Denis Grankin Head of Sales Department

How to hire PHP developers in Ukraine in 2021 [Comprehensive Guide]

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hire php programmers

There is a huge tech talent gap in the world caused by across-the-board digitalization. Getting both experienced and qualified PHP programmers for your project is even more challenging. But there is a solution: you need to hire PHP developers in Ukraine.

By hiring technicians from abroad, you expand your current team with specialized experts, reduce employment costs, while gaining full control over engineers working remotely. This article will tell you how outstaffing works and how to hire PHP engineers located in Ukraine, who will help with empowering your business and improving processes.

How to find PHP developers for your project: key facts you should know

The answer to the above question is outstaffing (also known as subcontracting, offshoring). This is a model of cooperation between the client and the outstaffing service provider when remote programmers work on client projects from the provider's office. Simply put, the PHP experts you hire become part of your current team but located in Ukraine. Why are Western clients increasingly choosing to hire PHP developers working remotely? Let’s figure it out.

Access to a wide tech talent pool

At the moment, there are about 23 million developers in the world. But at the same time, business still lacks expertise.

  • In the U.S., 70% of employers lack experienced employees. IT experts are among those most in demand reflecting today's new reality.
  • In the UK, 72% of businesses experience hiring problems.
  • At the same time, almost 50% of employers faced difficulties for skilled manual or technical roles.
  • In Germany, 42% of employers expect labor costs to be one of the most crucial problems to solve in the year to come.
  • By 2030, the demand for technology skills (such as programming) will increase by 55%.

The outstaffing model helps to fill the existing IT expertise gap and hire PHP coders in Ukraine profitably.

By following it, you will get a huge choice of experienced developers who can join your team and get your assignments started in the shortest possible time.

Skills gaps are filled

More than 80% of North American IT leaders reported they have a huge skills gap (79% globally).

In terms of money, the shortage of the right skills will cost IT departments in the U.S. $22,000 per employee per year.

Cooperation with qualified specialists through hiring, for example, Ukrainian PHP developers, on the contrary - is economically justified.

The annual economic benefit certified employees bring to the organization is from $10,000 to $30,000, 63% of respondents say.

How to get certified developers? Through remote engineers’ expertise.

Employment cost is reduced

One of the reasons why you should hire PHP engineers in Ukraine in 2021 is the employment cost. Hiring remote developers is cheaper than hiring local developers. Let's look at some figures.

Among the most common challenges IT leaders faced in 2019 was talent recruitment and retention (50%). Next to that comes another challenge - resource and budget constraints.

In the U.S., for an employee to earn $50,000, an employer must pay between $62,500 and $70,000 per year.

According to, hiring costs tend to be 1.25 to 1.4 times the salary. If the salary is $35,000, your costs will range from $43,750 to $49,000.

Hiring an employee means significant payroll tax costs, including the following:

  • Employer share of FICA (7.65% on compensation up to the annual wage base);
  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA) of $42 per employee;
  • State unemployment tax.

Insurance coverage for your employees includes:

  • Workers’ compensation;
  • Health insurance;
  • Other insurance.

When deciding to hire PHP developers, you should consider other costs as well:

  • Retirement savings plans;
  • Benefits;
  • Employment-related costs, such as hiring costs and initial and ongoing training costs.

Let's look at some more data on in-house hiring costs.

how to hire php engineers

And here's what your costs will look like concerning the hourly rate:

hire php developers

According to Glassdoor, it takes you about 24 days to hire one developer, while the cost-per-hire is about $4000.

What's most frustrating is that the money for hiring PHP programmers can be wasted. Statistically, 43% of new hires quit immediately after being hired because of unmet expectations.

If you hire PHP developers remotely, the cost of a bad hire can be avoided

Every time an employee quits, it costs the company about 15% of their annual salary. Simply put, if the laid-off professional's salary is $50,000 a year, the company loses $7,500.

What's more, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire can cost up to 30% of an employee's potential first-year earnings.

As for the U.K. data, the trend is similar. A study by Oxford Economics reports that the average cost of replacing an employee in the IT sector is £6,455.

A bad hire of a specialist with a salary of £42,000 could cost the company up to £132,015.

hire top php developers

Impressive, huh?

Outstaffing allows you to avoid such costs. If you hire PHP experts in Ukraine, you have a fixed monthly rate. It is made up of the vendor fee and the developers' net salary. The job of the tech talent keeper is to pay developers' salaries on time.

Why you should hire Ukrainian PHP developers

Before jumping in, let's focus on why Ukraine has become a powerhouse of highly qualified IT services. And then you will realise the main reasons why you should hire PHP coders in Ukraine. Continue reading.

IT industry of Ukraine in figures

Ukraine is considered a proven source of qualified developers and there are good and convincing reasons for this:

IT industry of Ukraine

  • Ukraine was named Number 1 IT outsourcing and software development powerhouse among European countries;
  • The IT industry has been growing at a record 26% since 2019;
  • There are about 200,000 developers here;
  • 23,000 engineers are graduating each year;
  • 750+ IT service companies;
  • 1 - 2017 Offshoring Destination by Global Sourcing Association;
  • 4 - International Math Olympiad rank;
  • 33 - In Global Innovation Index;
  • 30 - Top Outsourcing Destination 7 years in a row by Gartner;
  • 17 - Global Services Locations by A.T. Kearney;
  • 8 - Best Programmers by SkillValue;
  • Many startups and IT projects are in the Software 500 and 5000 industry rankings.

6 solid reasons you should hire Ukrainian PHP Developers

It may not be necesary to try to convince you with nice words that Ukrainian developers are the best choice, but we will give specific facts explaining why foreign clients prefer to hire Ukrainian PHP engineers.

why you should hire Ukrainian PHP Developers

Ukrainians are well-educated

Keep this in mind:

IT education in Ukraine

  • There are 281 universities in Ukraine with 1.266 million students;
  • There are 15 192 secondary educational institutions in Ukraine;
  • According to the report, there are 150 universities in all regions of Ukraine where technical specialists are being trained;
  • Ukraine is officially recognized as a country with one of the highest literacy rates. It is about 100%;
  • Ukrainian students won four medals at the International Olympiad in Computer Science (2019);
  • 83% of developers have higher or secondary education;
  • Ukraine is 38th in the ranking of the National Higher Education System;
  • About 79% of Ukrainian IT professionals have an Intermediate level of English proficiency, about 50% are fluent in English.

It is also worth considering with the fact that almost a third of IT specialists have more than 6 years of experience. At the same time, the average age of developers is 26 years, which ,makes the IT industry in Ukraine one of the youngest.

Wide technology stack

As one of the main programming languages, PHP is widely adapted by Ukrainian developers. It is the first thing they start with when entering the market. Imagine how good Ukrainian PHP developers are, whom you can hire, given the number of awards and the names of those well-known companies that cooperate with Ukrainians.

To succeed in the high-tech industry and remain in demand in a tight labor market, programmers need to constantly learn and expand their technology stack. The expertise they gain allows them to quickly and efficiently meet customers' needs.

Each year, more than 36,000 young professionals graduate in a variety of technologies:

  • Java (26.3%);
  • C # (15.4%);
  • JavaScript (13.8%);
  • PHP (13.1%);
  • Python (8%).

Other technologies Ukrainian developers are studying include Magento, Unity3D, Ruby, Scala, Node.js, ASP.NET, and Symfony.

Fast and streamlined process of hiring PHP developers

As you may recall, hiring local developers to work in-house is time-consuming and expensive. Given the high cost of mis-hiring, it is unlikely that you will want to go through the process of finding the right candidate again. Accepting a mediocre professional can also be harmful to your business.

When you hire PHP programmers in Ukraine, such difficulties are unlikely.

Years of experience, background in various industries and access to a wide pool of technicians allow recruiters on the provider side to find the right specialist for you the first time. The average time to hire is up to 15 days. All you have to do is to interview the selected candidates and get them on your team.

High commitment resulting in high performance

Outstaffed PHP developers deal only with your needs, without being distracted by other tasks. Having decided to hire PHP coders in Ukraine, you will get specialists who will dive into your business to apply the most profitable technological solutions. They are interested in both short-term tasks and long-term projects as they see an opportunity to gain experience, stay motivated and valuable in the labor market.

Progressive culture and mindset

Ukraine is situated in Europe, which means that we have a modern European mentality and the same values as Western European countries. The generation of PHP developers you can hire grew up listening to foreign music and movies, interested in Western culture, and following the same trends as forward-thinking Europeans and Americans. They often travel to Europe and the U.S., as well as pursue higher education in technology, marketing, and business.

It is also worth noting such a quality of Ukrainian developers as the ability to dive into work, diligence and restraint in emotions. Unlike their Western colleagues, Ukrainian PHP experts may seem less emotional and more introverted. This is a national trait behind which there are no pitfalls. We are attentive to customer requirements and, if we find it necessary, we can express our thoughts directly.

The Ukrainian PHP developers you are going to hire are usually erudite, 75% of them are in sports (including international triathlon competitions, city soccer competitions among IT companies, participation in annual marathons). The largest number of IT professionals in Ukraine are athletes, amateur theater actors, artists, writers, movie and music lovers.

Affordable rates

A Ukrainian developer charges about $25 per hour, while a developer with the same technology stack who is in the US would cost $100 to $200 per hour.

average php rates

Let's learn more about how much it will cost to hire PHP engineers in Ukraine.

Salaries of Ukrainian PHP Developers

The cost of developers' services is one of the most pressing issues for those planning to cooperate with a foreign partner. We will now clarify this situation so that you have an idea of how much it costs to hire PHP coders in Ukraine.

As we have already reported, as of early 2020 the PHP programmer salary according to Payscale is as follows:

  • Low salary: $400;
  • Average salary: $890 (about $11k per year);
  • High salary: $2800.

According to another source, the PHP developers’ salaries by experience vary as follows:

  • Junior SE: $600;
  • Software Engineer: $1700;
  • Senior SE: $3200.

Salaries of Ukrainian PHP Developers

Where is it best to hire PHP Developers? Best Ukrainian cities to start with.

There is a well-developed IT infrastructure with active market players in all major cities of Ukraine. The main IT hubs of Ukraine are Kyiv, Kharkiv and Lviv. About 70% of all software developers in the country are concentrated in these cities.


Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine. It is called a student city because of the large number of educational institutions and students. Due to this, there is a constant inflow of young qualified specialists. You can hire PHP experts without a hassle.

There are about 30 institutions of higher education in Kharkiv, including three powerful universities that graduate engineers:

  • National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute";
  • Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics;
  • National Aerospace University “Kharkiv Aviation Institute”.

The Kharkiv IT industry is constantly evolving and growing at an average of 20% per year. There are about 500 IT services and product companies in Kharkiv, which employ 26 thousand technical specialists. Even though the Kharkiv IT industry is mature, the salaries of local programmers are lower than those in Kyiv. Chances are, you will be able to hire PHP developers at an affordable price.

Kharkiv has excellent transport links - there is an airport, so it is convenient to travel to your team.


Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine. It is the scientific, educational and cultural center of the country. Kyiv is home to the largest number of educational institutions. The most famous universities that graduate technical specialists are the following:

  • National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute“;
  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv;
  • National Aviation University;
  • State University of Telecommunications.

Most of the country's technology companies are concentrated in Kyiv. Many foreign companies prefer to open their R&D centers here, so the competition for developers is high. It may be too expensive to hire PHP programmers in Kyiv.

About 40% of professional developers work in Kyiv; the city is one of the top 30 cities for freelancers.


Lviv has a favorable geographical location - in two hours you can get to Warsaw, Poland. Thanks to this, there is an active exchange of experience between local technicians and foreign visitors. Among the universities where future engineers are trained are the following:

  • Lviv Polytechnic University;
  • Ivan Franko National "University of Lviv”.

At the beginning of 2020, there are about 460 technology companies with 19 thousand programmers in Lviv (including PHP experts you can hire). 25% of them work as freelancers or develop their projects and startups.

How to hire Ukrainian PHP Developers

Now that you know why to hire PHP engineers in Ukraine, let's discuss where to start.

Key steps to hire Ukrainian PHP Developers

Key steps to hire Ukrainian PHP Developers

Set up an introductory meeting

Contact your potential technical talent provider to discuss your expectations and what that provider can do for you. Find out if you are a good fit for each other.

Agree on requirements

In the next step, you need to figure out the very specific requirements for the PHP coders you want to hire. Discuss the hard skills required, the developers' experience, their English level and what project responsibilities they are expected to perform.

Besides hard skills, it's also important to discuss soft skills so that you understand how the future professional will fit into your current team in terms of mentality, culture, and personality type.

How to determine the requirements for a candidate

To hire PHP developers who will boost your business, we recommend focusing on the following criteria:

Hard skills. This is the main requirement without which there is no point in moving forward. Your ideal candidate should have a successful experience in the required technology stack (e.g. PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, .NET, etc.). He/she should have an understanding of software development processes, basic knowledge of IT-related issues, he/she should keep developing and mastering new technologies.

Soft skills. Would you like the PHP engineers you're going to hire to be team players? Then see if they are willing to contact you to discuss work issues and defend their position if they are convinced that the proposed technical solution will benefit the project.

By the way, 92% of recruiters say that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when hiring.

Additional skills. We know what to pay close attention to if you want to hire PHP developers in Ukraine wisely. High level of English, record keeping, understanding the basics of your business, experience in related fields, additional technologies that can be beneficial for your projects in the future.

Start the recruitment process

The outstaffing service provider initiates a search for the right candidates based on all the criteria outlined in the previous step. Typically, the recruiting process includes sub-stages such as search, pre-screening and feedback. To hire PHP programmers in Ukraine for you, recruiters post job openings, select suitable CVs and share them with you, pre-screen candidates to understand their expectations, level of English, technical stack, and give general feedback on the candidates.

Conduct job interviews

Once suitable candidates have been identified, they are scheduled for technical interviews with leading experts from the provider company. In the case of a positive result, the best candidates are brought in for an interview with you. You will be able to evaluate the specialists first of all by their soft skills, whether he or she suits your needs. After the interview, it is important to share your interview feedback with the provider promptly and reasonably. As a result, you can hire PHP developers asap.

Go through hiring and onboarding routine

After the candidate is approved, a cooperation agreement is signed between the client company and the service provider. The developer starts working on your task/project while staying in the provider's office. He/she is given access to all systems and tools necessary for the work; all communication channels are provided to all participants of the process.

Set up a workflow

When the basic workflow is set up, you can monitor the developer's progress and manage the process. The vendor adjusts the workload and performance of the entire team or individuals. As work progresses, rate and performance reviews take place.

Concerns you may face when planning to hire PHP Developers in Ukraine

There are many concerns, we believe, about cooperating with subcontractors located abroad. We will do our best to dispel your doubts.

“How will we communicate with each other?”

The use of English, along with agreed-upon communication channels, is our primary tool for keeping in touch. This can be Slack, Hangouts, Jira, Trello and any other messengers you prefer.

As mentioned earlier, Ukrainian PHP coders you may hire are well educated. 80% of IT professionals speak English at a high level, and half of them are fluent in English. The educational base contributes to this. For example, there are regular English language courses and speaking clubs with native speakers at our company. In addition, there are about 150 foreign languages courses in Kharkiv. English proficiency is the rule for representatives of the IT industry.

"How to keep remote PHP developers under control?"

We arrange regular meetings with both the team and clients, including daily video calls at agreed times or ad-hoc calls. There are many online communication tools (see above), project managers are always in touch with you during business hours. With some clients, the work scheme is arranged in such a way that each working day begins with a call and discussion of the work performed and the tasks ahead. Rest assured, you are lucky enough to hire PHP experts in Ukraine who are well-organized.

“I want to meet my remote experts. How can I do that?”

You can visit Ukraine. For representatives of most countries of the world, entry to Ukraine is visa-free. If necessary, our team will come to you for the onboarding stage and will go back. Ukrainians can get a visa to the USA and Great Britain, entry to the EU countries is visa-free for us. Getting to know the PHP developers you've hired personally encourages them to get more involved.

Moreover, our technicians regularly attend international subject-matter conferences abroad and organize their own. Thus, about 1000 IT events are held annually, including iForum, IT Arena, Agile Eastern Europe, IT Weekend Ukraine, DEV Challenge and others.

"What is the political situation in Ukraine?"

If you want to hire PHP engineers in Ukraine, you should know that the situation mentioned above has a positive trend. The military conflict is on hold, and in most regions people have returned to normal life. This is evidenced by the growth in the number of technology companies in Ukraine (4000+) and the number of world-famous foreign companies that have been cooperating with Ukraine for many years.

Such giants as Samsung, Siemens, Sitecore, Huawei, Snapchat, Boeing and others (100+) have R&D centers in Ukraine. More than 100 Fortune 500 companies such as HP and Google work with the Ukrainian IT sector.

More than 50% of revenues from IT services of Ukrainian companies come from the United States, while the second place in this indicator is taken by the UK. The export value of IT services is 19% CAGR.

Ukraine is the homeland of more than 2000 startups, including such as Grammarly, GitLab, PetCube,, Monobank.

Want to hire PHP developers in Ukraine as soon as possible? Let us help you.

"How are legal issues being resolved?"

They are solved by the service provider. There is no need to hire a lawyer when you hire PHP coders in Ukraine. In addition, the Ukrainian government is interested in developing the IT sector, which is facilitated by useful reforms and support for both domestic businesses and foreign clients.

All legal issues that may arise will be resolved by the local intellectual property court. You will also have the opportunity in the future to open a branch in Ukraine, provided that you work according to the Ukrainian legislation.

Depending on your preference when deciding to hire Ukrainian PHP developers, you can sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or suggest changes to the contract.

"Is it true that Ukraine is in an inconvenient time zone for me?"

Time in Ukraine is defined as UTC + 02:00, and in summer as UTC + 03: 00. The time difference with Europe is only 1-2 hours, while with the USA it is on average of 7 hours. As practice shows, it is important to agree on the time of meetings and video conferences. Thus, it is safe to say that Ukraine is a convenient choice in terms of time zones.

"How to pay for the services of remote PHP developers? I still don't get it"

Typically, the payment for the services of a remote developer consists of the following components: an outstaffed developer's net salary + fixed vendor fee. Compare it to how outsourcing services are paid: each of all hired developers' salaries + fixed vendor fee + overheads (BA, QA, etc.) + product delivery risks.

By the way, the average PHP developer salary in Ukraine is $2k up to $3k a month or $24k and 36k per year, respectively. For more information on the salaries of Ukrainian PHP programmers, see above.

How to hire PHP Developers and keep them

A close-knit team is a guarantee of well-coordinated actions and, as a result, timely delivery of the project. Once you've introduced outstaffed developers to your in-house team, you probably would prefer that these technicians stay on the team for as long as it takes. Certain conditions will be required to keep them. Among the most important factors are the following:

  • The opportunity to develop professionally by applying promising languages and technologies.
  • Interesting projects that tend to scale, working on which the hired PHP expert will not get bored.
  • Full social package including paid holidays, sick days, annual basic leave, days off, lunch breaks. By the way, Ukrainians have only 11 paid holidays a year.
  • Listening to the voice of developers regarding project management, product development, work-related issues.

What you get when deciding to hire PHP Developers in Ukraine

As a result of hiring PHP engineers through outstaffing, you will get:

  • Highly-devoted remote team members;
  • Reduced employment costs and software development budget;
  • Proven broad expertise at your disposal;
  • Industry-specific experience at hand;
  • Quick access to skilled tech talent in both long-term and short-term cases;
  • Cooperation in which all activities related to hiring, continuing education and training, maintaining a workplace, project management, legal issues, etc. are carried out by the service provider;
  • Accelerated project development;
  • Streamlined workflow;
  • Improved value delivery.

benefits of hiring remote php developers

Bottom line

Let's face it! Hiring the right PHP developers on the first try is not for the faint of heart. But you will make it happen. There are a bunch of statistics, comparisons and figures that you have to go through to conclude the best way to hire the right technicians.

We have compiled all the information that is critical to making an informed decision. If you tend to partner with highly educated and experienced PHP programmers who are well versed in your industry, we have a lot in common. With DDI Development, you'll be able to hire not just PHP engineers, but like-minded people who will quickly jump into your team and be able to fill even the most difficult skill gaps. "I see. Where do we start?" you might say. Leave it to us. Contact us by email.

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