Hiring Cheap Developers Just Isn’t Worth It

Hiring Cheap Developers Just Isn’t Worth It

Developers are a highly sought after these days as mobile and web applications are now a big deal for consumers and businesses. As such, the average salary for developers has increased significantly. If you’re an organisation looking to recruit a developer, it’s tempting to hiring one that doesn’t demand much money so you can cut down on costs on the get-go. However, that can lead to big problems later down the track. Here’s why.

AJ Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of alumni-engagement platform Alumnify, has plenty of experience hiring developers to help his company build websites, servers and apps. In Entrepreneur, he talked about why it’s a bad idea to hire developers that come cheaply:

“Specifically, developers who are underpaid often under-achieve. And those who do not know what they are really worth are likely to be under-educated or lack necessary experience. Either way, I you choose one of these options, you’ll be hiring someone you shouldn’t because you’ll be settling in order to save money…
“Developers who come cheap are known for lacking motivation and not having much desire to advance. This shows that their career goals are nearly non-existent, that they are there just for the paycheck in most cases.”

That’s a harsh assessment, but competent developers should be compensated accordingly for their expertise and good work.

Agrawal’s advice for hiring developers for your company is this:

“When sifting through the candidates you have for developers, make sure to break them down into categories to compare candidates against those in their own group. Ensure that your most experienced and most educated developers are making a competitive wage in comparison to other top developers in the country. Appreciation and competitive pay will help you keep developers with your company for a longer period of time. And that’s exactly what you want, not just cost-savings.”

Do you agree with Agrawal’s views on hiring developers? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Entrepreneur]


  • I think the guy has some points. If you are insisting on paying below market value for a dev, you are really running the risk of getting someone who isn’t able to perform to your expectations. Some companies then bank on getting staff cheaply and saying they will mentor them to become an excellent performer, but generally it just means the staff member will leave to get a higher-paying job, or the company drops them when they ask for more money.

    That being said, you do need a lot of rigour around your hiring process for technical staff; the hackathon idea is interesting – I would go further and look at hosting other events for the kind of people you want to employ; regular get-together for devs who love a particular dev stack not only exposes new talent to your org, but helps invigorate existing talent. Of course, if you have a toxic workplace, or your company is seriously “corporate”, then you’ll probably just scare them off anyway.

  • Posting this anonymously because my handle is very widely known in my workplace..

    I took on a job that I get paid so much less than I should, because my employer wouldn’t go any higher. I settled because I needed the work, but since my salary is lower than an entry level programmer I don’t really go for gold. I tend to just do my work slower than I normally would.

    Article is very on point.

  • whatever you save now on the developer, you will waste on fixing the crap they put together. While they may charge 50% less, they’ll take twice as long to develop something half as good.

  • I can attest to this.

    My company created a painstakingly detailed plan of how our app should work/look etc.
    The peopled hired assumed they knew best and basically threw the plan out the window.

    We had been warned before however thought that with proper planning, even advising how to code some parts we’d avoid a catastrophe.

    Never again.

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