Alex Staff Agency

Mobile development today

Research: IT and HR analytics

We studied how the market for hiring mobile developers has changed over the past year. Statistics and findings of our colleagues are in the article.

What came before

A year ago, the international recruitment market experienced a reset actually. After the global lockdown, restrictive measures, and massive media flood, most companies either paused in hiring or rebuilt their system in the process. This led to a dramatic drop in job openings in March-April 2020.

At the same time, a number of companies laid off and dismissed many employees. Someone lacked the experience, the workload, the payroll budget, or was just unlucky enough to keep their place. This led to the number of applicants for various jobs going up.

A few months later, by the summer of 2020, the market had stabilized. It became clear how to work in the new environment, and that they were for a long time. The number of vacancies has restored and even slightly exceeded the level of July-August 2019. These jobs were mostly remote and easy to fill - many candidates were in search of work, and not everyone had a month or two to choose from.
"In the spring of 2020, Alex Staff Agency was primarily a relocation agency that helps people find jobs with foreign companies and move to a new country. We had to seriously restructure our business model in 2-3 weeks, launch additional services, and negotiate with all clients, often helping them refine their HR policies. We are proud that most of them stayed with us and we are now in a full partnership. Many companies have begun to hire remote employees, even if they hadn't considered such a possibility before. In the second quarter of 2021, we have an average of 45% of positions in remote format, almost three times more than at the beginning of 2020."

Project Manager
Alex Staff Agency
Darina Kurganbekova

The new world

Since the late summer and early fall of 2020, we have already seen steady development in several business areas, and one of the leaders is mobile development. It's easy to understand - people spend more time at home, "scrolling the feed" and ordering everything possible online. Many applications have been developed, many services have been redesigned, capacity has been increased - and much more is yet to come. And all this requires the knowledge and skills of iOS and Android developers.

According to the largest Russian resource, the number of vacancies from January to July 2021 increased by 59%. According to the service, such growth has not been seen in the last 3 years in any industry.

At the same time, showed data on the number of job seekers. And now it is at a record low. Applicant engagement, that is, the number of responses to job openings, is lower now than in the "pre-COVID" year of 2019. Rosstat data also confirm this trend.

The drop in supply on the market, that is, the number of applicants, has several reasons. There are demographic changes, as there are fewer employees. And an increase in demand means an increase in job openings, which means applicants are distributed among more positions.
"We search for candidates, talk directly to people, offer them jobs and get feedback. In the last six months, the requirements of candidates for jobs have grown very seriously. Salary expectations have increased by almost half as much as in previous years. Candidates began to choose projects more carefully. There are a lot of companies actively recruiting now, which means more choices. Whether it will be a health application, investment software, or a grocery shopping app, it's now more important. Candidates ask more about the project stack, choosing to work with modern technology and opportunities to implement new things."

Head of Recruiting
Alex Staff Agency
Diana Bolat

The wealth

One of the most interesting changes for programmers and indicative for the mobile development market is the dynamics of salaries. The market reacted to the shift in the ratio of vacancies to candidates in a natural way: applicants became more expensive.

This isn’t the first time we have seen a jump in wage expectations. This was the case in Ukraine, when American and European companies opened offices there and signed outsourcing contracts, applicants received development experience in international projects. As a consequence, developers' salaries increased rapidly, and the median income grew by about 2.5 times.

Here the reasons were different, but the result was the same. Now we have several clients who aren’t even willing to hire individual employees, but a whole staff, up to 10-15 people. A large number of job openings means that candidates can consistently choose from several options. With the competition for experienced candidates, companies are more likely to be willing to negotiate a salary with a finalist beyond the initial budget.

As of the second half of 2020, according to, the average salary of a mobile developer was 140,000 rubles. At the same time 10% of vacancies were with a rate above 250 thousand rubles, and another 25% - with an income of 200 thousand rubles.

Our agency's statistics show that rising financial expectations have outpaced employers' readiness. At the beginning of 2021, we were faced with the fact that companies' salary ranges remained the same as last year, and the demands of people coming in for interviews were getting higher and higher. Now the gap has leveled off, largely due to the flexibility of companies - those who are not able to adapt to market conditions, left it last year. The salary range is being revised for specific candidates. And now vacancies appear with initially large wage offers. There is always a space for dialogue.
"Over the past year, we have seen salary expectations increase by an average of 30%. It isn’t critical, but it is a very serious rise. A year ago we were looking for a mobile developer to relocate to Cyprus for 3,500 euros, but now we offer 4,500-5,000 euros for a remote job. Mobile developers with a salary of 5,500-6,000 euros were rather the exception, the top developers in their field. Now it is a standard rate for candidates at the senior level."

Head of Accounting
Alex Staff Agency
Margarita Romanova
"I think the trend of salary growth is positive. The best employees grow in salary, receive incentives and opportunities for growth. Mobile development is on the rise right now and the trend is intensifying - which means employers will have more revenue. And they will have more opportunities to hire expensive specialists. Those, in turn, will bring new ideas and technical solutions, which means profits will grow again. Of course, this is a simplified model. But on the whole, it's a win-win. And so are we, as a recruiting agency."

Head of Marketing
Alex Staff Agency
Polina Semibratova

The dynamic situation on the market has already borne its fruit and dictated new conditions. We are referring to new salary levels, interesting projects and great opportunities when looking for jobs for mobile developers. It's a great time to change your job, if that's what you're interested in.

You can check the latest vacancies right now or subscribe to our updates, then we'll keep you up to date - we'll inform you when there are interesting offers or new material on the subject. Let's keep in touch!