An ‘Easy Button’ to Latin American Tech TalentBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Wed, 04/13/2022 - 10:28
Q: What was the need or problem that Austin Software noticed and why tackle it through a third party?
A: When Texas’ technology scene emerged over a decade ago, companies found it relatively easy to hire engineers. Talent was especially attracted to the region’s lifestyle, affordable cost of living and competitive wages. In 2015-2016, there was a heightened influx of venture capital from technology companies, putting a significant strain on talent demand almost overnight. Informed by my personal experience, I knew that companies could turn to highly qualified international talent but this idea was met with resistance. Austin Software solves this prominent market issue while extending career opportunities to talented people across Latin America. This vision allowed the company to expand throughout nine cities across the region. We will open our 10th office on April 1, in Lima, Peru.
Austin Software’s services are appealing to technology companies for three main reasons: ease of use, strong ESG proposition and logistical ease. Across the US, there are 1.9 million open engineering jobs with companies often competing for the same talent and relying on outdated recruitment processes. We are an easy solution companies can turn to. We only need to know the job requirements and desired skill sets and Austin Software will hire talent on the company’s behalf. Furthermore, our business model was designed to avoid barriers of engagement, with no upfront costs or start-up fees that may dissuade clients from reaching out.
We have found that there can be significant logistical barriers for tech companies, which have reported struggling through the arduous process of getting appliances, office furniture and broadband to talent. We eliminate all of these challenges by providing a class-A office space with reliable internet and all the equipment they need to work.
As part of our company mission, Austin Software sets up offices in the cities in which we operate to actively give back to the community. In contrast to online contractors, we have a meaningful and transparent ESG proposition employees can feel proud to participate in.
Q: How does Austin Software ease concerns over international compliance and liability while protecting employees?
A: This is definitely a sticking point with many clients so the fact that Austin Software is a Delaware C corporation based in the US gives them peace of mind. The trickiest part of our business is preparing to enter a new market, which entails hiring lawyers and accountants to conduct a comprehensive regulatory investigation and review process to ensure we operate beyond moral reproach. Consequently, this process can often take up to eight months. Prior to launch, our compliance team provides us with necessary market insight. They also stay on board so we can maneuver as laws and socio-political factors change. After that we can move forward with establishing a company under our umbrella corporate entity: Austin Software. As far as our clients are concerned, under this business model we would assume any direct responsibility or liability.
Furthermore, we address concerns about transparency, which is one of the reasons why there is so much stagnant demand in the US. Most technology companies have progressive ESG values and refuse to turn to international outsourcing markets that operate opaquely. Generally, outsourcing companies have traditionally treated employees as cogs in a machine. This flies in the face of how tech companies normally treat their employees. Austin Software disrupted the status quo by providing complete transparency and sharing information about employee remuneration, taxes and fees so every party is on the same page.
Q: How do technology companies stand to benefit from bringing on international talent to their teams?
A: Diverse teams provide a more holistic picture to solve a problem. People with similar backgrounds will take the same approach to the problem. If a company attempts to create something that is attractive to a wider audience, it will need more perspectives. Companies are aware of this. Often during pre-sales calls they request pods of talent through Latin America instead of having employees from only one country.
Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on remote and hybrid work impacted your business?
A: The pandemic made our business much more palatable to those who were on the fence. Before the pandemic, business leaders were still stuck on the traditional 9-5 office setting. It was only after the pandemic that business leaders realized they could continue functioning, and often more efficiently, through remote work, so they became more receptive to our business proposition. After our first year, we closed at 1.8 million USD, then at 6.8 in 2021 and right now we are sitting at 14 with projections to close at 30 by the end of 2022.
On the other hand, the pandemic also made our work more challenging because now companies are looking to hire directly. So, just like many companies, we have experienced both upsides and downsides.
Q: What ambitions does Austin Software have for 2022?
A: We are developer obsessed and we know the demand is there. We have always had more demand than supply so our objective is to continue refining our commercial offering, supporting our team and developers and giving them everything they want or need for the rest of their career.