Creative Approaches to Hiring In-Demand Tech Pros

By Shravan Goli

As an employer mired in today’s ultracompetitive hiring market, you probably want to get a sense of what it feels like to recruit and hire the best technology talent available. Here’s my suggestion: Head out to the Apple store on the day the new iPhone 6 premieres. Better still, don’t make an appointment in advance—just show up. How do you think you’d fare?

When looking for a product that’s in high demand when supply is scarce, you’d do well to be patient and come prepared to wait. The same advice holds true when it comes to landing experienced technology talent at a time when tech hiring stands at an all-time high in fields such as big data, mobile, cloud and security.

So how do you source and recruit your next front-end developer or cloud engineer? Mostly, by using the same level of creativity you expect your new hires to use in solving problems. Here are some novel approaches that are working around the country.

Sponsor a “hackathon” for coders.

Hackathons are gaining in popularity with many non-tech companies as they look to establish themselves as an employer of choice in their local community.

The two-day mobile hackfest Dice recently sponsored in Iowa drew 13 teams who competed for $10,000 in prizes. Competitors spent nearly two days building mobile apps and presenting them to a panel of judges. Our head of engineering was there looking for great ideas and scouting talent.

The big winner was “Make Me Move,” an app that leverages the Dice API to allow tech professionals to upload a picture of their résumé, recognize their skills and be shown relevant openings. Then the app utilizes salary data to see if the potential career move is worthwhile. 

Host an “un-career” fair.

Too often, the typical career fair features long lines and tepid leads. By comparison, an “un-career” event is purposely kept intimate, which recruiters and qualified candidates making a one-on-one connection.

This smaller, more informal take on networking enables attendees to build relationships—not simply pass along info packets and résumés. The best of these fairs keep things lively by including food, drinks and an emcee to keep energy levels and spirits high. It’s a party with a purpose.

Expand on 140 characters.

Twitter Cards give employers the option of going beyond mere text or a single image. Instead, it allows them to create a media-rich mini-narrative about the job opening in question.

The upside? Higher visibility for tweets; the chance for technology professionals to hunt for openings on mobile devices and on the go; and a chance for employers to increase the click-through rate and expand their applicant pool.

When it comes to tech recruiting, a little bit of creative thinking can go a long way and can give your company an edge over your competitors for talent. Now, if only there was a creative way to avoid those lines at the Apple store.

Shravan Goli is the president of Dice, a respected career site that brings together in-demand technology professionals and tech-powered companies. An internet and media veteran, Goli is responsible for executing the growth strategy for, ClearanceJobs and the Slashdot Media brands. Before joining Dice, he served as CEO of and general manager of Yahoo! Video and as head of products for Yahoo! Finance.





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