Stay Leaner, Longer: Four Reasons to Bring on an Agency Instead of Hiring In-House

  • July 18, 2023
  • Michael Maloney
  • 5 min read

The app project you’ve been pushing for has finally been green-lit by leadership. The budget is there, the vision is there, and now it’s time to deliver.

Do you hire more developers internally or bring on a product development partner?

We admittedly have a bit of a bias. But this post will explain four reasons why bringing on an agency can be advantageous for businesses in any sector.


  1. Speed 🏃

Plain and simple, hiring an agency will allow you to ship great products faster.  At The Gnar, we pride ourselves on being able to ship enterprise-grade, production-ready code in the first week.  

A big part of this is having experienced engineers who have been there before and know how to hit the ground running.  We don’t need onboarding or hand-holding - just direction.  But it’s bigger than just the individual developers. 

When you hire an agency, you’re hiring the whole machine.  It allows you to tap into our streamlined and efficient development process. We have established workflows, development processes, project management methodologies, and testing practices in place enabling us to rapidly accelerate your time to market of a new product, feature, or service.


  1. Cost-Effectiveness 💰

There’s a common misconception that hiring an agency costs more than hiring internally. But when you look at the total cost of ownership, there are real efficiencies in bringing on a strategic partner.

On the surface - agency partners don’t come with the overhead of salaries, benefits, recruiter fees, software licenses, hardware, etc. that come with hiring a full-time employee.

But there’s a hidden cost of hiring a team of great engineers.  Let’s say you look at 60 applicants which leads to 5 interviews, resulting in 1 hire. This number varies based on the size and structure of the organization. But before you even get to the salary, you need to factor in all the engineering hours that will be spent reviewing resumes, interviewing, phone screening, onboarding, hiring, training, and gelling.

It adds up quickly to around 100 hours per hire, which is time (and money) that could be better spent on building great products. Multiply that by several hires, and an average hourly rate of an engineer – and it can be tens of thousands of dollars spent trying to find one great engineer.

But with an agency, you get a pre-vetted, lean team that knows how to work together. So they can hit the ground running.  The savings are in the speed of doing it right the first time, especially when there’s a set delivery date and no distractions. The agency model allows you to minimize the risk, and have better cost control of your new initiative. 


  1. Access to a Diverse Skill Set 🤝

Teamwork makes the dream work. We lean on each other.  We have expertise in various programming languages, frameworks, and technologies.  We bounce ideas around on Slack and video chats. We review each other’s code. 

And whether you need frontend development, backend integration, database management, UX support, or quality assurance, we always have an expert we can call on to ensure a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to delivering your end goals.

We also have diverse experience across different industries and projects, giving us exposure to new challenges and solutions that we bring to your build. 

This diversity of thinking can help you make informed decisions, see around corners to avoid common pitfalls, and deliver a high-quality product that scales long after we’re gone. 


  1. Scalability, Flexibility, Accountability. 📈

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but the requirements are going to change. Businesses and industries evolve, and that can mean that development efforts need to pivot at a moment’s notice. 

Internal hiring often poses challenges when it comes to scaling the team. Hiring and training new developers can be time-consuming and costly.  And even if you can hire quickly, the pain can be compounded when the need is only temporary. 

Sometimes, the best ability is availability. 

Agencies offer the advantage of being temporary by design.  You might have an integration that needs to get done, but can’t justify another full-time person beyond a few months.  Do you pull someone off priority work? Spread them thin to double duty? Hire and figure it out later?  An agency can provide instant velocity for a spike, adapt to your changing requirements, and then right-size post-launch as needed. So you can stay leaner, longer.

And of course, there is peace of mind that comes with accountability. You have a lot going on. You need to know that your software is being built right the first time – even when you aren’t looking.  


Working with a dependable agency partner allows you to do exactly that. We own the outcomes, and take pride in the results because our reputation depends on it.

There are certainly benefits to hiring developers internally (we have 30 of them and we love them all).  

But in the right circumstance, engaging a great development agency can bring unique advantages that can improve the speed, scale, cost, and quality of your web or mobile applications. 

But don’t take my word for it! Hear from a CEO of a financial services company after a recent engagement:

I found everything impressive about The Gnar.  Each individual I worked with was highly skilled in their respective roles and all fantastic to work with.  The communication was exceptional and they offered out great ideas, more efficient ways things could be done if applicable and were cost-conscious.  I would recommend them to anyone.


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