Recruitment Agencies vs Contract Devs


Inevitably during your hunt for software developers, you will have considered engaging a recruitment agency to source talent, whether that be a permanent employed position or a temporary short-term contract.

If you’re a small to medium-sized business looking for software developers the following content will help you understand Contract Devs’ solution compared to recruitment agencies.

Comparison Factor

Contract Devs

Recruitment Agency

Types of Roles


Permanent, Contract, Temporary, Temp-to-Perm

Wide Pool of Talent

Recruitment Fees


15% - 30%

Speed of Hire


Detailed Comparison

1. Wide pool of talent

While there are a few exceptions, most UK recruitment agencies source from the UK and as such, the pool of talent is limited to the UK. The shortage of software developers across the UK is no secret and is predicted to get worse, so recruitment agencies are competing with UK businesses for the available talent.

Contract Devs specialises in the procurement of highly skilled Eastern European software engineers. Eastern Europe has an estimated tech talent pool of 1.3 million developers and 2500 software houses. With close zone proximity and high English proficiency Eastern Europe is now one of the world’s most favourable IT outsourcing destinations. The Eastern European IT-market is expected to grow, further increasing the talent pool. By 2020, the number of engineers is expected to almost double.

2. Cost

Recruitment agencies will charge a standard recruitment cost, which tends to range between 15% and 20% of the contract value or yearly salary but this can go as high as 30% for hard to fill positions. Recruitment agencies will source UK developers from the same pool as UK companies recruiting directly and you will expect to pay UK rates. A UK contract software engineer rate can vary depending on skills, seniority and years of experience and start at £300 per day rising to £1500 per day for the most experienced. The median daily rate in the UK is £500.

When you hire with Contract Devs there are no recruitment fees, just one simple all inclusive day rate. Our mid-point daily rate is £270. Eastern European developers tend to be more affordable than their western equivalents. This is the result of the low cost of living and has nothing to do with the quality of developers, as the rankings by SkillValue Report shows.

3. Speed of hire

Recruitment agencies do not get paid until the company hires one of the candidates they send in. This method of working is basically a race to the finish, where agencies are competing to be the first to provide a candidate. While this certainly makes for quick hires, a placement is the primary goal, not whether the developer is the best fit for you. Recruitment agencies have to spend time on the open market trying to find developers. With Recruitment agencies all looking in the same resource pool and due to the shortage of developers in the UK, they may receive limited applicants making them more likely to place a candidate that may not be a fit in order to win the deal.

Contract Devs have invested heavily into our own private network and have access to on-hand available talent. We can spend time ensuring that the options presented to you are a good fit for you, rather than sourcing and working through applications. We will ask you to complete a contract request form that covers not just technical skills but also soft skills that you consider important to being an effective member of your development team and will make a shortlist for you. You can hire a software developer with us and be ready to start work within 3-5 business days on a flexible developer contract that works for you.

4. Quality

Recruitment agencies typically do not understand, in any important sense, anything about the developer job that they are trying to sell candidates into, so it’s natural to feel concerned at their lack of in-depth knowledge of the industry.

In the present market, it’s difficult to find candidates, never mind the high-quality candidates you require. With the competition to place the candidate first, it can be tempting for recruitment agencies to submit candidates that do not have required tech skills or not to screen candidates sufficiently before putting them forward for jobs. 

Contract Devs only works with the top quality software developers sourced from Eastern Europe - the hub of IT outsourcing for UK companies. The SkillsValue survey places four Eastern European countries in the top five slots for the best developers in the world. Coming from SaaS and Digital Agency backgrounds, we have a full understanding of the technologies, roles and skills required within your development team.

Find out why Contract Devs

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