When Talal Ahmad Gondal learned that the average time it takes to hire a software engineer is six months, the co-founder of Scalebridge Partners knew “something is definitely broken here.”
In 2016, the venture capitalist set out to streamline the hiring process: He founded Scalebridge Partners, a “recruitment advisory firm that helps European technology businesses source, screen and immigrate” engineering talent from four emerging markets: Brazil, India, Russia, Ukraine.
Since founding in November, Gondal’s team brought 12 engineers to Germany.
“Brexit and Trump have definitely helped me convince engineers to come to Germany,” the 26-year-old says. A lot of talent is thinking twice before heading to a Donald Trump-led America, especially talent in India, he explains: A recent shooting in Kansas that left one man dead and two injured was extensively covered by international media; the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
Plus Germany’s social programs further “sweeten the deal,” for those coming over with children.
Gondal’s close working relationship with Berlin Partner, also means that engineering talent makes it to Berlin more quickly – in two months on average. All of the engineers receive the EU blue card, a work visa for highly-skilled workers, Gondal explains.
With a team of six, four headhunters based in each country and two freelancers, Gondal has compiled a portfolio of 450 engineers. They hand select from prestigious universities or approach engineers who work full-time at top-tier local companies, he says.
“If they are good, they won’t be applying online. They’ll already be working,” he says. This is the weakness of other recruiting services, like Honeypot or VanHack, which is opening a location in Berlin: They offer a platform of more than 50,000 engineers, where talent can sign up, but “good engineers need a more personal approach.”
Before Gondal presents potential employees to HR teams, he tests their English fluency, has them take a coding test, inspects their open-source code and undergo an interview evaluation. If they pass, the individual and their profile is sent to the company, where their HR department takes over.
For each engineer that is hired, Gondal receives a percentage of their salary, he explains. Scalebridge is “capital positive,” meaning they do not need outside investment: “It already pays for itself.”