How To Hire Top Tech Talent

Hiring top tech talent is one of the most challenging things for a business due to the high competition in the industry.  With some of the highest monthly employee turnover rates of any sector, retaining the top tech talent is difficult.  This means your company will need to pay close attention to company culture, compensation, brand, and vision to perform well in recruitment.

Skip to my Tech Industry specific Hiring Guides

Top 10 Tips To Hire More Top Tech Talent

Here I list the ten leading factors I believe you need to consider to improve your recruitment for tech talent, as well as some of my main pointers in adjusting your hiring process to beat your competition in the hiring process.

      1. Show Them the Value of the Work they are Doing

        Getting a web developer to rebuild a splash page at the marketing team’s direction may be what you want them to do, but treating a highly-talented developer as an input-output machine will do you no favors.  They are highly creative and intelligent individuals who love to problem solve.  Involving them in the designing process and sharing the results of their changes help motivate them.  Letting them know that those unique changes they made and ideas they may have had to improve things produced a 45% lift in motivation.  It gives them hard proof of the impact they are making and makes them feel valuable in the organization.  This applies to every role.  Your HR team develops a company culture that reduces your company turnover; your sales member lands a multinational enterprise contract.  Show them the positive impact on the business.  Establishing clear KPIs and celebrating and rewarding them for their success is vital.

      2. Give Them Challenges to Solve

        If you’re looking for top tech talent, you are looking for the industry’s most capable and brightest.  The brightest minds are not looking for a job where they update pictures on the company’s website.  They are looking for a challenge to own and prove themselves in.  They want to make an innovative new product and idea—something which proves their skill and utilizes them fully.

        So making sure you have a real challenge for them to own and make decisions is crucial.

      3. Company culture focused on continual development and learning

        The brightest is the most sought-after talent because they constantly push themselves to learn more.  They know that is what keeps them ahead of their peers, being up to date on the industry, latest trends, and technologies.  So they are not looking for a job they will stagnate in.  They are looking for a job that actively pushes them to learn more so they can create never seen innovations in the space.

        So personal development must be at the core of your business.  It is a priority for top tech talent.  Creating products that push the industry forward, encourage clever thinking and learning, and utilize their up-to-date knowledge.  Always pushing them to learn more.

      4. Flexibility and remote work

        More than ever, people value flexibility in their work, with flexible hours and hybrid or fully remote work options.  This is one of the main features millennials and Gen-Z look for in a job, so without having this an option, you will cut off a large majority of the youngest but also most up-to-date trained top tech talent available.

        Many people, especially in tech, no longer desire to work the traditional 9-5.  This especially applies to developers and coders.  After all, they are creatives and may work better at night or early morning.  This means many people now seek task-based expectations of output.  With flexibility when they do that work for their expected deadline.  Many in tech dream of the digital nomad lifestyle, and they might even be in different time zones to you.

        Furthermore, some people work better from home and some from the office, so offering both is often the best way to capture the largest pool of talent globally.

      5. Distributed workplace

        Many leaders fearful of remote work fear that company culture or team cohesion may struggle between those in the office and those not in the office.  However, a modern movement is now toward a ‘distributed workplace.’ What’s this, you ask?  This means no central office at all.  This means the business core functionality and tools are built around everyone being remote, and therefore no one is left behind.

        Most businesses operating in this style put much effort into having meet-ups quarterly or every six months for team-building, coding camps, etc.  From the money they save not having traditional offices, they fund creative ways to help with team building and cohesion and often supply employees with home office budgets to get high-end standing desks, desk chairs, and computer setups.

      6. Offer unique and appealing benefits

        Well designed benefit packages can make your company look cooler, modern and make other job offers look dull compared to yours. Many people aren’t interested in just a pay check, and certain perks can help represent your brand as a company they can relate with some examples are:

        • No set office hours
        • Remote or office working is optional
        • Paid learning & personal development
        • Birthdays off
        • Paid Lunch budget for in office and remote staff
        • Employee discount and reward schemes
        • Above industry standard Paid time off
        • Health and dental insurance
        • Gym memberships
        • Free Therapy
        • Paid time off for volunteering
        • Pet friendly offices
      7. Align company culture, vision and mission

        Gen-Z and Millennials value the company’s purpose more than any generation before them. That is why it’s valuable to have a clear and well-defined company vision & mission statement, which your company genuinely pursues. This allows those in the company, no matter the size, to align on the goal. The company culture should be developed in the pursuit of this goal.

      8. Good Leadership image

        Today with social media, it’s easier than ever to know who your entire leadership team are. Given this, many people check out the CEO, CFO and the leaders of their departments’ on social media to learn about them and to see who they are potentially going to work for.

        This means it’s important for leadership to have a great public image and reputation. A company’s Glassdoor score or one negative article about your CEO could be enough to dissuade many top tech talent candidates. Since they have more choice, liking who they work for and wanting to see them succeed from the candidate’s own great work is a fundamental motivational factor for them.

      9. Be Present in the industry

        As well as being on social media and having a good image online, you will find it a lot easier to attract top tech talent if your leadership also is to be present in industry gaming, big data, video gaming or something else. For example this is attending trade shows, talking on panels at industry events, contributing or being featured in industry/regional/national news.
        Seeing your businesses presence across multiple sources for showing expertise, success or innovation will help talent see that there are industry leaders in the business who are trying to push the industry forward.

      10. Work with your talent people to find more talented people

        Top tech talent loves to learn, and where do they learn from? Their peers, their mentors, online & school. So naturally, they know those who of their peers are worthwhile; they know mentors who taught them what they learned from them. So they might be one of the best sources of access to other great talents they perceive as worthwhile hires.

        Most large companies know this and often offer the referrer a bonus, given the person they referenced made it past probation. This can be several thousand dollars for managerial positions.

      Top Hiring process Tips

      When it comes to hiring in tech, these are the top general mistakes I see large and small companies make, making them lose top tech talent to competitors or their interest during the hiring process.

      • Don’t draw out the hiring process

        Top talent knows they are top talent.  So a long-drawn-out hiring process makes them feel like you don’t recognize their talent or understand what you’re looking for.  This uncertainty may not be the same as what they are experiencing in interviews with your competitors are like.  Your competition may be making them feel more welcome there!

        Additionally, if it feels like your company is slow-moving & highly bureaucratic, that is also a bad sign.  Tech is a fast-moving, highly iterative world.  This scares top tech talent when it feels like the people they will work with take too much time over decisions.  They know for them to improve, they need to work hard and fast through iterations, failing fast or winning fast.  The company needs to reflect this quality.

        So if your company doesn’t appear to be nimble and courageous, they will fear losing momentum in their personal development at your company and feel creatively stifled.

      • Intro them to your team

        Show them the people they are going to be working with.  The tools you use, and the projects you are working on.  You need to show them a broad spectrum of tasks and a great team to learn from, lean on, and grow with.

      • Sell them on the project

        Many hiring teams are sometimes incorrectly designed, not involving the potential hire’s leadership.  Your next world-class CTO isn’t just the person who will manage the technology your marketing and sales team need.  No world-class talent, especially senior management, wants to be a middle manager to another person’s needs.  They need creative freedom and to understand the value of their work.

        It would help if you showed them what their work could do for the business: be it the sales, growth, savings it could generate, and how they would be rewarded for their work.  Show what has worked in the past and what has failed, as it will help them truly understand your position on the problem.  Help them visualize what they can do to succeed and excel in your business.  If you can get them to think about the challenge of your business and the potential solutions, you have them already mentally in your business.  It’s now up to them if it’s a task they can handle.

      • Work with an Executive Search Firm

        Executive Search Firms are networks of expert executive search consultants. This means they can help you conduct a search or a confidential executive search.  They can scale to you needs and get aid from their peers around the world that specialize in specific roles industries or regions.
        Want help conducting a search? Contact me and I can help connect you to the best global solution within Boyden. We can even help in conducting a confidential executive search on your behalf if needed.

  1. This of course is not a comprehensive list of what you need to know, but I have dived deeper into several industries in the following articles.  So check out my industry tech industry specific hiring guides for a deeper look into each industry.

Tech Industry Specific Hiring Guides :

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