talent March 13, 2020

“Remote means the freedom to work for a top tech company without having to be based in a big city.”

Clevertech is a software development company, building bespoke solutions for clients with complicated challenges in niche industries. With a fully remote team of 200 developers, we spoke with the CEO, Kuty Shalev, to find out more about who and how they hire on Stack Overflow. What are some of the benefits of being a 100%…
Avatar for Medi Madelen Gwosdz
Content Strategist

Clevertech is a software development company, building bespoke solutions for clients with complicated challenges in niche industries. With a fully remote team of 200 developers, we spoke with the CEO, Kuty Shalev, to find out more about who and how they hire on Stack Overflow.

Kuty Shalev, CEO Clevertech

What are some of the benefits of being a 100% remote team?

The freedom to be close to what’s most important to you. That’s the best thing about working remotely. And the freedom to work for a top tech company without having to be based in a big city. Today, if you are located somewhere like Silicon Valley or New York City you’re likely competing for some of those Facebook and Google jobs and as a tech company, we’re not trying to compete with them.

The second benefit is what we deliver. We operate as a kind of service provider and partner to our clients, and we care a lot about mastery and trying to always improve ourselves. It’s a big feature for the people who work here; you’re not just working for Clevertech, but you’re becoming a go-to partner for the clients who trust us. 

“There’s a mastery that comes from working with ambitious clients.”

The third primary benefit is that the clients we work with are ambitious, so the challenges are robust. This means we get to work at world-class standards, on pioneering projects for well-established clients. This is a big draw for potential developer hires—the chance to work on something substantial and meaningful as opposed to technology that might be thrown out in a year or two. And in the process, they get to sharpen their tools; to become really great professionals who know how to handle world-class problems and have opportunities that they usually wouldn’t get in more remote cities. 

You mentioned that developers become the go-to solution providers for clients. This seems like a delicate balance. Is there ever a threat of developers jumping ship to work with the client directly?

What we offer our team members means we retain talent even if offers are made. We’re part of our developers’ career structure. We’ve been around for a long time so we’ve even seen situations where people leave, become a part of management and then hire Clevertech in their new organization. 

How do you plan your need and fill the candidate pipeline accordingly?

We’re a consultancy company, and in this business, no client ever picks up the phone and says, “Can I schedule you to start next quarter?” They tend to say, “We need to get started. Can you start yesterday? Can you start Monday?” And so we’re always in conversations with the type of candidate that we’ll need to hire in skill sets that are our specialties. We talk with people all the time about coming in and jumping into projects immediately.

Last year, we hired in the range of 60 or so individuals. Over a year, we may lose some or we may grow some, and I think that’s what it’s going to look like for 2020 and so maintaining a quality pipeline is really important in this respect.

On that point, there is never just one thing we talk about with potential hires. We need our team to stretch across different projects and the full stack of tech. Whether it’s JavaScript, Python, all the front end frameworks, React or Angular and there’s always some old school Java. The people we’re looking to hire can jump in on these technologies and swim across Elastic, Cloud and microservices.

So tell us more about that pipeline. Are candidates contractors that come back for repeat projects or do they turn into full-time from the start?

We are devoted to a long term relationship with great developers because it reduces the risk of failure when you can put a trusted source into a project. So we want to keep and maintain those trusted sources, which basically means we’re looking for a long-term relationship. So we’re always balancing our staff right here against the projects that come, and we’ll say no to projects if we don’t have the right team.

Does the nature of your projects mean that you tend to hire more experienced people?

Yes. We need to ensure a minimum quality level of our engineers. Our clients expect the best problem solvers in the industry, so we make sure to find and hire them. This usually means years of experience. We don’t typically hire anyone straight out of school. And that’s where Stack Overflow really helps.

How are you recruiting specific roles on Stack Overflow?

We’re big fans of the job ads that you have because that allows us to maintain the pipeline for the various candidates that we’re looking for. Because every variation of a role is another job post, right? Full Stack isn’t the same thing as React only, it’s not the same thing as somebody who has experience with Elastic search. This brings us closer to the people we need.

I love the ads feature, it helps us to turn on and off similar or repeat listings and saves us lots of time. It’s a great innovation. And the featured slots gives us the ability to select locations. So if we’re trying to search for people who are going to work better with a client that happens to be in Europe versus a client that’s in the United States, that’s really helpful. And we’ll utilize some of the searching capability on the platform from time to time, although I’m not a big fan of sourcing.

So it’s inbound first. What kind of roles have you supplemented with active sourcing?

One at the moment is the need for someone who is not just good at JavaScript but needs to have experience with a particular live 3D library. So for this, we could put up a post for a month and get just a handful of people because there’s nobody, or we go out, and we hunt. But we try to avoid the hunt. 

We devote enough time to Stack Overflow and quality comes out. I do notice that when it comes to sourcing, especially for the more senior positions, it makes sense for me to get involved. Because if I’m sending a message to somebody as the CEO, I would most likely get a response.

So we try to do it smartly as opposed to posting broad-spectrum job listings in a place that won’t work well for us.

Find out more about how Clevertech’s Stack Overflow success in the case study here >

Podcast logo The Stack Overflow Podcast is a weekly conversation about working in software development, learning to code, and the art and culture of computer programming.

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