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How this tech team grew from 30 to 155 professionals

  • Written by Duri Chitayat, Chief Technology Officer at Safeguard Global

In an era of widely publicised software programming skills shortages, adopting a big-picture outlook to attract top tech talent in a borderless setting is proving effective for businesses.

At Safeguard Global, we are bucking the trend by boosting our tech team numbers to more than quadruple original staffing levels. It’s not just the quantity, but rather the quality of the acquired talent, that is making the difference.

It’s true that while globalisation won't solve the general developer shortage, a global search can expand the available talent pool for companies searching for highly skilled workers.

And this talent procurement is in dire need; the National Skills Commission’s latest Skills Priority List found that 286 occupations have shortages across Australia — nearly doubling since the year before.

Although the ongoing talent shortage has affected various industries globally, it’s been particularly challenging for companies that rely on top talent to build new technologies. Unsurprisingly, software programmers made the updated top in-demand skills list.

However, as organisations compete for talent with these in-demand skillsets, creativity, freedom and innovation hold the key to continually attracting the best and brightest.

Creating a united global team that delivers better technology, faster

To compete for talent for our software development team, Safeguard Global adopted a new, flexible, people-centric approach to hiring unbound by geography. In short time, our technology and product department grew from 30 to 155 professionals, with employees located across the globe.

Safeguard Global recruiters performed an analysis of the best talent markets and then expanded its search for candidates. Opening our search to a global talent pool resulted in hires from Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Nigeria and Albania, giving the department representation from 22 countries, all working together remotely.

For example, competing for a Ph.D. in machine learning takes a bit of work, but if you go to a country like Turkey, it's got a great education system and smart, hard-working people — who know what they’re doing. And now we have that expertise and knowledge as a part of our diverse team.

We knew the teams would need to adjust to a diversity of cultures and time zones, but we were confident that if we had found the best people, they would find a way to make it work. And they did.

Not only were we able to rapidly expand our team, we have also recorded a significant improvement in output, with an increase in the number of monthly product releases, plus a faster time to market and better quality of new products.

Despite being spread out among different countries, cultures and ways of thinking, diversity adds to the success of the talent pool. The difference in backgrounds forces the team to be open-minded to other cultures and ways of thinking.

Things to keep in mind when establishing a high-performing global team include focusing on the quality of talent, not cost or geographic location, being open to different experiences and views and adopting and living out a ‘work in any way’ approach.

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