Tech recruitment startup Yborder finds interest in the UK has almost halved since EU ref

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With Brexit now the ‘favorite’ topic of the UK media, for good or for ill, you’d think there would be a lot of interest in whether companies are moving or staying in the UK. And, of course, there is. What is much harder to discern however is where the talent is moving, or intending to move. Especially ‘millennial’ talent which is so mobile and nomadic these days. Knowing this would provide a far more interesting early warning system about where the next hot markets are going to appear, and, crucially which countries and cities will lose out in the next few years.

But when tech talent moves they come up against a problem: Language. Get this: 63% of job offers in Germany are not translated in English, 81% of tech job offers in France are written in… French. Mais, oui! So, what’s needed is a way for tech talent to move around.

That’s where Paris-based startup Yborder comes in. Like a lot of recruitment platforms it helps companies find tech talent across Europe through a network of European headhunters validating the talent on the platform and making visible their city preferences.

Because even if countries could increase the number of students learning engineer skills, there would still be a shortfall.

Today, data now released by the startup indicates what effect Brexit is having on the market for talent as it considers its options.

In July, 20% of users on Yborder’s platform selected the UK as a country where they would like to go work. In September, the percentage had dropped to 8%.

In October that figure had stabilised at 14% and in November (the figure released today) fell slightly to 12%.

Co-founder Maya Noël says: “The global attractiveness of the UK has decreased post-brexit – and we are seeing a stabilisation of the situation now where it is going to stay around 12-14% instead of an average 20-25% before Brexit.”

Still, that’s nearly a halving of the UK’s attractiveness to tech talent since the decision to Brexit.

That said, the attractiveness of the UK remains higher than other European countries, and on a par with the US, even while the US remains ahead. On average, 6% of tech candidates express a specific desire to move to Germany; and 3% to France (compared to an average of 14.5% to the US).

Interestingly, some 25% of candidates are looking to move to Canada, as against 20% for the US. “There is probably going to be a decrease in the demand for the US and increase in Canada but that’s too early to say now. We have to wait and see,’ says Noël.

There is clearly a war for talent out there. It’s generally known that the best engineering talent can be, for example, three to ten times more productive than average engineers, and so can yield double-digit investment savings by even 20 to 30 percent for tech company.

Headhunters use the platform to qualify prospects, allowing them to start scrolling and receiving offers.

Yborder has also integrated ATS software (Applicant tracking system) APIs like SmartRecruiters. It means that any company with an already built-in ATS, does not need to log on Yborder – the email alert is created automatically via the ATS portal.

The idea is to allow headhunters and employers to be able to access a bigger pool of talent in one place.

The team of six people has now generated 360 monthly active candidates, 6,000 alerts, 220 headhunters across Europe and an average time of 3 weeks before people get hired.

Of course they are not the only ones on the market. Vettery, Talent.io and hired.com are bigger. Yborder is however banking on its local network of recruitment experts, distant geography between offers and a high bar to selection.

The business model is a classic commission model of 12% if the candidate gets a job offer through Yborder. It estimates there are 15 million developers across Europe, with a growth of around 10-15% of the creation of jobs in the sector.