Recruiting scarce tech talent? Here are some right-now remedies

While it's tough attracting scarce talent when you or your organisation is time poor, there are ways you can make a difference right now.

In short, authenticity and thinking laterally can put you head and shoulders above the other technology managers and recruiters who are looking to attract from the same talent pool. Listed below are some actions you could take to get traction towards getting ‘to-dos’ at least half done in only a couple of hours. And what’s more you don't need to be in HR or a recruiter to do the following:

In just one hour....

  • Obvious, but tell everyone in trusted professional and social circles that you’re looking for certain candidates and get others to do the thinking. You may find out about 'hidden' freelancers or those on a career break, who are yet to get back to work.
  • On Twitter, popular and relevant hash-tags such as #cybersecurity and #blockchain can suddenly trend. Including them in tweets when announcing that you're looking for talent will give you an amplified and specific audience.
  • Use the site or domain function of www.google.com/advanced_search to search YouTube, Lanyrd, and Twitter at the same time. These sites are often excellent but overlooked sources of candidates.
  • If you have found a sizeable list of names via LinkedIn or Twitter, filter the search with keyword terms to identify links back to your region. Also look out for schools and clubs listed on profiles as this will identify potential geographical roots.

Thinking laterally....

  • Identify groups with transferable skills. For example, instead of developer evangelist, target development managers who have been event speakers. Remember, some start-up CTOs might be ready to take a step back down to their original vocations (developer, architect) as they dodge burnout.
  • Give your busy managers another KPI? Only joking! But how about incentivising them to develop successors and rewarding them when juniors are promoted. You'll also benefit from relief managerial potential when the summer holidays kick in.

Messaging and attracting...

  • You'll get a response from potential candidates if you indicate that a thoughtful level of research has gone into selecting them. Couple this with a deep interest in their background whilst hinting at why this individual should speak with you.
  • Remember the non-financial attractors: autonomy, promotion prospects, a great culture and flexible working. A genuine commitment or even just real aspirations to such attractors can beat the drone of the big brands.
  • Think about life stage and confidently target people out of the region. It could be that your location is a fantastic place to come back home to or to fulfil outside-of-work dreams.
  • Once you're speaking, make it about them and their hopes first and foremost, then you can shape your pitch.

Thinking ahead…

  • Timing not right for your contacts? Note down when they will be and start developing a talent pipeline. That issue on the distant horizon might be half solved today.

Have a much more urgent senior-level or larger scale requirement? Consider Collingwood as a search partner as you transform or scale-up your technology business.

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Collingwood is a management consultancy specialising in leadership and search. We facilitate business change and conduct search and talent pipelining. Our technology sector team has deep experience handling requirements concerning diverse areas such as developer communities, cloud services and networks. More broadly, we have partnered with transformative companies to attract dramatically different leadership profiles at director-level.

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