There has never been a more exciting time to work in tech. Jobs that once seemed boring or best left to nerdy computer experts are now more sought after than ever before. Every day it seems like there is a new gadget on the market or app to download and many people want to participate in how technology shapes our future.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the smartest young minds now flock to this exciting new industry instead of Wall Street or law school. The younger portion of the workforce grew up with tech and have long seen the career opportunities it offers. Our society also glorifies start-up culture and successful tech titans. Many people believe they can make a lot of money working in this field and have a great time while doing it.
These assumptions aren’t wrong. Jobs in software/mobile development, UX design and data analysis, to name only a few examples, are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the computer and information technology space is expected to grow by 12 percent by 2024. And with demand comes favorable compensation. Most tech positions pay well but job seekers with specific, advanced skills can ask for even higher wages.
The state of tech presents unique opportunities and challenges for recruiters. On one hand, they can offer ideal candidates great compensation that most people would happily accept. But on the other, the talent pool for many tech roles is limited, so ideal candidates can be selective when job hunting.
Unlike some other industries, technology companies tend to be concentrated to certain geographic areas. In fact, new tech companies often decide to set up shop in a certain city, specifically so they can be where the tech talent is.
Glassdoor recently released a list of the 25 Best Paying Cities for Software Engineers, which can be used as a barometer for the most competitive cities for hiring tech talent (compensation corresponds with demand and software engineers are one of the most common jobs in tech). The list has some obvious locations (Seattle at #1, San Francisco at #3, Austin at #6), as well as some surprises (Madison, Wisconsin at #4, Omaha, Nebraska at #13, Huntsville, Alabama at #25).
Hiring in areas with a thriving tech community can be frustrating. You can probably step outside your office and find a few developers right away but convincing them to come inside for an interview is a whole other challenge. They’re probably already happily employed or trying to land a job at another company in the area.
But why not use your local tech community as an advantage when hiring? Here are a few ways you can develop a strategy for attracting local tech talent:
Hiring for tech positions is a challenge. People with good careers carefully consider their options before changing jobs. Additionally, your hiring timelines won’t always align with an ideal candidates. Many people in tech want to see a project through before they move on from a company so you can’t always expect them to be available in two weeks. Consider playing the long game and slowly attracting talented candidates with an inbound recruiting program.
Sure, hiring is tough when there are a lot of other companies fishing in the same small pond. But a thriving tech scene means you can think outside the box and come up with creative ways to stand out.
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