Recruitment Agencies vs Developer Marketplaces – Which One Should You Choose?

A lot of businesses, new, small or large, commonly look towards vetted software developer agencies to fulfill the technical requirements of their firm. 2020 has specifically seen a rise in a demand for remote developer teams that provide a cost effective solution to getting high quality software work done.

However, one must be careful about where they are recruiting their software teams from. There exist the traditional recruitment agencies, but also recent times have seen developer marketplaces – companies and platforms that recruit and vet software engineers of a certain standard and aid other businesses in their staff augmentation.

Recruitment agencies need to introduction. They are companies that have a multitude of individual software developers working on projects for different clients. These developers are, more often than not, short-term employees eventually looking to move on to other avenues of work in the field.

Developer marketplaces like Toptal and Gaper have been a recent but very impactful and disruptive entrants to this industry. Their recruitment processes are more thorough with rigorous vetting procedures to assess candidates before taking them onboard. Gaper specifically has perfected their teams to provide full-fledged staff augmentation to its clients.

The article will now go into a bit more depth on how these two sources of developer talent differ in their characteristics and which one might be better for you.

Developer Marketplaces Are The Latest ‘Thing’

These marketplaces mean that not only are the developers evaluated for their performances and skill, they are also dedicated to their clients in the long run.

Developers at recruitment agencies do work on the basis of projects…not clients. There is not much focus on the quality of work. Rather, these agencies focus on acquiring a higher number of clients to maximize profits.

Interaction Between the Client and Developer Team

Because of their development approach, clients also have very little control over the progress of the work they have outsourced.

Asking for changes or working in parallel becomes a hassle. The client does not really work with the software team. This also makes it tricky to assess the quality of the work before it is delivered.

Staff augmentation firms and developer marketplaces put the developers or developer teams in direct contact with the client. They work together throught the project’s timeline, and also ensure that afterservices and updates are provided long after the initial project is done.

The nature of your projects must be kept in mind when hiring vetted engineers. Most modern software applications involve continuous integration and updates over time. One-time software products may not cut it for everyone now.

Long Term vs. Short Term Needs

Developer marketplaces are typically considered more capable of sustaining long-term relationships with clients. These engineers work as full-time employees that won’t leave after a project or two.

To ensure compatibility with clients, many firms (like Gaper and Andela) place a focus on soft skills as well. This means that it is not just the technical skills of candidates that are being assessed, but also their teamwork and interaction abilities that are necessary when working with clients.

It is unsure about the skillset of individuals in agencies. Their commitment to a project or client is even more ambiguous as these agencies are notorious for going through batches of developers quickly.

Cost and Skill – Tradeoff or Combination?

It goes without saying that a significant amount of admin and business costs are saved when you let another firm hire skilled individuals for you. It is even more economical when these firms go ahead and vet and train professionals for you.

Remote work also means that an augmented team will comprise a global pool of individuals with specific skills making them even more attractive in terms of the talent pool that businesses have a choice to hire from. Recruitment agencies usually target their recruitment efforts to their home countries, or countries where they minimize their labor cost. A tradeoff between skill and cost thus comes into the picture.

In short, developer marketplaces introduce a sustainable but flexible element to the developer teams you decide to use for your business. There is definitely more certainty and accountability with regard to the work being done, along with a healthy flow of information. However, recruitment agencies may be the choice for you if you are prepared to make a tradeoff between communication and quality of work with the cost of getting some software work done.