March 2, 2020 Topcoder’s VP of Security On How Topcoder Helps Invert the Talent Problem

Recently, John Wheeler — VP of Security at Topcoder — sat down with Chuck Harold — Host of — for an episode of Chuck’s podcast. Topcoder’s on-demand talent model is a hot topic in today’s talent stretched ecosystem, and the two discussed how Topcoder is helping brands navigate today’s incredibly complex talent landscape. Listen to the full conversation here or read our highlights below!

Inverting the Talent Problem

In what The Society for Human Resource Management calls “The Global Talent Shortage”, the business ecosystem is facing an increasingly prevalent talent drought. 83% of HR professionals admit to difficulties finding talent over the past 12 months, and all signs point towards 2020 being the most talent-strapped year in recent history. At the same time, businesses crave more coders, designers, and data scientists — which the Harvard Business Review called “the sexiest job on the planet” — to help them launch products faster, create more powerful solutions, and take advantage of the power of data analytics.

For Topcoder, this problem drives us. How can we help businesses find valuable talent in a notoriously tight labor market? And how can we deliver solutions with tangible value at scale?

For us, the solution is to invert the talent problem. In the typical business setting, business managers define tasks, then try to find someone with the skills to accomplish them. That works. But it’s expensive, time-consuming, and incredibly difficult in today’s market, especially for tech roles. With Topcoder, businesses can define a problem, break it into chunks, then outsource each piece to develop a robust solution.

We call this “hyper-specialization” or “atomization.”

Atomization and Hyper-specialization of Tasks

Topcoder encourages brands to hire in-house specialists. We’re not proposing a radical change to employment that upends the need for onboarding talent. Instead, we believe that on-demand talent helps brands atomize projects to hyper-specialized individuals, providing the freedom to hire beyond the skill barometer.

You want to hire for soft skills, culture-fit, and broad capabilities. But you can’t possibly hire for each individual skill your business needs in today’s tech-heavy world. Instead, Topcoder lets you break down tasks and outsource critical micro-tasks for completion among the crowd.

How does that work?

Imagine that you wanted to solve a problem around APIs (an extremely common need given the value of APIs). With Topcoder, you could break that task down, and setup challenges that help you find best-fit solutions from a deep pool (+1 million members) of tech talent. In the end, you’re given a solution developed by people who are hyper-focused on APIs — giving you the freedom to leverage in-house talent for more valuable internal goals.

Closing the talent gap

Of course, sometimes you need long-term talent solutions to buffer your talent pool. What happens if you can’t find talent? Do you have to set up a challenge for every objective? Talent-as-a-Service provides best-of-breed talent to businesses lacking the internal resources to accomplish broad-scale tech objectives.

This dual-sided talent support provided by Topcoder has helped us grow into the #1 talent service on the planet, and we’re continuing to strive for excellence with new initiatives each year.

Ready to create without talent restrictions? Let’s talk.

To learn more about our services, explore Solutions.

VP, Marketing

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