How Companies Can Attract and Retain Tech Talent

The technology sector is far and away the fastest growing in the US, which presents an interesting set of challenges and opportunities when it comes to hiring. With more than 1.3 million tech startups in existence worldwide, helping clients attract and recruit the right talent for positions in categories from e-commerce to aeronautics takes skill, category knowledge, and the ability to build strong relationships.

Of all the skilled technical talent, engineers are the most sought-after. In fact, only one in every 100 engineers is unemployed. There is good news for those companies looking to create or build their tech team. According to research, approximately half of all employed engineers are looking to make a job change in the next 12 months. So, with that in mind, how can you recruit top tech talent?

Here are four principles to follow:

Know and communicate your brand essence and company culture. People who work in the tech industry – particularly those in a position to pick and choose their next place of employment – are more likely to choose a company with a differentiated brand identity, clear goals, and a positive company culture.

With 53% of the engineers recently surveyed by Glassdoor reporting that they would leave a company based on its culture, it’s important to give a clear idea of what your company culture is during the interview process. You then need to ask probing questions to understand if your candidate would work well within that culture. Here are some questions that have worked well in our experience:

  • Tell me about a situation where you felt you were an instrumental part of your team?
  • What would your ideal day, week, month at our company look like?
  • If you were asked to work on a project as part of a team, what role would best suit you and why?

These questions will help you gain an understanding of how your candidate works best and help you assess how they would fit within your team.

Make it clear how the candidate will contribute to company goals. Engineers are often the only members of your company’s team who can address specific issues such as building software that will become a key part of a company’s service or product offering. This presents a particular kind of pressure on engineers and other tech team members.

Companies that do the best job of retaining engineers are ones that acknowledge how their engineers’ work contributes to the company’s success. So, in addition to a strong compensation structure, a system of acknowledging the engineers’ contributions is critical. This can be as simple as inclusion in regular internal communications such as company emails and newsletters to customized perks such as opportunities to imprint on new product or service offerings. These kinds of opportunities make it clear that your tech staff is integral to the present and future success of your company.

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Keep your pipeline full. Considering that a good number of engineers will change jobs within a year, it’s important to continue to source tech talent even after you’ve filled your current positions. The key is to gain an understanding of what the ideal position looks like for the talent and how they might fit in your company or clients’ teams in the future. The added benefit of continuing to build your pipeline is that you will be able to refine your talent search and fill new positions with greater efficiency of time and resources.

Build ongoing relationships with top talent. As important as filling your pipeline is building ongoing relationships with top tech. The goal is to build allies and advocates who will be more likely to recommend you to a friend or colleague looking to make a change. They will also be more likely to consider an offer from you in the future.

Hiring the right team in the difficult-to-recruit technology space promises to be an ongoing need. These are just a few ways you can make the most of your brand story, company culture, and networking skills to attract and retain top tech talent now and in the future.

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