A US Recruiter Is Auctioning Off Australian Engineers To Silicon Valley Giants

Matt Mickiewicz / Supplied

US recruiter Hired.com is targeting Australian software engineers as part of a global Silicon Valley hiring spree.

Hired.com has been recruiting US software engineers on behalf of companies like Facebook, AirBnB, Eventbrite and Stripe since October 2012.

It was launched by Matt Mickiewicz, who also co-founded 99designs with Melbourne entrepreneur Mark Harbottle.

Mickiewicz said the newest “virtual career fair”, launched today, was open to computer scientists anywhere in the world but added that Hired.com had focused its marketing efforts on Sydney and Melbourne in particular.

Australian technology companies like Atlassian have complained of a local skills shortage for some time, and although Mickiewicz acknowledged that it had been difficult to find talent to work on 99designs in Melbourne, he said the skills shortage was even more pronounced in Silicon Valley.

“We chose to focus our marketing efforts on Australia particularly, because there’s a great pool of talent coming out of universities, there are fewer cultural and language barriers, and there is no artificial cap [by US authorities] on visas,” he said.

“There are 3,900 technology companies in the US that successfully raise capital, and the first thing they do is look for engineers. The opportunity is to work in Silicon Valley for a period of time, then they can come back and build a business here.”

Hired.com has declined to disclose the number of US engineers it has placed with Silicon Valley companies since 2012, nor the revenue and costs involved in running its weekly recruitment drives in the US.

Today’s launch is its first global program. Jobseekers pay nothing to apply, with Hired.com initially absorbing costs of coding assessments, interviews, flights and legal and immigration paperwork.

The recruiter is looking to pass on all costs – and presumably a fee – to employers, but Mickiewicz declined to disclose financial details. Hired.com’s global career fair was proposed and backed by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which also backs Apple, Google and LinkedIn.

Mickiewicz said he expected to field more than 1,000 applications, of which between 10-20 per cent could receive final offers.

There’s more on the Hired.com website.

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