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Hiring Developers from Bulgaria in 2024

Head of IT Recruitment Department
Hiring Developers from Bulgaria in 2024 - Alcor BPO profile
13 December 2023
10 min

The dynamic technology market, burning shortage of skilled developers, the recent pandemic, and financial and political turbulence have driven many IT companies to tap into other markets’ potential. One such destination is Bulgaria, a Southeastern European country that lures foreign tech players with its ideal price-to-quality ratio.


I’m Maryna Panchuk, Head of IT Recruitment Department at Alcor, with over 10 years of headhunting experience. At Alcor, we help US tech companies build their own R&D offices and provide full-cycle IT recruitment services in Eastern Europe and Latin America.


Numbers Speak for Themselves_light - Alcor BPO


If you are interested in hiring qualified developers in Bulgaria, this article will help you figure out the benefits and possible challenges of opting for this offshoring location, the average salary rates of Bulgarian software engineers, and the best way to recruit them. 


Benefits of Hiring Bulgarian Developers


Economic Landscape

Bulgaria is an IT outsourcing country with one of the most stable and rapidly growing economies in the CEE region. As an EU member since 2007, the government has been allocating massive budgetary funds to the development of the Bulgarian ICT sector as well as adopting necessary regulations to make the country a real outsourcing and investment haven for international businesses. Consequently, in 2016, Bulgaria was ranked 2nd in Europe and 7th globally in the BPO and Shared Service Location Index. Later, this destination took 25th place in the 2023 Kearney Global Services Location Index, based on factors such as financial attractiveness, skilled IT workforce, and business environment.


One of Bulgaria’s key advantages is its tax incentives. Foreign and local IT companies pay only 10% — the lowest corporate and personal income taxes in the EU. Apart from that, technology businesses can enjoy data privacy, as Bulgaria is GDPR compliant. Thus it’s no wonder why such tech giants as Hewlett Packard, IBM, CISCO, Oracle, SAP, VMware, ProSyst, and Atos transferred their software development to Bulgaria. 


Affordable Salaries 

But it’s not only taxes that tech companies can save on. Bulgarian developers’ remunerations are also modest, being about 2-4 times lower than US ones.  For example, Bulgarian App Developers of a junior level earn around $21,000, while their American colleagues receive 4 times higher salaries — $80,000. Senior Game Developers in Bulgaria make, on average, $60,000, which is 2 times less than in the USA — $140,000. Keep reading this article to learn more about Bulgarian developer salary rates. 


Booming IT Sector

The Bulgarian IT industry has grown rapidly and hit 2.5 billion euros,  seeing a 300% turnover growth in the past 7 years. The Global Innovation Index 2023 ranks Bulgaria 38th out of 132 countries Such a result is largely driven by its stable IT market. For the past several years, the Bulgarian outsourcing industry has been expanding at a CAGR of 15.6%, which makes it the fastest-growing sector of the national economy. It accounts for 5.5% of the country’s GDP and makes an invaluable contribution to Bulgaria’s economic prosperity. Nowadays, the Bulgarian software services sector is ranked 21st across Europe with $900 million in revenue.  


As of December 2023, over 220 software development companies in Bulgaria offer custom web and app development, UX/UI design, BI & Big Data consulting, application testing, and others.   


Growing Tech Talent Pool

With a population of 6 million, Bulgaria boasts an impressively big IT talent pool. According to Statista, the number of Bulgarian software developers has been steadily growing by an average of 7% year on year for the last decade. There are 108,600 individuals engaged in the ICT sector in 2023. What else makes this software development market notable is its high proportion of female IT specialists — over 28%, which is well above the EU average.  


Profound Engineering Expertise

Bulgaria is a treasure box of highly qualified software engineers. Despite the country’s small size, it has over 50 STEM universities, professional & vocational schools, and private academies that bring up around 3,000 ICT graduates each year. Their tech competence is proven by reputable rankings like the SkillValue report and HackerRank Best Developers list, where they rank 12thSoftware developers in Bulgaria are well-versed in such programming languages as C#, JavaScript, Java, Python, SQLand PHP. According to the Global Skills Report 2023, Bulgarian developers are among the top 20 in Europe for IT expertise with an impressive technology proficiency score of 76%. 


Geographic Proximity

One more reason why foreign IT companies frequently opt for outsourcing in Bulgaria is its strategic location. Situated in Southeastern Europe, it takes only 2-3 hours by plane to reach Europe’s key tech centers. Moreover, Bulgaria is in the GMT+2 time zone, meaning no real time difference between the European in-house teams and their Bulgarian colleagues, which contributes to productive cooperation. 


why hire devs in Bulgaria - Alcor BPO


Challenges of Teaming with Bulgarian Developers


Few IT Hubs

Unlike its neighbors Romania and Poland, Bulgaria has only one mature IT hub Sofia. It’s an outsourcing hotbed that got into the Top 20 Tech Cities of the Future. Since Sofia has an overwhelming share of all software engineers in Bulgaria, competition for talent increases. There are a few alternatives, such as Varna, Burgas, and Plovdiv. However, assembling development teams in these cities can be difficult due to insufficient programmers and evolving tech infrastructure. Still, it’s possible to avoid some of the hardships of IT recruitment in Bulgaria if partnering with a professional tech headhunting company. 



Time difference

Even though Bulgaria has no significant time difference with Western European countries, it’s not the case with the USA. The former is usually 9 to 12 hours ahead of the latter. Nevertheless, this drawback can be turned into a vantage, providing American IT companies with round-the-clock business coverage for a reasonable price. 


Bulgarian vs American developers: Average Salary Rates Comparison


As I mentioned above, Bulgarian developer rates are quite low compared to Western countries. Let’s see how they differ from the US. My team gathered the data from Glassdoor, Indeed,, and JobTiger


Positions  Junior  Middle  Senior
Bulgaria USA Bulgaria USA Bulgaria USA
Software Developer
$25,000 $90,000 $48,000 $130,000 $65,000 $150,000
Software Developer
$22,000 $75,000 $40,000 $110,000 $58,000 $130,000
Software Developer
$23,000 $85,000 $45,000 $120,000 $60,000 $145,000
Mobile App
$21,000 $80,000 $38,000 $115,000 $58,000 $140,000
$23,000 $80,000 $40,000 $100,000 $60,000 $140,000
$23,000 $110,000 $43,000 $150,000 $64,000 $170,000
$23,000 $100,000 $42,000 $135,000 $62,000 $160,000
Software Development
Engineer in Test
$20,000 $60,000 $33,000 $90,000 $48,000 $121,000
$22,000 $90,000 $38,000 $107,000 $55,000 $132,000
Bulgarian salaries were converted to US dollars at a relevant exchange rate for January 2023.


But the difference with Western Europe is also significant. For instance, React developers from Bulgaria earn around $27,000 a year, while their counterparts from Germany with the same level of expertise get twice as much – about $55,000. 

Consider the Following Aspects to Hire Bulgarian Developers


Technical Qualifications 

Without a doubt, tech competence is the most essential aspect when it comes to recruiting developers. Depending on the software product, decide which programmers you need in your tech team. It’s vital to remember that each role includes a different tech stack and average job experience, which should be thoroughly examined. Check out the 10 most important questions to ask on a job interview to hire Bulgarian developers of high expertise. 


Soft Skills

The quality of a software product largely depends on team coherence, which is shaped by engineers’ personality traits and interpersonal attributes. Thus, when hiring software developers in Bulgaria, the first thing to pay attention to is excellent communication and teamwork skills, as they are the key to effective cooperation. Analytical thinking, problem-solving, and time management skills should also be in the arsenal of your ideal candidate. Meanwhile, if looking for senior developers, make sure they possess project management skills and big-picture thinking, as they are usually engaged in leadership activities and product elaboration. Furthermore, local tech talents demonstrate a high proficiency in the English language, ranking 16th out of 113 countries in terms of language skills.


Cultural Similarity

What makes the process of building a software development team abroad complicated is cultural compatibility. There are lots of software development outsourcing destinations with low rates and skilled developers, but only a few that are culturally close. The CEE region, particularly Bulgaria, is an ideal option for American and European IT companies from this perspective, as these programmers share Western mentality, values, and business ethics. When hiring Bulgarian developers, you can expect strong dedication, punctuality, flexibility, and autonomy. They will always walk the extra mile to make your software product of high quality. 



3 Prevalent Ways of Cooperation with Bulgarian Software Developers


IT Outsourcing Providers

It’s not uncommon to outsource software development to Bulgaria, as it allows tech companies to get rid of recruitment & people management, thus spending less on labor costs. Still, this model has some substantial pitfalls, from loss of control over software development and team management to cloudy pricing and IP rights breaching


IT Outstaffing Providers

Another way to work with talented Bulgarian programmers is via IT outstaffing vendors. Similar to IT outsourcing to Bulgaria, this engagement model presupposes team flexibility and offers access to diverse expertise. This, in turn, also enables easy staff changes as project requirements evolve. However, such cooperation could lead to possible data leaks and dedication issues. In the long run, funding challenges may arise when one works with an outstaffing vendor because it signals a lack of internal expertise. As a rule, this’s usually a big red flag for investors. 


R&D Service Providers 

A good alternative to the above-mentioned models is a partnership with an R&D service provider. By opting for this, tech companies can build their own research and development centers with a team of dedicated developers. Thus, they retain full control over expenses, team management, product development, and IP rights. 


That’s what BigCommerce, a US-leading e-commerce company, got when selecting Alcor as their partner. We engaged our best tech recruiters and 1 account manager to make the company’s expansion to Eastern Europe as smooth and expeditious as possible. Our team successfully hired 30 best IT engineers, including JavaScript, Angular, React, and PHP developers. In addition, we covered some of the business process outsourcing services, such as payroll management and legal compliance, as a part of our all-in-one solution. With Alcor’s support, BigCommerce swiftly established a new R&D center, moving into their office in just about a month.  


Apart from BigCommerce, we also helped IT product companies such as Grammarly, ThredUp,, and others achieve their goals.    


Would you like to get the same results? Then consider cooperation with Alcor!  


We are an all-in-one R&D service provider and hire developers in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Mexico, and other countries in Eastern Europe and LatAm. Our solution includes: 


Unlike IT outsourcing/outstaffing, with your own R&D center, you get a team of dedicated software developers and keep all core operations fully in-house. Additionally, Alcor ensures straightforward and transparent pricing so that you only pay for the services you use without any extra buy-out or hidden fees. 


We also offer fair and clear guarantees: we commit to hiring 20 developers within 3 months and exceeding 100 within a year. If we fail to meet these deadlines, we’ll hire the remaining talents at no cost. The recruitment quality speaks volumes as 98,6% of our candidates successfully pass the probation period. Ready to learn more? Feel free to contact us today! 

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Contact Us

Contact us to receive a free analysis of your positions!

It includes the salary ranges and availability of the requested developers in Poland, Romania, and other countries in EE (as well as time-to-hire metrics and other KPIs for your case).

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