New Staffing Imperative: Finding Skilled Global IT Talent

Searching for global IT talent may seem like a daunting task if you’re in the beginning stages of the hiring process and you’re not alone. According to a survey conducted by Robert Half, a shortage of up to 18 million highly skilled workers is expected to exist in advanced economies like the US by the year 2020. Along with the upcoming shortfall of talent, 66% of businesses are already reporting difficulty in recruiting for open positions and 33% believe they do not have strong hiring processes.

Despite these staggering statistics, hiring global IT talent can be manageable and approachable. With an established game plan and knowledge of the world market, you can find talented team members that are eager to join your organization and solve your problems. Here are some tips to find the best talent for your team:

Pinpoint Qualifying Criteria for your Global IT Talent

Developing a comprehensive hiring strategy gives you the tools to combat uncertainties when you begin your recruitment process. A well-established game plan should including the following factors:

Location

Location is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a new hire. Is the position static, remote or either? It’s important to remember that if the position can be remote, it will open up a much wider pool of talent and allow you to hire the best available resources in the world.

Language Barriers

Consider the language requirements needed for your team. Do team members need to be fluent English speakers because of internally facing responsibilities or external client  communication requirements? To ensure our candidates are both technically and conversationally sound in English, at Gorilla Logic, our staffing team interviews candidates in conversational English and our executive team converse technically with candidates as a client would.

 

Optimal Time Zones

Operating with a global team opens up many opportunities for your business to improve processes, but it also can present conflicts. If your organization utilizes highly collaborative methodologies like Agile, Scrum, or Kanban, you will need to hire team members located within a time zone of +/- 2 hours.  This is one of the main factors we considered when choosing Costa Rica for our Nearshore Development office. Located in San Jose, our office is in the same time zone as our Boulder, CO headquarters. If your organization follows a Waterfall methodology, you can benefit from hiring resources in opposite time zones, and utilize a “follow the sun” process for continuing work around the clock.

 

Skill Set

After establishing the skills needed for your new team member, identify any specific coding languages or skills that may be new to the industry. If you are hiring an offshore or nearshore team, research the region for other established IT industry leaders. Do these organizations utilize the latest technologies: Swift, React, Ember, etc? Identifying your needs is especially imperative if you want a quick onboarding process with a small training window.

 

Level of Education

Are you willing to work with someone based solely on their years and type of experience or is a degree a hard requirement? What level of education is the norm in the region for the position? Is experience more important than education requirements? Does it matter that your new talent has a bachelor’s or master’s degree? What are the best institutions and degrees to be looking for?

 

Process

If you’re working on an established agile scrum team, chances are you will want to hire talent that has experience with this process. Given all of its nuances including sprint planning, daily standups, and retrospectives, working with an individual who has agile experience will make the process much smoother. If you’re willing to train your new team member on your process, still list the type of development environment in your description. Your new hire will need to understand that constant communication and daily standups are required along with the eventual four-hour long planning sessions.

 

Compensation

What is your company’s budget and how much of it can you dedicate to your new global IT talent? If your budget is limited, consider looking at nearshore or offshore resources to stretch your dollars. For example, senior level talent in Costa Rica can be attained for about ½ the cost of an equivalent US resource with the same level of skill. However, if this is your first search for nearshore or offshore resources, it is imperative that you understand cultural norms, pay structure (monthly, weekly, daily, hourly), benefit requirements and required government social programs in the desired country. Partnering with an established development organization in your desired area is often the best and easiest way to establish a nearshore or offshore team because they already understand these cultural norms.

 

Recruiting your Skilled Global IT Talent

Now that you’ve established your qualifying criteria for candidates, it’s time to start recruiting! There are several methods for finding global talent, which includes personalized recruiters for your business and online job posting networks. Both of these are detailed below.

Online Job Boards

By 2020, more than 60 million people are expected to be working the freelance economy, and that’s only in the US. Many of the individuals that already make their living as an independent contractor find jobs through online markets.

Resources including UpWork, StackOverflow and LinkedIn all provide businesses with a vast talent pool of both local and global IT talent. However, this is a huge time commitment and you must he willing to take the time to sift through large volumes of applicants and thoroughly check their qualifications. Other online jobs posting boards like Mediabistro, Dice and Crunch Board are specialized options where you can find local IT talent that may be easier to spot than a larger resource like the ones listed above. Many of these online job posting boards charge a fee for hire or a fee to post a position. Although using online job boards are an inexpensive option, there are many negatives you must keep in mind:

  • A lot of candidates may respond, but with volume you often get less quality
  • Job boards are labor intensive because they require a lot of time to sift through candidates
  • If you are looking for a nearshore or offshore team member, traditional job boards (Monster, Indeed, etc) in the United States are not prevalent in other countries

Rather than use job boards, we suggest you use a qualified recruiter to tap into their expertise, global network and hiring ability. Recruiters possess the knowledge to weed out the qualified candidates from the unqualified ones, leading to better results in the long run.

 

Recruitment Partners

Whether you’re seeking talent in a specific country or desire a more personalized process, a recruiter is a direct resource that takes the brunt work out of hiring overseas. Working with an in-country recruiter or recruiting agency gives you access to their talent pool. These professionals can prevent language barriers and will present your opportunity to only qualified individuals. The benefits are vast.

Typically, working with recruiters is more costly than doing the work yourself because they charge clients a percentage on top of services or take a portion of the employee’s salary as commission. Despite the expense, in our opinion, this option is usually the best route for your business, especially if you’re in need of specialized talent or a quick hire. Here are 6  reasons using a recruitment partner is often the best option for your onshore, nearshore and offshore needs: 

      1. Understanding of cultural norms
      2. Established in conducting business in the region
      3. Personal network in country (at Gorilla Logic, this is our Band of Gorillas network)
      4. Strong referral program
      5. Language barriers lowered
      6. Receive only the top applicants after they have been fully vetted

In summary, you will pay more for a partner with expertise in the industry, but you will receive the top talent available. For example, at Gorilla Logic, we fill 92% of roles that come our way in under 2 weeks when the average time is over 3 months in the IT industry. Our team presents you with only fully vetted, technically sound candidates so you never have to worry about an under qualified hire. Although we don’t keep a bench, in 2016 over 40% of our placements had an existing relationship with u

Organize your Business’ Interview Game Plan

You’ve worked hard to develop qualifying criteria and recruit global IT talent and now it’s time to start the screening process. Don’t let your efforts so far be wasted by failing to execute a solid interview game plan. Create a list of your interview participants and inform them of your qualifying criteria, along with nice-to-haves to create a streamlined, measurable process for each applicant.

 

Conducting the Technical Interview

You should always start your interview with your end goal in mind. What are your company’s mission statement and core competencies? Design questions surrounding these culturally-driven factors can make or break the success of your overall operation.

According to the “Who: The A Method for Hiring” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, you should require that your applicants pass multiple steps to qualify for the job. Smart and Street’s scientific approach to interviewing talent leads to nearly 100% client satisfaction and 94% team retention, which is tremendous compared to dreadful turnover statistics in the IT open market. The steps include:

  • Possessing qualities that match the core competencies and mission statement of your business.
  • Willingness to be a productive member of the team.
  • Able to explain career objectives and how those fit into the position or company

Using these techniques, interview candidates using the same process and score each candidate to develop a non-biased comparison of talent. This will help you hone your process over time.

Testing and Research

The interview is critical, but you also need to ensure that your talent is qualified for your open positions. They may tell you that they’ve built stellar code, but until you see & test their work, you won’t know for sure. Develop a standardized test for each technical position opening that challenges their skill set, but is respectful of their time and takes around 30 minutes to complete. This test should be based on your needs for the position and timed to compare results among each candidate.
Finally, you can also research their profiles on Github & Stack Overflow. Check their code and past projects to determine if they are the perfect match for your open position.

At Gorilla Logic we can help you find the best talent globally through our US/ Nearshore Project Delivery and Team Extension in Costa Rica. In 2015 Gorilla Logic was named in the Top 100 Digital Companies in Colorado, in 2012 and 2015 one of Denver Area’s Top Workplaces and in 2012 Colorado’s Top Companies to Watch. In 2015, we had 162 employees throughout the United States and Costa Rica, with a growth rate of 20-30% each year. Contact us to find out more about our recruitment process and our Band of Gorillas.

Due to our hugely successful nearshore partnerships, we are expanding our team in Costa Rica. We are on the lookout for the most talented engineers in Costa Rica. We are holding a free job fair on July 27th at the Sabana Business Center Hilton Garden Hotel at 5:00pm where you can meet and talk with executive team members in person. Please click below to check out our current openings and we can’t wait to meet you at our Job Fair on July 27th

 

 

Tess Manderson

As the VP of Global Talent Operations for Gorilla Logic, Tess works closely with both hiring managers and job seekers in order to create an optimal and positive experience for all. She has 9 years of recruiting experience, and has spent the last 7 of it in IT with a focus on Software Engineering, Big Data, QA Automation, Agile/Scrum, and DevOps. Now a tech savvy force, this South Dakota native came from rural beginnings, driving a tractor as her first job. Consequently, Tess isn’t afraid of hard work, having helped her previous employer HUNTER Technical Resources expand their footprint nationally by opening their first branch office in Denver, CO. When not driving our global talent operations, you’ll find Tess outdoors hiking in the mountains or traveling to her favorite places.

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