How UpShift found the perfect employee with Laika

We Are Laika
Oct 31, 2019 · 6 min read
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This is a piece by www.wearelaika.com, a platform for matching Tech professionals with companies. Check out more content here.

Even though there is a huge demand for jobs in IT, matching the right candidate with a job can last for months. This is the problem we are solving with Laika.

We want to work with companies we are proud of, companies we’d happily recommend to our community of Tech professionals. UpShift is one of them.

The client

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Upshift is a digital on-demand staffing platform functioning between Macedonia and the USA, it has 15 offices and more than 15.000 users. The tech is built in Macedonia, while the rest of the company and the customers are spread through 7 American states. UpShift helps thousands of people in the USA make a living.

The company has an ‘always upwards’ growth spike, with a success rate of 96%, as opposed to around 40% in staffing agencies in the US.

Why is UpShift such an important client for us? The entire concept has a real measurable impact and it all started in Macedonia. We had an additional incentive to help them scale their team — we wanted to have more developers in Skopje working on products that impact the world.

The challenge

A rapidly growing product with a lot of users, a diverse tech stack and a maintenance team in different time zones requires a ninja developer — someone willing to learn, adapt and grow.

When they posted a job on Laika for a PHP developer fluent in Laravel and RESTful APIs, they highlighted the opportunity for equity in the company and a handful of other employee benefits.

Step 1: The Job Post.

UpShift posted a job opportunity for a Senior or Intermediate PHP software engineer in July. They were looking for someone fluent in Laravel and RESTful APIs, willing to learn and grow as a developer.

Step 2: The Company Page.

UpShift also created a Company Page on www.wearelaika.com, on which they can easily showcase their culture, working conditions, vision, and goals. You can visit their Company Page here.

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Step 3: The interview.

Aiming to create a genuine objective representation of their everyday office life, the work they do and a generally open approach in communication with the community, we sat down to ask them questions.

They opened their office doors in their Debar Maalo office and told us the full story of how their product came into existence. We did a piece on their story and how the product was built and why it’s unique in many ways, which attracted a lot of attention to their company.

As they say, it did influence the interest :) We promoted it on all Laika channels and it got a reach of ~10 000 unique people.

Step 4: The Event.

Nikola Jordanovski, the CTO of UpShift was also one of the speakers at Laika’s event on ‘Developing Products of the Future’. We heard the key points of the product: the tech stack, team, their background, company structure, vision and goals to 120 tech professionals in Skopje.

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“Boris applied for the position and was our perfect match”

Boris, UpShift’s new Intermediate PHP software engineer. He used to work freelance from home for more than a year and was very careful in making his final decision about the next workplace. He had applied to many positions and wanted a job where he would grow.

“We got a dozen applications but the first person who applied was our perfect match”, jokingly says Nikola. “But, the additional actions and employer branding helped him decide”.

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Boris applied to the job position at UpShift the same day it was posted. He had a chat with them and passed an interview. They gave him positive feedback and an offer after a week or two, but he still wasn’t completely convinced that he wanted exactly that job.

The turning point, says Nikola, was the story of the company.

“He sent me a photo and said he’s watching ‘Friends’ at the moment, and read about our habit to relax while watching the same sitcom. Here he is in the office, he’s worked with us for two months now, and we feel like we’ve known each other our whole lives”, he adds.

They clicked so well, that they say they speak about everything, from work-related topics to family and relationships.

“The blog piece about their company culture and possibilities was really interesting and inspiring, it really was the turning point. Everything they forgot to mention in the interview, I found there. Literally their culture, how things work and their everyday office life — I know I was going to a place with friendly faces”, Boris says.

Jokes aside, what really made him choose UpShift was the possibility of growth and learning.

“Being a part of a team that I can learn from is my biggest motivation. Another one is being alone between four walls for 15 months as a freelancer. I wanted a team, and a good one. UpShift was quick to respond, everything happened so fast, and I knew we were on the same wavelength after that blog post”.

Their Laika experience

Nikola says he sees a lot of difference in hiring with and without employer branding and bigger visibility on other channels.

“The first thing I ask on an interview is ‘What do you know about UpShift?’. Another employee said to me: ‘I read the piece on Laika, I was intrigued and I wanted to learn how such a relaxed environment can function so well and even offer equity’. So, he wanted to learn more about that and came to talk about possible employment.

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“There’s a new spike after collaborating with Laika and we continue seeing results even months later. Our new employee Boris, for example, applied to several companies. But after he learned about our brand and culture through Laika, he decided to come and work for us. We have a ‘before and after’ situation. I’m sure that we’ll continue meeting people which, when asked them how they learned about UpShift, they’ll say they read about us on Laika”.

As for Boris, he registered for Laika even from the prelaunch phase and says he has a great user experience.

Outcome

Different employers need to take different actions to attract and retain the perfect employees for their company. Different cultural fit, different seniority levels, different industries… In our experience so far, there is no ‘One size fits all”. UpShift had a precise need, and we knew how to help them fulfill it. Recently they posted the second position (QA Engineer) and got 7 applications in the first 15 hours. We announce this case closed!

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Need help with hiring or employer branding? We will find what fits you best. Read more on https://www.wearelaika.com/for-companies.

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