Hiring US-based developers is often easier said than done. That's because salaries for US-based programmers have been skyrocketing over the past few years. According to Glassdoor, the average web developer in New York City earns $77,051.
The high salary rates have been pushing startups and tech companies to outsource their workforce. By hiring software developers from other countries, companies get to save significant money in the long run without sacrificing performance.
Among all the popular outsourcing locations, southeastern European countries have been attracting many US companies in the last decade. Romania is a particularly favored country from this region. With a growing IT sector, competitive salary rates, and skilled tech talent pool, Romania is an excellent outsourcing destination.
Today, we'll explore why outsourcing software development to Romania makes sense for tech companies and whether that's a viable option for your business. You'll learn more about the salary rates of Romanian developers and the pros and cons of hiring them as a US company.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Software Development to Romania
If you're wondering why a US company should hire Romanian developers, the answer is simple. Outsourcing software development to Romania has an array of benefits, starting with access to a skilled and English proficient tech talent pool. Competitive salaries of Romanian developers are also a great advantage for startups and small tech companies.
Skilled Tech Talent Pool
Romania is home to some of the best software developers. According to Hacker Rank's research on the countries with the best developers, Romania has an impressive score index of 81.9. Many developers in Romania display leading-edge expertise and are proficient in a wide range of tech stacks, including:
- Ruby on Rails
What's more, the Romanian market has vast potential and a good strategic location. With a skilled labor force and an extremely high Human Development Index, Romania is 12th in the European Union (EU) by total nominal GDP. It's also a leading destination in Eastern and Central Europe for foreign investments. Since the 2000s, the nation has become a center for information security, mobile technology, and related hardware research.
According to the Romanian government, Romania enjoys a 20 million euro (22,141,000 USD) yearly growth. The IT and computer services sector only fostered a 9% yearly growth rate, with 73% of the revenue created by startups with foreign capital. Countless leading companies — including IBM, Oracle, and Deutsche Bank — have already benefitted Romanian software developers' high cost-to-quality ratio.
Romania's national language is Romanian, but many citizens in the country — particularly those under the age of 50 — are multilingual. The most popular foreign language in Romania is English, followed by French, Hungarian, and Italian.
According to the 2021 EF English Proficiency Index, Romania is a hotbed of English-speaking talent. The country ranks 13 out of 35 in Europe and 15 out of 112 countries globally in terms of English-speaking ability.
Finally, Romanian software developers charge less for their services than their US colleagues. According to Glassdoor, the average software developer from Romania makes 7,900 Romanian Leu (RON) or 1,765 USD per month. This amounts to 94,800 RON or 21,177 USD per year, less than a third of what the average New York City-based developer makes.
However, it's essential to keep in mind that this is only an average rate. The IT industry is dynamic, and rates vary greatly depending on the experience and expertise of hires. The actual rates and salaries of a Romanian developer may turn out to be lower or higher than the average calculations.
Average Rates for Hiring Offshore Developers in Romania
Research from the Romanian government body has shown that the country has the largest share of developers priced below $20 per hour, making it the most budget-friendly tech hub in the EU. Let's see how that translates into salary rates:
Junior Hourly Rate
A junior developer is a software engineer with less than two years of experience. The average junior hourly rate of Romanian software developers is around 40.3 RON or 9 USD, which amounts to 85,661 RON or 19,136 USD per year.
Senior Hourly Rate
A senior developer is someone who has more than five years of experience. The average senior hourly rate of Romanian developers is around 73.2 RON or 16.4 USD per hour. That further translates into 152,245 RON or 34,010 USD per year.
Average Hourly Salary Rates by Tech Stack
As mentioned, the hiring costs of Romanian developers also depend on the role itself. Here are the average Romanian hourly salary rates by tech stacks:
How to Hire Dedicated Romanian Developers
If outsourcing software development to Romania sounds like a good option for your business, you may want to explore the ways of accessing the talent pool in this European country. As a US company, you may run into a few difficulties with outsourcing. Having a unique strategy to source and hire Romanian software engineers may be a good option. We composed a list of the crucial steps to take on this journey.
Write a Thorough Job Description
The first step in reaching Romanian developers would be to write an eye-catching and thorough job description. You'll want to attract the best candidates with a job post that explains the role and the skills you seek.
Remember to include the following:
- A job title: This should explain what the hire will be responsible for in just a few words. A good example would be Junior Java Developer.
- Location: Provide an exact job location to appear higher in job search results. If your job is 100% remote, just write "remote" or "online."
- A detailed job summary that outlines the following:
- Core responsibilities of the position
- Required education, certifications, technical skill, soft skills (i.e., problem-solving and communication), and previous job experience
- Required qualifications and skills
- Salary: Be clear about how much you pay your hires. Do you pay through PayPal or direct deposit? Do you pay once a month, every two weeks, or every week? You should outline these details, so applicants know what to expect when applying for the job.
- A description of your company: This should include key details like company culture, mission, and any benefits you provide to employees and freelancers. Most applicants will look first into this part.
- Work hours: Detail how many hours you expect your employees to work (i.e., 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday).
- Perks and benefits: Does your company offer unique perks, such as unlimited vacation, flexible hours, and a dog-friendly office? If so, list them here. Job seekers want to know what's in it for them.
Conduct Remote Interviews to Ensure Compatibility
After creating and posting your job description, expect a flurry of responses. The next step would be to look through applicants' resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and portfolios. Once you shortlist the most impressive candidates, you may want to schedule remote interviews to ensure compatibility. Without speaking to candidates one-on-one, you may not be able to determine who is the best fit for your company.
Where to Find Romanian Software Engineers
There are several places you can source and hire Romanian software talent, starting with tech hubs, job boards, and talent marketplaces.
Biggest tech hubs in Romania
The capital of Romania, Bucharest, is home to many tech hubs that you can use to source tech talent. TechHub Bucharest, for instance, is a collaborative home for startups and developers worldwide.
You can join this tech hub by paying a small membership fee. Once you become a member, you can build strong relationships with Romanian developers and generate business opportunities. You can also crowdsource knowledge from engineers, startup founders, and commercial specialists through their online member network.
Bucharest also produces 2,000 IT grads per year. Most of them become specialized developers who work with a rare mix of technologies.
Nicknamed the " Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe," Cluj-Napoca is Romania's fourth-most populous city. Home to 12 universities and 80,000 students, Cluj-Napoca has more than 15,000 people working in the IT sector.
Cluj-Napoca's tech hub is Club Hub, the go-to spot for entrepreneurs, business people, and freelancers interested in creative and digital endeavors. This hangout has hosted more than a thousand events in the past two years and has partnered with big-name platforms such as CreativeMornings, TEDx, and NASA Space App Challenge.
Cluj-Napoca is also home to the nation's largest pool of full-stack developers. The city produces 1,700 computer science and IT graduates yearly, most of whom focus on C#, Java, Web, PHP, and .NET.
Like Cluj-Napoca, Iași is home to many universities and tech hubs. Its most famous tech hub is Fab Lab Iași, established in partnership with Modex and the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR). This tech hub has brought creative and tech communities from the region under one roof and aims to stimulate innovation for tech entrepreneurs.
Iași produces 1,100 IT and computer science grads per year, with most of them focusing on Java, C/C++, and NET. Most of these graduates become embedded developers.
Regarded as Romania's high-tech hub, Timișoara is home to many tech companies with sky-high revenues. You'll have a lot of luck finding freelance developers here since NomadList places this city as the 20th best in Europe due to low living costs and high internet speed.
This city also produces 1,100 IT and computer science grads per year, with most of them becoming telecom engineers and front-end and web developers.
Sibiu is also a great place to look for talent. According to the Romanian government, Sibiu produces 500 IT and computer science grads every year. Most of these grads become cloud and virtualization experts.
Romanian job boards
You can also recruit Romanian tech developers through local job boards. Here are the two most popular boards in Romania you can use:
BestJobs.ro has a wide variety of tech jobs. Since this site has an English version, you don't need to know Romanian to use it. Just pay a small fee to become a member and post your job post on the site. Depending on the member tier you choose, you'll also be able to:
- Access applicants' contacts
- Reactivate old job ads weekly
- Use bulk actions to reach out to more users
- Embed multimedia content, including images and videos
- Assess coaching sessions
Like Indeed and other popular job boards, eJobs.ro features jobs from almost any field you can imagine. Although the site is Romanian, most IT job descriptions are in English, so you don't have to translate your job posts.
The Downside of Building a Development Team in Romania
Although there are many benefits to hiring Romanian development teams, there are some downsides to keep in mind.
Substantial Time Zone Differences With the US
Romania is six hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time, seven hours ahead of US Central Time, and nine hours ahead of US Pacific Time. It can be challenging to collaborate on real-time projects or schedule real-time meetings with your Romanian hires. Time zone differences can also make it difficult for your new hires to bond with your US-based hires, especially with employers based on the West Coast.
Small Population and a More Saturated Talent Pool
Since Romania has a small and highly qualified talent pool, there's a lot of competition in hiring, particularly if you're a small company that can't afford to pay high rates. Big companies will always have higher chances of getting top Romanian developers since they can offer better benefits and salaries.
Finally, Romania is culturally quite different from the US. Although Romanian developers are highly proficient in English, they may not be familiar with the US culture. That can create some difficulties in collaboration between the teams.
Why You Should Consider Latin America Instead of Romania for Hiring Developers
If Romania doesn't sound like the best outsourcing place for you, there is a whole continent for you to hire developers from at affordable rates. Here's why you should consider Latin America instead of Romania when hiring developers for your startup:
Large Overlap with US Time Zones
Unlike Romania, Latin American countries have a large overlap with US time zones. You can easily collaborate, email, and Zoom with Latin American hires in real-time.
This time-zone overlap gives you several advantages:
- Shorter delays in responses and messaging: Your Latin American colleagues are more likely to provide real-time or same-work-day responses since they work in similar time zones as your US hires. In contrast, your Romanian hires may be asleep when you email or message them on Slack.
- High productivity: Having all of your employees in similar time zones places everyone on the same page. It will empower your organization to start and finish tasks without any delays.
Geographic Proximity to the US
Latin American countries are also much closer to the US, especially if you outsource to countries like Cuba and Costa Rica. So if you feel like visiting your new hires, you can hop on a flight and meet with them in person.
Higher Cost-to-Quality Ratio
Many Latin American countries, particularly those new to the outsourcing world, have extremely high cost-to-quality ratios. It may cost you less to hire from them than Romania, and you'll still get the required skills and experience, if not more.
For example, Cuba is one of the least well-known outsourcing destinations in Latin America (and the world). Since the country has a much lower cost of living than Romania, Cuban developers charge competitive prices for their services. According to Salary Explorer, the average annual salary of a Cuban software developer is only 9,563 USD, which is less than a seventh of what the average New York City-based computer programmer earns.
Larger Tech Talent Pool
Last but not least, Latin America has a much larger tech talent pool. With so many countries, Latin America presents plenty of opportunities to hire top-notch tech talent. Since very few recruiters outsource to these nations, there's less competition, and even small startups can have an easy time hiring top tech talent.
Hire Software Developers With Revelo
Revelo helps you source, hire, and onboard pre-vetted Latin American talent. Instead of outsourcing software development to Romania, you can partner with us to reach high-caliber developers from Latin America.
Our developers have been pre-tested for English proficiency, experience, and knowledge. We have software engineers specializing in every tech stack and language, including:
- Ruby on Rails
Say goodbye to reaching out to candidates on job sites and LinkedIn — we handpick the best talent for your team. All you have to do is tell us your goals, and we'll match you with perfect candidates within three days. What's more, we handle payroll, benefits, and Latin American labor laws. Revelo partners with you to give you more time and energy for other business operations.
Are you ready to find and hire remote developers from Latin America? Contact us today and start building your team quickly and cost-efficiently.