How to Recruit a Unicorn Developer to Your Small Startup
Platonics & Jobbatical, matching great developers with those in need.
They say your perfect match is somewhere on this earth. What about your perfect hire? And what if you’re a first stage startup in a small Scandinavian country working on new technology? Sometimes the search for a match can seem hopeless and you just want to settle. But you shouldn’t. Not in romance and not in hiring.
When Platonics first started their search for the perfect match they too felt a little hopeless. Because they had all the worst kinds of fears — the kind that keeps employers up at night. A first-year startup without a real brand name or reach outside Finland, the company had brought to market a 3D printer specially made for architects and they needed a really good developer. Not average, not good — but really good.
It’s your typical startup story really, 3 students meet, have a passion for something — in this case 3D printing — find a market gap and decide it could make a business. Cue one year later and the business is thriving. The company finds architects really need their 3D printers. The specialized software Platonics developed cuts down rendering for architectural plans by 90%! They were in business.
The problem now is that the startup began to grow. While that’s a great problem to have, where do you find a star developer when you’re based in Helsinki? Don’t get me wrong; Helsinki is a great city — walkable, compact and known for its green spaces. Not to mention it’s got great nightlife too but the market is small, the tech scene is busy, and there just aren’t enough unicorn developers to go around.
Platonics needed a new developer to take care of all the business coming their way and they needed him now. So they circled back to the idea that their perfect match was out there somewhere. Being a small company though, they didn’t have the ability to search the world (but then they didn’t really even think of that) they thought small and local. But their hiring search was like looking for a needle in a haystack — a top-notch developer that could hit the ground running.
Bring a developer from Argentina to Finland? No way!
Have an open mind and start thinking big picture — like worldwide — that was Julio’s (Co-Founder) plan when using Jobbatical. But finding developers is never easy; employers tell us that all the time. However, finding great developers in a small country like Finland with a more limited supply and heavy competition — that’s where Jobbatical shines.
Julio Tiusanen, Platonics Founder, and CEO,
“We tried to source a developer in Finland but we weren’t getting anyone that really stood out. Then we decided to open up the borders a bit. Our talent pool on Jobbatical had just one application that was really good — way better than the rest. But this guy was from Argentina! Not only was he very experienced, he also knew and understood the technology required for 3D printing. This was someone who would not take months to learn the technology but was actually already working in it.”
Julio was absolutely sure this was the guy for Platonics. But others in the company had a lot of resistance to hiring a developer from Argentina, even if he was a unicorn.
How do you get colleagues from a no to yes and hire internationally?
Julio had to convince a wary partner.
“When you have someone who fits the bill perfectly and local candidates that don’t compare, it just makes sense to hire internationally.”
That’s how Julio got past the other founder’s doubts. That and several Skype conversations with the team and the candidate. Now Platonics has an outstanding developer who adds to the team with coding beyond their expectations. Julio enthuses,
“we are completely sure that we made the right decision and actually I think we were incredibly lucky to find this guy because he is way better than what we initially expected.”
Working with Jobbatical to find a top-notch developer exceeded expectations for Julio and Platonics.
“I will say it was great (working with Jobbatical) and a surprisingly positive experience. We were pretty much not expecting too much but at the end, we were very impressed with the level of the applicant that we got. Because yes, I do admit that sourcing through Jobbatical has its benefits because you’re tapping into a way larger pool of options than limiting yourself to just one country.”
We’re always happy to hear another success story. But even more importantly, we love it when a company hires beyond borders. After all, we like to think of ourselves as more than a jobs marketplace, we like to think we’re changing the world, one job at a time.
If you’re a company looking for new talent and you’re ready to become one of our innovative and globally minded clients, we’d love to help you hire beyond borders. Maybe your perfect hiring match is somewhere out there in the world too? We can think of at least one happy Argentinian who moved to Finland and found his perfect match.
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Share your far-flung recruiting stories in the comments section so others can learn how you made that unicorn hire.