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. Everyday 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 expect 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.


The most competitive areas for tech hiring

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).

Tips for attracting tech talent in competitive areas

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:


  • Hire tech-specialized recruiters who speak the right language – There is no quicker way to lose a candidate’s interest than to describe a job in a way that doesn’t make sense to them. They’ll think your company doesn’t have it together and their skills would be better used somewhere else.A recruiter who specializes in finding tech talent will not only bring you the right candidates. They’ll also make a good first impression on behalf of your company because they can express what you’re looking for in a practical way.
  • Establish a presence in the local tech scene – A thriving tech community means there are a lot of people with similar interests who get together to socialize. It isn’t hard to find Meetup Groups, hackathons, workshops or other social events in cities with a high concentration of tech workers.Some companies take an aggressive approach and put on these types of events so they can connect with talented, passionate people. They might even make their intentions known and outright host a recruiting event. If your company can’t go that far, it’s still a good idea to send a recruiter to local tech events. Many people in attendance may be looking for a job or, at the very least, testing the waters to see what opportunities are out there.


  • Your marketing is a recruiting assets – Marketing is all about acquiring new customers. But a secondary benefit of having a popular brand is people will think to check out your career opportunities when they start their job search.If your company advertises locally, you’re raising awareness with potential candidates in your area. They’ll see the ads and associate your brand as a successful tech company.If your company doesn’t advertise locally, you can still consider publicly promoting the fact that you’re hiring. It’s an effective way to cast a wide net and showcase your company as a favorable place to work.
  • Do you have a local network? – If there are a lot of tech companies in your area, your social circle is likely made up of people who also work in tech. It can be beneficial to ask personal contacts for assistance with your recruiting efforts and to repay the favor when your friends need help. Someone who wasn’t suited for your company may be just who another company is in need of.And chances are, your employees also have a lot of friends with tech skills. Creating an employee referral program is another way to connect with qualified candidates. After all, good community members help each other.
  • Have a smart overall recruiting strategy – While tech companies often need to hire fast to meet ambitious growth goals, it’s important to have a smart, long-term strategy.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.

Use the tech community to your advantage when hiring

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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