Supply and Demand: Remote Tech Talent

remote-tech-talent_op_evanp_11-16

Supply and Demand: Remote Tech Talent

As technology evolves, the world gets smaller and becomes even more connected. This has affected many aspects of our lives, and the recruiting industry is no exception.

There are a number of different trends I could discuss — and some I will in future blog posts — but one thing I’ve been seeing more and more of is the de-emphasizing of a candidate’s location in the recruiting process.

Specifically, there are two things we are seeing. Companies are:

  1. Hiring for positions that will allow for candidates to work remotely
  2. Offering a new hire the option to build an office or create a presence in a new location where the company doesn’t already have one

These aren’t totally new ideas, but we’re seeing them happen more often in the last five years, and even more so in the last two years. Approximately 25% of Objective Paradigm’s clients are now offering one or both of these options.

Traditionally, employers have been more flexible about working remotely once employees have proven themselves in an organization, but now they’re doing it with new hires.

Employers are getting more aggressive due to shifting supply and demand.

For example, let’s say you’re experiencing a big hiring surge, or searching for a very specialized hire, and you have a tight timeframe. It can be hard to get everyone to your city all at once. In this case, clients tell us, “We don’t care much where they’re located, we just want to see the best people you can find. We’ll figure out a way to make this work if they won’t relocate.” Technology makes that possible.

So how do you determine which option to pursue?

Offering a remote work environment versus actually creating an office (or a “presence”) in a new city is all about your hire’s ability. Chances are you are dealing with a very talented candidate — otherwise, you wouldn’t be flexible with him or her.

We do see that the “Tech Lead / Manager” title can be misleading — it’s still a developer, but with the ability to manage / build a team around themselves — but building out a new office is dependent on having someone like that.

New location build-out

Companies typically start out a new location with just 2-3 people, but they can grow a team out exponentially from that. On the other hand, if they come across a great developer who can’t or won’t move, but they don’t have a team leader personality, that candidate tends to work remotely as part of the team at the main office.

We’ve seen this play out in numerous ways in the real world. One client that comes to mind has built new offices around top talent, and in doing so they’ve created global presence despite being a small firm. They now have 60 total people, working out of five offices on three continents.

Building a remote team

On the working remotely side, we’ve seen new arrangements where employees will work on-site one week per month or quarter, and work remotely all other weeks.

We’ve even seen some employees, who initially said they didn’t want to move to the company’s headquarters, end up moving to that location after getting some experience with the team, company, city, and overall culture.

These trends will continue to evolve and higher qualified people will continue to gain leverage in choosing their location.


Evan Pollock, Objective Paradigm

Stay tuned for future posts, where Evan will discuss another complication when expanding your talent internationally: work authorization. If you have any questions about expanding your talent pool to new locations, please feel free to email epollock@oprecruiting.com.

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