Johanna Antonsson, CEO and founder of Go See Talents tells us how together her team made an application through data-driven methods, automation, and AI matching to shape the future of global hiring
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Johanna Antonsson: We’re doing fine. Both my husband and I work in distributed international teams so working from anywhere is normal for us. In Sweden kids have been going to school during most of the pandemic, but our oldest son has been affected since he has not been able to do his internship.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Go See Talents.
Johanna Antonsson: I’ve been working in the Stockholm tech industry for almost 20 years and as a manager I’ve experienced first hand how hard it is to recruit great developers today. I’ve also experienced how great it is to work in diverse teams! Stockholm and Sweden is a tiny market so the products we create here need to be international from day one, and then it makes a lot of sense to build an international team right from the start.
I wanted to help European companies recruit developers from around the world, and I wanted to help developers to show employers how great they are. I’ve seen so many cases where employers miss out on real gems just because they don’t fit into the traditional mold. These insights made me found Go See Talents in 2017, and our mission is to make global hiring easy.
How does Go See Talents innovate?
Johanna Antonsson: One of our clients described Go See Talents as “Tinder meets Netflix for recruitment,” and I really like that description. When we started, recruitment was still very traditional, with CV:s in word-format and main focus on physical interviews. This is changing rapidly in the same way as the film industry did. Just like them, we are transitioning from plain text to verified test scores, streaming video, and smart recommendations to make matching faster and more accurate. With the remote work revolution, there is no reason to hang on to local hiring, global hiring is the future, and we are here to shape that future.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Johanna Antonsson: Before the pandemic, we not only found and matched developers with European employers, we also relocated them, and this became impossible when all borders closed last year. The positive thing with all this is that suddenly many more companies have realized remote hiring is actually a good thing. We accelerated our pivot into a SAAS company, and today we work with partners and can do remote setups in 130 countries.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Johanna Antonsson: For sure! My biggest takeaway is that if your gut feeling says you have to act – act! Don’t wait and see what happens, hoping for things to get better. I’m pretty sure we would not be here today if we hadn’t acted as swiftly as we did. In the end, a lot of good things actually came out of it.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Johanna Antonsson: I would say making tough priorities, always being willing to reevaluate your point of view and maybe most important – being kind and honest to yourself and your people. It’s the tough times that really shows what kind of a leader you are.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Johanna Antonsson: Gig platforms and outsourcing companies.
Go See Talents is a place for employers to connect with committed developers in 80 countries looking for jobs on a global market. We excel where traditional hiring falls short – when you want to build a team of global employees, not consultants.
Your final thoughts?
Johanna Antonsson: Covid has been horrible in many ways, but it has also made the world come closer thanks to the transition to remote work. That creates opportunities for many people around the world to build a better life with a better work-life balance.
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