No matter the economic conditions, top tech talent is hard to find. And, given the recent changes to the H1-B visa program, the demand could continue to outpace the supply for years to come. The good news? Computer science degrees have been gaining popularity over the past decade. The bad news: there are still thousands of unfilled tech jobs. So, what’s a company to do? Here are some tips on how to find elusive tech talent.
Be a Farmer when Seeking Tech Talent
We’re all familiar with the basic sales analogy of farmers and hunters. Farmers plant seeds for sustained, long-term growth, but with a long ramp-up time. On the other hand, hunters stalk the prey in front of them with a more short-term approach.
When recruiting tech talent, it’s important to be a hunter for your immediate hiring needs. However, the importance of farming can’t be overlooked. Start by building a community and cultivating relationships with local talent that matches up with your company’s present and future hiring needs. Do this even if you don’t have a current need and while they aren’t looking to change jobs – in fact, specifically when they aren’t looking.
By finding ways to create and provide value to a passive talent base, you can create a loyal following. This group can then become an organic source of talent in the long(er)-term.
A Long-term Approach
In building these communities, your recruiting plan is no longer limited to job postings, recruitment firms and cold outreach. As an organization, you now have a captive audience within your market’s talent base – a group now more receptive to listening and perhaps sharing with their respective networks. Also, when the timing for candidates in your following does become right to make a change, you’ll often find they are reaching out to you first to inquire about what’s available.
However, while building a community is extremely effective, and can have significant long-term ROI to your organization, it is truly a ‘get out what you put in’ proposition. This type of talent following takes a lot of time and effort to assemble, and typically the reward(s) don’t come right away. For those willing to invest and be patient, however, such networks are worth their weight in gold.
Build It and They Will Come
Another effective, but long-term approach is building a company and team culture that is diversified and embracing. The goal is to make people want to work for you and your organization. Focus on making sure your current employees are happy and engaged. A fulfilled employee base can, and will, become one of your company’s best recruiting draws. In addition, looping back to the strategy above, it can help to refer friends and former colleagues into the community you are building.
The Short Stack and the Hot Industries in Tech
Each year, WinterWyman’s Software team does a Salary and Jobs report, looking back at the jobs and placements we worked on during the previous 12 months. Although that seems like a lifetime ago given the current crisis, many of the jobs we are currently seeing the most demand for are the same. These jobs include Full Stack Software Engineers, DevOps Engineers, UI Engineers and Machine Learning Engineers. We also have seen similar salary and compensation as in years prior.
As for industries, the pandemic has surprisingly had little impact on investments with many VCs tossing additional funding at startups. Some of these startups include Vendia, Fivetran and NexHealth. Similarly, several other tech firms have gone public including SelectQuote, ZoomInfo and Warner Music Group. Meanwhile, Lemonade, DoubleDown and Palantir are reportedly poised for IPOs.
Closer to home, we’ve seen a surge among hiring in the telemedicine, AI, 3D printing and EdTech industries. Not surprisingly, all these fields have seen an increased demand for their products and services due to the pandemic. We even anticipate their growth to continue for years to come.
While the current economic conditions have impacted millions of jobs across the globe, technology remains a consistent and growing career choice. Now, you just have to find the right tech talent for your team!
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