or enhancement, demonstrating a strong commitment to learning and growth.

Fresh Perspectives: Emerging talent brings fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to problem-solving. They may not be bound by traditional methods and can offer creative solutions to tech challenges.

Considerations When Hiring Bootcamp Graduates:

Experience Gap: While bootcamp graduates possess practical skills, they may lack the extensive experience or deep technical expertise of seasoned developers. Expect to invest time in mentoring and skill refinement.

Continuous Learning: The tech industry is constantly evolving. Bootcamp graduates may need to engage in continuous learning to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

Cultural Fit: As with any hire, assessing cultural fit is crucial. Ensure that bootcamp graduates align with your company’s values and work culture.

Hiring bootcamp graduates can be a strategic move, especially for projects that demand fresh perspectives and agile problem-solving. By mentoring and nurturing these emerging talents, businesses can tap into a pool of enthusiastic and adaptable developers ready to contribute to their success.

Summing Up

When you think about Cali as a main place for hiring developers, consider the whole picture with all possible challenges and issues. The state’s tech scene offers immense opportunities but also presents hurdles in the form of high costs, limited talent pools, and intense competition.

However, in the spirit of innovation and adaptability, we’ve explored a range of alternatives. From tapping into offshore tech staffing with TurnKey to considering freelancers, or coding bootcamp graduates, businesses have an array of options to tailor their tech talent acquisition to their specific needs.


Why should my software development company consider alternatives to hiring California-based developers, even though California is known for its tech ecosystem?

While California boasts a thriving tech scene, there are compelling reasons to explore alternatives. Hiring California-based developers often comes with high costs, intense competition for talent, and potential legal and administrative complexities. Considering alternatives, such as offshore tech staffing, freelancers, or coding bootcamp graduates, can provide cost-effective, flexible, and specialized solutions that align better with your project's needs and budget, ultimately leading to greater efficiency and success.

What should I consider when deciding between different hiring models, such as hiring in-house, using freelancers, or opting for offshore tech staffing?

The choice of a hiring model depends on your project's specific needs, budget, and long-term goals. Factors to consider include the need for full-time or part-time talent, cost efficiency, access to specialized skills, and your ability to manage and mentor talent effectively. Evaluating these aspects can help you determine the most suitable approach for your business.

What are the specific benefits of offshore tech staffing, and how does it differ from traditional outsourcing or hiring locally?

Offshore tech staffing, particularly through models like YourShoring, offers several advantages, including access to a global talent pool, cost efficiency, scalability, and specialized expertise. Unlike other possible alternatives, it places you in control of the entire process, ensuring that the team aligns perfectly with your project's needs and culture.

April 1, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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