Times have changed – remote is the new normal. You can work for Adobe in Zurich from woods in Lapland. That is just perfect for Nordics IO.Team of Nordics IO
Honestly speaking, everyone within the IT industry expected this to happen but it’s fair to say no one expected it this quick. In my view, my expectations from a 5 years long transformation went to 5 months, that’s just incredible.
This change concerns not only startups or small companies but also technological giants. We’re talking about almost every company in the world, small or big. Companies quickly adapted to remote work and home office while most of them are already implementing new working methods and concepts. For instance, in Switzerland, one of the leading company representatives who happens to be our mentor has stated that employees are no longer asked to come to the offices in person in the next 12 months. In Slovak city – Kosice, T-Systems is changing permanent job positions to hybrid home-office model which includes a reservation system for employees. This trend will likely continue to grow even after the pandemic is no longer here. For us, Nordics IO, this is great news.
Our team is working on a new model of cooperation in software development. We experienced firsthand with our previous project TomorrowMagic how difficult it is to find a great leader in development. Even more so when we’re talking about a niche technology that’s not very common. Our CTO left to work for LinkedIn, later for Facebook. You don’t refuse offers like these. We wished him good luck but we had a major problem on our hands.
We tried searching for his replacement on social media groups, Linked In, freelancer services like Toptal or Titans Freelancers (biggest in Slovakia and Czechia) and also local SW companies. We were in discussions with Rockway Capital (VC Investor) and all we needed was to implement an old-new API to the algorithm and publish the MVP. We had a budget of around €5.000 but we still couldn’t find the right colleague, either the candidates were already employed or they were not interested or they were too busy rejecting other job offers. This was the case in Slovakia, Czechia, and lastly in Sweden.
In 2018, we began to discuss this problem more intensively and analyzed the root of the problem. We met with decision-makers from Sweden, Slovakia, and Czechia and we decided to jump into the hard and cruel world of IT hiring and we pledged to make it better.
Right from the bat, we understood that clients are typically going to choose from 3 main options. All of these options have their pros and cons.
Full-time employees are generally very loyal and spend their working days on-site in their offices. According to Stackoverflow, 80% of professional developers are full-time employees. With FTE you have to deal with fixed costs such as office rent, hardware and software, vacations but also labor costs, team building activities, further education, etc. On top of that, you need to keep your employees motivated, offer them much-needed support, and deal with legal issues. In other words, employers need to have a very hands-on approach to keep employees happy. If not, they could be gone in a blink of an eye with the promise of better pay.
Moreover, it’s very hard to recruit the right people. As a company, you need to invest heavily in the corporate environment, create a culture that suits everyone, use modern technologies, frameworks and offer chances to participate in interesting projects. You often end up paying over the odds just to get the talent you need to have in your ranks. Some recruiting companies even told me that for a successful hire of a full-time employee, their client is paying them not 3x monthly salaries as compensation but sometimes 6x or 9x monthly salaries. Insane!
Consultants are, especially in Scandinavia and Switzerland, a very common option. Instead of searching for a full-time employee for 10 months, you can get a resource in 10 days. Thanks to consulting, clients can finish the projects on time and avoid missing any deadlines. According to many different portals and discussions with more than 100 key decision-makers from all over the world, I can safely say that the hourly rate for one consultant can be between €100 and €200, if not more in cities such as Stockholm, Zurich, Copenhagen. Hourly rate of €200 will come to around €32.000 without VAT and that’s just impossible to cover. Too expensive.
Freelancers are a very modern solution and it’s growing exponentially. Companies can benefit from this solution in terms of team management, speed, and skills that these freelancers often possess. And when the job is done, both parties move on, no strings attached. The one thing many people will agree on is that it’s hard to verify the talent, work ethic, reliability, and credibility. Most of the time you’re relying on pure luck and that’s far from a perfect solution.
Think about it. You think that remote work is a solution for a next decade. But.
You founded the company and you care deeply about the wellbeing of your own business. It’s like your child, you care about it for many years. It’s a hard and very often impossible decision to entrust your company to the hands of a person you don’t know. He or she doesn’t have references and there’s a big chance that the CV was written and modified to make it look better than it is. You’ll get the chance to see the person in a video call and in a perfect case scenario you get the chance to test his/her skills. But that’s it. You still can’t be sure and these processes very seldom limit your fears to 0. It’s extremely difficult for the HR team to choose the right freelancers whose name and reputation are the things that are important to them. Not every freelancer is looking after his/her reputation compared to CEOs and their businesses. Thinking there will always be another job and contract opportunity for the freelancer is what goes through freelancers’ heads.
That’s why there are companies like Toptal, who are verifying these people for the businesses, guarantee for them, take care of legal things. But in the end, you have to pay for it.
Work with verified IT Vendors over Europe. No compromises.
In some point of view, we are creating a new market. We know it is not easy but we believe we found a new way. We are based in Kosice, Slovakia, but I studied in Czechia and then moved to Finland to study in Jyväskylä, later in Sweden and cities like Linköping and Jönkoping. I found out that if we can verify the companies in Slovakia, the Czech Republic or CEE region and focus on their reputation, references and expertise, we can bring a huge value to the clients from Nordic countries or Switzerland who face major talent shortages. To be an objective advisor to choose the right vendors. It makes sense when you look at it, we’re all in European Union, the culture is different but not so much different and the countries are close, distance-wise.
The beginning of Nordics IO
We approached IT companies in Central Europe as we were looking to enter the international market. They were interested in cooperation with us and clients from abroad. These companies are top-quality companies and have many talented employees looking to embark on new different projects. On top of that, our solution helps them with scalability, meaning they can allocate these employees in times when there are no projects available for them to join.
They started applying to our network, free of charge. We have tried to keep asking questions to not only verify these companies but understand them. To find what motivates them, how they behave with the clients, which technologies & frameworks they work with, and where their expertise lies in terms of software development.
Along with our partners, we outlined 3 main services:
Now we’re ready to showcase to our clients the power of the new B2B remote model with 7 core benefits:
These reasons combine the best features of similar hiring processes that are commonly used nowadays. Since 2018 we’ve been working on this solution and getting better day-by-day thanks to new experience or consultations with the business leaders in different areas. Now we are ready to help you as a company to grow.
When are we the right partner for you?
All you need to do is to call us and say: “Hey Lukas, can you help us with….”.Team Nordics IO
What you will get?
In Nordics IO the great relationships are our number one priority.
We will provide you with the whole process, materials and consultancy for you to make an informed decision and choose your new IT vendor. The vendor whom we verified and have sufficient knowledge, expertise and experience. The vendor cares about their delivery, credibility, reliability, and reputation. The vendor will keep the word and will be doing all to make sure this is only the start of the partnership.
The last advantage – 2-way cooperation
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this piece. I hope that my thoughts will make sense and that I wasn’t blinded by our Nordics IO project. I honestly believe that we will create a new B2B remote model in Europe. All the information and knowledge we’ve gained over the past years are suggesting that we are not far from the truth.
Thank you and please get in touch.
Ing. Lukáš Řezanina