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Recruiter vs. DIY: weighing the pros and cons of finding your next developer

Table of content:

Imagine a "hassle scale".

It's a special tool we use in sales. It's a scale that lets you see which option gives you more hassle so that you can safely and surely choose the other one. Okay, we have two possible options: you can hire a developer yourself or seek the assistance of a recruiter – each lying on the left and right sides of the hassle scale, respectively.

Let's see what's on the left side (hiring a developer yourself):

1. Trying to understand what matters

Who are you looking for, anyway? Before posting a job listing it's important to clearly understand what kind of developer you need, what frameworks will be used in your project, what level of expertise is needed, where should they be located, what's your budget, etc. Actually, this first step is the one many employers try to skip or just straight up fail at executing correctly. You're at point "A", and this step is all about where you're heading next – point "B", "C" or "Z".

2. Composing the job listings

You know, the developers have been pretty in-demand for quite some time now. There are lots (and lots) of great job opportunities for them. Naturally, their BS-o-meter is pretty sensitive to BS job listings. So how do you compose a job listing that won't scare away potential candidates? 'Cause that's what usually happens with startups – they post a job listing telling how awesome and innovative their product is, how the developer will be at the roots of the next Google, how they're all a big family there and then... nothing. Like, literally nothing happens. They get a couple of odd responses and that's about it.

3. Sorting candidates

Developers are paid well. One might think it's a rather attractive job. So, if you've somehow composed your job listing well enough, you might expect an influx of CV's of people with... let's say, less than ideal expertise. From people who only 'code' on no-code platforms to guys who haven't heard of an IDE in their lives. Be prepared to read through all of their CV's and put them into "yes", "maybe", "no" and "hell no" folders. And don't forget to respond to all of them – your rating as an employer on the platform matters.

4. Conducting interviews

Oh, this is fun. Expect to schedule a meeting at 7 AM and getting a no-show. Like, several no-shows every day. Then, expect to talk to experts in social manipulation – candidates who don't know stuff, but somehow make you believe they do. Expect to solve audio-puzzles by putting together pieces of phrases cut by unstable Internet connection. Expect to carry the conversation with people who are not very talkative. Or, on the contrary, waiting 20 minutes just to be able to ask the next question. And don't forget to have a clear conversation structure in mind – you're not talking to a close friend, you're trying to get quantifiable information.

5. Establishing the selection criteria

Okay, you've got your potential candidates, now what? Who's actually better? The one with more experience? The one who is friendlier? The one who lives "next door"? Well, it depends, really. And sometimes this criteria can be somewhat blurred. You'll have to get into a little bit of programming yourself to separate the wheat from the chaff, there's no way around.

6. Paperwork

So, after a couple of interview rounds, you're ready to settle down – time to make things official. Composing an air-tight contract is complicated to say the least. Especially if you haven't got to manage a tech project before. So, be prepared to face "ugly" leaves, intellectual property theft and other types of problems. You can always get a lawyer, that's an option – alas, a costly one.

Now, let's see what's on the right side (seeking the assistance of a recruiter):

1. Making sure the recruiter knows what they’re doing

With great power comes great responsibility – you have to choose wisely. You don't have to know stuff about coding, but you do have to do your homework and check the recruiter's reputation. Do background checks, talk with their previous clients, ask for case studies. Research other options, talk to individual recruiters, talk to companies...

2. Making... wait, that's it?

Well, that was quick! Let's see what our hassle scale shows us:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – 6 hassles when hiring a developer yourself aaand... 1 hassle when working with a recruiter. The hassle scale never lies. Seeking the assistance of a recruiter is definitely the way if you're looking for a quick and efficient solution. Still, a healthy dose of sadism has never hurt anyone (pun intended), so if you're feeling confident, you might as well try and do it all yourself.

But if you're more of a recruiter guy/gal – we'll be happy to lend you a hand. At we can connect you with top talent, quickly and affordably. And if you're unsure about which stack to choose – our devs will gladly help you figure it out! Keep in mind, you're not outsourcing a dev – you're getting a full-fledged team member who seamlessly integrates into your project management ecosystem and works in line with your product strategy. Drop us a line and let us help you find the right developers!

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