The perks and pitfalls of hiring a software developer in UKraine

The perks and pitfalls of hiring a software developer in UKraine

Product companies, R&D centres, and startups across Ukraine maintain the IT market cutting-edge and to the point. The top-level quality of local tech specialists together with fair costs for business establishment make up the perfect price to quality ratio. Ukrainian programmers are known to be educated IT professionals with great problem-solving skills spread across regional IT hubs. No wonder they have been a top choice for the businesses that want to outsource.

Large tech hubs are located in 5 major Ukrainian cities:

  • Kyiv – holds almost 50% of Ukraine’s IT potential. The competition there is pretty big due to the fact that most companies have their offices in Kyiv.
  • Kharkiv – lower competition, but the IT market is big enough. There are a lot of tech universities which prepare qualified specialists
  • Lviv – best geographical location for European clients and fast-growing IT hub
  • Dnipro – less competitive environment than in Kyiv, but quite decent amount of professionals
  • Odesa – plenty of outsourcing companies and startups and booming IT market

IT recruitment market in Ukraine is rather peculiar, so let’s find out more about the perks and pitfalls. 3 main ways to employ an IT specialist in Ukraine are:

  • to hire a freelancer
  • to outstaff
  • to outsource

To hire a freelancer.

Ukrainian freelancers can be recruited from trusted worldwide platforms like Freelancer, LinkedIn, Upwork, Toptal, StackoverflowBusiness. Those platforms give the chance to pick specialists within the optimal budget for a project. Nevertheless, it is important not to compromise quality for the sake of cost.

Professional freelancers can be found among your contacts. These days good networking can save you lots of time and effort.


  • Affordable
  • Minor tax payments or none
  • No need to rent an office
  • Not limited by the candidate’s exact location


  • Possible communication issues
  • High-reliability risks

Freelance work costs less compared to the in-house employees, but requires more time to find a reliable developer in Ukraine. Hiring freelancers will be perfect for small or short-term projects with an urgent need for IT specialists. For large-scale projects, you might need to consider other options.

To outstaff

Outstaffing in Ukraine is normally done through so-called IT companies. Some of them are hybrids between outsourcing and outstaffing. They do a full cycle of recruiting and onboarding, as well as provide the administrative, legal support, and accounting. They usually have a list of services potential employers can choose from.


  • Efficient hiring process
  • Full set remote office
  • Less reliability risks
  • Legal and Accounting support


  • Can be costly

With outstaffing advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Professional recruiting agencies understand the peculiarities of the Ukrainian job market, so this option will be for long-term projects of medium and big companies. So far, this has been the most popular approach in Ukrainian recruiting.

To outsource

How is outsourcing different from the previous approach? To put it simply the customer is ordering the whole project, and his communication with the team will be held through a project manager. It is quite a standard order of things in most outsourcing companies. More detailed information about them can be found on specials sites, e.g. AppFutura, Clutch, and ContactIQ.


  • Product quality and its performance will be the vendor’s responsibility
  • Management responsibilities will be covered
  • Legal and financial assistance.


  • No direct control over the development process
  • More expensive than outstaffing
  • Low data security

What is going to motivate Ukrainian developers to work for a foreign customer?

The IT market in Ukraine is booming, so high-skilled devs are not short of offers. Recruiters have to go deeper and analyze what attracts IT specialists in certain positions.

Firstly, it is the opportunity to work directly with the customer. This is much more efficient and great English speaking practice. Secondly, the chance to be a part of a diverse team. Thirdly, the ability to work with the latest state-of-the-art technologies. And, last, but not least, competitive pay. Of course, it isn’t all about the money. Ukrainian developers are highly attracted to corporate culture and the prospects of diving into cross-cultural communication.

Those were the three most popular recruiting approaches for hiring a software developer in Ukraine. To sum it up, for smaller businesses, it’s better to hire a freelancer, for medium and big – you will most likely need to outstaff, and if the client is ready to pass over the executive reins – outsourcing is the best option.

Keep in mind that there’s always a competition from Ukrainian startups like Readdle, Grammarly, so the best solution is to outstaff the team. This way, Ukrainian programmers get the opportunity to work with clients directly.

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