Put your best foot forward to attract top talent – part two

Given that software engineers are currently in such high demand, recruiting departments eager to onboard top talent need to step up their game. Their situation is not dissimilar to that of marketers, who are under the gun in terms of making their companies' products and services seem more desirable than the alternatives.

When it comes to engineering staffing, firms might benefit from applying some of the core tenets of sales and marketing, argued Pete Soderling for Mashable. In part one, we took a look at the entrepreneur and software engineer's first two suggestions:

  • Make your product (in this case, a job at your company) seem like the best choice by offering career advancement and professional development opportunities, promising higher salaries or rolling out more diversified benefits.
  • Narrow down your target audience (for the purposes of this undertaking, that would be the type of engineer you're trying to hire) and adjust your outreach efforts accordingly.

Soderling went on to recommend the following:

3) Set your product apart using specificity
What's your recruitment elevator pitch? If you can't explain in fewer than two minutes why an engineering position at your firm is compelling and concisely detail the associated technical challenges in a way that piques job candidates' interest, they'll likely yawn and move on to the next company with an opening.

“Engineers are highly rational types and (consciously or subconsciously) will require reasons that will clearly demonstrate why your opportunity is the best option,” Soderling wrote. “Engineers have far too many options right now to settle for companies that can't specifically, accurately and quickly explain to them why they should legitimately be excited about an opportunity to work there.” 

4) Use what you've got to secure what you need
Testimonials from happy customers who are satisfied with a company's products and services can go a long way in terms of attracting new consumers. Likewise, putting your best engineers out there can be a great way to get potential job candidates interested in working for your firm. Send these individuals to speak at conferences, encourage them to write blog posts for your website or feature them in video blogs as a way of showcasing their expertise. Engineers love working in challenging environments with colleagues who inspire them to raise their game.

As Soderling put it, “Smart engineers are like catnip for other smart engineers.”

5) Identify outreach channels
For a company aiming to market its products and services to a millennial audience, social networking sites should be top of its list of outreach channels. Meanwhile, a firm eager to target professionals within a particular sector would more likely benefit from attending local exhibitions or advertising in an industry newsletter. As mentioned in part one, if you're applying marketing principles to recruiting, engineers are your target audience. In order to successfully onboard the cream of the crop, you first need to figure out how to reach these skilled professionals. Make sure you're present at regional trade shows, conferences and similar industry events. Improving your visibility will make you more recognizable within the field, so the next time you advertise a job opening, in-demand professionals are more likely to take you – and your offer – seriously.

According to Canadian Business, software engineers' current median salary of approximately $83,000 is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next five years, a statistic that reflects the increased demand for these professionals. Recruitment might seem far removed from marketing, but some approaches commonly used for the latter can be successfully applied to the former. Competition to secure top talent is fierce, so companies eager to stand out from the crowd must use every resource at their disposal.

LINK: Put your best foot forward to attract top talent – part one