Everything you Need to Know about Hiring your First Contract Developer

first contract developer
Written By


Published On

September 9, 2022


Having success within business processes begins with having the right developer. It can be intimidating at first to hire and work with a developer! Coding knowledge and technical language used by developers can be a whole new world. Contract developer jobs are in high demand because of the importance of their work.

What is a Software Engineer?

A software engineer is responsible for developing software programs or systems that meet the user's needs. They are responsible for meeting with clients and business professionals to collaborate and create ideas for software. They also coordinate with other IT professionals to create software and run tests in order to catch errors in coding. Software engineers need to have great communication skills, a bachelor's degree, and strong backgrounds in computer science.


What is a Contract Developer?

A contract developer is someone who develops secure web applications for varied purposes, such as data collection, quality measurement, and reporting. Contract developers are involved with system design and technical documentation. They are responsible for dot net development. A contract developer needs to have excellent problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and communication skills. They also need to be detailed-oriented and communicate effectively with clients. This is a great career path for those interested in computer science and software engineering. There are always contract developer jobs available.


Why Hire a Contract Developer?

When looking to hire for your business, you might be considering hiring a contract developer or a full-time developer. There are benefits to both options, and it comes down to your budget and what your business needs. There is more flexibility when hiring a contract developer, and it may save you the time and effort of finding and hiring an employee. The work environment for technology professionals is competitive, and your business can help provide professionals with personal flexibility by offering contracts. Hiring a contract developer is excellent for efficiently finding the right person for the job, and getting the work completed.


Benefits of Hiring a Contract Developer


Cost Effective

Hiring a contract developer can be cost-effective. Contractors are responsible for their own payroll taxes and benefits. Along with taxes and benefits, they also manage their own quality assurance, screening methods, IT needs, servers, network, and software. Because they are managing most of their own needs, it saves your business in overhead costs. You are then able to put your money where there is greater need.


Highly Skilled Candidates Available

The tech industry is a candidate's market because things are competitive for those seeking work. Contract developers can be highly sought after if they are excellent at what they do. Instead of looking for contract developer jobs, they often have requests and bids sent directly to them. Often, when you hire a contract developer you are getting a highly-skilled professional in great demand. They have the ability to complete the job you need efficiently and effectively.


Option for Short-Term Employees as Needed

If you don't need a long-term developer, you'll still need a temporary contract developer to help solve present needs. You may have developer needs at the moment, but are unsure if you will have those needs in the future. A contract developer is a good solution to this. Contract developer jobs tend to be on a project basis, or for a limited period of time. That means your business doesn't have to worry about hiring a long-term employee and everything that entails. If the contract developer is not a good fit for your business, you are able to find a different person for the job instead of experiencing the impact of letting an employee go.


Contract Developers are Adaptable

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a contract developer is that they are adaptable. You are able to watch and respond to your business needs and demands as they come up when utilizing contract developers. Contract developers are used to working in a variety of settings and for different businesses, so they are accustomed to assimilating to new teams and adapting to different projects. You are able to determine if you have long-term work needs while still taking care of your business.


Niche Skills Available

You have access to niche skills when hiring contract developers. Your business can benefit from contracting with niche experience developers. If you need software written in an uncommon language, having contract developers in that niche can help you fill your business processes.

Hiring a developer? Onboard them the right way with our free checklist!

Disadvantages and Considerations when Hiring a Contract Developer

Where flexibility is a benefit to hiring a contract developer, it can also be a disadvantage. There can be potential for a lack of loyalty from contractors. They have no obligation to accept your contract and don't need to give a reason why. Highly sought-after contract developers have very limited availability and are selective with the contracts they accept. They can also be expensive, and might even be higher paid than permanent employees.

Software developers who want permanent employment also may desire benefits that contractors have. These can be benefits like flexibility, remote work, variety of work, and high salary. Those companies interested in hiring great software developers permanently need to offer the benefits of contract work, along with those of a traditional job. Companies would also be obligated to pay for training and career development. This can all come at great expense over time.

The risk of exposing intellectual property is a disadvantage of using contract developers. Businesses will often take measures to protect their property and themselves when contracting. It is important to build trust with your contract developer, but to also have legal contingency put in place. You need to make sure that a lawyer reviews all contracts, along with ensuring confidentiality and ownership agreements are clear between both parties. Another way to ensure security is to only give your contractors access to essential materials to complete the job.


How to Hire a Good Contract Developer

When looking to hire contract developers with the right skill set, there are some things that can help. Whether you are wanting to fill a role for a short-term assignment in order to lighten your team's workload, or outsource a large project, knowing what to look for will make certain you hire the right person.


Determine what Work Needs to be Completed

You need to determine how much work needs to be completed and what it entails before you can start hiring. Overestimating the amount of work that needs to be completed could result in hiring too many developers or setting a contract for more work than is actually required. You could then lose money paying for developers who were unneeded or used inefficiently.

It is also important not to underestimate the number of hours or the number of contractors that will be needed to complete a project. Underestimating can also cause problems, missed deadlines, overworked employees, and the added cost of hiring contract developers.



If your main business is not software development, or if you need extra help on current projects, a common solution in the industry is outsourcing. This is done by hiring an independent team to develop your software in its entirety. It can also help you have access to the best people for the job. However, this does tend to be an expensive choice.


Find a contract developer

Finding and hiring a contract developer is similar to the process of onboarding a new employee. You want to look for someone who shares your values, goals, and mindset. You also want someone who has a history that matches your work. Hiring platforms and technical recruiters are great places to find contractors, as well as getting referrals from companies with similar needs.

When interviewing potential contractors it is important to ask questions that will give you an idea of who you might be working with.

Some example questions are:

  • What technologies do you use?
  • What is your software design and development process?
  • How do you communicate with your clients?

Planning ahead and knowing what questions you will ask helps you hire the best person for your business' needs.

Agree upon a Timeline

Although delegating tasks can be difficult, it is vital in running a business efficiently. You delegate tasks to others who can complete the work effectively and then you can focus on your strengths. By delegating tasks to a contract developer, you are freeing up time for your team to be able to complete their work.

If delegating is difficult for you and makes you feel out of control, creating a timeline can help ease the task. You need an agenda that outlines the development of each stage of the project and when to integrate work at the best time. Regular reviews during the project timeline and approval of work completed are required for it to be effective.


Agree upon a Development Contract

Setting up the contract is just as important as the contract developer. You need to look at your options and make the best decision for you and your team. Options may be a fixed price contract, time and material contract, dedicated team contract, and other contracts to best fit your needs.


How Long does it Take to Hire a Contract Developer?

Most companies would love to have a permanent developer, but that is not always a possibility. When a company hires a developer, they want the best person for the job and for them to fit in with the team. They want to find someone in a timely manner and onboard them to the company as soon as possible. This is the best-case scenario, but is not always possible in such a competitive market.

The process of finding a software developer is not as easy as many hope. Finding and securing an experienced software developer requires more time and patience than filling other positions on your team. They are in high demand, which makes it harder for a company to hire someone permanently.

The difficulty of securing a developer is likely to increase when it is a non-tech-based company or organization. When a non-tech-based company is attempting to fill highly technical roles, the process can take longer because the company often does not know the skills required or how to look for someone with the experience needed.

When your company is looking for the best developer, it can be beneficial to have insight into the current demand for developers. Knowing the current environment with contract developer jobs can help narrow your search for the right developer for your company. Today's world is tech-centered, and as a result, the demand for developers continues to rise. The need for software engineering is projected to continue to grow in the coming decade.

Every industry has the need for IT talent and roles. For example, county libraries in the entertainment industry require websites, applications, and other digital products in order to succeed in today's tech-driven world. Because of this, the demand for developers is higher than the pool of developers. This makes for a very competitive market. If a contract developer has experience working in the area in demand, they will have their pick of jobs.

Companies often feel they need to develop digital products to stay competitive in today's market. They often find themselves unable to fulfill those demands themselves. This can result in feeling they are behind in seeking the help of developers. The process of hiring a contract developer can seem long and tedious, but it usually depends on the company doing the hiring. It can be difficult to find a candidate in such a competitive market.

There are some factors that can affect how long it takes to hire developers. Hiring a new employee is a big commitment, especially when it is a technical position. Companies usually go through different processes to narrow their choices for the best candidates.

Companies usually have established hiring protocols and policies to help them determine the best fit for the job. Sometimes hiring can be left to one individual or a team of people. Candidate screening processes can include personality tests, drug tests, skills tests, and background checks.

Due to these long procedures, hiring a contract developer might be the best option if you need something done in a timely manner.


So is a Contract Developer Right for You?

Contract developer jobs are becoming more common. They are beneficial for the contract developer and the businesses hiring them. They are a key part of bringing company principles into web development. Skilled developers are highly sought-after for a reason. They are able to save businesses' time and money. They allow faculty members to focus on their strengths and the contract developer on software engineering. They are able to fill a temporary position or a long-term position if needed. Overall, there are many reasons why someone would choose a contract developer over a long-term employee.