The story so far…

The challenge extended to BackstageIT was to help Spense find a developer that is fit for the job (required skill set) for the right price, which is difficult to find in the Netherlands, especially being a startup. Spense was already well aware of the extended team model from the examples/ case studies of other clients presented by BackstageIT


Massive talent skills shortage on the Dutch market

According to recent reports released by Startup Amsterdam and Amsterdam Economic Board, the demand for tech talent has doubled, reaching a figure of x26 job vacancy openings per available tech worker.

Going forward, IT start-ups are likely to experience the biggest concern in finding the technical talent to drive projects on. In order to overcome this challenge and stay ahead of the competition, many companies are opting for global talent searches.

In previous experiences, Lex and Noel, Spense founders, had the opportunity to work with remote teams and extended teams from several countries across the globe (f.e. Romania, India, Ukraine). Looking specifically for Moldova was because of the high education level (compared to the countries mentioned above) and highly experienced software engineers. But also Lex heard that Moldavian market is still quite balanced in terms of the availability and recruitability of quality developers.

Preserving a dynamic culture

Spense has previously struggled to hire for this position, also as a result of their strong desire to maintain the cultural fit associated with their technology business. It was critical for Noel to bring the right persons on board to ensure continued success.

Fast, no hassle

Despite this being a critical role for the development of their business, Spense also needed to focus on reducing their time to hire as the position had been vacant for several months. They needed to onboard the right candidate to help develop and maintain the company’s platform.

“Except that Covid restricts visiting opportunities, we consider it very important to collaborate as a team. We also provide Dragomir with all Spense branded stuff to feel united as a team and aligned with the goals and mission of Spense. But to be honest, drinking a beer face-to-face is highly prioritised when Covid eases.”

Lex La Gro
Co-Founder Spense


The objective was not only to find an experienced Full-stack developer ( React.js + Laravel), but also to provide Spense with a better idea of the quality of software developers available in Moldova. Whilst good technical skills were a core requirement, Spense startup had a vision to scale its team with an individual who could act as a true partner to the business in the pursuit of top line performance.


The recruitment process was efficient and it enabled Spense to overview several candidates. Speed was also a significant factor. Weekly, BackstageIT provided shortlist presentations of the candidates. Info included an overview of the candidate’s knowledge, salary and cultural fit (soft skills). Lex and Noel were pleasantly surprised about the level of English of the candidates, which was way higher compared to other countries they used to work with. Spense selected a candidate for the final interview, who was also the one to get an offer.


Spense heeft de perfecte kandidaat binnen afzienbare tijd aan het Spense got the perfect candidate within a short time frame. The selected software developer is making such an impact on the business, that Spense realized the need to further invest and hire more software developers within their extended team from Moldova.

About Spense

Spense is there to help entrepreneurs of SME companies in the Netherlands manage their contracts and improve their procurement. Procurement is a business process which is underexposed in the SME market, hence the idea of launching the Spense product.


Here are just a few features that Lex and Noel implement to make their extended team (for now only Dragomir, Full-stack developer) feel like an integral part of Spense and compensate for aspects of remote collaboration such as the distance and lack of face-to-face communication.


Besides the fact that Covid is restricting the possibilities of visiting, Spense finds it very important to collaborate as a team. Therefore they are trying to have enough remote sessions both work-related and non-work related.

Culture alignment

Spense tries to align the entire team as much as possible to organizations values and goals by having daily standups and wrapups. Besides that, they have monthly meetings where the progress is being discussed.

Dragomir (Full-stack developer from Moldova) has been provided with all company branded stuff so that he can feel adjoined to the Spense team. At the same time, drinking a beer face-to-face is highly prioritized when Covid eases.

Plans for the future

Lex and Noel trust that expanding their team to Moldova could be a very good solution for them. This could result in building a team abroad.

As Spense now has just one team member, they think that adding members to the team in Moldova could benefit the culture and teamwork. As BackstageIT has shown by real examples (with other showcases from other clients), this is something that they are experienced in!

Tips from Spense for other tech start-ups

  • Always start your onboarding with new team members mission driven. Make everyone a member of your BHAG and point them in the right direction of where your product dreams of reaching.
  • If the product management is also in the ‘startup phase’ let BackstageIT assist you in the early stages with some guidance of their experienced product owners.
  • Have fun along the way and celebrate milestones no matter how big or small they are.

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