Want to Hire the Best Talent? Hire Without Borders

Upflex cofounder and CPO Ginger Dhaliwal sat down with the Remote-First Institute for a Q&A on attracting and retaining top talent. One big takeaway: Hire without borders.

To avoid the “Great Resignation” taking a toll on your team’s acquisition and retention rates, leaders need to stay focused on meeting the changing needs of the workforce. This might require some overarching shifts in the way we look at hiring. I spoke about some of these shifts in a recent conversation hosted by the Remote-First Institute with HR leaders around the world.

Finding and hiring the best talent has rarely been more challenging than it is today: New generations of employees have a new world of needs and requirements when it comes to the workplace that companies are still figuring out how to adapt to — and employees in general are changing jobs and even leaving the workforce in greater numbers than they have before.

That said, the talent your organization needs is out there: What I’ve learned in my 20 years in building, managing and participating in remote-first teams is that they may just be located in places you haven’t thought to look.

I started my career building tech teams out of Malaysia. It was the 1990s, and it was a wonderful time to be doing this work because the government was offering tax credits and other incentives that helped us bring in top talent from all all around the world. We recruited great engineering candidates in Malaysia, India, Ireland and the U.S., and we colocated them into Kuala Lumpur, where we built out an R&D facility with over 100 engineering and product teams.

There, we spun off different companies that were solving real life problems back back in the90s. That experience gave me an insight that has helped inform the rest of my career, about what you can achieve as an organization when you think about talent in a borderless way.

When you bring in insights from different parts of the world, you create a truly global business that most global companies today truly need. Having that diversity of people coming into your organization really creates a more sustainable business in the long run.

Upflex has been around for since 2017 and from the getgo, we believed in a remote first approach and the fact that we wanted to build teams globally. That global presence and global understanding was really vital for the success of our business.

We’re doing global business, and we need team members who aren’t just in our clients’ time zones — but who truly understand them, who speak their language literally and metaphorically, who understand their pain points and the nuances of cultural considerations that an entirely U.S. team, for example, just can’t rival.

We just closed our Series A, and our investors included WeWork, Cushman & Wakefield, Newmark and other industry giants, and I don’t think we would have been able to achieve that if we didn’t have a global presence and had a talent pool that we were looking at from all around the world. These major global companies know the value of borderless talent when it comes to global business — and global growth.

I think today most companies — regardless of whether or not they are at the level Twitter or Airbnb, GE or Schneider Electric — understand the value of being able to hire talent anywhere. And a growing number of companies do have some percentage of their workforce that’s remote-first. That’s exciting to see, and ultimately, it will only help level the playing field for talent around the globe, open up opportunities both for companies and for job candidates, and help us do better business for clientele from all different geographies, in all different backgrounds.