Find Me Top Remote Tech Talent Now Please
An interview by HRTechNation with Gilad Bornstein, Flatworld.co CEO
- Provide a “curated by Flatworld.co” quality stamp for every hire based on high-volume candidate funnels and an algorithm that optimizes the matching between workers and companies
- Focus on talent without being restricted to talent availability in a specific zip-code.
- No need to compromise on the talent quality – its proficiency, or proven experience, nor on the budget for hiring great talent.
- Completely automated system that handles the process end-to-end (Ad to Interview)
- Work with the stakeholders to crystallize and formalize a lightweight “remote strategy” to provide a holistic view of the process end-to-end.
HRTechNation: Gilad, only you and I know that this interview was planned 2 weeks prior to the massive break out of the Coronavirus…who knew….
Flatworld.co: Indeed we did.... We are witnessing an immediate and rapid change in business continuity processes. Given that, we are concerned with the impact of this rapid change and the fact that some of the companies are being forced into “putting out fires”, they may lack the know-how and processes to make this change into a sustainable remote-work strategy.
As remote work advocates, it is clear to us that remote-work is an important part of the future of work. The appearance of the Coronavirus merely accelerates the adoption of remote work by lowering barriers and limitations that otherwise would make the adoption period much longer.
HRTechNation: Let’s go back to right before the Coronavirus got the headlines…The headlines were “Global Talent Shortages Hit Record Highs” (Manpower Group), with 2019 being the worst year ever with 54% of the companies reporting a talent shortage with the US leading with the most acute situation at 69%.
Flatworld.co: Exactly. The talent gap that we are experiencing just keeps growing year over year, and companies that want to be able to deliver value to their customers and investors need to find new ways to get ahead of the competition. In recent years we see several trends gaining momentum and these are the outsourcing companies as well as the emergence of bootcamps. Neither of those can solve the acute growth problem of companies that want to scale organically with experienced grade-A talent. Those companies that will be wise enough to make the transition early enough and will treat it as a strategic move and not as something they are forced to do to be able to deal with their challenges, will be the companies that are more prepared for future challenges and the ones who will win the market.
HRTechnation: Ok, back to your platform. You mentioned that in Flatworld.co you focus on the recruiting and vetting of global talent, tell us a bit about the platform.
Flatworld.co: Flatworld.co is an end-to-end Recruitment-as-a-Service solution that provides organizations with a simple and instant access to grade-A global talent. Our remote-algorithm takes as an input hundreds of applicants with their “Remote-IDs” and finds the “needle in the global haystack” – The right worker to the right company. We provide the ultimate quality stamp for remote worker assignment – “Curated by Flatworld.co”
Local recruiting is challenging as-is. When recruiting globally, challenges are multiplied as you need to screen hundreds of applicants for both technical as well as soft-skills (remote-worker matching score). We believe that, like in many other domains today, the organization should focus on its core business, while companies like Flatworld.co provide supporting services. We provide the hiring manager a shortlist of candidates that meet the “Curated by Flatworld.co” quality bar while eliminating the effort and investment in the recruitment process by the hiring manager/company to the minimum. We do that by taking care of all aspects of the process – outreach strategy, outreach campaigns, automated filtration, and building a short list of perfect fit candidates after we have interviewed the top ranking candidates internally.
HRTechNation: Tell us something about your recruitment methodology – How is classic recruitment marketing different from recruitment for “remote work-ready individuals”?
Flatworld.co: When the world is flat, and you can recruit from an abundance of countries and time-zones, the volume of candidates increases significantly. A large volume of candidates means that if you are super efficient (automation) and accurate (signal vs noise), you can also afford to be super picky.
For every typical role (e.g., full-stack developer) we build an outreach recruitment marketing strategy that yields 1000+ applications. While we are very experienced with Linkedin ads and job-slot strategies we prefer using social and ad networks for roles that are below the Director level. Linkedin is a great platform to advertise when you hunt for active job seekers or head-hunting for specific skill sets. For the more typical roles, the volume and potential are in the passive candidates, and most of them do not go into Linkedin much if at all. As Lou Adler said – “A Great Career Move Is Not About the Money”. Many Millenials and Gen-Zs see remote-work (rightfully) as a career move, our Ads got “Remote Work” and “Flexibility” all over to get them to convey this message and trigger the click.
HRTechNation: As a global sourcer, I need to ask this…are remote work individuals more open and ready to change their workplace or are they more loyal to it?
Flatworld.co: All of the research made so far is conclusive on that one. The turnover rate of remote workers is much lower. The lowest number I’ve seen was a reduction of 12% in the turnover rate and the highest one was a reduction of 50%. When you look at large organizations, even 12% translates into A LOT of money. By the way, a survey that was recently published in the US indicated that “54% of employees say they would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility”. Taking us back to the topic of coronavirus for a minute, remote employers experience 40% reduction in absenteeism, once more this is a lot of money and productivity gained by employers enabling remote-work.
HRTechNation: Ok so we got an abundance of candidates. Check! Now the challenge is to screen the talent to match the right candidate to the right company. Soft & hard skills, best-fit.
Flatworld.co – It’s not enough to find a Remote-Worker, you need to find the right Remote-Worker. Our screening process collects an abundance of remote-relevant data on the candidates including their technical proficiency, cognitive abilities, personality traits, language proficiency, etc. The data collected translates into remote-work quality insights comprising a remote-ID for every candidate.
HRTechNation: You say you will deliver only top talent. Tell me a little more about the tech tests? Are you using a 3rd party platform? Or did you create a DB of tests written by external professionals? And are they graded automatically? Will potential candidates have access to their test results?
Flatworld.co: We believe that “you don’t need to own it in order to have it”. There are several very good tech testing platforms out there and we leverage them as much as possible. When you utilize these platforms, you can let them build the test for you or you can define the test content on your own. We take the latter option to ensure that we maximize the signal.
HRTechnation: How do you know that companies joining your platform are “remote work ready”? Making remote work, work for all sides, needs a company with a strategy and an up-to-date tech infrastructure. Do they need to prove somehow that they are ready for it?
Flatworld.co: In most cases, companies are not born “remote-ready”, they need to go through a remote-transformation process in-order to get the most from the new setup. The depth and breadth of the transformation process depend on the goals. Does the company want to experiment with remote-work at a small-scale? Are they done with experimenting and want to scale their remote-ops? Are they building remote-teams or hybrid teams? Is this a remote-first or a remote-friendly company?
We work with the stakeholders to crystallize the short-term vs long-term goals, formalize a lightweight “remote strategy” and then map the process, tools and cultural gaps that need to be handled. Frankly speaking, the gaps repeat themselves in most companies and have been already solved by other remote-work veterans, so in most cases, it is a matter of following the industry-standard solutions and best practices with a minor amount of tweaking.
HRTechnation: Tell us a bit more about you and your team? What do you think makes you guys great founders for this particular product?
Flatworld.co: I always had a fetish for building high-performing teams. A couple of years ago, I joined as an Sr.VP of Engineering and OPs at the world’s largest remote-work company (3000+ remote-workers from 130 different countries). I was exposed to the exciting world of remote-work, and discovered the ability to build high-performing organizations based on great global talent that is available out there. I found myself in charge of the technical hiring funnel of the company (7000+ global applications per week). This was an amazing learning experience and challenge. In Flatworld.co I get to combine all the things that I’m good at – Being a software executive, a remote-work expert and the former owner of the world’s largest remote-work technical funnel.
Ronen had a similar start to his career, working as a software manager at some of the largest multinationals in Israel. Several years ago he took the consultancy path working with organizations as “VP R&D for hire” to improve the way they run their engineering organizations. We have not discussed this in this interview, but the shift to remote-work also requires the implementation of specific remote processes and tools. This is exactly where his know-how comes into play and complement’s mine. Together we are here to build the tool that we wished we had 5 or 10 years ago as hiring managers.
Maya Barlev who joined us earlier this year, connected with us following a blog-post related to soft-skills and remote-work that we have posted. Maya is an Organizational & Occupational psychologist, Future of work & HC (Human Capital) expert and the former HC practice leader at Deloitte Israel. Maya is a strong believer in RemoteWork as a win-win workforce strategy for both the employee & the company. Maya combines psychological insights with intellectual properties, distilling them into Flatworld.co’s remote-match-algorithm.
HRTechNation: What’s your vision for your product?
Flatworld.co: Remote-work changes dramatically the rules of the game both for the employers as well as the employees, it flattens the world, removes barriers, and creates an abundance of new opportunities for all. Flatworld.co provides the “Curated by Flatworld.co” quality stamp for every hiring – Our Remote-IDs and Remote-Work Quality Insights will be the industry standard when dealing with remote-worker hiring. Flatworld.co will become the driving force behind the broad adoption of remote-work by the “early majority”.