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How to recruit tech talent when you’re not a tech company

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Here’s how you recruit tech talent, whether or not you are considered a tech company.

Oftentimes we hear statements like this from great companies who have challenges recruiting tech talent: 

“People think of us as a financial services / government consulting / dog grooming company, not a tech company, so we can’t recruit tech talent.”

“Candidates don’t know we actually ARE a tech company! That’s why we can’t hire tech talent.” 

But, even companies universally recognized as tech companies have challenges recruiting tech talent. And yes, Google, Cisco, or Oracle might not struggle with awareness among tech talent, especially those technologists that use their products in their work. 

But, you can solve the problem by looking at it a different way:

The real problem is not that you aren’t a tech company; it’s that tech candidates don’t know how you use technology to change lives and make the world a better place.  

If there’s no one who speaks their language in your recruiting content… 

If candidates don’t know how to apply their skills to your problems… 

If tech talent can’t picture themselves working for you… 

If they don’t know why your solution matters… 

You need to show them. 

We’ve created content to attract tech talent for both leading tech companies and those “secret” tech companies (no dog groomers yet though). The secret sauce is still the same: employee stories. Here’s how to recruit tech talent using employee stories. 

Speak their language

Remember, you’re not creating content for people that sort of understand the tech. You want to speak to tech talent directly, in shorthand. And if you’re not a technologist yourself, that’s hard to do. 

That’s one of a zillion reasons you need employees and their stories. In this video, Mahnoosh talks directly about the work she’s doing and gets technical. 

Someone with similar skills is going to understand and get just as excited as Mahnoosh is about the work she’s doing. 

Interested in capturing stories from your team members?

And if you want to take after the tech companies, who know how to talk to tech talent, you can apply this literally, as Google did famously a few years ago: 

(By the way — The correct answer led to a website with another puzzle. Eventually, the problem solver was rewarded by accessing a private site that asked for their resume). 

We also like this LinkedIn profile of a TA leader at a cyber security firm. Do you know what he’s saying? This is a great example of attracting attention and speaking in shorthand.

Tech skills + personal interests = solving interesting problems 

In this video, the tech team at Expedia Group talks about their personal love of travel, and shares great stories about how the culture supports it. Then, a software developer ties the work she does to the problems she ultimately helps solve.

“It gives me an immense sense of accomplishment, when you know that everyday millions of lines of code get built and deployed to actually solve problems for our customers to travel,” she said.  “Tech itself  reduces a lot of distance and makes our world closer, but adding travel on top of technology is even better and being a part of that kind of product is really exciting every day.”

Picture this 

Once candidates picture themselves working with you (the commute or lack there-of, the office, and especially the tech!), you’ve moved them to consideration phase.

We know what you’re thinking: great, someone coding at a computer. Is that a compelling image?

Well, yes, and! You can liven it up while being real. Care about the visual quality. 

The important thing is to get candidates picturing themselves doing that job, at your workplace.

Want to capture stories & bring your culture to life?

Show tech talent why your solution matters 

When every company is searching for the same talent, a trump card, bottom-line differentiator is purpose at work, at the personal and organizational level. Show how technologists are aligned to the mission, and why it makes a difference in the world. 

Luis, an engineer from BAE Systems, Inc., talks about how the work he does really makes a difference:  

Everyone is searching for tech talent these days. Whether you work for a tech company is not the problem. You can attract tech talent by showing them exactly why and how your company (and the world) will benefit from their talent. 

Get more insights on how to recruit tech talent (especially women in tech) in our content guide