Recruiters Are Struggling To Meet Unprecedented Demand. Can Tapping Global Talent Be the Answer? Innovative online recruitment startups might have the solution

By Julian Lim

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Alex Svinov

The pandemic caused the global economy to contract, but while most sectors are still struggling to recover, some saw an incredible rise in demand. The recruitment sector has been particularly busy as companies forced to lay off staff in 2020 are now reopening. In addition, people who had reassessed what they wanted from work, which led to 'the Great Resignation', are currently looking for something better.

Those working in recruitment respond to market changes as workforce demand waxes and wanes in differing industries. One sector in particular saw a seismic shift that has led to such a surge in recruitment that it has been hard to keep up.

The IT industry exploded during the pandemic, with more working online

Demand for IT and technology jobs has been growing for decades. The spread of the Internet has provided many opportunities for those with the right skill sets. Although the industry was initially negatively affected in early 2020, the sudden move online for both work and play resulted in it being one of the first to recover.

Remote work was already taking place pre-COVID, but the lockdowns significantly accelerated the move online. As a result, after the initial setback, IT employment saw nine-month of consecutive growth until it hit pre-pandemic levels in April 2021.

Attitudes to remote working and living more online have shifted permanently. During COVID-19, around 70 per cent of full-time workers worked from home, but surveys show that post-pandemic, 80 per cent of those asked expected to work from home at least three days a week.

To support the explosion of online life, including things like remote work tools, IT security, digital entertainment platforms, and e-commerce, the tech sector has exploded. As a result, there are so many IT positions to be filled that recruitment firms have found themselves inundated with requests for skilled staff.

The demand for software developers, for example, has increased 25 per cent post-pandemic. But finding the right employee or employer takes a lot of time. The industry standard for hiring a new developer is over two months.

Even if looking for just one skilled developer, this is problematic. But when many companies are scaling up and looking to take on several new team members, it can seriously impact operations.

The bottleneck is often the result of recruiters or HR teams having to sift through piles of resumes to see experience and programming skills. These would typically be followed by competency tests and multiple interviews delaying the process further.

However, some innovative recruiting platforms are finding ways around these problems. A great example is Insquad, a US-based company that matches developers worldwide with American companies that need skilled staff.

Alex Svinov, the CEO and co-founder of Insquad, explains, "I'm a developer and am now the owner of a firm that helps companies hire developers. So I know the issues faced by all stakeholders involved, and it helped me spot a couple of significant problems – along with the solutions."

"A lot of companies are finding it hard to find the right developers. This is partly because the interview process takes a long time, typically a couple of months and includes 60 hours of work. But it is also due to IT hubs being spread unequally around the world," he says.

"Given the move to remote work and that there are thousands of talented developers internationally, the answer seemed obvious. We match highly skilled staff from places like India, Africa, East Asia, Europe or Australia with US employers."

Online recruitment and remote work allow for international talent to flourish

Global online recruitment has been expanding despite the pandemic. In 2019, the market was worth around $28.68 billion, but it is predicted to rise to $43.39 billion by 2027.

"The idea of leveraging international talent is exciting and being applied to multiple sectors," Alex Svinov says. "We developed Insquad to help solve the rising demand problems in my industry. We have separate landing pages for American businesses seeking talent and another for developers to be matched to positions best suited to them, no matter where they happen to be geographically.

"We are completely online, and all positions are 100 per cent remote. This solves finding the amount of skilled IT professionals required by the industry and has other advantages such as being able to find the right employee a lot faster."

Alex explains how the platform makes this possible. "We streamline the process by having a vetting system that screens potential employees for both hard and soft skills. The process involves several steps, including quizzes, coding challenges, and interviews. By the end, we have a uniquely detailed profile that companies find incredibly convenient.

"Having the in-depth profiles means an employer can narrow down a list of ideal candidates faster. This has decreased the typical duration of the hiring process from at least two months to just two weeks. It also cuts the work involved from the standard 60 hours to just six. We know the vetting system works, as we have an 85 per cent interview to hire rate," Alex says.

Platforms like Insquad are providing an ideal solution for the problems facing the current recruitment of IT professionals. This is a sector that is highly in demand and perfectly suited to remote work.

Whether these solutions will work so well with other industries depends on what is needed. However, the rise of online recruiting firms and the tools becoming available for skilled remote workers suggests this is an idea that is proving increasingly popular.
Julian Lim

Tech entrepreneur, researcher and editor at Startup Fortune

Julian Lim is a technology entrepreneur and researcher. Julian has graduated from NUS in intelligent systems and started his career pursuing data analytics and research. He’s also an editor and senior writer at Startup Fortune, covering technology, startups, AI, blockchain and entrepreneurship.

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