10 Recruitment Strategies to Attract Top Talent (and Beat Your Competitors)
May 28, 2024
min read

10 Recruitment Strategies to Attract Top Talent (and Beat Your Competitors)

Eli McGarvie
Eli McGarvie

Listen, the tech industry is a whole different beast. 

It's like the Wild West out there – a chaotic, ever-changing landscape where companies are born, grow, and sometimes even disappear overnight. And if you're in the midst of this whirlwind, trying to build a kick-ass team to keep up with the breakneck pace, you know the struggle is real.

Finding top talent isn't just about posting a job and hoping the right resumes land in your inbox. It's a strategic battle, and you need a well-stocked arsenal of recruitment strategies to win the war.

The bottom line here is that in the tech world, staying ahead of the curve isn't just a nice to have; it's essential for survival. And your recruitment strategy is a critical piece of that puzzle. 

So, let's dive into 10 recruitment strategies to help you build the team of your dreams and get the best talent interested in working for you.

#1 - Ditch the Office (Sometimes): The Remote Work Revolution

A remote worker looks out their window while working on their laptop at home

Here's a newsflash: top talent doesn't always live within commuting distance of your office. In fact, some of the most brilliant minds I've hired were scattered across different time zones.

Embracing remote work isn't just a trendy perk; it's a strategic advantage that can supercharge your recruitment efforts. Think about it:

  • Global Talent Pool: Suddenly, the world is your oyster. You're no longer limited to the candidates who happen to live within a 50-mile radius of your headquarters. You can access a vast network of skilled professionals from every corner of the globe.
  • Diversity & Innovation: Remote teams often bring a richer tapestry of perspectives and experiences to the table. This diversity can spark creativity and lead to innovative solutions you might never have discovered with a homogenous team.
  • Happy Campers: Studies show remote workers are often more productive and satisfied with their jobs. They have more flexibility to manage their work-life balance, which can translate into higher morale and lower turnover.

So, if you're still clinging to the idea that everyone needs to be under one roof, it's time to broaden your horizons. Embrace remote work, and watch your talent pool expand exponentially. 

It's a bold move, but it's worth it.

#2 - Build a Brand That Screams "Work Here!"

Let's be real; top talent has options. They can afford to be picky about where they work. So, how do you make your company stand out from the sea of tech giants and scrappy startups? The answer lies in your employer's brand.

Think of it as your company's reputation in the talent marketplace. It's the vibe you give off, the values you embody, and the stories you tell.

A killer employer brand does more than just attract talent; it attracts the right talent. The kind of people who are excited about your mission, align with your values, and can't wait to be part of your team. 

Take a look at companies like Google and Shopify. They've built reputations as innovative, inclusive, and fun places to work, and that's a powerful magnet for top talent.

Remember, your employer brand isn't just about perks and ping-pong tables (although those can be nice!). It's about creating a culture where people feel valued, challenged, and empowered to make a difference.

So, take a good hard look at your company. What makes it unique? What are you most proud of? And how can you communicate that to potential candidates? 

Crafting a compelling employer brand is an ongoing process, but it's an investment that will pay off in spades when you start attracting the rockstars who will take your company to the next level.

#3 - Show Me the Money (and the Perks!)

Two women discuss wage at a desk meeting with a tablet

Okay, let's talk about the elephant in the room: compensation. 

In the tech world, talent knows their worth. If you want to attract the best and brightest, you need to be prepared to pay for it.

But it's not just about cold, hard cash. Top candidates are looking for a comprehensive package that includes:

  • Competitive Salary: Let's face it, everyone wants to get paid what they're worth. Do your research and make sure your salary ranges are in line with industry standards.
  • Benefits That Matter: Health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off – these are the basics. But to really sweeten the deal, consider adding perks like flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and even stock options.
  • The "Wow" Factor: Think outside the box. Maybe it's a generous remote work stipend, an on-site gym, or a monthly team-building budget. Find something that sets you apart and makes your offer irresistible.

But here's the secret sauce: transparency. Don't make candidates jump through hoops to figure out what you're offering. Be upfront about salary ranges, benefits, and perks right from the start. This builds trust and shows that you value their time and expertise.

I've seen too many companies try to lowball candidates or hide compensation details until the final stages of the interview process. It's a recipe for disaster. 

Top talent wants to know they're being fairly compensated, and they'll appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness.

#4 - Tap into Your Talent Network: The Power of Referrals

Want to know one of my favourite recruitment secrets? Employee referrals. Seriously, I've found some of my most valuable team members through referrals from existing employees.

Here's why it works:

  • Your Team Knows Best: Your current employees deeply understand your company culture and the skills needed to succeed. They're more likely to refer candidates who are not only qualified but also a good fit for the team.
  • Fast-Track to Success: Referrals often skip the initial screening stages because they come with a built-in stamp of approval. This can significantly speed up the hiring process and save you valuable time and resources.
  • Cultural Fit is Key: A good referral program doesn't just bring in talent; it brings in people who are likely to thrive in your company's unique environment. This can lead to higher employee satisfaction, lower turnover, and a stronger overall team dynamic.

But here's the kicker: a successful referral program doesn't happen by accident. You need to be proactive and incentivise your employees to spread the word.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Sweeten the Deal: Offer meaningful rewards for successful referrals. Think bonuses, extra vacation days, or even unique experiences. Make it worth their while to help you find the next superstar.
  • Keep it Simple: Don't make the referral process a bureaucratic nightmare. Create a clear and easy-to-use system that allows employees to submit referrals quickly and easily.
  • Spread the Word: Don't assume your employees know about your referral program. Regularly communicate the details, highlight successful referrals, and celebrate the contributions of your team.

A well-executed referral program can become your secret weapon for finding top talent. It's a win-win for everyone involved. Your employees get rewarded for their efforts, and you get access to a hidden pool of talent already pre-vetted for cultural fit.

So, start tapping into your talent network and watch the referrals roll in!

#5 - Streamline Your Search: A Shoutout to WAD

Generic job boards are a thing of the past, and these days, it's all about getting niche. 

Platforms like We Are Developers give you access to dedicated job boards where actual tech talent is hanging out and looking for opportunities. Traditional boards are just far too convoluted and the people you want aren't wasting their time there.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Automated Screening: Say goodbye to the endless hours of sifting through resumes. WAD uses intelligent algorithms to quickly identify the candidates who are the best fit for your open roles. It's like having a personal assistant who never sleeps.
  • Skills Assessments: No more guessing about a candidate's technical abilities. WAD offers pre-vetted assessments that test for the specific skills you need. This means you can confidently move forward with candidates who have proven their chops.
  • Seamless Communication: WAD makes it easy to communicate with candidates throughout the hiring process. Schedule interviews, send messages, and track progress – all in one convenient platform. It's like having a communication command centre at your fingertips.

Incorporating WAD into my recruitment strategy has been a lifesaver. It's saved me countless hours, streamlined my workflow, and helped me connect with some of the most talented tech professionals out there.

So, if you're ready to ditch the spreadsheets and endless email threads, try WAD. It could be the missing piece in your tech recruitment puzzle.

#6 - Optimise Your Job Listings: Get Found Online (and on Their Phones!)

A close-up of someone putting Post-It notes on a glass screen

Alright, let's talk about how to make your job listings work harder for you. It's not enough to just post them and hope for the best. You must ensure they're showing up where potential candidates are looking.

That means optimising for two key factors:

  1. Search Engines: You want those job listings to be discoverable when tech professionals search for new opportunities. Here's the trick:some text
    • Keywords: Sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your job descriptions and titles. Think like a job seeker. What terms would they search for? Include job titles, skills, programming languages, and any specific technologies you're looking for.
    • Meta Descriptions: These little snippets of text appear under your job title in search results. Make them catchy and informative to entice clicks.
  2. Mobile Devices: Let's face it, most people are browsing job boards on their phones. If your job listing isn't mobile-friendly, you're missing out on a huge chunk of potential applicants. Make sure your listings are easy to read and navigate on smaller screens.

Think of it this way: if you were a job seeker, how would you want to find your dream job? 

You'd probably start with a quick Google search, right? Make sure your job listings are showing up in those search results, and you'll be well on your way to building a stellar team.

#7 - Throw a (Tech) Party: Show Off Your Company Culture

Alright, let's talk about how to get noticed in the tech scene and attract top talent without feeling like you're shouting into the void. My solution? Host tech talks and networking events.

But hold on, I'm not talking about stuffy presentations and awkward mingling sessions. I'm talking about creating experiences that showcase your company's unique culture and expertise in a way that's both informative and fun.

Here's how to make it happen:

  • Tech Talks That Wow: Don't just regurgitate information; share your team's latest projects, breakthroughs, or challenges. Give potential candidates a glimpse into the exciting work you're doing and the impact they could make.
  • Networking Events with a Twist: Forget the boring happy hour. Think hackathons, coding competitions, or even a virtual reality experience. Make it an event that people actually want to attend and one that leaves a lasting impression.
  • Meaningful Interactions: Don't just stand at a podium and lecture. Create opportunities for attendees to engage with your team, ask questions, and get hands-on experience with your products or services.

Here are a few tips to make your events a success:

  • Pick a Compelling Topic: What are you passionate about? What are your team's strengths? Choose a topic that showcases your expertise and sparks conversation.
  • Make it Interactive: Don't just talk to people; involve them. Encourage questions, host a panel discussion, or even offer a workshop or demo.
  • Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Make sure your team is approachable and eager to chat. Provide food, drinks, and maybe even some swag to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

By hosting tech talks and networking events, you're not just attracting talent; you're building a community of like-minded individuals excited about your company and what you're doing. 

That's a powerful magnet for top talent who want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

#8 - Building a Rainbow Coalition: Why Diversity Matters (and How to Do It Right)

A diverse group of young people in the office

Let's talk about something that's close to my heart: diversity. I'm not just talking about checking boxes or ticking off quotas. I'm talking about building a team that reflects the rich tapestry of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds that make up the world we live in.

Why does this matter in the tech industry? Well, for starters, diverse teams are simply smarter. They bring a wider range of ideas and approaches to the table, which can lead to groundbreaking innovations and better problem-solving.

Plus, a diverse team can better understand and connect with a diverse customer base. This can lead to improved products, services, and overall customer satisfaction.

And let's not forget the impact on your employer brand. Companies prioritising diversity and inclusion are more attractive to top talent who want to work where they feel valued and respected for who they are.

But how do you actually create a diverse and inclusive workplace? It starts with your hiring process.

Here are a few actionable tips:

  • Bias-Free Recruitment: We all have unconscious biases. It's part of being human. But by implementing structured interviews, using diverse hiring panels, and focusing on skills and experience rather than personal characteristics, you can minimise the impact of bias and ensure a fair and equitable process.
  • Cast a Wide Net: Don't limit your search to the usual channels. Actively seek out candidates from underrepresented groups, attend diversity-focused job fairs, and partner with organisations that promote diversity in the tech industry.
  • Educate Your Team: Make sure your recruiters and hiring managers understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. Provide training on unconscious bias, cultural competence, and inclusive communication.

But creating a diverse workplace doesn't stop at the hiring process. It's about fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique talents. This means promoting diversity and inclusion in every aspect of your company culture, from employee resource groups to leadership development programs.

Remember, diversity isn't just a buzzword; it's a business imperative. 

By building a diverse and inclusive team, you're not just doing the right thing; you're setting your company up for success in the long run.

#9 - Build Your Talent Farm: The Magic of Internships

I've always been a big believer in the power of internships. Not just for giving college kids a resume boost but as a strategic way to build a long-term talent pipeline for your company.

Think of it like this:

  • Try Before You Buy: Internships are a low-risk way to evaluate potential hires. You get to see how they perform in a real-world setting, how they fit with your team, and whether they have the potential to grow within your company.
  • Fresh Ideas on Tap: Interns bring a fresh perspective and a hunger to learn. They can inject new energy and ideas into your team and help you stay ahead of the curve.
  • Loyalty & Retention: Interns who have a positive experience are more likely to stick around once they're hired full-time. They'll already be familiar with your culture, values, and processes, which can lead to a smoother onboarding and faster ramp-up time.

Time and again, successful internship programs have proven to be a game-changer for companies across the tech landscape. They infuse organisations with fresh perspectives, a hunger for knowledge, and a deep-rooted loyalty among those who are allowed to learn and grow.

Industry giants like Google and Facebook have long recognised the value of nurturing young talent through internships. However, this isn't just a strategy reserved for the big players. Countless startups have also achieved remarkable success by cultivating robust internship programs that feed their talent pipeline.

If internships aren't yet a cornerstone of your recruitment strategy, now is the time to change that. Consider it a long-term investment in your company's future. With the right guidance and mentorship, today's interns can blossom into tomorrow's leaders and innovators, shaping your company's trajectory for years to come.

#10 - Think Outside the Resume: Finding Hidden Gems

Here's a little secret I've learned over the years: some of the most talented tech professionals don't have a traditional tech background.  

They might be self-taught, career changers, or graduates of coding boot camps. But they bring a fresh perspective, a hunger to learn, and a unique set of skills that can be invaluable to your team.

So, where do you find these hidden gems?

  • Coding Bootcamps: These intensive programs churn out graduates who are eager to put their new skills to work. They might not have a fancy degree, but they have hands-on experience and a passion for coding.
  • Online Communities: Platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow are like virtual playgrounds for tech enthusiasts. You can find developers showcasing their projects, collaborating on open-source code, and building their reputation within the community. It's a great place to spot up-and-coming talent.
  • Re-skilling Programs: Don't overlook individuals who are transitioning from other industries. They might have valuable transferable skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication that can be applied to tech roles.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "But how do I know if they're actually qualified?" That's where your assessment process comes in.

  • Practical Assessments: Forget about focusing solely on degrees and certifications. Give candidates real-world challenges to solve. This will show you how they think, how they approach problems, and how they apply their skills in a practical setting.
  • Soft Skills Matter: Technical skills are important, but don't forget about soft skills like communication, collaboration, and adaptability. These are essential for success in any tech role.

I've hired some incredible people from non-traditional backgrounds, and they've consistently exceeded my expectations. They brought a fresh perspective, a unique set of skills, and a drive to succeed that was unmatched.

So, don't be afraid to think outside the box when finding tech talent. Look beyond the resumes and explore these non-traditional sources.  

You might just discover the hidden gems that will take your team to the next level.

Wrapping It Up: Your Tech Recruitment Toolbox

There you have it – 10 innovative strategies to revamp your tech recruitment game. It's a wild world out there, and these tips can help you navigate the chaos and attract the talent you need to thrive.

Remember, the tech landscape is constantly evolving. The strategies that worked yesterday might not be as effective tomorrow. That's why it's crucial to stay ahead of the curve, experiment with new approaches, and never stop learning.

I'm always eager to hear about what's working (or not working) for other tech leaders. So, hit me up in the comments and share your experiences. Let's learn from each other and build a community of recruitment rockstars!

And if you're ready to take your recruitment efforts to the next level, I encourage you to check out WeAreDevelopers. It's a platform that's revolutionising the way tech companies find and hire top talent. It's easy to use, packed with powerful features, and designed with your needs in mind.

So, what are you waiting for? The future of your team is in your hands.  

Go forth and recruit!


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