How Hiring Through Dev Shops Work | Thomas Vervik, SeniorDev
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In today’s episode, Melissa sits down for a (virtual) drink with Thomas Vervik, at Seniordev. After Thomas pours his Americano and Melissa her sparkling water, Thomas shares about himself and how he came to found Seniordev. He began the company completely bootstrapped in Ukraine in 2014 with his former boss. Thomas shares how the war in Ukraine has impacted the company and team. They had prepared a villa in a different city for employees to move in should they need to. They also had plans for relocating them to other countries. However, Thomas shares that many of them actually didn’t want to leave their families and home countries. Only about ⅓ of the company, mostly women, live and work outside of Ukraine.
The main problem Seniordev is solving is the lack of qualified technical personnel in the western world. The company aims to be a trusted gateway into that labor market of central and eastern Europe. A large portion of their clientele base are entrepreneurs who have already built a prototype with a tech founder, but have split the enterprise and need help developing the platform further. In this scenario, Senior dev helps with team extension and leveraging technology. Melissa addresses the question of working with a development shop rather than just hiring directly. Firstly, Thomas explains, an organization would have problems finding that qualified person. Additionally, those professionals usually want to work with a development office rather than working for themselves. Melissa adds that working with a dev shop means being introduced to a larger network of qualified people to work and exchange ideas with. When you work with a shop, it can be much easier to let someone go if they don’t fit the role you need from them.
Different regions of the world have different quality of work and cultures than others. Listen as Thomas compares the quality of senior devs he hires for his company compared to those found in the rest of the world. In Ukraine, he found that IT jobs are so much better paid than other jobs in the region. Thus, it attracts more people to the field for monetary reasons. The jobs require an interest and education in tech. Thomas compares the talent of eastern European developers compared to the rest of the world. Next, he explains how Seniordevs actually works when a client approaches them. The first step is prequalification to understand the needs of the client. Based on this interview, they suggest a solution in the form of two different models: outsourcing or team extension. The next step is recruitment depending on the problem the company is trying to solve. In order to be most cost effective, Thomas has found the best route to be having more senior, mature employees and less of a team.
Before wrapping up, Thomas shares the biggest challenges of running a dev shop. With many clients and developers on both sides, it is very labor intensive in which Thomas often finds himself in the center of. Recruiting and retaining a high quality team while remaining competitive in the market is a huge undertaking. Finally, he explains what makes for a great development shop. It is through relationships that companies are able to prevail in this market. What makes Seniordev better than other companies, he believes, is their professionalism, hard work, best practices and high quality references.
0:55 - Welcome to this episode, in which host Melissa interviews Thomas Vervik.
6:25 - How the war in Ukraine impacted Seniordev and the team.
8:10 - Who are Seniordev’s customers?
9:20 - Why work with a development shop?
11:11 - Common fears about hiring contractors.
12:43 - The quality of devs hired by Seniordevs.
14:22 - How does Seniordevs work?
19:15 - What happened is the developer hired is not actually the best fit for the client?
20:02 - The hardest part about running a dev shop.
23:04 - What makes for a great development shop?
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