One of the most crucial steps in building a functional and successful iOS app software is choosing the best iOS developer for the job. This is never an easy task, but not an impossible one as well.
However, it’s a worthy step to put effort into since Statista reports that Apple users are more willing to pay for apps than Android users thus showing that a functional iOS app with unique features and high levels of security can bring in large revenue for your business. All these are possible if you nail the hiring stage for a proficient iOS developer.
In this article, we’ll explain the important elements you need to consider as well as the steps you need to take in finding the right iOS developer candidates to shortlist in the hiring process. We’ll then share the best platforms for finding the right iOS engineers.
By the end of this post, you’ll fully understand what it takes to find the best iOS programmers and in no time, work with one in building a functional and fully secure iOS app to help you with your business goals.
Let’s get right to it.
7 Things To Consider Before Hiring An iOS App Developer
Hiring the right iOS developer to work on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac app first involves learning and identifying some crucial elements. Doing so will mean you don’t only get to hire a proficient iOS programmer but also the most appropriate one for the iOS project.
I. Define Your Business Goals
Before hiring an iOS developer, your business goals need to be crystal clear because they’ll affect the part the iOS app plays. It’ll also help you select the iOS programmer with related experience and thorough expertise. Additionally, this will allow the iOS developers and the tech team involved in the project to have a better picture of what features and functionalities the iOS app should have.
II. Define Your Project Requirements
After defining your business goals, you can now specify your project needs. For instance, if your business goal is to get more leads, your app should include engaging features to draw in your target market.
When defining your project needs, you’ll also be able to determine the skill level and experience you’ll require from your iOS developer candidates. Outline whether you need a frontend developer, a backend developer, or a full-stack developer.
All else follows: outlining duties, setting deadlines or milestones, and coming up with a budget. This also includes outlining your preferred work arrangements be it on a full-time remote or on-premise setup, freelance setup, or part-time setup.
III. Understand What Remote Working Capabilities Entail
While you can always hire iOS developers who’d agree to an on-premise arrangement, working with global talents will require you to cater to remote working arrangements. This will also mean lesser commuting cost for the iOS developer and lesser office resources cost for your company.
Keep in mind too that if you choose to work with remote developers, time zones could be different which means work hours would also be different. In this case, you have to arrange a schedule where you and the iOS developer meet to discuss matters about the iOS software project.
Working with a company that provides a project management tool like what we provide here in Aloa will make project communication easier for you. Since you get real-time updates about the project progress using our tool, there will be a lesser need to contact the iOS developer for updates.
IV. Define The iOS Developer’s Duties And Responsibilities
An effective way to get in touch with the perfect developer candidate for an iOS app project is to outline the role they will be playing in the project. So before posting job ads on iOS developer hiring platforms, first you have to outline the duties and responsibilities they will take on.
This is why defining your project requirements comes before this point because it’s a prerequisite in defining an iOS developer’s role for the project. You also have to identify the programming language they have to be proficient in (more on this in a later section), the iOS frameworks they have experience with, and all other tech skills needed to make the iOS application a success.
To give you an idea, here are some of the roles you can outline for the iOS developer candidates:
- Conceptualizing the iOS app’s functionality
- Collaborating with other tech team members for specific project tasks
- Identifying development process problems and resolving app issues
- Checking the iOS app’s quality and performance
- Publishing the iPhone, iPad, or Mac app on the App Store
- Managing the app’s code and automation
- Deploying the iOS app
- Taking care of updates and maintenance schedules
V. Identify Your Target Users
After defining your business goals, identifying your target users will be easier. If your goal is lead generation, the app will be tailored to those who have little or no knowledge about your brand yet. If the iOS app’s goal is to nurture leads, then it should have features that will entice them to explore your offers more.
Additionally, identifying your target audience also involves doing extensive market research or working with the team who handles this. Say for example you found out that your target users are mostly in their 40s-50s, then the app navigation should be very easy. If it’s made for a younger audience then the app should be designed with their interests and behavior in mind.
VI. Understand The iOS Ecosystem
Before hiring an iOS app developer, you should also have ample knowledge about the iOS ecosystem, better if you’re an Apple device user yourself. This will help you determine which iOS developers have thorough knowledge about how Apple products interact with each other and which ones know how to make the iOS app the most user-friendly it can get (Apple is known for its user-friendly interface).
Once you understand the iOS ecosystem, it’s easier for you to filter out those who know the platform inside out from those who are just claiming to be an expert in it.
VII. Identify Those Who Have Knowledge Of Emerging Tech
While a proficient iOS developer knows every fiber in the iOS ecosystem, those who know emerging tech are a plus factor. This means they are capable of keeping up with the latest trends that might be applied to the main iOS features sooner or later.
Take augmented reality for example. AR as some call it is gradually becoming a staple for many brands like Ikea and applied to their iOS mobile devices. Experience in Core ML 3 (a machine learning kit) is something to look at as well.
If the iOS developer has experience and knowledge in this tech, they’ll be capable of developing interactive, innovative, and user-friendly iOS mobile applications. They’ll be able to deliver a next-generation user experience that will set your edge over competitors.
Now let’s move over and discuss the specific tech skills and soft skills you should look for in a proficient iOS developer.
Skills To Look For In An iOS Developer
One of the most important goals a proficient iOS developer should achieve is to provide app users with a streamlined experience that would move them to interact with your brand more. This involves being equipped with specific tech and soft skills which we will discuss in this section.
As a quick overview, iOS apps run in either one of these 2 programming languages: Swift or Objective-C. This means the best iOS developer to hire should at the bare minimum, be proficient in either one of these programming languages (better if they’re an expert in both). Additionally, they should also have a solid grasp of the SOPs and Apple human interface guidelines that govern the iOS platform.
So what tech skill set should a proficient iOS developer have? Consider the list below.
A. iOS Developer Tech Skills
Other than expertise with Swift, Objective-C, iOS platform SOPs, and Apple guidelines, here are the most important skills to look for in a capable iOS programmer.
- Standard knowledge of UI/UX
- Experience in Xcode IDE
- Proficiency in advanced code versioning instruments
- Proficiency in Realm or Core Data
- Excellent knowledge of APIs and experience in API integrations
- Knowledge of OpenGL and Metal (not required but nice to have)
Additionally, depending on the industry you’re in, the iOS developer should have experience in creating iOS apps in that field. For example, if your business is in finance, then an iOS developer with eBanking experience would be an excellent choice. If you’re selling goods online, then an iOS developer with eCommerce experience will be the best fit.
Moreover, it’s also good to consider iOS engineers with experience in emerging tech who have experience or proficient knowledge in ARKit3 and Reality Kit (for augmented reality).
Other than these tech skills, you also have to consider soft skills for your iOS developer candidates.
B. iOS Developer Soft Skills
iOS developers that possess certain soft skills will ensure an agreeable work attitude, performance, and output. So when considering a candidate, look into their values, cultural background, and work attitude as well. You might end up working with a tech proficient developer but couldn’t meet deadlines because they can’t work well with others on the team.
Hence, here are the soft skills you can require:
- Has critical thinking
- Ability to collaborate well with others
- Can meet deadlines
- Can lead others
- Has clear communication skills (speaks the language you know proficiently)
- Is diligent and persistent
Depending on the iOS app’s complexity, you would require a certain skill level from an iOS developer, so let’s consider that next.
C. iOS Developer Skill Level
There are 3 main skill levels for iOS developers: Junior, Middle, and Senior iOS developers. Consider the list below to know what each expert is capable of helping you determine who’d fit best for your iOS project.
Junior iOS Developer
Junior iOS developers are the least-experienced type. Typically they already acquire the basic iOS developer skills and knowledge including related frameworks. These types of developers typically handle simple and entry-level tasks. They mostly assist Senior iOS developers to gain more experience.
Middle iOS Developer
A mid-level iOS developer as others call it has at least 3 years of experience in building iOS software projects. This also means they are now capable of handling a complete application development lifecycle for an iOS project. Other than that, here are additional skills these types of developers have:
- Ample know-how of the UI/UX design process
- Can create apps in either Swift or Objective-C
- Fully understand SQLite, Core Data, and offline caching logic
- Fully understands and has experience with concurrency and asynchronous iOS programming
- Already have experience with map kit, store kit, and Core Location
- Should fully understand how push notifications work
- Is already capable of deploying apps to the App Store
Senior iOS Developer
A senior iOS developer has at least 6 years of experience creating apps for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. They typically have undertaken countless projects and know the deployment process like the back of their hand. At this point, they’ve already honed their leadership skills to guide newer iOS developers. Here are additional skills senior iOS developers have:
- Can review, test, and debug code
- Has proficiency in operating systems and the whole iOS application
- Drive architectural decision
- Mentor junior and mid-level iOS developers
- Structure technical documentation
- Outline development standards with best practices and current trends in mind
- Assemble and manage development teams
- Define GitFlow
- Come up with milestones, targets, or deadlines
Now let’s put together the elements we discussed in a 5-step process of hiring iOS programmers.
5 Steps In Hiring A Proficient iOS Developer
While these are not hard and fast rules, these steps should be able to guide you on how you go along the process of hiring the best iOS developers in the industry.
Step 1: Prepare A Detailed Job Description For Your iOS Project
An accurate and detailed job description will attract the right iOS developers for the job. After determining your business goals and defining your project requirements, this step should be easy to do. A detailed job description includes:
- Brief intro about the job at hand
- A short background of your company and the app’s purpose
- List of required tech and soft skills including desired experiences
- Roles and responsibilities of the iOS developer
- Preferred work arrangements
- Compensation (monthly or hourly rates) and benefits
In the app’s purpose, you should be able to determine the main functionalities it should have. When this is ready, you can submit it on iOS developer hiring platforms or to outsourcing companies to make it easier for them to select the best candidates from their network. Then set a time when you’ll accept applications.
Step 2: Shortlist Applicants And Schedule Interviews
When your deadline application is over, you can start shortlisting applicants. It’ll be helpful to prioritize those who have prior experience in building an iOS app similar to what you’re looking to build. This way, you can narrow down the list faster.
Once you have your final list of applicants, you can schedule an interview with them to get to know them, their skills, and experiences better.
Step 3: Conduct An Interview
In this stage, you can ask confirmatory questions about the skills they’ve put down on their resume. You can also ask for a portfolio you can check to know more about their past projects.
2 of the most important questions you can ask them are:
- What will you do to prevent retain cycles when using closures or blocks in Swift?
- Tell me about the workflow you went through when developing a past project.
You must talk out all these details with them so you can also gauge their communication skills which will be vital in the development phase of the iOS project. When necessary, you can also ask them to undergo personality tests or test coding activities.
Step 4: Finalize The Agreement And Sign A Contract
At this point, you can already identify the best fit iOS developer candidate for mobile app development. You can then get back to them to finalize the work arrangements and compensation. To seal the deal and lock in what you agreed on, sign a contract outlining all the agreed details. It’s also best to let them sign an NDA or a non-disclosure agreement to ensure the safety of your project and to ensure they won’t offer it to your competitor for a higher price.
The contract should include:
- Services they will provide
- Project duration and cost
- Intellectual property rights
- Other important arrangements
Step 5: Onboarding
Finally, onboard the chosen iOS developer. This includes orienting them about the company’s mission and goals, company culture, standards followed, introducing them to stakeholders and team members they’ll closely work with, and other details needed to make it easy for them to know their way around the company.
9+ Sources Of Excellent iOS Programmers
Where can you find worthy iOS developer candidates? Here is a list of the best places to scout excellent iOS software engineers.
We are an outsourcing development company that has vetted the best development agencies around the world to provide you with the most proficient and highly-experienced developers in the industry. Our strict vetting process ensures the expertise of our app developers and the quality of the output we can provide for you.
Toptal is also a network of vetted freelance software developers. Other than developers, you can also hire designers and project managers from this platform.
3. Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer platform where newbie developers can consult with professional programmers. You can find the right candidate by identifying questions that relate to the development project you’re looking to build and determining which developers can provide expert answers.
GitHub is a Git repository where you can find open-source software projects. You can identify projects closest to what you’re looking to build and determine who the developer is.
Arc.dev is a remote job platform for software developers. Like Aloa and Toptal, they have trusted and vetted developers around the world giving you a global selection of tech talents.
Gun.io is another hiring platform for freelance iOS developers. With it, you can hire individual developers or a whole engineering team.
Dice is a recruiting platform for information technology and engineering professionals. This tech-related marketplace can help you find the perfect match in no time given that you’ve provided them with full details about your requirements.
Upwork is more of a general freelancer marketplace. While you can find iOS experts on this platform, it might require more effort to find them given that it has no thorough vetting process.
Gaper.io is another marketplace for remote developers. They take pride in helping you build your remote software engineering team in 48 hours.
Lemon.io is an eccentric developer hiring platform for hiring trusted and in-demand iOS engineers. They are also home to CTOs (chief technology officers) when you need someone to focus on overseeing your tech team.
Whether you’re a startup or an enterprise company, hiring a proficient iOS developer will be a lot easier when you consider the 7 important points before scouting for tech talents. You can then refer to the skills section to know what to require for your iOS developer candidates and which type of developer is best to hire. When you determine those areas, you can then follow the 5-step process in shortlisting the best candidates and onboarding the chosen ones.
It might take a bit of planning and effort but in no time you’ll be on the road to finding the best iOS developer to turn your vision into reality. If you have more concerns or questions about the hiring process of iOS programmers, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you out.