Technology

Recruiting tech talent? Think outside the box

Get creative to win and grow top tech engineers

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Takeaways:

  • Tech companies need to be creative in where they look for tech talent; they can start by looking within and turning to less experienced candidates.
  • Companies should consider looking outside of their core market for talent.
  • Attitude is a vital candidate attribute. 

SAN FRANCISCO — As countless real estate tech startups know all too well, talented and motivated software engineers are as valuable as gold and as rare as unicorns.

That’s why tech recruiters need to think outside the box to attract the skilled engineers they need to make their products hum, according to three tech recruiters on an Inman Tech Connect panel today.

Given the dearth of tech talent and the plethora of sexy competition from the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Google, companies might start to re-evaluate their current team and invest the resources to mold them, said Sam Wholley, a partner at consulting firm Riviera Partners, where he helps portfolio companies recruit executive and management teams.

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Mike Euglow, vice president of talent acquisition at digital real estate transaction management firm DocuSign, and Joy Wolken, director of human resources at video conferencing service Blue Jeans Network, joined Wholley onstage.

Sam Wholley

Sam Wholley

To address a talent shortage, one company Wholley has worked with shut down its engineering for two weeks to retrain them.

Companies in tech-heavy areas might have to turn to those lengths to churn out viable product in the fast-moving tech space.

“It’s a bloodbath getting tech talent in San Francisco,” Euglow said. 

That’s why DocuSign has turned its eyes to new grads, as well as locations where demand for tech talent is less brutal, he said.

The firm considers letting some hires work remotely and is exploring the possibility of opening tech hubs in different regions to reach far-flung talent.

Blue Jeans Network also looks to younger, less experienced engineers to fill positions, Wolken said.

They challenge older engineers and senior staff in good — and some not so good (given their inexperience) — ways, she said. The firm also runs an internship program that lets them “try before they buy.”

The most vital character for a recruit?

Panelists all agreed: attitude.

Email Paul Hagey.