How many times has this happened to you? You’ve been through several interviews with a candidate and they’re absolutely perfect for the position. But when you finally offer them the job they decline because they’ve already landed a role with one of those big-name tech giants.
How are you supposed to compete with companies that not only offer better pay and benefits, but also the CV building power of name brand recognition as well?
Well, that’s when you have to get a little creative.
creativity: the ultimate weapon in competing with giants
Most companies simply don’t have the funds or the brand recognition to compete with top tech companies today for talent. But as New Zealand’s most attractive sector, according to the 2016 Randstad Employer Brand Report, it still ranks highly among graduates and top talent.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete. When it comes to setting yourself apart in the tech world money isn’t everything. And while you undoubtedly need to offer an appealing salary, some of the best talent can be attracted to your company by more than just money.
Company personality, for instance, might end up being a bigger draw for some candidates than a higher salary. It could come in the form of corporate culture, a unique benefits package, or from the company’s particular branding strategy.
Business cards and logo color schemes are also a great way to establish your company’s personality and get you noticed.
idea 1: host competitions and hackathons
One trend that’s becoming especially popular with tech companies all over the world these days is pitting the top tech talent against one another for prizes and recognition.
Companies like IBM and Google have been using this tactic for years, with some offering highly-prized internships at these world-renowned companies and others simply putting up a lump sum reward or job.
And it isn’t just tech companies either. Government agencies ranging from NASA and DARPA to the Department of Transportation have all tried their hands at bringing in the best minds in the world through these types of competitions.
If the prizes, glory and satisfaction that comes from solving a tough problem wasn’t enough to bring in participants, you could always look into hosting a “hackathon”.
These team-based competitions are usually a race against the clock as groups of IT professionals, hobbyists, and aficionados put their minds together to creatively solve a tech problem in 24 to 48 hours. They require teamwork and collaboration with the added value of creating personal connections that many participants maintain after they have completed the task.
So how does your business benefit from hosting one of these events? Not only will you get your name out there with everyone that attends in addition to any coverage on the event, you’ll also have direct access to some of the smartest, most creative techies out there.
idea 2: puzzles and secret messages
If taking a more subtle route is more suited to your brand, then you may want to consider talent recruitment through puzzles and secret messages.
Puzzles are a particularly effective way to bring in extremely qualified individuals using laser-like focus, especially when that puzzle is exceedingly difficult. And if you connect it directly to the application process you’re removing any unqualified applicants while making your company personality attractive to prospects at the same time.
Secret messages might not have the same narrowing of qualified applicants that a tough puzzle has but, when handled correctly, it could have the potential to bring in talent that would be otherwise unreachable.
One company in particular reaped the benefits of this method by distributing iPods. Red 5 Studios embedded a secret recording of its CEO inviting the carefully selected recipients of the gifts to apply. And several of these ideal candidates actually ended up leaving their positions to work for Red 5 Studios.
It’s this mix of personality and selectivity that really makes using puzzles and secret messages a creative and effective talent recruitment method.
idea 3: guerilla recruiting
And finally, it’s guerilla recruiting. While utilizing this particular technique may tarnish your company’s reputation in some people’s eyes, others might find the methods ingenious. What’s more, if you bring on a stellar employee because of it, a little reprehensibility might be worth it.
Guerilla recruiting involves specifically targeting employees of another company and trying to convince them to work for yours. Part of the reason might be because the targets are especially good at their jobs, part of it might be to cause a little hardship for the competition.
One example comes from BigCommerce, an e-commerce software company. At one point, three BigCommerce employees actually set up camp in front of several competing tech companies and handed out free donuts to entering employees. And while you might not think a delicious treat is enough to make someone consider changing jobs, their job applications jumped by 90%.
It’s important to stay on the moral side of this one as it could damage your brand reputation, but don’t doubt the effectiveness.
While the tactics here will certainly give you an edge in recruiting top tech talent, not every business has the time or resources for these creative, and sometimes risky, talent recruitment techniques. Enlisting the help of a professional agency like Randstad can help you mitigate some of that risk and get back to running your business. Contact Randstad
today and give your business the edge it needs to thrive.