We have looked extensively at what is becoming a major tech talent crunch in Southeast Asia. With growing demands and an apparent lack of suitable local talent, companies are looking elsewhere as governments look to encourage local hiring in the wake of COVID-19.

This leads to staff shortfalls for smaller businesses like startups, which may have limited budgets. This is a real problem and the severity depends on the market, the local talent pool and what government support is available for the industry.

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With this in mind, we spoke to Glints CEO, Oswald Yeo about this issue. Fresh off their US$22.5 Million led by Tokyo-listed PERSOL Holdings – they are looking to solve the tech talent crunch by expanding throughout the region and accelerating the growth of tech talent in the region.

We spoke to Oswald about his plans for the future, the impact of COVID-19 and more, in this insightful interview.

Congrats on your latest round. Could you elaborate on how you will use the funds? 

We aim to continue our mission to empower career discovery for 120 million professionals in Southeast Asia and solve the talent crunch currently happening in the region. To achieve this mission, the funding will be used for  1) developing more features and solutions on the Glints’ Talent Ecosystem, 2) deepening our footprint in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan, and 3)scaling our product and engineering teams. 

As we (hopefully) move past the pandemic, do you see your strong growth continuing into 2022?  

The Glints team working together. Image courtesy of Glints

Yes, we continue to see a strong growth into 2022. With the pandemic accelerating the future of work and the future of hiring, we see this an opportunity to maintain the trend of annual revenues growing at triple-digit percentages annually for the past 3 years.

What are the challenges you have faced with scaling your remote tech talent solutions, it is often challenging to manage these teams remotely?

Our teams are spread in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and some people are even working remotely from other parts of the world. This can be challenging as we scale up the company. The two biggest levers are recruitment and performance management. If we recruit people with the right values and behaviors, we have a much better chance of preserving our culture. We are very strict on filtering out talents who don’t demonstrate our cultural values. Beyond recruitment, 50% of our performance evaluation is based on demonstration of cultural values. It sends a powerful signal and it shows we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is. 

Which markets do you believe are undervalued as tech hubs or for tech talent in Southeast Asia?

There is a shortage of tech talent globally. Southeast Asia remains an attractive region for tech talents with its young and growing population. Singapore is the technical hub for Southeast Asia where the government has invested more than $85 million to train local tech talent. Meanwhile, Vietnam has also increasingly become a global hub for building software development teams, especially since it is the 5th most attractive market for IT outsourcing. Finally, Indonesia has the largest pool of young talent which are increasingly skilled in tech as well, with its population median age of to be 29.

What’s next for Glints?

Glints Academy screenshot. Courtesy of Glints

Glints will be creating a stronger Talent Ecosystem that will accelerate the future of work in the region. We are eager to continue our efforts in empowering professionals in their career discovery and development journey. We do so by combining community engagement (Glints Community), skills education (Glints Academy and Glints ExpertClass), and job features (Glints Job Marketplace).  We want to effectively solve the talent crunch in Southeast Asia and help organisations build stronger teams.