Here’s one way to deal with the Twin Cities’ workforce shortage: Hire overseas workers.
Minneapolis-based software firm MentorMate earlier this month announced that it’s now employing more than 500 IT professionals at its five offices in Bulgaria. The company’s Bulgarian team includes folks working in software development and quality assurance. Senior-level technologists make up almost half of MentorMate’s Bulgarian staff.
MentorMate says the increase in personnel will boost its range of “software services and capabilities.”
Why Bulgaria? Spokesman Matt Erickson says it’s a cost-effective option, for one.
“There are a lot of reasons we really like Bulgaria,” he says. “All of our technical talent over there speaks English fluently, so they can interact with clients and companies without a problem.”
Erickson also cites a “high level of technical expertise” in Bulgaria. And, as any Minnesota business owner knows, it’s not always easy to find talent locally.
“Technical talent is just at such a premium here” in the Twin Cities, Erickson says. “Finding it can be difficult, and holding onto it can also be difficult because of that demand.”
Bulgaria is also attractive because it’s part of the European Union, where MentorMate has several clients, according to Erickson.
Since it formed in 2001, MentorMate has landed a host of big-name clients, including Land O’Lakes, UnitedHealth Group, Royal Bank of Canada, and Graco. The company provides a host of software and web services, including mobile app development and strategy.
MentorMate has five offices in Bulgaria, one in Minneapolis, and another in Sweden. The company employs 45 people at its Minneapolis office.
“For our current and future clients, having 500 technologists [in Bulgaria] provides an affirmation of our abilities to deliver quality work, as well as a sense of stability that MentorMate is able to grow alongside their business,” said MentorMate President Jamie Bolseth in a statement. “This is especially important to larger, more mature clients that might have concerns about the stability of working with a ‘small company.’”
In 2018, the company logged revenue of nearly $25 million. So far this year, revenue is tracking even higher, according to Erickson.