The top best European countries to hire remote developers
Recession, inflation, crises, and layoffs are beating businesses up. Want to survive? Perform! In order to do so, you require employees that wouldn’t stretch your already stretched wallet and drown you. Solution? Hire remote professionals offshore. Why? It is cheaper and, yet, doesn’t impact the quality of your product.
Where? We have analyzed all European countries based on these criteria: hourly rate, internet access, English proficiency, median self-employment tax, level of STEM, coworking space cost, and time zone. And we are eager to share our findings with you to increase your chances of filling in remote software engineering jobs at your startup!
Croatia takes the first place
Croatia has risen to the top of the list due to its modest hourly wage (you can find developers for as little as 7 EUR/hour), the lowest self-employment tax, and excellent English competence. Both internet connectivity and the hourly fee of coworking spaces (about nine euros) are consistent throughout the country. The time difference between the USA and Croatia is only 5 hours, which is an advantage. By the time you complete your morning routine, a code will be already waiting on you, and you get half a day of uninterrupted work by the time your developer begins their working day.
North Macedonia takes second place. Although the country cannot claim to have a high STEM or English proficiency level, you can find the cheapest developers here. The lowest hourly rate for a developer is 8–9 EUR.
And the third place goes to Hungary. The country appeals to foreign employers with its affordable hourly rates (the lowest is 11 EUR), excellent internet connectivity, average STEM proficiency, and good English knowledge. A self-employment tax sits at 15 percent, whereas coworking spaces could be rented for as much as 10 EUR per hour.
Ukrainian developers remain in high demand despite the war
In comparison to Western Europe, Ukrainian developers still possess the lowest hourly rates. The average hourly price sets around 20 USD per hour, however, keep in mind that middle and senior devs have higher rates. Ukrainian professionals remain in high demand among international tech companies. While giants like Google, Samsung, and Amazon all have R&D facilities in Ukraine, Ukrainians also founded or co-founded WhatsApp, Grammarly, Gitlab, and Solana.
Last on our list is Azerbaijan, with the most significant time difference of 8 hours from the USA and a low English proficiency level. Yet, Azerbaijan remains an attractive spot for outsourcing developers due to its low self-employment taxes, hourly rates, and coworking space prices.
15 best European countries to hire remote professionals
The lowest hourly rates and taxes are in North Macedonia and Romania. The highest STEM level, higher than in the USA, is in the Chez Republic. The highest English proficiency level and the smallest time difference belong to Portugal. The best internet access is in Spain. While the most affordable coworking spaces, up to 10 euros per hour, are located in Ukraine, Moldova, the Czech Republic, and Croatia.
The Croatian software development market has grown 0.5 percent since 2021, registering 3,101 companies that provide services in this industry. Based on the poll, 80 percent of the Croatian population are multilingual, while another 65 percent use English as their second language. Not only are Croatian developers known to be well-versed in development technologies and trends, but they also are well accustomed to working independently since micromanagement is rarely tolerated at the workplace.
A small but mighty country that transformed its economy in the last decade. The IT industry became one of the most profitable and prosperous areas, with an ICT market reaching a value of 1 billion USD in 2021.
56% of the ICT market is taken over by IT services and software companies, making it the largest segment in North Macedonia. At the same time, the country is home to many talented programmers who are employed mainly by international and domestic companies. This country is among the top locations for software outsourcing and staff expansion needs since it has the lowest wages in Eastern Europe, a vast pool of experienced IT specialists, and an ideal business climate.
Large corporations like Lufthansa, IBM, EPAM Systems, Microsoft, Nokia, and HP rely on the software developed by Hungarian programmers for antivirus and IT security services. Many European countries favor Hungarian development companies because they have already made a name for themselves as a market with the qualifications to provide top-notch software development services.
There are 400 businesses in Bulgaria that employ 24,000 experts in the field of software development. While several large international software engineering companies, including Johnson Controls, HP,Oracle, SAP, ProSyst and CISCO have research and development facilities in the country. And Sofia, the capital city, is home to almost 80% of outsourced businesses and experts.
By 2021, the local software market had grown by 4% annually, reaching $1.33 billion. Furthermore, according to the Fitch Solutions study, until 2026, the IT market should develop faster than the nation’s GDP.
There are over 7,700 software and IT businesses in Czechia, many of which are dispersed across the country’s three main IT hubs: Prague, Olomouc, and Brno.
Information technology is the fastest-growing industry in Albania’s modern, open-market economy, with hardware being a leading sector and holding 55 percent of it. The ICT services sector, in its turn, takes over 30 percent of the industry, and 15% is occupied by software development.
Albania attracts foreign businesses with low wages, average English skills, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based education. Low corporate tax and well-thought infrastructure are additional perks. The industry shows confident growth, supplying foreign countries with talented IT professionals.
This little Balkan country declares itself to have a free market system. It features one of Europe’s greatest tax systems, a first-rate banking system, and a new promising citizenship-by-investment scheme. Montenegro is a proud owner of a solid financial sector. Additionally, the cryptocurrency market has seen significant growth in the past few years.
Eventually, Montenegro became a go-to place for living for freelancers and remotely employed software professionals.
Romania’s IT industry sits in the top three in Easter and Central Europe. More than 185,000 tech businesses are based in Bucharest, including global giants like P&G, IBM, HP, Wipro,Microsoft, Oracle, and S&T.Economy. Additionally, it is also an important research and development hub for giants like FitBit, Amazon, and Redis Lab.
At the same time, Romanian programmers are well-skilled, thanks to multiple education options within European Union and Romania itself. Additionally, Romania has no payroll taxes and some of the lowest wages in the Central and Eastern European region, making it an immensely appealing IT center in Europe from a financial standpoint.
Slovakia’s advantageous geolocation in Central Europe, competent and flexible workforce, competitive wages, favorable conditions for investors, and inviting business landscape are the main contributors to its status as one of the leading locations for business offshoring. Slovakia has a plentiful supply of technical professionals, budget-friendly offices, and a structured business environment.
AT&T, Lenovo, Dell, IBM, and other tech giants have their offices in Bratislava. The number of IT specialists in the country is estimated to be over 50 thousand, with the majority of them living in Bratislava and Kosice, where the IT sectors are the most developed.
Moldova has become a rapidly expanding IT zone with a large population of young, motivated, and highly accomplished developers. It is known for its data analysis, UI/UX design, software development, app, and mobile software creation, and data visualization.
To top it all off, Moldova has an excellent geographical location, not too high and not too low salaries, and a high educational standard. Most software professionals are employed in the service export area. Meaning they are contracted out to foreign companies as outsourced or outstaffed programmers.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Since the mid-1990s, Bosnia and Herzegovina has made remarkable progress and is now considered an upper-middle-income nation. Education demand is exceptionally high in areas such as engineering and technology, and English is widely spoken, creating a substantial talent pool.
The IT sector produces an average of 255 million euros per annum, and employees of this sector are paid wages above the national average. Nevertheless, compared with the rest of Europe, hourly wages in Bosnia and Herzegovina remain comparatively low.
Portugal is rapidly establishing itself as a technological center for both domestic and international companies. Lisbon, the capital city, now became home to some of the world’s biggest names, such as Uber, Mercedes, Google, Cisco, and Volkswagen.
Moreover, the country has an abundance of tech-savvy professionals who can help your business grow. There are 131,000 developers working in the software development industry and more than 4,069 companies offering the same service in Portugal.
Ukraine is one of Europe’s biggest exporters of IT services, with a solid knowledge base, high motivation, and plenty of potential. At the end of 2021, the Ukrainian IT market was made of 8.2 thousand legal businesses, 5,000 of which are local companies and around 130 of which are global offices and research centers for companies such as Microsoft, Magento, Amazon, and Samsung, among others. Currently, there are approximately 285,000 IT professionals in Ukraine, with a 25-30% yearly rise.
In spite of the war and its hardships, the IT industry continues to be a significant contributing factor to the Ukrainian economy and continues its rapid growth. This sector continues to contribute more and more to the country’s GDP.
Spain is a highly influential economy in the European Union, with the IT sector making a considerable contribution. The software development industry in Spain saw greater growth in its market size than the economy as a whole. Predicted to reach €13.7 billion by 2022, over 100,000 people are expected to be employed in the software development sector.
IT outsourcing in Azerbaijan is getting more popular. Despite the lack of many swiftly-advancing software development businesses in the country, thousands of them are gradually gaining success.
The startup environment is still in the development stage. With the help of various funds, it is getting more stable and legit due to foreign investments pouring in. Even though there are fewer development professionals in Azerbaijan than in other European countries, the number is confidently growing, setting at around 3,000 in 2022.
How to hire remote devs from this list
With an unlimited pool of options, it is crucial to choose developers thoughtfully, carefully evaluating their technical and soft skills and remote work expertise.
Lemon.io, the platform for vetted programmers, specializes in helping startups find their perfect developers from the majority of the countries we listed above. We make sure to choose only the most capable candidates who have a minimum of three years of remote work experience.
At Lemon.io, we guarantee that all our programmers have a mid-level or senior-level proficient understanding of programming, a strong English level, great communication and empathy skills, and exceptional time management competency. Additionally, the hiring process at our company is incredibly straightforward for both parties: after an introduction call in which you share your requirements and needs, you can expect to receive your first candidate within two to three business days.
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