SmartRecruiters Blog

A Startup’s Next Source of Hire

Is there a shortage of technical and other American talent? Do startups need to hire foreign workers, and if so, why? The focus on startup worker availability should not necessarily be on any real or imagined dearth of technical talent in America, but rather on the surplus of opportunities that exists beyond the ecosystem’s borders–both conceptually and geographically.

Revolutionary innovation doesn’t come from talent alone. Its success is derived from a balanced sum of talent, inspiration, and unprecedented connections of ideas and skills.

… Plus a little bit of luck.

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As Global Learning Resources’ Kevin Wheeler writes, America is seeing a changing workforce. A startup’s success in this day and age largely depends upon “a rather eclectic group of talent.” The new generation of workers has a broader base of knowledge and skills than ever before, and not all of this aptitude and pioneering agility comes from a traditional university education. Many are self-taught through media and travel, through experiences that give them the opportunity to experiment and explore. American talent, of course, is top notch, both in terms of raw talent and the unparalleled education quality in the country. But adding top talent from elsewhere to the workforce amplifies its potential and acts as a catalyst and an enhancer to innovation.

Most startups, like ours, don’t look just to a potential tech worker’s education and current skill set. They look to not only create a successful business model, but to do so by creating a successful business culture, one that is intellectually diverse, instinctually collaborative, and highly global. Building and scaling a startup is about doing something exceptional, something viable on a global level, something exceeding everyone’s expectations. Thus, the opportunity for attracting the right talent, wherever it comes from, may be exactly what a startup needs to elevate itself from local to global. For a startup, then, hiring foreign workers is an opportunity that extends beyond any real or imagined shortage of talent, and countries embracing this opportunity are more likely to produce tomorrow’s Google or Facebook.

Ultimately, the domestic and international workforce is abundant with knowledgeable, creative, and entrepreneurial workers. Finding the right talent for startups amongst this global pool involves a bit of hiring innovation. To achieve revolutionary innovation, startups need to be looking for a lot more in a potential worker than just talent. As we know from Steve Jobs, it’s people with passion who will change the world for the better.


tkolindTorsten Kolind is a Danish entrepreneur, the Co-founder & CEO of YouNoodle in California.

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything businesses need to source talent, engage candidates and make great hires.

Torsten Kolind