‘Borderless’ Hiring Trend Grows in London’s Tech Scene Due to Skills Shortages


Ondon-based tech companies are increasingly hiring talent internationally and looking to build “teams without borders” amid a severe skills shortage and ever-improving remote work technologies.

In a new report shared with The Standard today, white-collar hiring giant Hays identified these so-called “borderless jobs” as potentially critical to resolving the escalating war for talent companies.

The report argues that the global tech sector is likely to benefit the most from the trend.

Alistair Cox, who has led FTSE 250 since 2007, said: “Remote working is here to stay and it will likely accelerate as companies feel more comfortable hiring people from further afield. and that their structures and technology will allow it.

“There are potential obstacles to this [borderless hiring] that organizations will have to overcome, such as cybersecurity, by integrating their culture remotely and ensuring that they comply with local labor laws. But if these can be browsed, then the potential for accessing talent pools that encompass the world is enormous. “

Many London-based startups are already building larger, borderless teams with only remote workers based around the world.

Isabel Fernandez Mateo, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, said: “Due to the rise of innovative teamwork technologies, we have seen an increase in the number of companies recruiting from within. globally, proving that talent can truly be found anywhere. “

The fast growing fintech Wagestream is part of this “borderless change”.

Around 85% of the Fitzrovia-based startup’s employees were based in London before the pandemic struck in March 2020. Today, only 50% of its team is based in the capital. Out of 79 new full-time employees hired this year, fewer are based near one of the company’s outposts in London, Madrid, Sydney or New York.

Wagestream’s chief of staff Kelly Barnett said the startup is capitalizing on the trend. “The pandemic has accelerated an underlying trend of prioritizing ‘finding the best talent’ rather than ‘finding the best talent near us’ as a strategy for companies that can sustainably support a distributed team,” she declared.

Barnett said the company encourages all employees to perform work from their nearest office and covers travel costs for those who live further away.

Ben Stephenson, CEO and founder of travel tech startup Impala, said his startup was also hiring “more and more people overseas.” Today, around 42% of his company’s staff are based outside the UK, and he is hiring many new employees from Spain, as workers who have moved home after Brexit seek to maintain a standard salary in the UK.

“We expect to add 50 more team members from outside the UK over the next 12 months,” he said. “We’re far away first, so we have no idea where people are coming from, as long as they meet certain time zone criteria.

“It is a cosmic certainty that more and more companies will start and continue to hire outside the UK given the standardization of remote working. can be extremely beneficial, travel budgets make employees far happier than office budgets and a rail pass. “

The Hays report also found that many highly skilled workers now want to be able to code from a beach or other country for a month at a time, rather than just “hybrid” mode at home or in the office.

He found that “the skilled labor market has now evolved, with workers displaying an appetite to ‘work from anywhere’ as opposed to just working from home or the office.”

Marina Gorey, Head of Human Resources at Lick, a community-powered interior design startup. She said her team of 60 hires across Europe and said “the ability to attract and secure top talent wherever they are is key”.

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