Here at Flying Saucer Studios, having a completely remote team is part of our DNA. It’s the thing that’s allowed us to curate our talent, regardless of where it exists on the globe. It’s provided us with the opportunity to work with incredibly talented UI and UX designers in Mexico, an Operations Queen in Paris, the cream of the crop in project management from Mexico to Madrid, the North American biz dev sensations, and the mistresses of #HumbleBrags - the Canuck copywriting team.
Working remotely means we get to pick the best people for the job - and all they need is access to the Internet and the ability to communicate like an absolute pro. We’ve talked about remote work before, how you can travel the world while still doing the work your love, and have even gone into the how’s and why’s of choosing between a freelancer and an agency like ours for your business, but not all tech talent have the same opportunities to connect with organizations that could really use their skill sets.
According to Forbes, the beginning of 2020 looks like it will be fierce in the job market, and the provision of a remote component is proving to be a deal maker, or breaker. An analysis of the 2019 job market by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics showed the location and schedule flexibility was the employment benefit that was in the highest-demand for job candidates — one they’d even be willing to take a pay cut to accept. But more than employees wanting remote work, companies want remote workers. Having a remote friendly position can increase application rates by a massive 3000% (not a typo!) - and attracts the most experienced and valuable job seekers.
Plentyworks is setting out to level the playing field by connecting incredibly talented employees with employers who need them, regardless of their geographic proximity. They’re providing opportunity in areas of the world where it is incredibly scarce. Currently operating in eight emerging markets, Plentyworks is working to find the leading software engineering talent and connect them with the top tech companies in the industry. Right now their focus has been on Europe and Singapore, but they just opened a US office so they’re hoping to expand there quite soon. #StayTuned.
We sat down with Christian Petroske, the CEO of Plentyworks to get the lowdown on how Plentyworks came to be.
“Talent is everywhere around the world, but opportunity is not - and we’re trying to change that. So we’re in the business of providing opportunity where it’s scarce. Specifically, we find the top software engineering talent and connect them with opportunities with exciting tech companies in some of the major global tech hubs.”
Now, you could think of them like an international staffing agency - but that would be a mistake, in our opinion. It can be a similar model in that they have the ability to build offshore offices and teams in locations that they lease on behalf of their clients, but where Plentyworks really excels is in how personally invested in their clients’ success and growth they become. They’re also connecting employees with companies who are offering a completely remote experience — which is something that makes our heart go pitty-pat.
Remote work often sounds amazing, but there are some folks who aren’t sure they have what it takes to cut it. Plentyworks does more than connect you with your employer and leave you to your own devices!
“Employees have someone with them for the first four weeks to make sure that they’re acclimating and that their onboarding is seamless,” says Mr. Petroske when asked what sets Plentyworks apart. He also mentions the 2-hours per week of mandated course work in areas like cross cultural communications, english as a second language, how to manage up, and project management.
Migrating across the globe for a job opportunity might fill you with a deep, existential dread… no? Just me? But when it comes to navigating international job interviews, as Mr. Petroske says, “It pays to have an experienced guide.”
Plentyworks has an extensive vetting process for their employment guides, so they’re careful to connect the right talent with the right organization. On top of that, they really give you that in-person connection that can be so important in helping you connect with your new workplace. They give you someone who can walk you through the process and get you settled in your new community with your new work mates.
Up until this point, we’ve mainly spoken about the hiree – but what about the hirer?
“Some of the main questions that companies have when considering a remote hire are, ‘How will that person integrate into our corporate culture? How will they connect with the team?’, and we’ve found a really simple answer that that question: a plane ticket. When you’re looking to bring on a new, highly skilled team member, it makes sense to invest in that relationship,” Mr. Petroske adds.
That’s right, Plentyworks will often work with a company to arrange to have their new employee fly to their main office for a couple of weeks, to connect with the corporate culture, get hands on training, and really immerse themselves in the company that they’re going to call home – from their own home.
Learning the Plentyworks business model has really cemented our feelings that they are an amazing resource for tech talent around the globe!
As a positive impact agency, we here at Flying Saucer are stoked to see companies democratizing access to great employment opportunities and making a difference in the world - the fact that it’s a model after our own remote heart is just icing on the cake!
If you’re in any of the eight markets that Plentyworks is operating in - definitely take a look. You know what? Even if you’re not, you should check them out - entice them to come to your country and get involved!