Good news: your tech company is growing! All the time, energy, and resources that you’ve spent attracting, nurturing and retaining customers is paying off and now you need to expand your team in order to keep up with the demands of a growing client base. 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.
This is the exact scenario that many of our tech clients find themselves in right now. As a result, they have had to adjust their marketing approach from targeting just prospective customers to also appeal to prospective employees. When you appeal to tech talent in your marketing, you are making an investment in your team – which will ultimately be reflected in the strength of your offering. Here’s how you can leverage marketing to recruit top tech talent:
Identify Your Target
Perhaps not surprisingly, more and more of our clients in the technology sector tell us that one of the their key target personas is the prospective employee — and yours should be, too. Just as you would when targeting a buyer, start by developing a persona of your ideal candidate. Where does this type of candidate do their research online? What is this candidate looking for in a job? What traits must they have to be successful at our company? Once you have identified and built out this persona, you can optimize your job posting and careers page with content that will appeal to this candidate.
In our recent website redesign, for example, one of our goals was to create a careers page that allowed visitors to quickly identify if they would be a good fit for our company. We clearly state the characteristics that make a great Golden Spiral team member and include a call-to-action that points visitors to our company’s Values page. The page also uses photography, color palette, and prominently featured team members to includes a distinct mix of playfulness, creativity, and collaboration — traits we consider equally important to our team’s success. 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.
Differentiate Your Company
Even major brands have difficulty in figuring out how to differentiate themselves from other tech companies vying for the same talent. Squarespace, for example, found themselves competing against other software companies that offered nearly identical benefits and perks so they centered their recruitment strategy around what was unique to working with their company: their impeccably designed office space in one one of the country’s most vibrant cities. Squarespace created a recruitment campaign based around showing out-of-town candidates what locals love about New York City, both on their website and during in-person interviews.
To find the perfect people to join your team, it’s essential that you understand — and are able to communicate — your brand, the value of your culture, and why someone would want to join you rather than your talent or market competitors. Give jobseekers the “why” they should join your company. What are your mission, vision, values, and goals? What is your origin story? Why was the company created? What is the essential nature of your business? What do you do differently than anybody else? This is all a critical foundation for helping prospective employees understand what sets you apart.
Communicate Your Culture
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. Great culture is magnetic: a compelling, dynamic employee-focused work environment will inherently help attract the people that will best fit 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 through a careers and culture page.
For instance, instead of showing visitors a nondescript list of job openings (or, worse, an empty page when there are none), we use our careers page to showcase our company culture. Photos, recent events, and lists of our perks and benefits allow prospective employees to explore our culture, understand what day-to-day life is like, and imagine how they might add to our team.
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 prospectives.
Showcase Real Employees
Part of any company’s unique value revolves around having a team made up of remarkably talented and innovative individuals. Prospective employees want to know who they will be working with and what day-to-day life is actually like in your office.
On your careers page, take the opportunity to prominently display employee testimonials to help the candidate get a good feel for your organization. Instead of executive leadership trying to communicate what it’s like to work there, include quotes and interviews with employees across the company so that candidates could find out firsthand what employees love about their jobs.
Emma, an email marketing software tool based here in Nashville, provides an excellent example of this. On their careers pages, they feature real images (not stock photography!), headshots, and quotes from real employees in that department. Simply by sharing their experiences, current employees can help give voice to an employer brand — one that’s genuine and personal.
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. You can take this idea even further through a recruitment-specific blog, videos, podcasts, or social media to communicate your employees’ real experience.
Finally, tech companies must leverage external validation in order to establish trust with jobseekers. You need other people to vouch for your culture. As we mentioned above, on-site employee testimonials are a portion of this — but jobseekers will be searching for you outside of your own website as well. Asana, for example, uses Glassdoor quotes on their Careers page. By pulling in a third-party provider of anonymous company reviews, Asana supplies candidates with an objective look at what it’s like to work there.
It's a good idea to claim or create your Glassdoor company profile and keep tabs on what people are saying about you. Encourage employees to share anonymous work experiences on Glassdoor — their feedback will provide insight into your company and help job candidates make informed decisions about working for you. Leverage sites such as The Muse and other online career resources to make sure that your open positions are seen by qualified candidates. You can even look into submitting your company for local “Best Places to Work” awards or find a publication willing to highlight your culture (like Asana did here).
Great marketing is about telling your story in a way that captivates your target audience and demonstrates what makes you different — and recruitment marketing is no exception. By following the principles 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, we’ve helped many of our clients fine-tune their marketing strategy for recruiting top talent. We’d be happy to help.