Helping immigrant engineers nab that Valley dream job

January 22, 2014: 2:14 PM ET

A new international career fair wants to level the playing field for tech workers abroad.


FORTUNE -- Compared with domestic candidates, international tech workers applying for jobs in Silicon Valley face a truly uphill battle. In the past, employers have had little incentive to hire an immigrant and invest thousands of dollars in legal paperwork and relocation fees.

But a new international career fair from Hired.com, an online marketplace for recruiting new employees, in partnership with Sequoia Capital, aims to help software engineers from Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Eastern Europe land jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area. "There's definitely a local shortage of great engineers, and the process of finding them overseas is very difficult and time-consuming," explains Matt Mickiewicz, CEO and co-founder of Hired.com.

To make matters simpler, qualified job applicants with a university degree and experience with technologies such as Android, iOS, Ruby on Rails, or Python can apply on Hired.com by Feb. 10 for engineering jobs at one of 15 Bay Area-based partner companies including Square, Airbnb, Evernote, and Eventbrite. In March, between 150 and 200 candidates will be flown to the Bay Area by Sequoia Capital for in-person interviews. Candidates will also take a coding test while stateside with the Hired team to verify their knowledge. Employers will extend job offers by the end of March, and new hires should expect to relocate and start their new gig by October at latest. Mickiewicz is optimistic about these new hires gaining visas sponsored by the participating companies and doesn't foresee paperwork proving a serious problem.

Hired.com expects tens of thousands of tech workers to apply for the international career fair in the coming days. But perhaps even more ambitious, the site estimates roughly half of the candidates who interview for jobs will also receive offers.

While Mickiewicz says the effort of helping qualified international candidates is "personally gratifying," he also admits it's not an entirely altruistic effort. (Hired.com will receive a flat fee for every hire made.) Nonetheless, his recruiting site is helping solve a serious pain point by helping local businesses discover new engineering talent and helping that talent find a job -- a win-win, all-around.

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