Portugal is known for having top tech talent, mostly because of the quality of its universities. Some people are even comparing Portugal to Berlin because of the costs of living and the highly skilled tech talent that startups are currently attracting. No wonder, that many foreign startups are moving to Portugal or just setting up their product team in the country. However, the issue here is how can you attract top tech talent in Portugal? Well, we spoke to a few people about this and they were willing to share a few of their secrets.
A few years ago you wouldn’t see many foreign startups and companies setting their operations in Portugal but now things are a bit different. From companies like Miniclip that decided to set up their mobile development team in Lisbon, to startups such as Seedrs that established their product team in Lisbon while their business development team is in London, you can now see it all happen. Carlos Silva, co-founder at Seedrs is an enthusiast when it comes to setting up a product team in Portugal: “the costs of having a top product team here in Portugal are much lower if you compare it to San Francisco or London for example. In those kind of places you either get poorly skilled people or you end up paying fortunes for a good product team. In Portugal it’s easy to get a top product team at a global level and because we have an amazing quality of life and low cost of living, you don’t have to pay those super high salaries.” So maybe you should consider following their lead and attract Portuguese tech talent, you just need to know how to do it.
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Top tech universities to hire from
As we’ve said in the beginning Portugal has some of Europe’s top tech universities. Carlos Silva, co-founder at Seedrs, admits that studying at IST in Lisbon was a huge advantage: “I studied in IST so I had a good tech related network in order to attract the very best and build our product team here in Lisbon”. So if you’re looking for young tech talent you should definitely reach out to universities, introduce your startup and share your vision for the future. According to Pedro Carmo Olivera from Jobbox.io, the best tech universities in the Portugal are: “IST in Lisbon, FEUP in Porto, Universidade do Minho in Braga and Guimarães, Universidade de Aveiro and Universidade de Coimbra”. Check out for conferences and events organized by these universities and reach out to students. A good example is Sinfo at IST. Many companies attend Sinfo in order to hire recent graduates and the event is organized by students from the university. IST for example has a job board where you can post your job offer for its students.
Take full advantage of the startup hype and set the challenge
There’s currently a lot of buzz regarding startups in Portugal so you should definitely take advantage of the startup hype. As Pedro Carmo Oliveira puts it: “you have many recent graduates in Portugal who are now more open to working at a startup, because they have a bigger impact and they can grow within the company.” And this is not just for recent graduates, you are now seeing many tech people leaving the corporate world and joining startups because they like the new challenge. One of the secrets of hiring for a startup is sharing your passion and offering an interesting challenge. So go ahead and let people know what’s your goal for the future and how they can contribute. You should also focus a lot on startup culture and define your own culture from the beginning. Rui Pedro Alves from Rupeal is a big fan of company culture and he argues that “if you have the right culture with the right people you’re gonna have amazing results. So, for me people and culture are the source of all value.” Just don’t forget to let people know about your team activities and how it’s like to work for your company.