Finding Great Talent In A Tough Market

06 July 2016
Mark Richtermeyer

Hiring is easy. Unless, of course, you want really great people. They are much harder to find.

Much has been written about how tight the tech industry is right now for hiring great people.

Recently, I had a candidate tell me, “your process is totally canned, it only identifies people whose dream job is to work at Spitfire.” My reaction? “Uh… yup…that’s how we built it, sounds like you might not be a fit.”

But outside of the difficulties associated with hiring great people, we have also had an upturn in offers being declined. And it’s not just us, we’ve heard this from several clients as well. My guess is that this is the result of a market in which technical people are actually over-employed. From an economic perspective, an ideal unemployment ratio is around 5%. Which means there are about 7% of the technical people currently employed that really should be unemployed. I think many of the business leaders I’ve met would agree. I believe there are a few ways to overcome some of the problems that doesn’t involve throwing money at the issue:

  1. We have to give people flexibility. Technical people often work better when they can work remote. They are more productive and in a better frame of mind when they don’t have to spend valuable time in snarled traffic on the way in to an office.
  2. Company culture. Most of my CEO friends make managing culture the first priority. Most research suggests this is how you get the best profitability. I like to put in processes that reduce micro-managing, creates consensus on decision making (or at least buy-in), and facilitates informed and well-reasoned decisions.
  3. Interests over positions. The more you get to know someone’s interests, the easier it is to negotiate working conditions that are a fit. If they have to do it your way or no way, it’s probably not a very stimulating role.
  4. Manage turnover. Most people don’t leave for money, they leave because they either don’t have any friends in the organization or they don’t like their boss. That can be managed too with regular check-ins and instilling open communication.

What do you think? What are other factors that are affecting technology hiring?


comments powered by Disqus