Beyond Borders: How to Build a Satellite Office from the Ground Up


One of our clients incorporated in Dublin, Ireland in November 2017 in hopes to make a new Engineering Hub in Europe. While the VP of Engineering for the Dublin office officially started the first week of November, there was no infrastructure set in place, (not even an office space!). It was up to the LevelUP team to partner with the internal talent acquisition manager to fully staff a brand new office with a mix of internal sourcing and referrals.


How did we do it?

One of the easiest ways to tackle a huge project is to break it down into parts. Note, there were more details and nuance specific to our client, but what you’ll find below are the overarching steps to the project’s rousing success.


Step 1)

Intake meeting with management.

We were lucky that the new VP was in the NYC office for his first week orientation. That week, we sat down with him as well as the CTO to get a workforce plan set in place. In that meeting, we determined:

  • the number of total hires to be made

  • the teams/products that will be built in Ireland exclusively

  • the ancillary engineers that would enhance existing global teams

  • who would be best suited to conduct technical and in person interviews

  • and finally… the technology stack

We then had enough information to start the next phase.

Step 2)

Market Mapping

We needed to figure out the Dublin market and who we were competing with from a talent perspective, as well as gain an understanding of compensation across all experience levels. Once we understood how many hires we needed to make, the types of products being built, and the tech stack, we then went out to market and saw which companies had talent pools we could target. We shared our findings with the hiring team, so they could give us a more qualitative boots on the ground perspective to combine with this quantitative data.

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Step 3)

Employer Value Proposition

The talent market is tough, especially for high quality engineers we were looking to hire in a short time frame. Since this was a global technology company, they already had a great EVP at scale. What we needed to formulate was a Dublin specific story that enticed engineers. Below are the 4 biggest talking points that need to be addressed when prospecting a passive candidate.  

  1. Why is this office being built?

  2. What would I be building and working on day to day?

  3. Is there opportunity for growth?

  4. Would teams have ownership over their work?

We compiled the answers to these questions in previous steps, enabling us to go to market well informed.

Step 4)

Massive Action

We reached out to a significant portion of the Dublin engineering community with passive messages through multiple social media channels (LinkedIn, Github, job boards, and well as levelup proprietary products).

This post was written by Eric Giordano

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Eric Giordano