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This article was published on February 28, 2015

11 effective strategies for hiring top tech talent

11 effective strategies for hiring top tech talent
Scott Gerber
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Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

Technology has become an essential department for any business. And as the rise of technology continues to evolve, the competition for businesses to secure strong talent will become even more cutthroat than it already is. So, how does your business stand out from the crowd?

I asked 11 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) community the following:

Competition for tech talent remains fierce. What is the most effective strategy you’ve used for publicizing your open tech position?

Their best answers are below:

Shradha Agarwal1. Offer Face Time With Your Current Tech Team

We frequently send our current team to networking events to meet potential candidates and spread the word about our company. Conversations happen organically because they share a technical language, and your team can speak honestly and immediately to the tasks and culture of your company.

Additionally, the candidate now has a personal connection with the company, and you have the benefit of having vetted a candidate before they even walk in your door to interview. – Shradha AgarwalContextMedia

Mitch Gordon2. Build Relationships

As the founder, I go to meetups regularly to meet tech talent. If they’re smart, interesting and have a personality that would seem to be a good cultural fit, I keep in touch with them and check in regularly. If we have an opening, I reach out to them first.

At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships. We’re also focused on offering benefits no one else can. For example, we’re a travel company, so we can offer unique opportunities to our staff. We want to make Go Overseas the best place in the world to work. Accomplishing that will attract all kinds of talent, including top tech talent. – Mitch GordonGo Overseas

Sharam3. Open Code Jams

Posing a mentally tantalizing challenge allows potential recruits to show off their problem-solving prowess while providing you with an initial level of screening for technical expertise and initiative. Lure in potential hires with unique prizes and spread the open challenge far and wide to niche communities via social.   – Sharam Fouladgar-MercerAirPR

john rampton4. Offer Referral Incentives to Current Employees

I go straight to my top tech employees and tell them that if they get a friend or someone good to work for us, they get a $10,000 bonus. We literally hand them a check the day they start working.

This has driven us some of the top tech talent in the world. If they know they are taken care of and they enjoy working with you, they will refer only the best people to your company. – John RamptonHost

Nanxi Liu5. Make a Facebook Status

My co-founders and our CTO all come from tech backgrounds, so many of our Facebook friends are fellow techies and engineers. After we post our Facebook status message stating that we’re hiring an engineer, many of our friends will repost it on their wall or tag their engineer friends in the comment section.

We love hiring through our own network because it’s basically free and we can gather references quickly. – Nanxi LiuEnplug

James Simpson6. Go Local

We’ve tried a plethora of job boards with little success filtering through the noise. It wasn’t until we realized that there was loads of talentright on our doorstep that we began to find success with hiring.

We now completely brand our business as an Oklahoma City-based startup, making all of the local talent aware and excited about what we are doing. This has led to great developers nearly knocking our doors down in order to land a position. – James SimpsonGoldFire Studios

David Ehrenberg7. Put the Word Out to Your Network

I let everyone in my startup ecosystem know — from my employees to business partners and vendors. Word-of-mouth advertising is extremely cost-effective, and employee referrals are often the most valuable. – David EhrenbergEarly Growth Financial Services

Dave Nevogt8. Search, Don’t Publicize

Instead of waiting for top talent to come to you, find them. Expand your own professional network on LinkedIn and AngelList, and when you see someone with a great profile that matches what you’re looking for, reach out to them via a private message and ask them if they’re interested.

Most people, especially if they’re at large companies, aren’t fully engaged with their jobs or satisfied. They’ll be flattered that you found their experience attractive and they’re more likely to be excited about the interview process than someone who’s been scouring the Internet for jobs. – Dave Nevogt,

brian honigman9. Tap the Local Market

Broad-based online recruiting might work for some fields, but tech talent happens to not be one of them. Each tech professional is wildly different than the next. Coders and the like tend to be strong personalities and have narrowly focused talents. Just going off of a résumé from LinkedIn is not going to tell you enough about a potential tech hire.

In addition, tech professionals are used to being sought after, so they won’t seek you out. To effectively recruit, start making contacts in the local tech community and ask around based on your specific needs. You’ll likely get an intro quickly. – Brian

Joshua Lee10. Make a YouTube Video That Highlights Members of Your Tech Team

Incorporate some of the people in your tech department into a YouTube video so the candidates watching get an idea of your company culture and the type of people already on your technology team. They have a different angle and insight your marketing team simply doesn’t have.

The message from a non-techie is likely to miss the mark. – Joshua LeeStandOut Authority

Adam Stillman11. Seek Out Top Talent, Then Ask for Referrals

It may be difficult for you to poach the CTO of a successful firm. However, that same CTO likely has a network of other talented developers.

Reach out to the untouchables, acknowledge that you’re aware they are satisfied where they are, but would love to know if they have any recommendations. This allows them to do some good and gives you access to a network you wouldn’t have had before. – Adam StillmanSparkReel

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