This sponsored post is produced by Upwork.

In today’s talent war, limiting yourself to local talent is no longer an option. A small number of incredibly attractive companies can afford to pay sky-high salaries to attract top local talent, while others may need to resort to hiring lesser candidates or to not hiring at all.

Concessions in hiring are a recipe for disaster since the backbone of any business is its talent. The ability to get the best people makes or breaks business outcomes, so it’s fascinating to note that in Silicon Valley, epicenter of the tech talent war, only two companies have gone public this year — out of more than 40 IPOs nationwide. Is the battle over local talent holding Silicon Valley businesses back?

Of course, not every company wants to go public, but every business needs to think bigger about how they hire. Imagine that your business was still functioning as if it’s the Industrial Age, with people punching time clocks, and working at assembly lines. That seems antiquated, right? But if you’re looking to hire people only full-time and on premise, you’ve still got an Industrial Age mindset. It’s time to think beyond local and full-time to build a more dynamic, distributed team.

Four specific scenarios to benefit from distributed tech teams:

1. You’re looking to grow quickly

Let’s assume that you either raised money or have seen a sudden increase in demand for your product or service, and you need to scale quickly. How would you do it? Chances are, you would go through the usual approach of asking around, posting or searching on job boards. It can take weeks just to find a single candidate that way, but when you hire via online platforms like Upwork, 25 percent of jobs are filled within 24 hours, and the average time to hire is only three days. There’s no way to hire that fast locally.

2. Your team has skills gaps

Organizations can struggle with finding a specific skill set, especially when it comes to technical talent. Perhaps the project demands a specialist, or you’re looking for a highly experienced, top-quality person. Either way, building distributed teams allows you to quickly close any skills gap your team currently has.

3. You’re starting something new

Whether you are launching a new product or creating a new team, engaging distributed developers allows you to get up and running in a very short period of time. Vivino, a wine app, is an example of a company that implemented this structure to achieve great success. They set out to create the biggest wine database in the world, and by recruiting remote data and Agile engineering teams, they didn’t just build that database — they launched the world’s largest wine community. It took a lot of hard work to scale the database, but they were able to make it happen affordably with remote support, and it took just a few weeks for the development team to have the first version of the app up and running.

4. You need the ability to scale flexibly

One of the greatest benefits of virtual teams is your ability to quickly scale either up or down as your needs change. Doing this while hiring locally can be time-consuming and stressful, whereas online teams allow you to do it quickly and easily.

Dig deeper: Get more info about distributed teams from Upwork’s eBook, Hire Fast and Build Things.

As CEO of Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, Stephane is driving the company’s vision of connecting businesses with talent faster than ever.  Stephane has 16 years of leadership experience. Previously, he was Global Head of PayPal Consumer Products, Global Head of PayPal Mobile Business Development and Managing Director of PayPal France, held leadership roles at pioneering companies including Fireclick, Work4, and Zong, and was a founder of Fireclick and iFeelGoods. Stephane is also the author of “Hire Fast & Build Things,” an ebook on how to manage geographically distributed teams. Find more of his perspective in a CareerDean Q&A here.


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