An international recruiter shares what’s happening in the tech war for talent
Thanks to venture capital funding, there has been an incredible boom in new startups. These innovative, fast-growing companies, platforms, and apps run the gamut, but have one thing in common: they can’t find enough talent to meet all of their needs. The lack of qualified candidates hinders the development of businesses.
Sergiu Matei, Founder of Index, which runs a platform helping clients like Vodafone find and hire world-class technical teams, gives his take on what’s going on from the perspective of an international recruiter . Its mission is to help growing companies hire world-class remote software developers and teams.
According to Matei, the Internet is undergoing a radical facelift, thanks to the growing interest in Web3 and the metaverse. However, the journey to the internet of the future is so complex that companies are struggling to find people who can do the job. While the pressures of the Great Resignation and resulting labor shortage have wide-ranging implications for businesses in nearly every industry, it’s even worse for companies looking to hire highly skilled workers in the field of technology. Before the pandemic, it was difficult to fill specialized technology positions. Now, he says, it’s “almost impossible”.
The demand for software engineers is at an all-time high. The job search process for engineers is broken, and companies have no incentive to fix it. For most jobs, applicants apply and never get a response. The majority of software engineers want to work remotely, but 31% worry about how it might affect their career prospects, according to the State of Remote Engineering report.
There is hope. The widespread adoption of remote work during the pandemic has made it much easier to attract tech talent. “If you broaden your search outside of a set of zip codes, you can find great talent with less competition,” Matei said. Index’s platform facilitates this search by including an English language test and skills assessment in its recruitment process. Hiring employees in international locations where the cost of living is lower than in technology hubs, such as Silicon Valley and New York City, can also make small business compensation more attractive.
Matei was born and raised in Moldova. He has spent most of his career building platforms to help teams find and hire talent from around the world. Matei learned that Central and Eastern Europe is full of untapped talent. They were overlooked because the recruiters didn’t speak the language. Matei said the area is well known for tech professionals with math and computer science degrees. It is home to over a million engineers, in places like Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine.
Matei pointed out that technology companies in the United States added 24,300 workers in January, marking the 14th straight month of job growth in a booming IT hiring market. Index solves the problem of finding and hiring engineering talent remotely. He’s driven to reduce inequality by helping build a future where top local talent won’t have to leave their country to get great work. There is also a larger reason. By connecting different cultures around the world, people can broaden their understanding of each other, which will foster friendly relationships, which are needed more than ever.
Another challenge facing businesses is the emergence of Web3. The number of Web3 developers has grown significantly in 2021, but they still represent a tiny fraction of active software developers worldwide. In the United States alone, more than 1.2 million engineers will be absent from the workforce by 2026, a figure that is expected to cost companies $162 billion in unrealized output.
There’s a lot of turnover in this industry, with both big tech companies and scrappy startups vying for the best and brightest talent. For example, Microsoft’s augmented reality team saw 100 departures last year, as many engineers jumped ship to work on the metaverse at Meta. Apple had a similar problem and still needs to fill around 10,000 roles.
In the coming year, it will be difficult to find qualified engineers, to put it mildly. Recruiters must fully understand the changing digital landscape, the expectations of potential employees and how to improve the skills of current teams.
After spending more than a decade hiring in the fast-paced world of technology, Matei shared his ideas for finding the people who will create the Internet of tomorrow. In addition to expanding their talent search across borders, recruiters should also consider developers with unconventional backgrounds, such as self-taught and bootcamp alumni. Benefits should go beyond salary and companies should provide constant learning opportunities, whether through external courses, internal knowledge exchange sessions or exposure to new technologies via rotation projects. According to Matei, there must be an overhaul of the education system to meet the growing demand. Currently, only 13.2% of schools offer computer courses; however, 77% of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills.