5 Better Ways to Compete for Tech Talent

Unemployment is pretty low right now. While it impacts industries differently, there’s no question that tech talent is in high demand and low supply. It’s a veritable dog fight out there right now, and if you want to get top talent instead of settling for leftovers, you need a better game plan. These five ideas will help you reimagine recruitment and find different ways to convince great technologists that they should be working with you.


Streamline Recruitment

Sometimes the first offer is the best offer. This isn’t to suggest that you should radicalize your hiring process to always make the first offer no matter what, but there is value in making the first move. If you give your competition enough time, a better offer is likely to surface somewhere (assuming you’re after top talent). Accelerating your schedule is the offensive move that can help you hire personnel that might otherwise elude your efforts.

This isn’t a trick to get people to settle for lesser pay. Instead, you’re playing to the fact that some people would rather take the sure thing today than bank on the hope of something better tomorrow. As long as you aren’t shortchanging recruits by your own company’s standards, this is a viable way to win some great talent.


Pay for Performance

It’s not feasible to always offer a better salary or benefits package than the other companies. The tech giants are already winning that war. That doesn’t mean that you are completely out of the financial component of this competition. Instead of going with a bank-busting initial offer, you can use performance bonuses to level the field.

A lot of companies have bonuses. Where they go wrong is in capping bonuses and trying to spread them around. You’re in a cutthroat fight for talent. Sometimes you have to break tradition.

The concept is simple. You can have uncapped performance incentives. As long as they are built on a profitable scale, you can give your best employees unlimited earning potential. If they can do work that justifies bigger bonuses, then let them. This is a powerful tool that can enable you to compete for the very best talent out there without blowing a budget. The whole point is that the superior performance inherently pays for the bigger bonuses.


Expand Your Search

Language barriers and immigration expenses aren’t small hurdles. They also aren’t the first step. Most small business try to recruit locally. They want to avoid relocation costs, and there’s a certain appeal to having someone familiar with the community. You already know that you can’t fill every position like this. You have to recruit from farther away, and relocation costs can be a lot smaller than the price of unfilled, vital positions.

You don’t have to jump straight into international recruitment. Progressively expand your radius, and you’ll likely find good candidates long before you’re scrambling for translators. You can also consider using telecommuting roles to widen your nets without incurring those extra expenses.


Consider a Technology Partner

Part of expanding your search can include looking for resources outside of individual talent. Partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is an easy way to shift the burden of talent acquisition. Even if you have existing in-house IT or work in IT yourself, partnered firms are a powerful way to improve your capacity and reach. Additional MSPs can help you break into new vertical markets. They can help you expand access to specialties, and they can help you pool resources to grow together.

Attracting a technology partner will ultimately be similar to attracting individual tech talent, but it’s far more efficient. If you’re going to explore this route, think of how you can apply the other tips towards a partnership with an MSP.


Be As You As You Can

A competition to fill labor positions doesn’t always boil down to numbers and metrics. When you lack the funding to outspend your competitors, all that’s left is you. That can be plenty. Your company’s brand, culture and identity are unique. Steer into that uniqueness with your recruitment process. Make your company as transparent and visible as possible to prospects. That personal approach will help them determine if your company is the right place to work.

When a match strikes, you’ll find that the size of the salary and benefits package just isn’t as important. Best of all, this process is self-selecting. When prospects get to know your company as part of the recruiting process, the ones who stick around are usually the ones who will be happiest working with you.


You won’t believe it, but there are more than five ways to improve your recruiting process. These are ideas that are growing in popularity and can help give you an edge, but creativeness and diligence will be the most important assets at your disposal. Hopefully, these ideas will help spark some new thoughts for you, and you’ll be building a better hiring process.

 About the Author: Jeff Poirior

Jeff brings 25 years of telecommunications and information technology management experience in voice and data networking, server support, and telephony and security; with a significant emphasis on customer service. Prior to joining Valicom, he was chief of the infrastructure support section for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Jeff was the vice president of operations for CC&N, overseeing telecommunications, help desk, data and desk side support services. Prior to that, he served as the associate director of technical resources for Covance, responsible for managing systems and network operations supporting 1700 users in Wisconsin and Virginia. He has also led data center operations at Magnetek Electric, supporting mainframe systems, client/server applications, telephony systems, and computer-aided design. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Phoenix. In addition, Jeff is a past board member of the Wisconsin Telecommunication Association.