A guide to hiring iOS developers

Where to Hire, How Much to Pay, What to Consider

The demand for mobile application developers grows year after year. iOS developers aren’t an exception. Sometimes it’s very hard to find and recruit the right person who’d become an effective member of a project or a team.

In this article, I’ve tried to give you more understanding of a candidate’s skill set (if you don’t yet know), possible hiring options, general things to consider, and more.

Skills any iOS developer needs

I suppose it’s useless to list the desired skills of developers by their seniority level since chances are the requirements will vary from company to company. Let’s just talk about the basic skills each iOS developer should possess.

So, the candidate has to be experienced with:

  • Objective-C or Swift
  • Xcode
  • Cocoa Touch and UIKit APIs
  • RESTful APIs
  • UI/UX design standards
  • OpenGL or Metal
  • Code versioning tools (e.g. Git)
  • Core Data framework

What hiring options do you have?

There are three and you all know them:

  • Recruit a full-time developer to the team.
  • Hire a freelancer to complete a particular scope of work.
  • Hire an outsourced developer to save recruiting time.

The right question to ask is what objectives does the company follow having decided to hire a developer?

Let’s now consider the pros and cons of each option so you could understand which one corresponds to those objectives most of all.

Pros and cons of hiring a freelance iOS developer

There are dozens of specialized websites where you can find different kinds of freelancers. Good old LinkedIn also works fine.


  • Large talent pool. Just find a person who seems to be suitable via one of the freelance platforms and interview them.
  • It’s often much cheaper than hiring a person on the payroll since you can find a specialist from anywhere in the world who’d charge less compared to colleagues from the US, Canada or Australia where tech staff is one of the most expensive in the world.
  • No tasks, no expenses. You don’t have to pay an hourly rate to freelancers in case there is no work to assign to them.
  • No worries about extra office space, hardware, software, paid sick leaves and vacancies.


  • There is no guarantee a freelance iOS developer won’t abandon a project because they get bored or happened to take a sudden vacation.
  • Many freelance developers tend to miss deadlines.
  • Language and cultural-related problems in the case of hiring a specialist from abroad. Often the case with Asian developers.
  • You can’t be sure the freelancer works only on the project you handled to them and doesn’t jump between several orders.

Pros and cons of hiring a full-time iOS developer

LinkedIn and recommendations work well here.

Underneath, I’ve listed things you should know about the pros and cons of hiring full-time mobile app developers.


  • Full-time iOS developers are the best option for coordinated teamwork and fast problem-solving.
  • No communication gaps and meeting delays caused by different time zones.
  • Developers only work on one product and know it from A to Z which means better productivity.


  • Full-time employees are on the payroll so they get paid whether there are any tasks for them or no.
  • Company pays for the software, hardware, sick leaves, vacancies, etc.

Pros and cons of hiring outsourced developers

It’s often the case companies hire outsourced teams for side projects or if they haven’t much time for recruiting suitable candidates.

GEM Recruiting AI


  • Software outsourcing companies invest much time in staff recruiting which means you get a list of skilled candidates.
  • Just like with freelancers, the company doesn’t pay for vacations, sick leaves, and other related stuff.
  • If it’s decided to hire a team of developers from the same vendor, it fully or partly eliminates the issue with communication.
  • Very affordable hourly rates depending on the country.


  • Time zone difference is possible.
  • Communication and cultural-related difficulties.

What to consider to hire a perfect candidate

I hope you settled the question with hiring options. Let’s know look through some basic points related directly to searching for a suitable candidate.

1. Mind the expertise

If you’re looking for the iOS developer who’d build a product from scratch or join the team, it’s better to pay attention more to expertise rather than experience.

What does it mean? If the company works in the real estate field and the candidate has 10+ years of experience in healthcare, it’d be preferable to consider other candidates before making a final decision.

2. Portfolio

Ask the candidate if they have a portfolio to show. For iOS developers, the portfolio might be the list of applications they were working on and which are released on the App Store.

3. Communication

If it was decided to hire a freelancer or an outsourced iOS development team, you have to discuss the communication and task management tools you’ll be using. They can be Skype, Slack, Jira, Trello, and a bunch of others.

iOS developer salaries

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of iOS developers in the US is $107,829/yr.

In case you’re more interested to hire a freelancer, Codementor suggests that the average hourly rate for iOS development ranges between $80 and $100 per hour.

However, this is the average value for the whole world. In some regions, this rate is considerably lower. For example, $61-80/h in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Talking about the option of hiring the outsourced iOS developer, rates pretty much depend on the country where one or another vendor is situated. I’m attaching the map with approximate prices below.

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are a lot of options for hiring iOS developers suitable for various budgets and objectives. Everything you need to know is what kind of work you hire the iOS developer for and will it be long-term or short-term tasks.



Sergey Lypchenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It is a web and mobile app development company located in Eastern Europe. Our main goal is to develop first-rate and competitive software for our customers. My mission is to provide people with interesting material about innovations in the world of IT.


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