COVID-19 locked HR, but Talkr says outsourcing is the key

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In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hiring process for many companies has changed. As startups and enterprise leaders continue to find flexibility, exploring the multicultural dynamics of the teams they work with, there’s also the need to save time and hire the right fit. This makes it necessary to rethink hiring processes and strategies. 

Gartner reports that 21% of HR leaders use data to “shape talent acquisition and recruiting strategies, improve employee engagement and inform other business decisions.” While the HR and talent analytics space uses so much data today, it hasn’t translated into the most effective hiring process, according to Ben Wyand, founder and CEO at Talkr. 

Founded in 2016, outsourcing company Talkr focuses on creating real-time hiring experiences for fast-paced startups. With venture capitalists investing more in technology startups, it’s become a necessity for startups to hire right. Increasingly, startup founders have turned to outsourcing their hiring process as it helps them to concentrate on what really matters. This has left a gaping hole that players like Talkr are filling up.

In a chat with VentureBeat, Wyand said Talkr helps start-ups just before and just after taking an investment. Knowing that companies struggle to control their messaging at the early stage of development, Talkr helps to integrate outsourced staff into its clients’ businesses. The company also offers local HR support, IT support, office space and consulting.

North Macedonia, the new hub for outsourced support

One of Talkr’s differentiators, according to Wyand, is its outsourcing hub in North Macedonia, a country which he said had stood out long before. Wyand noted that extensive research showed the unique advantages of North Macedonia over traditional outsourcing companies in more usual outsourcing hubs like Poland, Bulgaria, India and others. According to Wyand, North Macedonia offers proximity to European markets and the fact that it’s a small country with incredible talents but few startups — leading to a talent surplus.

“It means the best talent is accessible to us,” Wyand said. “Not being in the EU means there’s also not been the brain drain that’s been seen in some other EU outsourcing hubs. Also, the cost of living in North Macedonia allows you to hire incredible, highly educated talent at a distinct cost saving compared to other outsourcing hubs.”

Outsourcing is now the HR key

In a McKinsey survey of over 80 chief human resources officers (CHROs) at some of the largest organizations in the United States and Europe, more than 90% of respondents predicted significant changes to the HR operating model in the next two to three years. While the nature and purpose of HR function have been evolving for years, the demands of the pandemic dramatically accelerated this transition. 

With the Great Resignation dramatically increasing the rate of churn across organizations, outsourcing has become a key part of the HR process. Talkr wants to lead the charge in the outsourcing broad conversation with its solution. Wyand told VentureBeat that the way Talkr works makes hiring great people super simple, cost effective and truly scalable.

“Working with companies at an early stage allows us to grow with them and support their needs as new challenges arise. For many of our clients, we are their first venture into outsourcing support talent — and having overcome many of these challenges first-hand, we’re able to guide them through the process,” he said.

With the rise of remote and hybrid work, Wyand noted that North Macedonia provides Talkr with the capacity to help startups build successful remote teams.

More on Talkr

Talkr has helped companies like The Mothership, a startup focused on multichannel marketing. The Mothership uses Talkr services to expand its support team to help manage the multiple brands that it has continued to acquire. Other startups that rely on Talkr’s proficiency include PrettyDamnQuick, which recently launched its new shopify app to give its clients Amazon-like delivery power. An Israel-based video interviewing platform, myInterview, also uses Talkr’s services to hire for its support team.

While Talkr had a headcount of 60 before COVID-19, the pandemic shrank that number to three. However, the company is back to its pre-pandemic headcount and Wyand believes the advantages of North Macedonia combined with a new openness to remote working and remote/distributed teams means Talkr is set for the next phase of its growth.

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