Spense recognizes the need to partner with Best4u International to build their development team in Moldova

The story so far…

The challenge extended to Best4u International was to help Spense find a developer that is fit for the job (required skill set) for the right price, which is difficult to find in the Netherlands, especially as a startup. Spense was already well aware of the extended team model through Best4u International’s exclusive partner in the Netherlands, BackstageIT.

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGES

Massive talent skills shortage on the Dutch market

According to recent reports released by Startup Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Economic Board, the demand for tech talent has doubled, to the point that there are 26 times as many job vacancies as tech workers. In order to overcome this challenge and stay ahead of the competition, many companies are opting for global talent searches.

In previous experiences, Lex and Noel, the founders of Spense, had the opportunity to work with remote teams and extended teams from several countries across the globe (e.g. Romania, India, Ukraine). They opted for Moldova specifically because of the higher education level Moldova enjoys compared to the countries mentioned above and the availability of highly experienced software engineers. Lex had also heard that the Moldavian market effectively balances availability and recruitability among quality developers.

Preserving a dynamic culture

Spense has previously struggled to hire for this position, in part because of their strong desire to maintain the culture they had established. It was critical for Noel to bring the right people on board to ensure continued success.

Fast, no hassle

Despite this being a critical role for the development of their business, Spense also needed to focus on reducing their time to hire, as the position had been vacant for several months. They needed to onboard the right candidate quickly to help develop and maintain the company’s platform.

THE ASSIGNMENT

The objective was not only to find an experienced Full-Stack Developer (React.js + Laravel), but also to provide Spense with a better idea of the quality of software developers available in Moldova. While good technical skills were a core requirement, Spense had a vision to scale its team with an individual who could act as a true partner to the business in the pursuit of top line performance.

Process

The recruitment process was efficient, and it allowed Spense to look at several candidates. Speed was also a significant factor. Best4u International provided a weekly shortlist presentation showcasing candidates. This information included an overview of the candidate’s knowledge, salary, and soft skills. Lex and Noel were pleasantly surprised by the level of English of the candidates, which was significantly higher than candidates in countries they had previously worked with. Spense selected a candidate for the final interview, who received and accepted an offer.

Result

Spense got the perfect candidate within a short time frame. The selected software developer is making such an impact on the business that Spense realized the need to further invest and hire more software developers for their extended team from Moldova.

CURRENT SITUATION

Here are just a few strategies that Lex and Noel implement to make their extended team (which for now only consists of Dragomir, their Full-Stack Developer) feel like an integral part of Spense and compensate for distance and lack of face-to-face communication.

Collaboration

Since Covid is restricting business travel, Spense finds it very important to consistently collaborate as a team. To compensate, they have remote work sessions, both to work on projects and to build camaraderie through non-work-related activities.

Culture alignment

Spense tries to align the entire team as much as possible to the organization’s values and goals by having daily standups and wrapups. They also have monthly meetings to discuss their progress.

Dragomir (Full-stack developer from Moldova) has been provided with all the company-branded swag that the Dutch-located team receives so that he can feel fully a part of the Spense team. All this being said, sitting down for a beer together is high on everyone’s list of priorities when Covid eases.

“Except that Covid restricts visiting opportunities, we consider it very important to collaborate as a team. We also provide Dragomir with all Spense branded stuff to feel united as a team and aligned with the goals and mission of Spense. But to be honest, drinking a beer face-to-face is highly prioritised when Covid eases.”

Lex la Gro

Plans for the future

Lex and Noel trust that expanding their team to Moldova is an excellent solution for them. This could result in building a team abroad. As Spense now has just one team member, they think that adding members to the team in Moldova could benefit their culture and teamwork. As Best4u International can demonstrate, this is their area of expertise!

Tips from Spense for other tech start-ups

  • Always take a mission-driven approach to onboarding new team members. Make everyone a member of your BHAG and show them where your project is going.
  • If the product management is also in the ‘startup phase,’ let Best4u International assist you in the early stages with guidance from their experienced product owners.
  • Have fun along the way and celebrate milestones, no matter how big or small they are.

About Spense

Spense is there to help entrepreneurs from SME companies in the Netherlands manage their contracts and improve their procurement. Procurement is an underexposed business process in the SME market, which Spense aims to correct.