Matt Cooper, oDesk: Outsourcing Allows Startups to Compete With Giants Like Facebook

This year, a special guest at IDCEE that took place in Kiev on 10-11 October was Matt Cooper, VP at oDesk, one of the world's biggest platforms for freelance consultants. Besides sharing oDesk's success story, Cooper reported Ukraine to rank 2nd globally by the size of its freelance IT talent pool and assumed outsourcing would become the main game changer on the tech scene leading each third IT specialist to work remotely and virtually by 2020.

In its traditional meaning "work" is usually referred to as something very much dependable on location, i.e. something centralized and bureaucratized. So, if your company is based in Chicago and you want to hire a specialist from San Francisco, you'll have to persuade him to move house and relocate to Chicago and you'll have to cover all of his relocation expenses, too. The traditional business model suggests that if you want to become a big international company, you should open several offices in different geographies and hire people to work in them. However, this is no longer a viable model, according to Matt Cooper. This model is rather out-of-date just because it is very costly. It's expensive to rent an office space, furnish it and buy necessary equipment. Hiring is expensive, too.

If you tell your HR Manager, "Hey Tony, we're launching a new project and need a talented high-profile geek to join the team" - be ready that the search for candidates will take an eternity and you'll have to offer double salaries to attract the right people. At the same time, there're thousands of high-profile specialists out there in the online space ready to contribute to your project for decent money. You may object, "C'mon, crowds of super talented IT folk march across Silicon Valley, just take and hire them!" But don't forget about such "black holes" for IT talent as Google, Facebook. Amazon or eBay: they promise so many perks to app developers that startups and small companies will never be able to afford! That said, for startups finding and hiring truly professional specialists onshore can be both time consuming and too expensive and these two factors alone can basically kill them.

Evolution of Hiring

So, what is it - a hiring model of the future? It is when companies stop competing for the best Chicago software companies and start looking beyond the national frontiers to hunt the best talent globally. What's in it for employees? First of all, they'll have a possibility to work on several projects at the same time instead of dedicating 5 years of their lifetime working for one company.

While it's not difficult for large companies to enter global markets, it is still a big challenge for startups and SMEs. Only online cooperation, remote software development teams and virtual communication are able to bootstrap a startup and drive it to the global level in nothing flat.

Matt Cooper points out that working online today is thousand times easier than it had been few years back. And the ability to get the best talent to work on your IT project is the main competitive advantage any small company can gain from globalizing.

Speaking about the future of business and employment, Matt Cooper believes the majority of the world's companies will be fully virtual with Software Development Team spread across the Globe. Advanced eCommerce technologies will allow to even better and more safely process transactions and rapidly evolving online collaboration and crowdsourcing tools will make communication between virtual teams clear and effective. This model will make companies more agile and whether the company will "keep the head above water" or die depends to a great extent on how agile it is.

We'll publish soon our Essential Guide for Startups to Attract Best IT Talent Globally, please sign up below to receive an alert once it's been released.

Vik is our Brand Journalist and Head of Online Marketing / PR with 11+ years of international experience in IT B2B. He's also a guest blog contributor to Business2community, SitePoint, Journal of mHealth, Wearable Valley and other IT portals. You can contact him directly on LinkedIn.

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