No matter where in the world you work, if you’re hiring, now is a particularly difficult time. A recognized need for diversity, coupled with skills shortages, economic uncertainty, and heightened competition for the best talent are just some of the factors impacting the depth of local talent pools.
As a result, many organizations are now opting to source talent from overseas. This, in itself, poses logistical challenges, but a company that has recognized the growing opportunity for both employers and candidates in the tech space, in particular, is VanHack.
We caught up with founder and CEO, Ilya Brotzky, for his view on the challenges of sourcing a truly diverse workforce, and how international recruitment can help.
Tell us a bit about VanHack and the support you offer employers and candidates
VanHack provides instant access to a global tech talent pool. Our platform boasts a community of over 190,000 Software Developers, Designers and Digital Marketers who are ready to relocate. 90% of all jobs posted on VanHack get a qualified candidate in less than 24 hours.
The idea came to me when I moved back to Canada after four years of living in Brazil. A lot of my Brazilian friends who were software engineers started to reach out to me for advice on how to relocate, so I created an online course about how to do that. Now that’s blossomed into one of the world’s largest communities of tech talent that wants to relocate.
What is the opportunity you saw in streamlining talent relocation?
People value the freedom to be able to work and deliver great results being anywhere in the world, and we’re here to facilitate that. At VanHack, we see everyone as Global Citizens. We believe that the future of talent acquisition and our careers should not be restricted to a particular office, city or country.
By searching globally, companies have a much higher chance of finding someone who has a different background and mindset from their current team. We give companies access to a world of tech talent, automatically increasing the chances of them hiring more diverse candidates, in all senses of the world.
I believe that all companies should consider international hiring when planning to build a more diverse team. If they don’t, they are missing out on 99% of the talent pool that is available to them.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges in hiring a diverse workforce?
The biggest challenge is assessing the skills and motivations of candidates. It’s very hard to know with 100% certainty if a candidate will be the perfect fit for a role.
Soft skills are incredibly important and super underrated in a tech environment, in particular. Most software engineers are very strong on the tech side but lack that ability to explain their thinking and convey why they are doing things a certain way. Soft skills help solve this problem and allow strong software engineers to differentiate themselves from the pack.
What three tips would you give when hiring for both soft and hard skills?
Firstly, it would be to hire more for culture fit than a specific hard skill. Many companies are having success by hiring strong tech talent that is open to learning and shows a history of adapting to new challenges, rather than just looking for candidates who check all the technical boxes.
Next, I would recommend treating the hiring process as a marketing campaign and work on getting in front of as many of the right candidates at all the meetups, hiring fairs and technical communities that you can.
Finally, I would encourage companies to consider hiring candidates from around the world (of course)!
What do you think the workplace of the future will look like?
I believe that the future of talent acquisition and our careers should not be restricted to a particular office, city or country.
People value the freedom to be able to work and deliver great results from anywhere in the world, and we’re here to facilitate that.