When Jesus Salas started CodersLink in 2015, he was on the hunt for capital to get his tech staffing agency off the ground.
But Salas, who moved from Mexico to attend the University of Texas-San Antonio, was turned away by one investor after another due to his lack of United States citizenship. The founder had to bootstrap the business and focus on growing organically — a limitation that forced him to stick to a strategy of slow growth that ultimately paid off.
"Most companies, some spend money and have a lot of money and would rather scale fast — it’s very aggressive," he explains. "We have been able to get this far by being conservative and spending every dollar earned with caution. Being that conservative has helped us avoid burning money."
For CodersLink, this has meant not reinventing the wheel, but perfecting it. Businesses of all kinds have long turned to staffing agencies to scale up their teams. The vetted contractors they provide can help build bilingual sales and tech support teams, contribute to diversity goals, and, perhaps most importantly, deliver cost savings to help companies extend their runway while raising additional capital.
CodersLink aspires to go a step farther. This primarily means offering excellent customer service, including taking the reins on complicated logistics regarding various labor laws and payroll, but it also extends to helping clients reframe their relationship with remote contractors.
Salas and his team work with clients to build a dedicated team that integrates seamlessly into the existing company culture. This usually starts small with a few part-time contractors with the opportunity to grow from there. As an example, one client started with six remote team members and grew that to 45 full-time employees within 18 months.
Salas calls this flexible model, one in which remote contractors can go from simply an extra set of hands to valued members of a company’s larger team, “staffing 2.0.”
“By digging into our customers' needs, we saw that they wanted to transition," he says. "They don’t see the people we contract as plain contractors, they come to see them as a future long-term employees.” It’s an approach that both allows clients to efficiently scale up their operations and also provide opportunity to software engineers in Mexico — a win-win.
By all accounts, the model seems to be working. CodersLink has already worked with more than 65 companies, from the most fledgling startups to industry giants including Amazon. The remote work spurred by the pandemic is likely to only bolster the young company’s bottom line.
“Right now, lots of people are starting conversations about having a plan for going remote or building a remote team in Latin America,” says Salas. “We’re starting to see positive results.”
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