New to Recruiting Tech Talent Globally? 3 Ways a Local Partner can Help

Going global in hiring tech talent seems more and more not only a viable but also an inevitable option. Let's see what are the key challenges and how a local "friend" could make it easy to overcome them.

The pandemic challenged us to move work online last year fast, with the hope that we will soon return to normal. But then we slowly started to realise that “normal” is just one way we used to do things before and we may never really return to it. Partly because we will not be able to for a bit longer, and partly because it proved surprisingly productive and can also help us tackle the climate crisis.

Today, online work looks to stay with us and be very much part of our long term futures, too, part of a new normal.

 

The side effects on tech recruitment?

  • Digital industry going strong: Companies soon realised last year that they needed to speed up digitalisation to accommodate to a new, virtual way of work and living, and also to stay relevant. Investments in European tech grew last year, and together with government intervention to tackle the economic recession helped the industry to further expand.
  • The tech talent gap narrowing down: Several other industries suffered, and thousands lost their jobs or started to worry about job security. In some countries this led a trend in re-skilling to tech and the narrowing of the tech talent gap narrowed in some countries for the first time in a long time.
  • Recruitment going global: All those miles and kilometres between companies and work force seem much less relevant than before. Remember, tech is the field where 99% of workers can sit behind their laptops and do their work from anywhere in the world. Or at least from parts of the world in similar time zones. Our new, online way of life just opened us to a new, global tech talent market.

 

To fuel further digital growth and  find the best of the international tech talent, however, you must step out of your comfort zone and focus on 3 key challenges in this new, global playground. We believe that getting help from a great local partner might not just help with these challenges, but in the end make all the difference for you. Let’s see exactly how.

1. Don’t compromise: Find your true fit

"Though helpful, it is not about whether the person was from MIT, Harvard or Google.

The first thing to look out for is a fit. The values of the company and candidate must align.”

[Desmond Lim, CEO and Co-founder, Workstream / recruitment.com]

Once we presented a selection of junior tech developers fitting the requirements of one of our clients. They interviewed each and we were surprised to learn that they did not finally pick the person with the most relevant project experience. We asked our client why. It turned out that the student they picked was an enthusiastic table football player. Our client has football tables in their office and the game is a big deal for them, core part of their culture. They saw a group of similarly skilled engineers, and in the end, this small detail made all the difference for them.

Fit is obviously not just about hobbies. Often it is about values, drive, communication skills, feedback style, attitude to failure, openness to challenges, resilience to stress, a good vibe, and many other soft traits and skills.

But how do you find your true fit outside of your direct network, during some zoom interviews, from another country, probably with subtle cultural differences? This is the first challenge.

What works for our clients from around Europe is to let us use our local presence to hand-pick the best talents for them and offer them a short list of candidates matching their corporate style and culture. This works only because we make sure we get to know each other well in the beginning.

Also, we develop tech professionals that we ourselves would be happy to work with. We make sure to grow and nurture talents to become not only the best digital experts, but also great international team members, too.

2. Don’t lower the bar: Demand quality

“Recruiting tech talent is about finding the right mixture of technical skill and culture fit. Neither can be sacrificed for the other — you really need both.”

[Marc Boscher, Founder & CEO, Unito / recruitment.com]

Sure, fit is must have, but skills and experience are just necessary, too. You need the best competences in place for each specific role and task to get work done fast and in the top quality.

But how do you make sure there is real, practical and relevant craft behind the degree, the confidence and the industry terminology your candidate is flaunting at the interview, when you are out of your own networks, without your usual points of references? When a growing number of non-tech workers are looking to re-skill to tech fast, taking the easy way with short bootcamp courses?

And how will you find knowledgable experts in an international market with experience in your technology, which may be big in your country, but possibly less relevant in others?

First of all, a local “friend” with credentials and a proven track record can help you our here. Obviously no one will know better the quality of local tech resources than a really good local tech talent agency or training partner. You will want to look for one with a transparent, thorough selection process and a tried-and-tested training methodology.

To make sure your demand for specific technologies is also met, sometimes tailor-made trainings are the best and cheapest solution. When looking for a partner, make sure to check flexible curriculum options, too, adjusted to your needs specifically.

In the end, what really takes the pressure off is to have guarantees in place, like flexible trial periods and different sourcing and training options. Hiring is a huge commitment. Make sure you have a chance to try and test candidates first, and make big decisions only later.

3. Don’t lose momentum: Hire fast

“The number one gap I observe in the market between candidates and employers is hiring timeline!”

[Chris Menendez, Lead IT Recruiter, Hays PLC / recruitment.com]

Regardless of wherever you hire from, your deadline remains the same. Digital change is faster than ever and you need the right people to make it happen today – tomorrow is already late.

How do you manage to find and get the best candidate with the right fit and skillset fast enough in a vast global talent market without your well-known channels and processes? 

We suggest you look for a partner with a big and active network of quality tech talents readily available and flexible recruitment processes, offering you access to a top talent fast lane. The complete hiring process from our students and graduates normally takes 4 to 7 days for our clients, from briefing though short listing and interviews to sourcing agreement. Why waste time when there are resources available and work to be done?

 

These are just a few of the challenges that a local digital training and hiring agency can help you out with in global recruitment. Local laws, tax rules, international security regulations and bureaucracy are also so much easier to navigate with the help of a competent, experienced partner with end-to-end service offerings. With all these off your shoulders, global recruitment might not even push you out of your comfort zone in the end.

 

Codecool has offices and programming schools in Hungary, Poland and Romania currently, and is opening new offices in two further European countries this year. We’re serving 200+ clients all over Europe and our 1000+ graduates work at companies around the world. With our proven training methodology and flexible curriculum, hands-on selection process and pro recruiters we are ready to help you, too, as your local tech talent development and recruitment partner.

Starting the New Year Stronger and More Mature than Ever Before

József Boda, Codecool co-founder and CEO tells us about why he thinks we should count 2020 as a „dog year”, how Codecool will shift to rocket gear in 2021, and what he wishes for all us for the new year.

2020 was a really good year for us at Codecool. I am actually admitting this with some reservedness in the middle of a global pandemic. When we were deeply shaken to witness the collapse of whole sectors, the shutting down of hundreds of companies around us. Thousands losing their jobs, all of us worrying about our loved ones’ and our own health. But we at Codecool have delivered all our key targets last year, and exceeded our own expectations by going online practically seamlessly, and growing our business at the same time.

If you asked me around this time last year, if we would be able to enroll our students fully online, take all our classes online, build partnerships online and place our alumni at those partners also online, I would have replied: „Are you kidding me? We surely would not be able to do that.”

And to do this all practically from one day to another? When our very essence is the Codecool vibe at the school where we spend long hours together everyday? And at the same time achieving a record number of yearly enrollments in the 3 countries with a 1.000 students joining us in total? Never ever. But then we did just that. Successfully. We were the most amazed that this was not all impossible.

After the first shock we quickly switched to agile mode. We wanted to help at once. We developed two apps for the National Ambulance Service in Hungary, and support guides about online education for public school teachers in Poland and Hungary. In the meantime, we have moved all our courses online without any considerable hiccup, and enrolled over 300 students to our government supported courses in the autumn. These courses are still going strong in all four specialisations, and we really hope that this forward-looking, popular programme will be continued in some way. In Poland, we have scaled up our weekend courses, and launched our first ever strategic corporate partnership programme with great success – a new service which we would like to roll out in all the other countries, too. In Romania, our first students have completed our first courses, we have forged new partnerships, and the first Codecoolers have started in their first IT jobs. Huge successes to all of us!

Let’s make something clear: these things have not just accidentally happened to us.

We must remember that all of us who have survived last year have been lucky. The only „mistake” that many others made was just being in the „wrong” industry, or they simply became the victims of circumstances.

On the other hand, the huge work done by our colleagues, mentors, students and obviously, our partners all contributed to our success. While, just like many other companies, we were running on non-stop crisis management. In Romania and Poland even without a „Summer break”. (In Hungary we had a chance to literally breath a little freely between the first and the second waves of the pandemic.) I personally felt like on an emotional roller coaster, daily fluctuating on the wide scale between desperation and „yess, com’on, we can do this!”. And I’m pretty sure I was not alone. But all this just made us stronger and brought us closer somehow. And I am so very grateful for this. Without the tireless work, infinite enthusiasm and full trust put in Codecool by everyone in 2020, we would not be anywhere near, where we are today.

Because today, we are actually starting the year stronger than ever before.

Stronger and more mature. Today it is not only the last year, but already five years behind us. (Though I used to say sometimes jokingly that we should count 2020 as a „dog year”, because it really felt like seven, but let’s just count it as one.) And these five years were spent learning not only by our more than a 1000 graduated students, but also ourselves. We have learnt to grow up to our goals, tasks, and the endless trust we have received. And so we have been getting ready for the new year in a much more structured manner this time, with much more detailed plans and in general, with much more control, than ever before.

And to say that our 2021 plans are ambitious would be an understatement.

We will open schools in two further countries next to Hungary, Poland and Romania – one planned for the first half of this year and one for the second. Having listened to our partners, we are widening our corporate services in each country, and enhancing our strategic partnerships. Building on last year’s learnings and international best practices we are lifting the online Codecool learning experience to a new level. And as soon as possible, hopefully by the summer, we are slowly, gradually returning to our favourite places, to the offline schools, too. Stabilisation and growth – these two words summarize our 2021 plans for me best.

However, if we have learnt something last year it is that anything unexpected can happen and overwrite our plans in a flash. We have also learnt, on the other hand, that we will probably be very much able to manage even such unexpected situations. We have learnt to trust ourselves better, than before.

We have learnt that we can carry out our business plans, and we can save our good spirit in our personal lives.

Just like when together with my wife, we managed to carry on performing in our jobs, even with our three kids at home in ad hoc arrangements controlled by changing elementary and middle school closure regulations. It was quite a ride some days, I must say, though surely not as much as for single parents. Or, when I had to help out my English teacher mother remotely, with no tech skills whatsoever about how to hold classes online. This is actually Codecool core competence, which I had the chance to practice in real life. But besides the challenges there were really pleasant things, too. I felt incredibly lucky to spend every night at home with my family, and I actually put more miles in my bike last year than ever before. (7.500 kilometres. Not a world record, but my personal best by far. 🙂 ) The reason was that I stopped travelling around our offices on a weekly basis, a big change after only sleeping at home max. four nights in a row last year.

In the meantime, we have also learnt that besides managing challenges, we can also keep our promises.

Because what do we promise every day again and again? A new profession to our students. A new career, hobby, self-realisation, even the chance for a better life. New talents to our corporate partners. Talents that are not only easy to work with, but also a pleasure to have in the company. Corporate trainings which can help them keep and get the best out of their own employees. And a workplace to our Codecool colleagues, where each and everyone is equally important, where we trust each other and where we feel like in a second family together.

And I wouldn’t promise anything more for this year, either – would rather just have a single wish if I can.

To see each other again, soon. After all the hardships, the excitement and all the plans, I miss this one thing only – our personal, offline gatherings. So this is my wish, not just for myself but for all of us – that we meet again, as soon as we can in our offices, our schools, at interviews, at meetings, at personal get-togethers. Until then, I just wish a little bit more strength and patience on top of this, and rewarding work. And a happy, successful and hopefully a little bit easier new year.

2020 in Retrospective – 3 Unexpected Success Stories

To end this difficult year on a high note let us we present you with the short recollection of three of our success stories.

With the new year approaching, we have started looking back and making account of everything we’ve been through in 2020. All the ups and downs, the unforeseen challenges and unexpected successes, big moments and big learnings.

We decided to give you a short recollection of what we at Codecool are really grateful for today.

There are actually too many things we could mention and too little space for listing all of them. First of all, our invaluable partnerships with our amazing clients surviving our arguably toughest year yet with us. Then the over 1000 new students trusting us with their dreams and ambitions starting in our school this year, and 160 graduates landing their first tech jobs at our partners and our companies. And also our continuously growing international team of 140 colleagues working hard to make everything happen.

We’ve been through together a lot this year.

There are just 3 success stories we would like to mention in more detail below, that make us proud and grateful around this holiday season. The first one is about how we got to help out those fighting the new pandemic in the front line. The second is about how we took part in changing the lives of those losing their jobs as the crisis rolled on. And the third one is how we got invited to shape digital education and vocation strategy in Europe in the coming years.

1. Assisting front-line heroes – saving lives with the national ambulance service

In the beginning of March, Hungarian National Ambulance Service (NAS) were suddenly faced with an unexpected technical challenge. With the global pandemic already full on, their colleagues fighting an increasing demand for urgent medical help and unprecedented health risk in the front line, it turned out they also missedsufficient technical support. Not being able to monitor the real-time stock levels of protective equipment on different locations, the ambulance staff on duty was not sure where they could find masks, gloves and other essential supply at their disposal, on their actual route. Also, supply management lacked the necessary status info to arrange timely stock-up everywhere. This slowed ambulance services down considerably, risking additional lives.

We jumped to help. Our developers created a new app for the ambulance colleagues to report and monitor protective equipment stocks in real-time, by location. We delivered a working prototype of the app in just 2 days and finalised it in another few days. By the end of March it was in use nationwide.

By this time our developers and students have already been working on another app for the ambulance service: tracking the work status of their 8000 employees in real-time, further improving the effectiveness of their front-line work.

We were glad we could help the work of our everyday heroes in our own ways. We are here to help in the future, too.

2. Helping the unemployed to future-proof careers – government supported tech courses

In the shadow of the health crisis, an economic crisis also emerged at the same time. Wide-scale layoffs started and thousands of people found themselves on the street everyday, from one day to another. As an emergency reply, financed from the European Social Fund, the Hungarian government lunched the Redesign Program on 11 May, 2020. In the scope of the Program, unemployed people got the opportunity to attend top quality digital courses free of charge, to build a future-proof, tech career for themselves.

Codecool has applied to take part and was finally selected as one of the partner schools in September. We enrolled over 300 pre-selected students in the following weeks and started their four-month training in October.

We are super proud to be part of this initiative about digitalising Central-European workforce, actually changing individual lives day-by-day.

3. Contributing to a digitalised EU work force – European Software Skills Alliance membership

The skill gap in Europe today is above 50%, meaning that over half of the European workforce needs reskilling to fill open positions. One of the areas with the biggest gap is software development.

To tackle the challenge on strategic level, DIGITALEUROPE and an alliance of 26 software partners launched the European Software Skills Alliance (ESSA), to design and implement the new Software Skills Strategy and vocational curriculum for Europe.

Codecool is proud to have been selected as one of the 26 partners in the Alliance. We will work on creating more flexible, shorter, more diverse educational paths benefitting both individuals growing their digital skills and businesses building their digital future.

 

Having recollected these stories we are looking forward to a hopefully less challenging, but equally rewarding new year.

We wish you happy holidays with lots of grateful moments looking back and celebrating your own success stories.

Telekom offers discount subscription for Codecool students

Codecool students in Hungary may use Telekom’s postpaid 15GB mobile Internet package together with the “Mobil XS“ tariff plan free of charge in the first two months and for a fee reduced by 30% for further 10 months. As a result of the cooperation between the programing school and the telecommunication service provider, more and more people can acquire marketable developing skills.

Telekom Hungary and Codecool Programming School have concluded a cooperation agreement. Under this agreement, all active or newly enrolled students of Codecool are now entitled to receive significant discount off the monthly fee of Telekom’s 15GB mobile internet package (offered together with Mobil XS tariff plan) for two years. The offer applies not only to the new 15GB mobile internet package, but also to the 10GB one contracted earlier, until the end of September. Telekom provides this construction for its clients participating in the trainings of Codecool in Hungary for a residential monthly fee reduced by 100% in the first two months and by 30% for further 10 months.

“Owing to the introduction of our short-term IT trainings, accessibility to our courses has improved significantly for the past few months, since our trainings have become available not only for people living in the capital or in Miskolc, but anywhere in the county or even outside of it. The agreement concluded with Telekom Hungary is also part of our endeavors to widen the accessibility of our courses. In addition to the benefits of the discount mobile internet package, we provide job guarantee and the possibility of post-financing for our full-stack programming course students, while the participants of our short-term trainings can pay their tuition fee in instalments, as well,” says Codecool co-founder and CEO József Boda.
The entitlement to the discount can be validated by presenting a document certifying participation in our course, issued by Codecool, in any Telekom shop. Within the framework of this special offer, one student may use only one discount package.

“Telekom Hungary is committed to the improvement of Hungarian digital economy and society. Digitalisation changes the usual routines and processes in every economic sector and in most fields of our everyday life; this change is inevitable, and, at the same time, it has become one of the most important competitive factors,” says Chief Commercial Officer of Telekom Hungary Melinda Szabó, referring to the agreement. “Our company has contributed to the major successes of the past few years not only through the intensive development of our network, but we also keep supporting digital education and the training of IT professionals through various programs and initiatives. Codecool’s digital IT training perfectly matches Magyar Telekom’s strategic programs, that is the reason why we support the students of Codecool by providing discount mobile internet service for them.”

Codecool expects that most of its students will take the opportunity to use this discount package, as having a reliable and fast internet connection is indispensable for the completion of the trainings. Mobile accessibility to the internet increases flexibility even more.