Founders Seb Hall and Nick Hargreaves created Cloud Employee, as a solution to the UK tech skills gap by entering the tech talent pool in the Philippines.
Izy from Tech Recruitment Platform Tungl spoke with Seb Hall, CFO & Co-Founder of Cloud Employee, to chat about how they are providing an answer to the UK tech skills shortage.
Seb, what’s going on in the UK’s tech industry?
As we all know, tech in the UK is booming. SME’s across the country are growing because of tech, just think about the thriving tech companies like Monzo, Revolut, Atom Bank and Delieveroo. According to the 2018 Tech Nation Report, the UK tech sector is growing 2.6 times faster than the overall economy. UK businesses are growing and developing, but the workforce is not fit to accommodate for it. 52% of business report that they find it hard to fill their tech vacancies but 82% of businesses say they could grow their companies if they could find people with the right skills. That means that 76% of British firms across the economy face a tech skills shortage to their workforce.
Today there are an estimated 600,000 tech vacancies in the UK, which is predicted to jump to 1 million by 2020. This number of vacancies is 5 times larger than any other industry and is costing the UK economy an estimated £63 billion a year in lost additional GDP.
So, it’s clear something needs to be done, but what?
Well that’s why we created Cloud Employee, back in 2014, Nick Hargreaves and I were in the middle of the skills shortage we were struggling to find developers for our separate tech companies. We knew it wasn’t just us in the industry who were feeling the effects of the tech skills shortage, so we decided to create Cloud Employee as a solution to the problem.
The UK tech talent pool may be limited but it’s almost the opposite in the Philippines because on average there are 130,000 Computer Science graduates each year compared with the 25,000 in the UK. The Philippines seemed like the perfect place to source tech talent because the software engineers speak fluent English and with modern technology, they can easily work remotely with UK companies.Fast forward to today and we now have over 240 employees with offices in the UK, Australia and the Philippines. Our remote employees from the Philipines cover a range of technologies and levels and work with over 100 start-ups, SMEs and large corporations.
How exactly does this work?
Our recruitment process starts with our clients, who come to us when they have a tech vacancy they need to fill. 70% of our clients are from the UK as there is the most demand here for tech talent due to the skills shortage but they also have clients in Scandinavia, the US and Australia. Cloud Employee then act as a headhunter within the Philippines searching for the right developers to fill the vacancies. We carry out an extensive assessment process on the candidates starting with a background check, video interview, personality assessments and a Tungl technical assessment. This process allows us to fully evaluate candidates, and validate skills to ensure they are right for the role.
Once they have selected a candidate to fill the role, they become employed by Cloud Employee but work remotely from our office in the Philipines, for one specific client, reporting to them daily and in the clients time zone. This essentially works an extension of their in-house team, but the employees in the Philippines have an extra support network at home, creating the perfect grounds for a successful working relationship.
Tell us about how Tungl fits into your process?
By testing technical abilities using Tungl, we can benchmark scores and help us to access the top 5% of tech talent in the Philippines. This testing ensures our clients can be confident that they are getting the skills they need, at the same level as the rest of their organisation. The Tungl tests can also be tailored to the specific needs of each client so they get the exact skill set they need for their team. This extensive testing eliminates any fear clients might have about remote employees as it gives them reassurance that we’re providing high-quality developers.
What’s your ultimate aim with Cloud Employee?
We’re on a mission to become the number one employer for tech talent in the Philippines, which is great news for UK businesses struggling to fill vacancies and engineers in the Philippines looking for tech roles. Everyone wins!
Thanks, Seb, we’re really proud at Tungl to be helping Cloud Employee address the tech skills shortage.