“Our main focus at the moment is to provide more benefits, and also create a relocation package so that we can bring people in from outside. So we offer as many perks as we can: Gym membership, free meals and beverages.
MUFG ISFT is a Cyprus fintech company that was acquired by the Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. The company, which today has about 60 workers, offers advanced technology solutions solely to the Group’s member companies aiming to meet the continuous banking and financial needs of Customers.
Like other smaller companies in the fintech sector, MUFG must look hard to find developers with both experience in finance and software.
“MUFG ISFT serves as a Centre of Excellence for MUFG Fintech Investor Services and specialises in software development, maintenance, project management, IT advisory services and cloud infrastructure management.” Stylianou explains.
We have data scientists at the company, we have DevOps, we have a number of different types of developers, back end developers, front end developers, quality assurance, etc., and we try to train our developers for our specific needs.”
But Stylianou has not been able to find enough developers of this type in Cyprus.
“You can sometimes find developers that have worked in the UK, or in other countries at big companies similar to the MUFG Group, so the developers who come from these companies are familiar with what we do.
“But besides that, it’s very difficult for us to source developers from forex companies here on the island. Forex is really a very different field.” So, in the five years Stylianou has worked at the company, she has gradually refined strategies for recruiting developers.
“It’s costly to actually find the developer and bring him to Cyprus. The challenge is to find the developer that matches the skills that we’re looking – and then to get him/her to come and work for us. We don’t offer a relocation package at the moment, and this makes the task quite challenging.”
Stylianou recruits extensively in Eastern Europe, but getting developers with financial experience is still very tough.
“You find a lot more people working in information technology and gaming industries. We have opened an office in Lithuania, where we can source from a greater variety of developers, but that has been a challenge there as well. We have established connections with recruitment agencies all over the world, however there is no doubt that the technology sector has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, let along IT recruitment”
Given that Cyprus has a well-developed financial services sector, one would expect that there would be developers with these qualifications here.
Stylianou tries to set up a package that would not only bring the developer to Cyprus, but which would also retain him/her.
“Our main focus at the moment is to provide more benefits, and also
create a relocation package so that we can bring people in from outside. So we offer as many perks as we can:
Gym membership, free meals and beverages. Stylianou points to the fact that Belarus offers developers more.
“Belarus has apprenticeship schemes in which, instead of sending people to university, they go to Python schools. So what they do is they spend their three years learning all the programming languages, and they come out better prepared than our Cypriot students. Our students go abroad to the UK, or to Greece and take an IT degree, and then they come back, and the programming languages that they know are minimal,” she complains.
“So those Belarus students get their training and then stay in the country. And they have a pipeline of younger people to count on. Whereas in Cyprus, the students leave, and often don’t come back.”
Schools of the type Belarus has set up would be an enormous advantage for Cyprus, Stylianou adds.