The Nordic countries have an abundance of technical talent. In both Finland and Sweden ICT workers represent over 6.5% of the workforce, way above the 3.7% average for the EU. There are over half a million ICT professionals in those two countries, and close to 800,000 ICT professionals in the Nordics combined.
Yet you’ve probably seen the statistic and are feeling the pain: There’s a massive shortage of developers in the Nordics. Problem is these countries also have the highest levels of digitization in Europe and indeed the world with Denmark, Sweden and Finland ranking top three in the EU Digital Economy and Society Index in 2018. The Nordics also have a huge IT industry and the largest number of tech startups per capita in the world, further increasing demand for great developers.
The struggle for development talent is real
The fight for talent is particularly acute for startups. Recruiting local developers is hard when the market is small and you don’t have the resources to compete. We hear from too many founders who sift through piles of low-quality applications while critical positions remain unfilled. And the situation is not about to get better. Finland has a shortfall of 9,000 developers right now, and the gap is expected to grow by 2,000 developers annually. The story is similar in Sweden, Denmark and across the region.
A better approach to building your tech team
But this is 2019 people! Should your startup’s potential be capped just because you don’t find the right talent locally? You don’t get your eggs from the local farmer (unfortunately), so why not cast your net a bit wider?
Working with remote teams can be an attractive solution. Slack, Trello, Jira, Github & co weren’t invented for nothing, and among other benefits have opened up a world full of technical talent - assuming you take the right approach. At Midealab, we initially solved our own talent issue by building dedicated teams from our office in Ukraine, and we have since transitioned to provide the same service to other startups.
What do we do?
- We find talented developers based on the startups’ needs
- We host the developers at our office in Lviv and take great care of them
- The startups work directly with the team - with its own tools and methods
- We handle all admin and HR - so our clients can focus on building their product
This is not outsourcing. Instead, the startup gets its own team of developers, which we support. We work with several European companies and it’s been a great solution for them to expand their development capacity.
The key to making it work is having the right approach to your remote team. As usual it comes down to the basics: Candidates with a proper match of skills and personalities, good onboarding, frequent and transparent communication, clearly established daily and weekly processes. If you already have these then it should be straightforward. If not then working with a remote team will raise your game and bring benefits across your business, whether your teams happen to sit in the same office or not. We provide lots of support and will help you make the distance work!
Ukraine is a large country with a huge pool of talented engineers. It’s right next door with no time difference, it has a pleasant and hard-working culture that in our experience works really well with the Nordic ethos, it’s lower cost, and it’s a good place to do business.
Ukraine has a huge IT industry where startups can recruit from, and its universities churn out 36,000 new engineers every year (vs. the 1700 or so in Finland). The skill level is very high, and there’s a strong and growing interest in working for startups.
We are 100% focused on working with startups. We’ve been there and understand both the passion and the pressure. Our service is tailored to startups with the ability to handle small teams (from one developer and up), flexible contracts, full transparency on costs, and a hands-on approach to make sure your developers become an integral part of your team.
Give us a shout if you need development resources. We can probably help.