The hidden costs of hiring Permanent Software Developers - a Contractor Cost Comparison

Let's take a C++ Software Developer.

When you really analyse it, the typical first year monthly cost of a Permanent C++ Developer in the UK is £9,400.

This cost is comparable to hiring a highly experienced Clearly Defined C++ Contract Developer, taking into account the "hidden" costs of employing a Developer (see below).


With difficulties in recruitment and a shortage of supply, coupled with an ever shortening of employee tenure, finding and keeping mid level permanent developers has become extremely difficult and time consuming for most UK companies.

This more often has a serious and detrimental impact on project deliverables, causing them to be late and over budget.

With Clearly Defined, our Contract Software Developers are top experts in their field and are usually on board, developing for your team within just a few days.


Here is an example, based on £65,000 permanent salary – *** This is an average UK Salary for C++ Developers (£77,500 for London).

Average C++ Developer 

Based on £65K Salary

Clearly Defined expert Contract

Software Developer

Share of office space



Equipment & Tech






National insurance (employer) this will increase by an additional 1.25% from April 2022



Pension contribution (minimum amount)



Training & onboarding



Recruitment fee



Holiday pay*



Sick pay**



Company perks (healthcare, life insurance)



HR processes



Significant time-to-hire



Total cost



* Based on 25 days UK  

** Based on 5 days sick

*** IT Watchdog, as at 23.09.2021 



The overall 1st year cost of hiring a mid level C++ Software Developer

Based on £65,000 average UK salary + Total Cost as shown above £47,983




Compared to the cost of quickly engaging a highly experienced

C++ Contractor with Clearly Defined.

Usually on board within a few days.

Based on £490 per day all-in cost, 230 days.  



To find out how we can quickly find your next C++ Developer

Call on

+44 (0) 203 907 7721




Other Comparisons (for London add 20%):

1st Year Monthly costs as above (Median Salary for UK shown in brackets):  Our expected all-in cost per month:

 .Net Developer (Salary £50K pa)    £8,200   £9,000

Java Developer (Salary £70K pa)    £10,500 £11,000

Dev Ops Engineer (Salary £70K pa)  £10,500 £11,000

C# Developer (Salary £52K pa)              £8,400 £9,000

Full Stack Developer (Salary £60 pa)      £9,400 £10,000

Front End Developer (Salary £50K pa)    £8,400   £9,000

React Developer (Salary £67K pa)        £10,300    £9,000

 C# Developer (Salary £50K pa)      £8,200   £9,000

Python Developer (Salary £75K pa)        £11,000     £11,800

Web Developer (Salary £45K pa)           £7,800            £8,500

AWS Developer (Salary £92K pa)          £12,000    £12,500

iOS Developer (Salary £65K pa)       £9,300    £10,000


Client Terms & Service Agreement apply, above indicative costs based upon an Outside IR35 Status Assessment, exclude inside IR35/paye rates.