Hiring Tech Talent When Your HQ Isn't in Silicon Valley
1H’s recruiters are spread across the United States. Sure, we have worked for companies in the valley, but more often we work for companies in places like Atlanta, Raleigh, and Denver, which aren’t your typical tech hubs.
There are many challenges to recruiting engineers, developers, and IT professionals in markets where these types of candidates may be scarce, but there are many ways you can find the best talent, and keep them at your company for the long term, too.
Stress the Economics
Whether you’re trying to entice local talent to stay in town, or trying to compete with tech hubs like San Francisco, Austin, and New York, one of the best tools you have is your local cost of living. Silicon Valley is expensive, even compared to bigger cities like Atlanta. The value of the salary you are offering candidates is much higher in your city. Do a quick analysis of how far their money could stretch in your locale compared to where they are now. Payscale estimates that the cost of living in San Francisco is 82% higher than in Atlanta. Use this to give candidates a good idea of the types of neighborhoods and amenities they would be able to enjoy in your city.
Be sure to mention non-monetary perks of working in your location that attract talent (and savings)! Are you commuter friendly? Does your office offer catered lunches or discounted gym memberships? Every little thing helps.
Don’t Forget About the Locals
It’s important not to assume that to find the best person for your position you will have to recruit out of a tech hub. There might be qualified, hungry talent right under your noses. In our Atlanta market, we have Georgia Tech as an excellent resource for developers and IT professionals. They have a vast alumni network that we can harness to find candidates that are familiar with the benefits of working in Atlanta.
What schools and organizations are nearby that can help you access talent that you won’t have to relocate? If you’re close to Pittsburg, Detroit, or Indianapolis, then you’re located near one of US News and World Report’s Top 10 Engineering Schools. Have you connected with their professional organizations or career centers to help find good fits for your organization?
You can also consider hosting a monthly happy hour in the community to draw prospective talent your way. It can give them and you a chance to meet informally and build up your pipeline for future talent. Even better if you bring in a speaker or expert on a relevant topic to attract the types of people you want to hire. This will not only draw a bigger crowd, but it’s an easy way to feed the local tech ecosystem in your city.
Find What’s Unique About Working in Your City
Ask your current employees what they love about living and working in your city. Is the hiking spectacular? Is the area great for kids and families? If you’re trying to recruit talent from out of town, then consider the types of people you are looking for and mention during interviews and other correspondence how your employees fulfill similar personal goals in the area.
MailChimp, which is headquartered in Atlanta, has started to weave city attractions into the hiring process to stress the added value of their location from the beginning of the recruiting process. Check out their City Guide on their jobs page.
Offer Remote Work
Is your company capable of handling a remote workforce? If it is, you have a lot more flexibility in finding the right people for your team. We are no stranger to remote work- our recruiters are spread out across the country. It is becoming increasingly easier to support a remote workforce with conferencing tools, instant messaging, and individualized projects.
In fact, many candidates might view the opportunity to work from home as a significant benefit to working on your team. Consider the idea, even try out a few work from home days with your current staff, and see if that’s the easiest way to access the talent that you need.