Freelance vs in-house developers: making the right choice in 2024

Feb 07, 2024
freelance or in-house developers for 2024

Did you know that as of 2023, the global developer community boasts over 26.3 million specialists? However, engaging top software developers for your projects might still be challenging. 

Faced with a tough choice between involving freelancers or in-house developers for your upcoming projects? It's the right place to get the answers and simplify decision-making. 

Keep reading to discover which approach drives your revenue, Time-to-Market, and dev velocity in 2024. 

Hiring developers in a downturn economy: 3 challenges to consider

Despite the ongoing global IT crisis, Gartner predicts an 8% growth in IT spending in 2024. This translates to more projects driving digital transformation and more tech teams working on bringing ideas to life. However, even with the increased rewards, businesses may still encounter emerging challenges when assembling their dream software development teams.

1. European outsourcing market crisis

To recruit skilled pros, US and Western European businesses have traditionally explored cost-effective solutions by tapping into the Eastern European outsourcing market. Why not? Devs network from Europe seems indispensable with affordable rates, convenient time zones, similar cultures, values, and robust expertise.

However, the ramifications of the Russian war in Ukraine, including large-scale migration, have transformed the quest for the ideal developers into a challenging endeavor.

In the race to find adept in-house and freelance devs within tight schedules, companies are choosing to collaborate with reliable service providers or utilize proven solutions like Devler.io. This option enhances the likelihood of assembling a team of skilled talents swiftly.

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2. AI democratization

Recognized as a key driver of innovation, the AI democratization has also emerged as a significant challenge for businesses and their tech teams. Recently, this stumbling block was among the most discussed topics at Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon. It turns out that companies are facing a shortage of best tech talent experienced in AI, and they have several avenues to explore:

  • Invest more in recruiting narrow-focused professionals for the in-house teams.
  • Dedicate time and effort to involve freelance cracker jacks.
  • Focus on training and providing relevant experience for the existing in-house team.

Indeed, the last two options seem more reasonable, primarily when implemented simultaneously. However, any actions companies take for AI adoption should align with their business objectives and be part of a flexible and well-designed strategy.

3. Remote vs. On-site inconsistencies

“Remote-first” means “productivity”

Following the pandemic, the business landscape inherited a significant legacy - the work-from-home paradigm. On one hand, it is a fantastic means to help programmers maintain a work-life balance and stay engaged while operating from the comfort of their couches. HubSpot business leaders, for instance, continue to use the remote-first approach even today.

Why office and why now?

Conversely, many CEOs and visionaries, including figures like Elon Musk, perceive work from home as potentially hazardous for their businesses. The challenge lies in maintaining control over the development process, particularly concerning cybersecurity and data protection matters. 

Consequently, when perusing job search services like Indeed or LinkedIn, you're more likely to come across on-site or hybrid options than remote ones. In 2024, this mainstream will continue to gain momentum.

On-site or remote? The choice is devs

More than 64% of devs openly admit their admiration for the remote-first approach, asserting they feel more productive in such a work environment. 

It creates a dilemma for business leaders who aim to bring people back to offices, even when the workforce remains reluctant to return to traditional office settings. The inconsistency complicates growing in-house teams but presents new opportunities for engaging self-employed contractors. 

Given these circumstances, more in-house web developers will switch to freelance to preserve the life rhythm they find convenient and are accustomed to. In turn, businesses aiming to broaden their talent pool will opt for a hybrid approach, combining an office-based in-house team with skilled remote developers.

In-house vs freelance developers: 
What EU businesses opt for?

Despite the dynamic dev market landscape, most European countries remain conservative when choosing between in-house developers and freelancers. The roots lay in the ability to join the team on-site for better transparency and control over the software development process.

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The recent analysis of the Indeed open positions in different EU countries shows that among the top 3 countries open for freelance are:

  • Czech Republic (13% of vacancies for freelancers)
  • Hungary (6% of freelance open positions)
  • Sweden (3.3% of freelance-only positions)

Among the core reasons for this shift can be the consequences of workforce migration and a more loyal approach to cooperation. Curious that these countries also have more remote-first opportunities than other EU members. 

In the meantime, in-house team empowerment is the first-rate priority for businesses from: 

  • Romania 
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Italy

When Romanian companies mostly hunt devs for outsourcing projects and outstaffing purposes, organizations from Germany, Austria, and Italy try to hire an in-house specialist and nurture them following business needs. 

Freelancers involvement or hiring via employment agencies: comparison

The choice between hiring a freelancer or using an employment agency depends on the specific business needs, budget, and preferences. Freelancers may be more suitable for short-term projects, while employment agencies could be beneficial for long-term staffing solutions. However, to make up your mind and choose a best-fit way, consider the pros and cons of each option. 

How about hiring freelancers?




Is hiring via an employment agency a better option?



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Devler.io is your reliable way to hire tech rockstars

The primary challenge for businesses seeking an effective way to onboard developers is cost. Some companies spend valuable minutes scrolling through platforms like Upwork, Indeed, or others, preparing for a comprehensive recruiting process. However, there's no guarantee that the specialist found will be a perfect match.

How about saving your time, minimizing risks, and supporting a competitive advantage? Focus on your business priorities, use Devler.io platform to hire vetted and skilled developers for your project. Involve both in-house and freelance specialists flexibly and cost-effectively.

Ready to take the plunge? Fill out the contact form, and we will connect you with a specialist who best suits your current needs.

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