Robert Krajewski, Co-founder & CEO of Ideamotive speak to us on how to hire tech talents.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Robert Krajewski: Pretty good, thanks for asking. Luckily, my nearest and dearest stay healthy. My thoughts are with the ones who have lost someone close to them, though.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Ideamotive.
Robert Krajewski: I started working as a software architect already during my computer science and then project management studies. I was always a startup enthusiast. Therefore I became a mentor and advisor at ReaktorX accelerator, helping first-time founders validate their business models. I love to discover and test new business models, so it was a fascinating journey to lead young entrepreneurs and early-stage startups and support their growth.
In 2014 I decided to set up my own company – Ideamotive – with my two college friends, and we run it together to this day. In the early years of our activity, we were more of a classic software development company and doing great, attracting more and more startups, scale-ups, and enterprises from all over the world. However, last year, in the middle of the global pandemic, we have made a seismic shift to a marketplace matching tech talent with companies worldwide, following the rearrangement of our whole website. What does it mean for our clients? Well, they can now profit from our vast network of hundreds of tech veterans combined by on-site talent, off-site collaborators, and top software houses. Our talent pool gathers developers for every software project and every technology, UI/UX designers and digital illustrators, business consultants and back-office experts, and AI & Machine Learning developers and Big Data engineers.
How does Ideamotive innovate?
Robert Krajewski: We help companies build, grow, and scale digital products, contributing to their digital transformation – driven by our innovative “Ideamotive approach”: individual and holistic.
Individual because the tech team arranged by Ideamotive matches our clients’ technology, industry, company culture, and project type.
Holistic because we support entrepreneurs in creating their strategy, developing their product, and provide them with all the additional experts necessary, like Project Managers or Product Owners.
This way, we created entrepreneurs’ go-to marketplace for hiring vetted developers, designers, project managers, and cross-functional tech teams (360° product teams).
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Robert Krajewski: Not at all. We managed to stay at the same income level throughout the pandemic. More and more companies are forced to go digital and therefore need mobile/web apps and technical consultancy. That’s where we step in.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Robert Krajewski: Fortunately not. Contrary, we grow rapidly and have expanded our team twice from around 40 employees throughout 2020.
Ideamotive has been a remote-first company and cooperating with freelancers from day one. Our developers always had the freedom of working from whatever part of the world they want. Only the business part of the team working in the office daily, with the possibility of home office on-demand, has moved fully remote. We only meet each other in person less. Nothing more has changed in our daily work. Communication on Slack, tasks in ClickUp, and meetings on Google Meet are performed as usual. It’s a remote work revolution that we genuinely enjoy since we focus on how technology can facilitate our work and make it more pleasant rather than on being apart.
The pandemic did not damage or slow down anything in our company. It has instead strengthened our benefits: flexibility, creativity, and above all, a unique organizational culture in which specialists don’t waste their time on ineffective processes.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Robert Krajewski: We always had a long-distance type of collaboration with our clients as they are based worldwide. So it was more of a new reality for them than for Ideamotive. We were partners in this change, and together we managed to maintain a high quality of work.
Undoubtedly, the tools help a lot in cooperating with our clients. We ended up a friendship with the industry-standard Jira and introduced ClickUp during our radical business transformation. Our type of work requires frequent experiments and constant adjustments of processes. We decided to find a comprehensive tool that lets our business team conduct smooth and effortless process modeling and testing to facilitate this change. ClickUp excels at it, giving us the possibility to invite collaborators and share tasks with freelancers and contractors.
A pivotal role in ClickUp plays for us the option to invite guests who can have some insight into our projects. For instance, we can use it to show our clients the progress of work. We’ve already created MVPs for our customers using ClickUp, and it works like hell.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Robert Krajewski: We have received two European Union grants. One was for innovative technology to facilitate employees’ automatic allocation to projects (total project cost 122k USD, with 85% of EU contribution). The second one allowed our participation in fairs and purchase of advisory services for prospective markets (total project cost 142k USD, with 85% of EU contribution).
It helped us a lot to boost our work efficiency and to nurture the most significant markets.
Your final thoughts?
Robert Krajewski: CEE is becoming an IT outsourcing go-to-market on a global scale due to its burgeoning deep-tech hub, and no pandemic can stop it. We’re on our hypergrowth path, growing faster than ever before, and have no intention of slowing down. The future of digital business is remote.
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