In the technology space talent has been in short supply for a while now. Competition is nothing short of fierce.

For a company, one option is to become a talent magnet, the place where the bestest and brightest want to join. At the other end of the spectrum, you just take who you can get and do the best you can.

The latter has never been an option for Nearsoft.

According to a report by Universum: Talent attraction in the tech industry, “there are few industries in which the search for top talent is as critical – and as difficult – as in the technology industry.”

But how do you become a talent magnet? How can you go beyond the dictates of market conditions when it comes to recruiting?

Getting Ready

The market is constantly changing. Whatever you are doing now in recruiting, will stop working soon. This is true for your position, your image, and your marketing. Continuing to do the same in spite of these changes is just madness.

You should always be on the lookout for what’s coming next and not what’s behind you. Change is a challenge for individuals and organizations alike. It requires extra effort. But it can also be very satisfying and exciting.

Change also brings with it the risk of failure. But it is better to try new approaches and learn what works and doesn’t work quickly than to keep doing the same things over and over and fail altogether.

At Nearsoft, the recruiting team started to experiment rather casually. One comment lead to the next and we ended up with a strategic positioning pretty effortlessly. That lead to Nearsoft Jobs and the idea of reaching out to the talent community in a wide ranging conversation on topics interesting to them.

It may have all started as a casual experiment, but we were really clear of what we wanted to accomplish.

It was only later, at a course on Branding that I realize what we had done in our own intuitive way. We had already taken our first step towards a coherent recruiting strategy.

We were already addressing the central questions for any branding campaign: what should I buy from you? How are you different? Why not find a better choice?

The Nearsoft Culture

Every organization has a culture, whether they know it or not. But few have an intentional culture. In our case, we knew this was our strong point. We had to show people what we are all about, how we work, what makes our culture different, and what makes Nearsoft a great place to work.

From our own experience, we knew that the freedom-centered culture at Nearsoft is very attractive and exceptionally well fit to the kind of people we want to recruit. We just needed to find a way to communicate this effectively to our audience. To show that it is an integral part of everything we do.

Me, Me, Me

Your communications should not be all about you. That gets very boring very quickly.

Share something of value: your experience, your mistakes.

Join a community, or two or ten, that is important to your candidates and contribute. If there’s a genuine opportunity, start a community if it feels the needs of your audience.

Be Authentic

To make this work you’ll need the help of everybody in your company. You can’t expect an outside agency to do it all for you. The material you create is only as valuable as it is authentic.

It took some effort to get this going. At first people didn’t want to risk it. Most didn’t know how to contribute. For example, we had to create a publication process using Medium; it helped who wanted to write posts but had never done it before.

With every mistake we made, we learned how to do things better, within and beyond Nearsoft. Indeed, making mistakes and learning from them is a key feature of our culture. This has helped up grow at over 40% every year we’ve been in business (i.e., going on 10).

We Know You

These days people recognize us and look for us in Social Media. When we contact candidates, we often hear, “I’ve been following you guys for a while now.” And when we reach out to recent graduates, they are likely to know about the Nearsoft Academy and other programs to serve them. Having an impact in people’s lives is very satisfying … and it makes our jobs easier as recruiters!

People with plenty of skills and talent have options. They are not really interested in check-marking your list of requirements. It is crazy to think that you are going to attract the best out there without offering something in return.

Get to know your future teammates. Who are they? What are they looking for? What are their needs, their desires, their dreams? Asking yourself these questions is the first step towards becoming a talent magnet.