Iman Fadaei, Founder at RemoteUkraine & TalentPools

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Iman is a hero for our industry. We’ve been fortunate to call him a good friend for years now, and what he did for RemoteUkraine is nothing short of heroic.

Please post your jobs/projects for Ukrainian’s here: https://remoteukraine.org/


Our favorite quotes:

  • Find the full transcript HERE.


  • “Remote Ukraine is a UK charity that was set up very quickly in response to the Ukrainian crisis. The goals are pretty simple. We want to help companies who are well meaning and want to do their debts, and who have open roles to match with really high quality Ukrainian talent that are, you know, either displaced within Ukraine, or they are refugees. And they’re looking for for a new role. And this really will have a significant meaningful impact on their lives and be a force for good, and also help companies looking for for quality talent.

  • “In terms of what people can do. If you have an open role, just head over to remote ukraine.org. And you can register, post your job, match with the candidate, hire them either directly or through an employer record, you know, the service is completely free. There’s no cost or fees involved at any stage in the process. And you’re really welcome to use the platform as you wish. And if we can be of any support, you can just reach out to us directly and we’ll help.

  • So originally, it started just as an initial reaction to the situation that our CTO Igo was finding himself in. He’s based in Ukraine, right now he’s sitting in his bathtub with his wife coding on the platform, because that’s the safest place for him to be as the air raid sirens go overhead. So it’s, it’s completely surreal.

  • We went from slacking a couple of weeks ago, you know, fixing bugs, building new features through to this crazy situation. You know, we’re a small startup, we bootstrapped. There’s there’s only so much we can do. But what we do have is the technology and we realized that very early on.

  • The UN was saying there’s going to be 4 million refugees. We thought to ourselves, there’s an opportunity here where we have a scalable HR platform that could just be sorted out immediately. And we want to help in that way. So that was the original motivation, how it was created.

  • It took us about half an hour to actually set it all up. That’s what our company does. It’s a talent platform in a box solution, and how it just got out there was center for transformation of work, and Barry and John Younger, and the rest of them, who were really pushing. I think we got on one call with them. And it was, you know, the heads of lots of HR companies, and they shouted out a bit about it.

  • After a few days we were getting 10,000 hits a day, multiple 1000s of refugees signing up, lots and lots of jobs posted, hundreds and hundreds of matches. And anyway, that’s how it got started.

  • In terms of the roles, we started by focusing on remote functions. And in the end, it just grew organically from there.

  • We’re now live in 25 different categories from domestic support through to professional cookswe’ve got orchestra conductors, contacting us and, and all sorts of others. I mean, there is a focus on technology, because that was our initial focus. So software, product, design, marketing, but there is also others like, also, you know, blue collar focuses industry construction, a lot of well meaning business networks in various different parts of the market, reaching out, say we want to help, we’ve got a lot of jobs. And you know, we’re in the process now of kind of calibrating our skills matching to be relevant across all those different verticals.

Matt Coatney:

  • I’m a little blown away like I hadn’t I hadn’t thought about the the translation aspect of things. But again, sort of technology coming to the rescue, how amazing that is that we have tools that we can use to actually converse with people in a meaningful way, in another language in real time, in a pinch like that, and wonderful then that we have volunteers stepping up as well. So it’s such a great story.

  • My mind keeps coming back to the leaders that want to help. And I talked to many of them. Some of the mental roadblocks they have, or sort of the questions that they’d have, I’d love for you to help answer would be things such as, you know, how do I sort through sort of the HR elements and tax and compliance and you know, what those kinds of things if I’m used to working with an agency down the street, do you have facilities that help with that, whether it be, you know, technology or resources that they can use?


  • Yes, so if people want to hire directly using their own internal policies, they can, but we also have employer of record partners, some of whom are offering their services for free, if it’s a refugee hire, where if you’ve got a refugee, let’s say, who’s based in Poland, where most of them are, and you are ready to hire them for a job, you just connect out to one of those partners. And, you know, whether it’s remote.com, or greenlight.ai, or several, several of the others that we have, they will be the employer or agent of record for that contractAnd they handle all compliance, including the the contracts, taxation, visas, the rest of it. So all the person who posted the job needs to do is to find the person and that’s how our, what our tech does in terms of the matching. And from there, it’s a third party that handles everything. And they’re the professional professionals that doing that.


  • There are some really huge companies like AWS, and there are lots of small, I mean, to give you a little anecdote, you know, there are people contacting us saying, hey, you know, we’re just a small restaurant in the UK, you know, you know, we are looking for a cook, you know, is it is it suitable for us, we’ve got business owner saying, Here’s a job plus, you know, our family owns a chalet in this in the French Alps, you know, we’d love to donate that for the use of, you know, a couple of families. So, I mean, there’s a lot of good, well, meaning people all over the world who I mean, our map, I’m going to post it out soon. We’ve got, I think, already 30 countries, at least companies have posted from those audit from Australia to I mean, just now I had the one of the chambers of commerce of Brazil contacting us saying, we really want to help is the Brazilian Ukrainian associate Business Association. They’ve posted a whole bunch of jobs. So it’s really a global response to this issue.

Matthew Mottola:

  • In my background at an enterprise like Microsoft, you’re always wondering how can I make an impact? And the reality is for like 90% of employees you kind of feel like you’re you’re not able to you feel like you go into work day to day you do your work, but you don’t really see how you can make an impact. I think what you’ve done which is so incredible is, let’s say you’re a manager right now in Microsoft or let’s say you’re an associate or product manager, literally go to your boss and say, Hey, boss, can we please unlock X amount of budget so that we can go hire Ukrainian refugees? That is such an incredible win win for all parties, both the employee, both the employer, and obviously the Ukrainian.

Matt Coatney:

  • Knowing what the state of the job market is here in the US, I think it would be crazy not to entertain it, because every company I talked to is struggling to find talent, and the right talent and hungry talent. And I can’t think of a better cause as well as solving the problem.


  • In terms of how to get started, the likelihood is they’ll probably forward it to their HR team, or their recruiter, but whoever it is, who’s posting the job, it’s just job title and job description, are the only actual requirements. But beyond that, the more data you provide, the better the match is going to be. In terms of like, what skills are needed, what, how many years of experience do you have, here’s a bit about our company, here’s the salary, expectation, etc, etc. After that, you post the role. And you can either reach out directly to candidates who you can you can filter, then you can match, then you can sort and it helps you find the best person. Or you can just sit back and do nothing and just wait for the candidates to come through via email. Yeah, hope that answers.

Matthew Mottola:

  • One thing I would like to call out that is different from what you’re talking about is you’re not forcing them to stay on platform, you have an open platform that can integrate into the existing ATS systems, which is so huge and and I kind of like to hear your take on this too. So one thing as an industry that we’ve always struggled with, and this is where my like three, four years ago, this is why the first one we told me about this I’m like, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to beat this gorilla. What I mean by that is, most platforms, they want to stay closed. They want their freelancers to stay on platform and they want their clients to stay on platform and they have a lot of controls to make sure things aren’t happening like emailing back and forth and external calendaring and video. And what I love about what you talked about on the monitoring, that’s not true. Like if you want to literally meet them in person, that’s okay. If you want to take them to your recruiting system. That’s okay.

  • Iman that is revolutionary, to be honest. And like we get a lot of guests here talking about blockchain, web three, all that. And I always have them step back and say, Okay, how does this help the typical person? And what you’re doing to me, like, I can’t state enough how actual revolutionary it is that you are saying this is an open source platform, you don’t need to stay on it, you don’t need to keep your candidate on it. Am I getting that right?


  • My background is that I actually began by building my own digital agency in London, and I was just, you know, building out websites and digital assets for United Nations, Maserati, you know, British government agencies, etc. So, I was taking those jobs and working at university with my fellow students to complete these contracts and realized, hang on a second, there’s an opportunity here to productize this by building a talent marketplace for university students providing technical skills. And so I launched crowd skills.com, and ran that for a couple of years and realized that, you know, the actual niche that I had focused on, which was talented university students, in the way that excuse me I had focused on it would require a huge amount of investment to to reach profitability, just based on the, you know, dollar per hour rate of students.

  • But at the same time, a lot of other entrepreneurs and talent focused organizations were contacting me saying, Hey, I like what you’ve done with Cloud skills, you know, what advice do you have for us, we want launching our own talent marketplace, or x or y. And I realized there’s an opportunity because we had just invested, you know, a good chunk of our time and experience in building out this software. So there is an opportunity to white label it, and provide it to other people, to give them all the same benefits that you mentioned, instance set up. Basically free set, I mean, it is a free set, we don’t charge anything to set up the platform. There’s a time advantage as well, in terms of, you know, opportunity lost and getting to the market while you’re building out your own tech that you need to provide some like worry about technical support or have a technical team. So really the focus for and because we’re building the tech, constantly, we’re adding functionality faster than any individual organization can add functionality just because there’s, at this point, we’ve got 30 Plus marketplaces in 11 countries all building functionality on our core system. So everybody is benefiting from the development of the product. So those are all the the main advantages.

  • We started by working with entrepreneurs who are building marketplaces. So the first brand was white Lance, which is White Label freelance market says white ants.co.co, then we realized a year later, actually, there’s a lot of normal agencies that are working with contractors. But they don’t necessarily want to open up at an end to end marketplace, they want to still have the benefit of the technology. But they want to continue with their core business model, which is, you have a content writer for that you pay $10 an hour, and you’re going to sell them out at $20. Now, it could be a content writer or an engineer or whatever. And so we then launched this new brand, talent pools.io. And this is enabling everybody to create their own talent pool, irrespective of whether what what model it is whether it’s a freelance marketplace, or an internal or a hybrid. So that starts the journey. And the great thing about it is that, you know, we can just spin up these solutions in response to real time events that happen.

Matthew Mottola

  • When I think about what you’re doing, I think like, you can be Salesforce in terms of you can enable every single company to have the best possible HR processes, both internally and externally. Because talent marketplaces are the future, and you’re able to give them talent marketplaces in a box. So there’s that right, there’s also then the the Shopify angle, or the Shopify or web flow angle, where it’s we’ve made it easier for you entrepreneurs to do that. Honestly, I don’t know which one is more lucrative. And then the third one, though, is you can respond to crisis isn’t a matter of 30 minutes. And so if you are someone in the UN or someone that’s in government, like prior, how could you really make change? Well, it probably took years to be able to lobby to get bills passed, but what you’re saying and what I love is okay, instead of worrying about the bills to get passed, or just that, you can also build technology in literally 30 minutes to an hour that can make an impact for thousands of refugees like you have.

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