How to Hire Web Developers: A Startup’s Guide to Building Effective Engineering Teams

how to hire web developers

The importance of web development to business success was always high, but it further skyrocketed after the COVID-19 crisis sped up corporate digital transformations even more. Recent data shows that over three-quarters (73%) of firms now have an online presence. However, most companies report seeing little to no improvement in productivity as a result of these expenditures.

And even with a range of whiz-bang technology available, rolling out a new web-based service or application can still take ages. Chief Executive Officers, CTOs, and CIOs frequently express frustration that they don’t have clear visibility into their web development timelines or budget.

When it comes to web development, the key to boosting a company’s bottom line is simple: hire the right developers. But the fact is, what actually happens paints a different picture. Only 24% of functional leaders say they can quickly hire the development talent they need with the resources and processes they already have, despite the fact that successful firms make technical talent a C-suite priority.

The hypercompetitive nature of the developer labor market is one reason why it is so difficult for businesses to hire the appropriate talent. The demand for engineers is expected to rise 22% by 2029, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, demand is definitely up but unfortunately supply is down, which means the struggle for startups to attract the best web developers is only going to get worse.  Moreover, even if you are successful in hiring talented programmers, you face the ongoing threat of a rival firm poaching your most valuable staff.

All of these factors mean you need to figure out how to find, hire, and keep top-notch web development talent. The quickest path towards this goal? Work with a company (like TurnKey!) who has done it consistently and successfully for years, and helps you avoid all the common pitfalls.  This quick guide will get you on your way!

TurnKey has walked in your shoes and understands the challenges of recruiting qualified web developers. Let us give you a shortcut to success!

Why Do You Need to Hire a Web Developer or Team?

Silicon Valley startups have been successful in part because of their emphasis on recruiting top development talent. Companies that want to reach the heights of success need to be focused on recruiting and hiring the best of the best web developers. Having an awesome web development team on your side can help you in multiple ways, including:

1. Faster Speed to Market

It’s no secret that web development projects frequently go over their expected timelines. The increasing length of time it takes to complete a project could eventually pose a serious threat to the capacity to generate appropriate sales for a company.  If you want to try your hand at web development on your own without any training or guidance, be prepared to put in some serious study time. Different website builders and CMSes need technical expertise from their users. However, by assembling a competent group of web developers from the start, you can cut costs and shorten the time it takes to complete the project.

2. Responsive and Custom Web Design = More Sales

According to a survey of 200+ web designers and freelancers, a lack of a responsive design is one of the most common reasons why users would abandon a website. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to have an excellent user experience design, one that is tailored to the individual user, adaptable to their device, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use. Brand performance and customer outcomes are both positively impacted by personalization.

Brands with faster growth see 40% more of their revenue come from personalization than brands with slower growth do. The benefits are obvious: whether your business is a digital native or a traditional one, you need to hire a web developer to create responsive, customized websites.  The ROI is clear.

3. Competitive Advantage

Companies in the digital realm are making great strides to keep up with, and even surpass, customer expectations. These days, standing out from the crowd and demonstrating your unique value are necessities. Hiring a group of talented web developers can offer your business the edge it needs to stand out and draw in more customers.

4. Access to Additional Marketing Tools

A wide range of marketing tools – beyond just a simple website – exist to help drive new leads. Business email, online profiles (directories, company website, mobile app, and third-party sites), and social media are all examples of such tools. Roughly nine in ten small and medium-sized businesses are currently making use of these resources.

Web developers who keep up with the latest trends in web technology are increasingly important for brands looking to both establish direct lines of communication with their target audiences and keep their current customers happy. 

5. Search Engine Optimization

Creating legendary websites is merely the beginning. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s visibility in online search engine results by making use of techniques developed for specific target audiences. SEO increases your website’s discoverability, which in turn increases your traffic and the likelihood that visitors will convert into paying customers. Hiring a SEO web development expert can improve your site’s visibility by enhancing its code and making it easier to crawl and index by search engines.

6. Increased Revenue

Investing in a website’s creation can boost sales. A well designed and highly functional website generates attention, leads, subscribers, prospects, and sales. Your web app needs more than just a digital brochure to be successful, even if you’re not an ecommerce firm selling widgets to purchasers. It is estimated by Statista that by 2027, the software market will be worth $812.90B, up from a projected $593.40B in 2022. Companies who want a piece of that pie will need to invest in web app development.

7. Improved Customer Experience

Hiring a skilled web developer or web development team is cost-effective in the long run since it reduces the likelihood of poor user experience and subsequent customer loss. Customers’ expectations have been elevated due to the widespread availability and use of high-quality applications on web platforms. Therefore, it’s difficult to picture a thriving company that doesn’t have a substantial online presence.

Improving the customer journey entails gathering information on the customer’s experience from the time they first become aware of a need for a product or service all the way through to the point where they make a purchase decision, and then building a site or app that optimizes this experience at every touchpoint.

Steps to Take Before Hiring a Web Developer

Most used programming languages among developers worldwide as of 2022

Engineering leaders know that having the right people and teams in place is essential for executing a website’s development successfully.  But with an expected 28.7 million developers to be available by 2024, determining “what constitutes the right people” will be a continuous battle that will only become more challenging without the proper parameters in place.

So before you spend your time and energy hiring web developers, be sure you’ve laid out what you are first trying to accomplish.  Here are the key steps to consider

Perform a Risk Assessment

The majority of software development projects fail to adequately prepare for risk mitigation throughout their life cycles, resulting in considerable undermanagement of things that can go wrong.

A more complete approach to risk management is to tackle upfront the major concerns confronting all parties and stakeholders engaged in a project throughout its life cycle, including project initiators and sponsors, finance considerations, and other stakeholders needed to be successful.  This way you’re always prepared for what could happen and you’ve already thought through how to react in different scenarios.

Clarify the Objectives and Requirements of the Project

You need to know what your project requires before you can hire the right web developer or development team for your company. The first step involves determining whether or not the web developer should focus on functionality, design, or both.

Defining your project’s specifications will ease the hiring cycle. You can expedite the selection process since you know precisely the characteristics you want. For instance, if you need a web developer for functionality, you may exclude all but a few possibilities since you already know what you’re looking for. You want a web developer whose skill set matches what you are looking for.

You must also determine the short-, intermediate-, and long-term objectives for your web application. If you take the time to put together a rough outline of your objectives, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what role your web developer should play in making those objectives a reality. 

Determine the Desired Seniority Level

A web developer’s amount of experience has a significant correlation to the eventual quality of the project. Having the right mix is essential to meeting quality objectives but still staying on budget.

Junior developers often do the simplest or lowest-impact jobs. They do not engage in architectural design. Similarly, mid-level developers do not create solutions; they just execute tasks.   Senior developers, on the other hand, independently create applications and determine the overall architecture.

Knowing what roles are required on the team –and how to divide tasks – is critical to understanding how many developers you need.

Outline the Key Skills Needed – And What Will Make a Good Cultural Fit

Once you understand the level of experience needed, then define the key expertise required.  This varies based on what type of web application you are trying to build since different web development projects need different abilities, techs, and frameworks.

For example, Python is a relatively simple, adaptable programming language (making it great for startups) while JavaScript is an older language that is ideal for more established companies with complex projects. 

The key areas of skills you should consider include:

  • User experience
  • Version control
  • Libraries and frameworks
  • Testing and debugging
  • Coding/programming language

But hard skills aren’t just the only things you should be looking for.  Cultural fit matters just as much since you need a team that collaborates and works in the most efficient way possible.

As a result, spend time during the interview process on assessing the candidate’s competency with:

  • Communication
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail

Want to skip to the end and just get great web developers now?

Where Can You Find and Hire Web Developers?

Where Can You Find and Hire Web Developers?

Web developers can be found in many places, such as outsourcing firms, freelancing portals, and job boards. Each solution has it’s benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, you need to figure out whether you’re better off with a freelancer, an in-house development team, or an outsourced development team.  Let’s break them down here:

Freelance Web Developers

Freelance web developers are self-employed web programmers who work for a range of different clients. They specialize in website development, just like any other web developer, yet they work autonomously. Freelancers may juggle many different clients and projects at once, meaning you may not always be the highest priority. Online freelance job boards like Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr are common places for these professionals to publicize their skills.

Reduced costs: Cost savings can be realized by hiring a freelance web developer rather than hiring full-time staff. This is because freelance web developers typically charge less than full-time workers and do not need an office or benefits.More difficult to manage: Freelance web developers present unique management challenges because they are not full-time employees. Thus, you don’t have total control over what they are working on and when. And as you bring on more independent freelancers, this task grows increasingly challenging.
Flexibility: Depending on your needs, you can opt to engage a freelancer whenever it is most convenient for you, making the process highly adaptable. And when your project ends, you can just turn it off.Not as committed: Freelance web developers are not as emotionally invested in the outcomes as full-time employees. This holds truer still if the task at hand is a stand alone, one-off project.

Onshoring / In-House

This refers to the process of building software utilizing your company’s existing locally-based staff. You get no external assistance; all developers are your employees and accomplish their allocated jobs.

Seamless cooperation: there is cultural and workstyle alignment and being in the same location or similar time zone (if remote) facilitates easy communication.Difficult to scale: building a team of developers in-house is time-consuming and frustrating. You will need to start with a lengthy recruiting process, including posting job positions, examining resumes, shortlisting and inviting eligible people to interviews, hiring, and training. And then you have the problem of simply finding enough good candidates to begin with given the acute shortage of web developers.
No security risks: when you’re doing everything internally, you don’t have to grant access to your servers, mobile applications, portals, or any other software you develop. This further decreases the possibility of intellectual property theft and sensitive data leaking.Expensive: engineers based in America and Western Europe demand much higher wages than those in lower cost offshore regions like Eastern Europe or Latin America. This means that building an in-house team may swell your costs and force you to hire less developers, thus slowing down your product development velocity.


Outsourcing relationships are short term and project based—once the outsourcing firm has delivered the goods, they’re off and running to their next gig.

Speed: outsourcing firms can typically “rent” you web developers right away since these engineers are already on their payroll. As a result, your project can be developed quickly.Expensive: though less expensive than hiring an onshore team, outsourcing firms charge a premium for working on short term tasks. Thus, on an hourly basis outsourcers tend to be costly, though this is counterbalanced by the fact that they are usually only working on short term projects with a clear end date.
Highly flexible: outsourcing firms allow you to work on a project-by-project basis, meaning you can scale their efforts up or down depending on your needs.Wrong partner: choosing the right outsourcing provider may at times be challenging. Many outsourcing firms overcommit their resources to multiple clients, which can result in elongated delivery times and lower quality.


Higher quality: offshore developers are typically 100% dedicated to your needs, meaning that they are emotionally invested in your collective success. As a result, quality is improved.Finding the right offshore partner: like outsourcing, it is difficult to find an offshore partner that truly understands your needs (like TurnKey!) and how to recruit and hire the best web developers for your company. Many firms don’t pay attention to culture fit or work ethic, which are as important –if not more so – than a candidate’s technical skillset.
Cost effective: because wages are significantly less than in Western countries, you can get save money without losing any productivity.Time zones: depending on which region you choose to hire offshore developers, there may be time zone differences that impede collaboration. But this can be managed by having a structured, standardized workflow during the hours that do overlap.
Faster speed to market: offshoring firms handle all recruiting, interviews and hiring, meaning you can solely focus on building great software.

Watch our short video to learn How to Choose the Right Time to Offshore:

How TurnKey Can Help You in Hiring the Best Web Developers

We were once a SaaS-based business like you, searching for offshore software development providers that prioritized our demands. It was like trying to find water in the Sahara. 

So, we decided to build what we couldn’t find. Our offshoring solution? We call it Yourshoring.

How Yourshoring benefits YOU

You need a dedicated development team that can execute your vision, follow instructions, dig deep into your products, be culturally aligned, and dedicate themselves to your projects. In other words, you want a true extension of your in-house group. With Yourshoring, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Why do we call it Yourshoring?  Because TurnKey gets you web developers that effortlessly integrate with YOUR team, are totally involved in YOUR objectives, play by YOUR rules, and adhere to YOUR set of quality standards.  (Yes it’s awesome!)

Simply said, we find and recruit web developers that are a perfect match for your organization and that you completely control. And if you ever have a problem, you just contact your U.S.-based account manager and we’ll make sure any issue is addressed immediately.

Need world-class web developers? You’ve come to the right place.

A high functioning website or web-based application takes time and capital to build, but given that it is usually the underpinning of a seamless customer experience it is an investment well worth making. 

But to make something great, you need great developers.  That’s why you need an expert partner like TurnKey. We find you the top programming pros that do this all day, every day. Don’t make all the same mistakes we did when we were in your shoes – give us a call and we’ll help you circumvent all the potential pitfalls en route to product success.

How can I hire a web developer?

First carefully outline your goals and objectives, as well as key project milestones.  Then detail the engineering roles and positions that are required to make your project goals a reality.  Once complete, create a job description based on your needs and decide how you want to hire these developers: source them in-house, use freelancers, retain an outsourcing agency, or hire offshore.

Where can I find web developers to hire?

There are several options for finding and recruiting web developers.  You can source them locally using a recruiting agency, you can use freelancers that are found on common freelance job platforms (like Upwork), you can engage an outsourcing agency for short term project work, or you can hire offshore developers that act as an extension on your in-house team.

January 16, 2023

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.

Build Your Engineering Dream Team

Discover top-tier developers that match your specific requirements with our tailored hiring solutions.

Contact us
Please rate this article to help us improve our content.

This website uses cookies for analytics, personalization, and advertising. By clicking ‘Accept’, you consent to our use of cookies as described in the cookies clause (Art. 5) of our Privacy Policy. You can manage your cookie preferences or withdraw your consent at any time. To learn more, please visit our Privacy Policy.