The CEO of a startup company, upset because we, at Get on Board, asked him to change the requirements of his job ad - something we do with the vast majority of ads - wrote to us complaining about the bad experience of not having the ad published immediately, and asking us to "let the market do its job without interfering in the process".
And I replied: of course we interfere.
We deliberately interfere. Get on Board was –in fact– born precisely for that reason. Because the technology job market in Latam needed it.
Historically, it has been a mediocre market, that pays junior salaries and demands senior performance, that has treated digital talent as pawns who are there to do little more than fixing the internet, making PPTs pretty, and "maintaining the webs running".
A market that looks down so much on technology that the brightest people of their generation - who in the US or Europe would be studying Computer Science - here have no choice but to study business or finance in order to earn according to their talent. A market where you would never imagine a tech geek managing anything that is not IT-related.
An unbalanced market, not very meritocratic and not very transparent, where ambitious startups and worthwhile companies are not visible and where women who try to dare in technology are not taken seriously, and are redirected to "softer" positions or are left on their own, with everything against them, in hostile environments.
A market where technology leaders do not understand the technology and delegate the search for their key positions to recruiters who do not understand it either, who look for professionals with 5 years of experience in technologies that are only 3 years old, or end up clinging to the usual proxies – certifications, diplomas, and fancy degrees – instead of what really matters: track record, challenges overcome and initiative to learn.
(And these leaders, given that they filled entire areas with people who had no capacity to execute technology, end up getting out of trouble by hiring the usual canned people).
A market where companies don't bother to tell talent who they are, why they need the position, or if they have anything else to offer besides legal benefits and a desk. Where hiding as a "leading company in the service industry" (or hiding your client behind that pseudonym) is enough to get a flood of CVs. Where the selection process is focused on the convenience and cost-efficiency of the company.
A labor market full of organizations where you have to sustain even the purchase of HDMI cables. Where the entire company is tied with 5-year contracts to obsolete technological tools. Where you can't use Linux or Mac or Heroku or Dropbox or Google Docs or YouTube or Spotify.
That market has finally started to change. And Get on Board has done its bit by giving all the spotlight we could to the pioneers: to the startups that started out preaching in the desert and to the leaders of large corporations who left their comfort zone and dared to clash internally with everyone in order to create teams where the rules of the game were different.
Those few, once, were buried behind a mountain of bullshit jobs, of important-company-seeking, of we-need-a-designer-programmer-systems-administrator-community-manager, of 100-character job descriptions. That's why at Get on Board we were never interested in "faithfully portraying the market". Portraits tend to perpetuate what they portray. There is power in what you show and what you hide. Photographers know this well.
That's why we interfere, even at the cost of our own growth.
And as long as we are here, we will continue to proudly interfere.