Beginning as a secret, then turning into a rumor, it is now a full-blown headline that Denver is one of the best places for tech jobs in the entire country. Great IT candidates are flocking to the area and are quickly being snapped up by the many startups and growing companies in the area. You already know how difficult it can be to land the best talent in the face of all this competition. Luckily, there are proven ways to recruit in a fast-growing tech hub like Denver.
Make Yourself Known
Lesser-known organizations face an added struggle when attempting to recruit talent in such a competitive field. Job seekers and even passive candidates will usually first encounter your organization on the internet, so it’s important to have a strong digital presence. Crafting your social media brand is essential in recruiting. Even if your company is totally new to a prospect, sharing professional, entertaining, and informative content will create a trustworthy image. Your toughest competitors are the ones with a great social presence, but luckily, there are many ways to harness these channels.
While a digital presence is essential, it’s just as important to actively participate in the great Denver tech community and engage with other industry professionals. There are great organizations and IT conferences in the area, many focused on specific areas such as the Women in Technology Conference. Likewise, there are a tremendous amount of fun networking opportunities available. Participating in events such as C-Level Ski Day, the Colorado Startup Games, and Denver Startup Week are perfect ways to establish a community presence.
Set Yourself Apart
Getting recognized by Denver’s top tech candidates is only part of the battle, as many competitors will share that footing alongside you. What differentiates your organization from the other known companies hiring IT workers? It can’t simply be a high salary offer. For true differentiation, the things that set you apart must be unique to your organization.
Does your culture stand out? Is your environment or office space one-of-a-kind, housed in a brand-new building or modernized exposed-brick warehouse? Do you encourage employees to work from home when possible? It can take time to pinpoint your differentiating factors, but they are necessary to drawing in talent. Consider showcasing any statistics that help you rise above the rest, and think about creating case studies of your biggest wins with your most well-known clients. Lastly, strive to achieve and showcase awards specific to your industry or niche.
Once you’ve begun to interview qualified candidates interested in your organization, it is not the time to let up on the gas. The best tech talent in Denver knows that they are in high demand, and they won’t stick around through a lengthy recruiting process. In fact, 23% of candidates lose interest if they don’t hear anything one week after an interview. Stretch that timeframe to two weeks, and nearly half are checked out. When you find a great candidate, move quickly. Taking too long doesn’t just mean the candidate loses interest; it gives competitors opportunity to swoop in with offers of their own. Hesitate, and by the time you reach for the phone it will be too late.
Recruit for Potential
Do all the right things, and it can still be difficult to land the perfect candidate for an open role in Denver’s competitive market. And therein lies a significant mistake: seeking the perfect candidate. If every business owner waited for perfection before starting their organization, Google, Apple, and Microsoft would not exist. Those that wait for the perfect candidate will likely wait so long that it negatively impacts their company. That’s why it’s important to refine the direction of recruiting efforts by focusing on the potential of candidates.
Recruiting for potential means looking for proven past results while assessing a candidate’s curiosity and future coachability. Are they open to learning through training and professional development? Do they have a drive to grow in their role, in your organization, and in the industry? Or do they seem comfortable where they are in their career? If they can accomplish the majority of the critical role responsibilities and indicate a hunger (and ability) to learn the rest, then they are an excellent candidate. As an added bonus, they will likely command a lower salary than their “perfect” counterpart.
Top Takeaways for Recruiting in a Fast-Growing Tech Hub
Successful hiring in a tech hub comes down to the following goals and actions:
- Establish and build a digital presence
- Participate in Denver IT community events
- Differentiate yourself from competitors
- Expedite the interview process
- Focus on candidate potential
Denver is an exciting and vibrant city, but the reasons that make it a great place to grow a company also make it a challenge to recruit the area’s tech talent. The same thing is happening in other tech hubs like Portland. Taking the appropriate steps to rise above the competition by refocusing recruiting strategies will give you the edge in landing the IT talent you need for success.
Need assistance locating and recruiting tech talent in a competitive arena? We can help.