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How Software Foundry builds their South African developer team with OfferZen

Key Stats
100% retention of hired devs since first success on OfferZen in June 2018
9 successful in person interviews conducted from identified candidates
2 Senior devs hired in one week for their South African office

When Software Foundry, a Netherlands based software development firm, looked at opening an international office, they were blown away by the quality and work ethic of South African developers. So much so, that they decided to grow their entire developer team from Cape Town. Manfred Suttorp, Founder of Software Foundry, shares his experience when first deciding to open their international office by working with OfferZen.

What is the backstory to opening an office in Cape Town?

We found that when we hire developers in the Netherlands, the labour market is so tough. Once you hire someone, another recruiter is already banging down their door to get them to move. So we decided to consider options outside of the Netherlands.

In Europe, it's popular to outsource development work to India or Eastern European countries, but we found that cultural differences and language barriers make this challenging. We liked Cape Town because it’s a well-developed city, the way we do business is very similar, and the people were a great cultural fit.

What motivated you to give OfferZen a try?

When we started broadcasting that we wanted to move to South Africa, someone in our network said that OfferZen was a renowned name for hiring developers. Recruiters we’ve worked with in the past have a ‘no placement, no pay’ model that is similar to what OfferZen offers, but it's less friendly. With OfferZen, you can pay the placement fee over 10 months instead of paying a once-off fee upon placement as with recruiters. For us, this definitely lowered the risks especially because we considered this new office an experiment.

How was your experience using OfferZen different from how you’ve hired in the past?

I found the relationship with OfferZen very transparent. With recruiters, you can’t see the pool of candidates that they’re working with. It’s always a ‘wait and see’ which profiles you get, and then it still depends how much you’re willing to pay in relation to other companies. We’ve even found that some recruiters won’t send us a candidate’s CV and that these are kept aside for the highest paying companies.

“On LinkedIn we got rejected very often, which makes sense as not everybody is actively looking for a new job, but on OfferZen, the hiring process was much faster because everyone has the intent to find a new job.”

On OfferZen, you can see exactly what the pool of candidates looks like and you can go through their profiles. If you like one of the profiles, then you can message the person directly to invite them for an interview. The other benefit is that OfferZen brings all the high-quality candidates onto a single platform, which saves a huge amount of time.

What is the quality of candidates like on OfferZen?

Initially, I didn’t know what to expect, but I found that having two very good universities in Cape Town has really increased the number of high quality software developers in the city. We’ve found that the two hires we’ve made so far are on par with the people we’ve hired in the Netherlands.

How did you find managing candidates through OfferZen, especially while based in the Netherlands?

I find managing the candidate pipeline and hiring stages through OfferZen quite easy. I can search using filters and keywords like ‘Angular’. Then I look at the profiles and favourite some to look at later in more detail. A little further in the funnel, we reach out to the person and schedule an interview. In the last stage, we fly out to Cape Town for an in-person interview and we make an offer to the top candidate.

Would you say the experiment worked hiring a team based in Cape Town?

We are very positive so far and we have even made a principle decision not to look for any more developers based in the Netherlands. We were really holding back on projects for our clients in Europe as we couldn’t fill the team fast enough. Now, we are convinced that our experiment has paid-off and are continuing to build our team through OfferZen so that we can step up our projects.

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