ValueWalk’s interview with Weiting Liu, the Founder and CEO of Arc. In this interview, Weiting discusses his and his company’s background, making money through connecting remote developers and organizations looking to hire them, their strict vetting process when recruiting developers, remote working as a genuine full-time option, the biggest trend in the IT market, the demand for qualified developers outweighs the supply, and the big picture vision of Arc.
Interview with Arc’s Founder and CEO Weiting Liu on remote working in the IT industry
Can you tell us about your background?
I was born in Taiwan, and moved to California for university. I was fortunate enough to graduate from a well-known school, starting my career with internationally recognized company names on my resume. On my journey, I met a lot of incredible people. Many of us had one thing in common: we left our home and moved across the world to access great opportunities that weren't readily available in our hometowns. But I believe it doesn’t have to be like this anymore.
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I’ve seen how tough it can be for young talent around the globe to land opportunities, especially without recognized brand names on their resumes (the traditional interview signals). From the employers’ perspective, there’s also a lot of fear to overcome when hiring a stranger online for a permanent full-time role. But in a world connected by the internet, we believe that possibilities shouldn’t be limited by zip codes. This is why we launched Arc: to change the way we hire and work remotely.
What about your company?
Working remotely is becoming increasingly mainstream, with companies like Stripe, Atlassian, and others making headlines by announcing a growth in remote hires. And we believe remote work is the future, but today’s remote hiring experience is still full of friction. We want to make it easier to hire and work remotely. This inspired us to create Arc, an all-in-one platform to hire world-class remote engineers and teams effortlessly. We are different from the bulk of remote hiring services, which are still focused on remote as a short-term freelancing option. Arc makes remote work a genuine full-time option for both sides of the hiring equation.
How do you make money?
Arc connects remote developers and great organizations looking to hire them. Our business model is based on those hiring remote technical talent, and organizations pay only when they hire a candidate through Arc. Companies that hire remote developers can increase the speed and quality of their technical recruiting because they no longer need to rely on a limited pool of local talent. To date, we've worked with a variety of clients ranging from Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 corporations. We've connected hundreds of developers and companies worldwide, including roles at Spotify, Hims, and Chegg just to name a few.
I always joke that 99% of developers are either crazy slow, crazy expensive or just plain crazy - it’s very hard to find good talent - how do you recruit?
Like all industries, you can find both qualified and unqualified talent. We recruit developers from all backgrounds and countries, but only a tiny fraction pass our strict vetting process. If they pass the first technical assessment, we pair these candidates with senior engineers at leading tech companies for Silicon Valley-caliber interviews. Our goal is to ensure Arc developers are not only technically the best in their field, but also ready to work remotely as part of a team. We realize how important it is for remote developers to possess soft skills like problem solving and teamwork, in addition to strong technical abilities, to be successful with on the job.
How do you differ from codeable? What differentiates you from other freelance remote working sites?
Most remote hiring services out there focus on the gig economy and short-term freelancers. Arc is different — we make remote work a genuine full-time option by connecting organizations with remote team members. We believe this is a natural evolution of the remote movement, with full-time remote team members becoming an integral part of the organization rather than just gigs.
Arc helps clients simplify their hiring process by providing sourcing, vetting, and matching — reducing the burden for in-house recruiting teams. Through our strict vetting and interviewing process, we are able to match organizations with talent faster, essentially helping them skip straight to final interviewing with the pre-vetted candidates. We see Arc as the only comprehensive solution that connects organizations with both full and part-time developers for permanent or contract roles.
What are the biggest trends you are seeing in the IT market? Remote working?
The biggest trend I’ve seen is for fast-growing companies to scale their development teams outside of the main labor markets (San Francisco, New York) and even outside the U.S. (Canada, Mexico, etc.). This is a sign that working and hiring remotely becoming more popular as a long term strategic solution, especially for engineering teams. It is clear that going remote-first will help companies stay competitive by tapping into the best talent regardless of where they happen to be. We believe that building successful remote teams, with the help of solutions like Arc, will eventually become standard practice.
We hear that IT is a great field to go into but if everyone does that wont the wages collapse?
It’s all about supply and demand, and I don’t see this as a serious concern in the near future. Currently, the demand for top developers outweighs the supply of qualified candidates, which is why you see a growing number of coding bootcamps and non-traditional programming schools popping up. While the supply of talented developers is growing in recent years, businesses are also evolving. New tech startups are emerging every day, and even established organizations are adopting the latest technologies such as robotics, AI and IoT robotics. As the technical fluency of the workforce as a whole grows, and companies adapt to the future of work, I believe we will see more of an equilibrium with the supply and demand for technical skills.
The big picture vision of Arc is to help connect more people with better opportunities. Our team is driven to turn our aspirations into reality, including setting ambitious goals such as:
- Building a program that replaces university and grad schools to help global talent work with great companies worldwide.
- Enabling 1 million talent to earn $100K a year.
- Empowering hundreds of local ecosystems to thrive because of Arc.
- Helping normalize the hiring of global remote talent in organizations (remote hiring becomes standard practice).