In tech, attracting top talent can be as important as — and sometimes more difficult than — attracting the right buyers.
More and more of our clients, especially in the technology sector, tell us that one of the their key target personas is the prospective employee. Organizations are capitalizing on the opportunity to build a strong brand and make a good first impression on candidates before the recruiting and hiring process begins. Here’s how you can leverage marketing to recruit top tech talent.
Understand The Demand — And The Competition
The global IT market is growing at a rapid pace. As a result, demand for tech professionals is at an all-time high and the labor pool simply can’t keep up.
Today there are over half a million unfilled jobs in information technology across all sectors of the economy, making IT the largest occupational category for open jobs right now. This is great news for IT workers — but a daunting reality for employers, with 90% of executives reporting difficulty recruiting and retaining tech talent.
For leaders who want to build a strong team, it’s clear that compelling offerings and effective recruiting has to become a top priority. But even once you’ve devoted the time and resources to it, your real challenge will be helping your company stand out in a sea of job postings that all seem to offer the same thing.
Identify Your Target Persona
Just as you would when targeting a buyer, start by developing what marketing professionals call a “persona” of your ideal candidate. What types of skills, abilities, experience, motivations, and goals, would this person possess? Where does this type of candidate do their research online? What is this candidate looking for in a job? Once you have identified and built out this persona, you can optimize your job posting with content that will appeal to this candidate.
One of our tech clients is a company whose unique value revolves around having a team made up of remarkably talented and innovative individuals. When redesigning their website, we targeted marketing efforts toward both their traditional buyer (chief information officers, chief compliance officers, and senior VPs) and toward a persona of their ideal employee. By appealing to tech talent in their marketing, this company is making an investment in their team – which will ultimately be reflected in the strength of their offering.
Have The Courage to Differentiate
Even major brands have difficulty in figuring out how to differentiate themselves from other tech companies vying for the same talent.
According to this interview with Squarespace, they found themselves going head-to-head with software companies that offered nearly identical benefits and perks. They needed to help their company stand out, so they centered their recruitment strategy around what was unique to working with their company: “Never forget to point out what makes you unique and be able to tell your company’s story in a way that helps [prospective employees] relate.”
Great marketing is about telling your story in a way that captivates your target audience, and recruitment marketing is no exception. To find the perfect people to join your team, it’s essential that you understand your brand, the value of your culture, and why someone would want to join you rather than your talent or market competitors. That leads directly to our next tip:
Communicate Your Culture
Our clients in the technology realm are targeting talent right alongside buyers when forming their marketing strategies. Recently, we redesigned cybersecurity firm Ntrepid’s Careers page for as a portal for jobseekers. Their corporate culture is highlighted in ways that allow prospective employees to explore Ntrepid’s values, understand what day-to-day life is like, and imagine how they might fit in with the team.
It’s important for your brand personality to be evident because, in a sea of tech companies offering similar perks and salaries, your culture will have a significant bearing on the jobseeker’s decision to pursue employment with you. For example, Ntrepid has offices in two different cities (D.C. and San Diego), and each location has its own unique vibe. Ntrepid wanted to play on the idea of the “Best of Both Coasts” with a page that gives prospective employees an idea of what it is like to work in the respective offices. By making it easy for your ideal employee to imagine themselves as part of your story, you offer them something that a job listing alone can’t capture.
Great culture is magnetic: a compelling, dynamic employee-focused work environment will inherently help attract the people that will click best with your company. Instead of just pointing candidates to a job posting, use your website to guide someone through an experience of what it would really be like to work there. By leveraging your culture as a differentiating factor, you can also save your hiring managers significant time down the line: a culture-driven website promotes self-selection and helps the process of determining culture fit early on in the process.
However, great culture is not born overnight and it can’t be manufactured on a website. It’s the result of being an organization employees love and advocate for. If you have that, it is simply a matter of determining how to best communicate it to top-tier talent prospects.
Let Your Employees Speak For Themselves
Prospective employees want to know who they will be working with and what day-to-day life is actually like in your office. When Ntrepid decided to put a renewed emphasis on attracting tech talent, we helped them create a Culture page called “Life at Ntrepid” to prominently display employee testimonials. Instead of executive leadership trying to communicate what it’s like to work there, Ntrepid has included in-depth interviews with employees across the company so that candidates could find out firsthand what employees love about their jobs.
Update your careers page on your website with plenty of information and employee testimonials that will help the candidate get a good feel for your organization. Consider a culture video or professional team photography that gives job candidates a taste of what it’s like to work at your company, especially in regards to office culture and structure.
Your team is clearly among your greatest assets as a tech company, and finding the right people to join that team is one of your greatest challenges. By following the five steps laid out above, you can attract the right people for the right positions and contribute to your company’s overall success. If you have questions or aren’t sure how to get started, feel free to reach out — we’re here to help!