7 Tips for Hiring Top Tech Talent in the Bay Area

top tech talent

Top tech talent is very hard to find and you need to make sure you’re ahead of your competition if you want to hire in the Bay Area’s best IT employees.

Finding top tech talent is always a very delicate issue when it comes to hiring. Hiring for a tech position requires a tremendous amount of effort if you want to find top employees at an affordable price.

You need to know exactly what skills are you looking for, which in most cases requires the combined knowledge of a tech expert and a hiring manager.

But what if your company is still in its early phases of growth and you don’t have any experience with hiring for a tech position?

Time to get creative and see what practices are out there to increase your chances of finding a rockstar employee.

#1 Be Inventive In Offering Benefits

If you can’t offer competitive salaries, you can still offer an innovative workspace.

Tech roles are usually ones that can be performed remotely, so offer location-independence as a benefit.

Millennials tend to prefer roles where they can decide on where, when and how they want to perform the tasks they are given. And because tech roles have very straightforward evaluation metrics, you can easily offer work-from-home options and more flexibility with working hours.

Google, Twitter, and Shopify, for example, who compete heavily for technical talent, offer cleaning service, free food, yoga classes, unlimited vacation time, and a totally flexible work environment to attract great talent.

While you probably can’t compete with their benefits, you can follow their steps and be creative when assembling your compensation packages.

#2 Embrace Remote Hiring

Once you embraced location-independence, time to start reaping its benefits.

Expand your search to the whole world and don’t limit your candidates to local talent. With Silicon Valley’s competitive area your chances are higher to find an affordable tech talent overseas.

This is a great way to expand your talent pool, but keep in mind that a bigger pool needs better assessment so first make sure your valuation processes are rock solid and you have the experts on board to spot the exact strengths you need.

#3 Networking Works!

Personal referrals are still a very powerful. Make sure to ask your current employees if they have any friends to recommend and offer them referral bonuses if they do.

If you are looking for someone in your area, try to engage with your local university to find early talent. Employers are extensively hiring college grads for IT positions. 27% of all positions for college grads are in the IT sector, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.

Attend IT conferences and Bay Area tech meetups and spread the word about your open positions. Find the online channels tech talent uses to hang out with fellow professionals and spend time on these channels. It’s likely you will be able to reach passive job seekers, too, who would be willing to make a transition from their current jobs.

Craft your offer around new technologies that only the top tech people are familiar with. For example, Spring adopted Golang and used that as a recruiting tool. Pinterest is now adopting Elixir, a new language that many top developers are eager to adopt in their daily practice.

Grab every opportunity on your online channels (blog, social media) to put the word out about your open positions. Make top talent knock on your door and you will be in a better position to start the negotiation.

#4 Host an Open House

If you have a fixed office space, try hosting an open house to introduce potential talent to your company. Make the gathering an informal one and ask your employees to invite their friends. Mention the open house on industry specific platforms and encourage IT people to attend.

This can be a fun and a very lucrative way to meet new candidates and engage your current employees at the same time.

#5 Optimize Your HR Site for Mobile

If your website is not optimized for mobile yet, you may be missing out on a great source of traffic, not only for your job postings. Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of all internet traffic by 2017.

Simplify your design, make it responsive and focus on the core message by reducing the amount of text on your pages. And avoid Flash and Java! The percentage of people searching for jobs on mobile is growing, so optimizing for mobile is a must if you want to reach people in the tech sector.

#6 Hire for Coachability

Hiring for coachability might be something you should consider if you can’t afford senior level employees and years of experience in a specific field. Test people for resilience and adaptability.

Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike says “I have always been a big advocate for hiring based on adaptability and ‘coachability.’ As a company grows, processes are going to change, often repeatedly in a short amount of time. You don’t want someone who gets mired down in the old way of doing things and struggles to adapt,”

Find candidates who have the necessary basic knowledge but lack the pedigree and teach them the skills they need to have to fill the role. You can assign mentors from your existing team or pay for an online or offline course – you might still be better off financially than hiring experts with years of experience.

Filev adds: “While some positions require deep skills and experience that takes years to build, in general, I’m a believer that people can make up for some of that through smarts, motivation, and a strong work ethic, especially in a mixed team that has capacity to mentor the transition.”

#7 Consider Hiring a Search Firm

Every company wants to have a pick from the top 10%, particularly in the Bay Area, where the competition in the tech industry is huge. Professional tech search firms can help you find the right candidate through their extensive databases of passive jobseekers and their years of experience in assessing active candidates.

Search firms cost money, yes, but the U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings.

Additionally, Forbes’s research shows that for high value roles you should not select a recruitment firm based solely on price. You want to find the company which integrates with your business so they can quickly find exactly the right people.

As Forbes’s HR analyst put it “You have to select one that understands your industry and shows you a business model for close integration with your business needs.While you may find one company offers more scale or a lower price, remember that these companies must integrate their services with your website, staffing team, and management infrastructure. So their ability to “be you” is Critical.”

What are your experiences with finding top tech talent? Tell us in comments!

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