Revolutionizing The Client/Agency Recruiter Relationship: The Power of Slack Connect

In the past decade of operating a successful tech recruitment agency, I’ve seen quite a few changes that have transformed the landscape of the tech hiring industry. Some of these developments have been subtle, while others have been ground-breaking. Among the most significant for us has been the advent and widespread adoption of Slack Connect by venture capital-backed startups across the United States.

Before Slack Connect, our ability to communicate and collaborate with our clients was, in hindsight, rather limited. We relied heavily on traditional methods like email, phone calls and tagged notes within an ATS. While these methods were effective, they lacked the immediacy, flexibility, and collaborative potential that today’s world demands.

But then, Slack Connect entered the picture, and everything changed.

Always On, Always Connected

Slack Connect has given us real-time, direct access to the key decision-makers at our client companies. This has allowed us to streamline communication and minimize time-consuming back-and-forths that were previously necessary. With Slack, we can have open, ongoing dialogues with our clients that let us stay current on their evolving needs. We’re having conversations that are live, transparent, dynamic, and extremely productive.

In The Thick of Things

The beauty of Slack Connect lies not just in its speed, but also in its depth. We are typically part of at-least 2 channels with different teams within the same startup. Ie, a “Product Manager” recruiting channel with some key stakeholders from the company’s product team, as well as a “Front End” channel with engineering staff part of the collaboration. This not only gives us insight into the specific needs of each team, but also a holistic understanding of the company culture, ethos, and vision.

Understanding a startup’s DNA and specific needs helps us identify candidates who are not only technically competent, but also the right cultural fit. This has led to noticeable conversation ratio improvements across submission to interview, interview to offer.

Greater Efficiency

Slack Connect allows us to share information quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s the latest resume of a promising candidate, feedback on an interview, or a quick update on the status of a search, everything can be communicated immediately and in an organized fashion. This efficiency has allowed us to act swiftly and make timely decisions in a highly competitive tech recruitment landscape.

Strengthened Relationships

Perhaps the most underrated aspect of Slack Connect is how it has helped us build deeper relationships with our clients. The constant interaction, informal chat format, and shared channels help foster a sense of camaraderie and partnership that is hard to replicate over email or phone calls. It humanizes everyone which has resulted in not just better business outcomes, but also stronger, more meaningful relationships.

None of this would have been possible without the widespread adoption of slack within the startup ecosystem. Slack has become ubiquitous in our world and being able to leverage the “connect” feature across greater than 90% of our client base has revolutionized our operations and proven to be one of the biggest game-changers for us. It’s not just a tool, but a catalyst for deeper collaboration, enhanced understanding, and stronger partnerships. We’re excited to see how this platform continues to evolve and help us serve our clients better in the future.

H-1B Explained

If you’re living in America, or are overseas paying attention to the chaos that is current American politics, you’ve probably heard the term H-1B thrown around. And if you’re the owner of a startup, wondering if you can still hire an H-1B visa holder, the answer is yes.
So, what does it all mean? Let me try to easily break things down for you. I say “try” pretty loosely because it is sort of a doozie.

At it’s core, H-1B is a non-immigrant visa program that allows U.S. employers to hire skilled foreign workers temporarily. According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), application requirements are as follows:
1. You must have an employer-employee relationship with the petitioning US employer
2. Your job must qualify as a specialty occupation by proving that having a Bachelor’s degree or higher is a minimum requirement, or that the position requires such a specialized and complex knowledge base that it could be associated with the attainment of Bachelor’s degree or higher
3. Your job must be in a specialty occupation related to your field of study
4. You must be paid at least the actual or prevailing wage for your occupation, whichever is higher
5. An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filing the petition, unless the petition is exempt from numerical limits. (Only 85,000 are available per fiscal year)

What most people don’t understand about this particular visa, from an employer standpoint, is that if a prospective employee already has it, they can legally work in the U.S. (Hooray!)

The reason it’s been such a hot topic as of late is because our current presidential administration is trying to reform the program to encourage companies to employ more American citizens. As the program stands, opponents say that it hurts American workers and undercuts salaries. On the other hand, tech giants in Silicon Valley view proposed reform as an act of war since H-1B was designed to provide a way for them to hire skilled immigrants without displacing workers here in America. Since STEM education has been lacking in the U.S., our tech industry has been fairly dependent on foreign- born STEM workers. According to a report by the Department of Homeland Security, 70% of H-1B visas during the 2014 fiscal year went to Indian workers. But if STEM jobs are truly growing faster than any other U.S. sector, with an estimated size of 8.6 million for the workforce by 2018, what impact would reform do to this booming industry?

What’s About to Change for H-1B visa holders and employers?

Ultimately nothing is set in stone but there is much speculation on what changes will be made. Will there be a new annual cap? Will there be a change in how visas are allocated? Will there be a doubling of the minimum wage requirement to $130,000 annually? With so much up in the air only one thing that is certain, any new rules for 2017 must be in place prior to the application deadline. And since it is now the final week of March and the deadline is the first week of April, things aren’t looking too promising on “fast reform.” So for now at least, H-1B will remain as we know it, but get ready…change is coming.