Perpetually Vacant No-More: Strategies for Hiring Hard-to-Fill Roles


Indeed recently compiled a list of the best jobs of 2017, based on number of job postings, salary and growth opportunity.  What we found is that technical roles continue to be in high demand -  seven of the top ten jobs are software engineers and developers, with positions in management, healthcare and engineering rounding out the top 25 list.

Many of the technical roles are offering six-figure salaries and an ever-increasing number of job postings. Some of the highest paying positions ranked in the top ten include full stack developers (#1), data scientists (#2), development operations engineers (#3), Salesforce developers (#6), and cloud engineers (#9).

Interestingly enough, these are not just traditional tech companies that are hiring for these roles. Our data shows that banks and industrial companies are hiring more software positions than actual software companies. This makes sourcing and recruiting technical talent more challenging for companies with competition fierce in virtually every sector. And with so much demand, it’s hard to compete for this talent on compensation alone.

Recruiting technical talent is an ongoing challenge for many companies, but there are some things I have found to be very effective when recruiting that works for tech talent or other hard to fill roles.

1)    Go to where the talent is: Our business has grown exponentially over the last several years and we have needed to hire a lot of people to keep up with our growth. When we needed more engineers, we opened up offices in San Francisco and Seattle because we know that these metro areas have a large population of the types of engineers we are always looking to hire. Research cities and their talent pools to see if a satellite office makes sense to fill gaps in your organization.

2)    Bring the talent to you: If you are trying to lure people for hard-to-fill roles, you’ll have to make it worth their while to move to your city. That means offering an attractive relocation package and showcasing the benefits of your city and company through in person-interviews.  Consider inviting (and paying for) their family/spouse/partner to visit as well and ensuring you earmark some time in this trip for them to get a taste of your city. A few simple ways to do this are to set them with a realtor who will be able to give them a great overview of the city and areas to live; buying them tickets to a sporting event of a local team; or simply just ensuring that the hiring manager takes the candidate and family/spouse/partner to dinner one night. It’s also important that you can demonstrate a career path for someone who you are asking to move so they have the option to stay put for a while. Relocating is a very personal and emotional decision and people want to make sure they are moving somewhere that is great for their career and their personal life.

3)    Have a remote workforce: It isn’t viable for every company to open new offices or to get people to move to your location, especially if you are outside of a major metropolitan area. But you can offer something that is highly coveted: remote work. A recent study of workers found that 98 percent of them feel that “anywhere working” had a positive impact on productivity. This is a very effective way to address talent gaps, and technology allows for easy collaboration. One point to consider when adding remote talent is to modify your current programs so they are inclusive of remote employees. Simple ideas are to bring the whole team together at a regular cadence for an update or planning meeting; sending remote talent “goody bags” of snacks and swag that employees in office locations receive, and communicating by video to have face time. It’s important that the effort is made to have remote employees feel part of your company’s culture and that they are part of a broader team.

We know that the supply for technical talent isn’t going to be adequate to meet the demand anytime soon. Implementing one or more of these strategies can help your company stand out and ensure your hard to fill jobs aren’t perpetually vacant. 



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