A Chat with Courtney Machi, VP of Product at Global Talent Network: Andela

Andela is a global talent network that connects companies with vetted, remote engineers in emerging markets. Andela has built its platform to help talent find jobs that match more than just their technical skills. Andela helps talent find careers that match their lives. Andela’s platform looks beyond superficial aspects and instead at long term aspirations, culture fit and working style preferences, which can be difficult to determine through traditional screening processes.

All companies are in need of help when it comes to ramping up their digital transformation efforts, and this is also true for hiring remotely. We already work with hundreds of leading companies that are looking to scale their engineering teams quickly and cost effectively. To date Andela has secured backing from investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Spark Capital, and Google Ventures, so it’s an exciting time to be a part of the journey.
 
 
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What do you think makes Andela unique?

 
Andela is the world’s leading tech talent platform. For talent, the platform serves as a one stop shop for professional development and career opportunities. For clients, it serves as a one stop shop for hiring global talent. What makes our platform so unique is that it considers all of the factors that contribute to ensuring a well-rounded match between clients and talent, and uses AI and ML to optimise the match.

These factors can range from technical skills to soft skills to potential alignment with career goals and personal development. For example, when a client wants to hire a Java developer they are not only looking for someone who can program Java; they are likely also looking for someone who fits into the team from a cultural perspective, who will be working during the same hours as the rest of the team, who will be set up for success, because all parties involved are happy with the match.

Taking personal preferences and expectations into account up front, from both the talent and client side, especially ensures success.

The majority of our engagements are long term (we have around an 18 month average), so we feel our approach is successful in part because it intentionally screens and matches on all of those factors that do contribute to the success of long term relationships.
 

 

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

 
Andela’s vision has always been to connect brilliance with opportunity. At our founding, we began building a community of technologists specifically on the African continent, and in the years since, have continued to expand our community across the globe to ensure that we connect as many talented technologists as possible with the best career opportunities.

In the last year, we rebuilt our platform to further integrate AI and ML technology. We are now continuing to experiment with this technology, so that we can (1) continue to efficiently, smartly and more fully meet the needs and demands of both our talent pool and enterprise clients as they evolve, and (2) improve the quality of experience on our platform over time.

Additionally, in 2020, we transitioned to a fully remote operational model for our business as well as our product. This required us to create a new approach to flexible and remote work from the ground up for our employees and our wider community. Today, we have successfully transitioned to becoming a fully remote, global workforce, helping to build fully remote, global teams for the world’s leading enterprise companies.
 

What can we hope to see from Andela in the future?

 
We’ll continue to deliver on our mission to connect brilliance with opportunity, of course, by further building out our platform and offerings that solve real problems for our customers. Expect to see hiring with Andela become easier and easier as we continue to build out our platform and product offerings, which enable clients to find and hire great global talent quickly and seamlessly.

We’ve just empowered clients to self-serve and hire talent using our talent recommendations system, and we’ve already seen clients hire talent from start to finish in as little as 24 hours! We’ll also be adding more features that make it easier to manage global teams, such as continuous feedback mechanisms.

For talent, we will continue to add more for our talent community as it grows, and as we increase access to premier opportunities for more and more technologists around the world. We’ve already started to make healthcare packages available in certain geographies, and we’re now providing access to different education and career development platforms.

In short, all of this means we’ll continue to scale our platform and add more value-add products and services as we move towards becoming the one stop shop for finding, hiring and managing global remote teams.