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How to Sell Your Not-So-Sexy Tech Project To Top Talent

There’s no doubt about it: when attracting tech talent, it’s easier when you have a cutting edge project involving top technology stacks or, of course, if your company is Google or Apple. But, if you don’t fall into either category, how can you persuade the right developers, engineers and technologists to work on your important but not-so-sexy project? Consider these tips when recruiting for your technology roles.

1. Highlight the benefits of variety

When applicable, emphasize the benefits of working on a large variety of projects. This diversity will help your candidates build solid resumes, expand their skill sets and enhance their marketability. Also, be open to listening to suggestions on how to integrate new tech on the project. The person you are hiring may have a background in other related areas that could be considered. And, encourage proof of concept work; let their creativity and ingenuity look for alternative solutions to your tech challenges.

2. Showcase new technologies you’re using

Research the candidate’s background and highlight any newer technologies the candidate hasn’t used previously or used extensively. For example, most Java developers will want to work with newer frameworks (REACT / Node) as well as with Cloud based projects (AWS). Make sure these details are communicated clearly as the right technology could help a candidate say “yes.”

3. Know what excites them

Ask questions to know what kind of tech environment the candidate is seeking. Then, play up how your company has what they are looking for. For example, if the candidate is enticed by a smaller team or specific methodology, discuss how your company will satisfy their needs.

4. Note the potential

This can be one of the biggest selling points for a star candidate. So, maybe it’s a dry project, but success on this one will likely lead to something better. Explain how they could help decide what the next phase / technology is going to be. This approach also helps the candidate feel involved in the company’s future and envision themselves as part of it.

5. Sell yourself and the company

For tech jobs, we often entice our candidates with flexible hours, working remotely, free lunch and games. These perks are great, but candidates also want to work for great mentors and managers. Sell your company and yourself!

6. Appeal to their interests

Sometimes candidates are interested in a specific company, industry or specialty area. I had a star candidate whose background was with insurance and financial clients, yet his passion was sports. I found an exciting role for him at one of the four major sport leagues in America, and he was thrilled. Find out what your candidates are passionate about, and, if your company fits the need, emphasize it during the interview.

7. Identify who they admire

Some job seekers have a desire to work for a specific person, a founder of a company, a well-respected or well-known person in a field or someone who has had experience they would like to learn about. Again, tease out this information, and if your company has some of what the candidate admires, you’ve found another selling point.

The goal is not to convince technology candidates to take a job that isn’t the right fit. Instead, it’s for hiring managers to invest the time to listen to the candidate. By learning what matters most, hiring managers can show a candidate how the project could be a good match. Additionally, this approach enables hiring managers to understand the candidate’s background, in turn sharing authentic ways the role will enhance their professional learning and be a good step in their career path.

Photo credit: hitesh choudhary for Pexels

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