Industries from healthcare to manufacturing to travel and leisure have gone through a digital transformation and need to hire talent with the skills to propel their business forward. We spoke with Jacob Rivas from WW (Weight Watchers), Michelle Rojas from Spring Health and employer branding & Recruitment Marketing consultant Carrie Corcoran about their pro tips for attracting tech and digital talent to non-tech companies.
It’s not a new thing that tech and digital talent are in high demand, but as technology becomes more ubiquitous, it’s not just tech companies that need talent with these skills. Non-tech employers are looking to leverage technology to drive innovation and growth. However, attracting and recruiting tech and digital talent can be a challenging task for employers unfamiliar with the nuances of this sector and the persona they’re trying to reach.
With recent layoffs over the past 12 months, there’s been an influx in job seekers with tech and digital skills that are looking for their next role. And, this is an opportunity for companies, not traditionally seen as an employer of tech professionals, to show themselves as a great place for them to work and grow their careers.
Recently we hosted a webinar on Recruiting Tech & Digital Talent for Non-Tech Employers, featuring 3 practitioners who are actively (and successfully) attracting tech talent to their companies:
- Jacob Rivas, Sr. Global Diversity & Inclusion Technical Sourcer at WW
- Michelle Rojas, Associate Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Spring Health
- Carrie Corcoran, Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing Consultant at Carrie Cares Employers Branding
During the webinar, we spoke with them about their advice on hiring for non-tech companies and they shared 8 pro tips for doing this successfully, which we’re sharing out with you. But, before we dive into their insights, let’s meet our experts.
Meet the Experts
Jacob Rivas is the Sr. Technical Sourcer with a focus on global diversity & inclusion at WW (Weight Watchers). He’s been in tech for 7 years with a background in project management working with engineers before he made a career change into sourcing. With a very recognizable brand, WW has been around for 60 years and is making a big push to become a technology-focused organization to reach its mission.
Michelle Rojas is the Associate Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Spring Health. Spring Health is a mental health solution that supports employees and their families as well as the evolving needs of companies. Their mission is to eliminate every barrier to mental health access. With a background in social work, Michelle oversees how the company attracts, retains and develops underrepresented communities.
Carrie Corcoran is an Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing Consultant with Carrie Cares Employer Branding. She comes from a B2B marketing background and has over 10 years of experience in the Recruitment Marketing and employer branding space. Carrie has worked with a number of non-tech companies going through a digital transformation, including Hilton, BOK Financial and Heartland.
Now let’s get into the pro tips for attracting and recruiting tech and digital talent for non-tech companies!
1. Understand the Tech and Digital Talent Landscape
The first step towards attracting tech and digital talent is gaining a deep understanding of the industry. Familiarize yourself with the different roles, skills and technologies within the tech space. Recognizing trends, such as the rise of remote work and the increased focus on diversity and inclusion, will enhance your ability to craft relevant job descriptions and create appealing opportunities for candidates.
Also, understand the volatility that tech talent may have experienced. While you can’t promise that candidates will have a job forever, you can work to message how the company is doing and that there is some security.
Michelle explains, “One of the main things that we try to do to support our candidates is the concern around stability. You can never promise that if someone gets a job that they’ll be here forever, but what we strive to do at Spring Health is to lessen the fear of uncertainty as much as possible. We’re very transparent with our candidates about our financial position, how we’re doing as a company and sharing what it means to be a Spring Health employee.”
Jacob shared, “Knowing about the hiring landscape, especially in tech, is important in messaging candidates about your company and roles. I was hiring for a principal role in engineering when there were a lot of tech layoffs happening. When messaging candidates, I appealed to them as people to let them know that everyone’s feeling uneasy with layoffs, but the state of our company will hopefully put you at ease. Then I included a quote that had just been released saying we had been profitable for the last 5 quarters, which is a big deal in a time of layoffs. I wanted to emphasize to candidates that we’re still growing, we’re still increasing head counts and growing our product, so that as an engineer, they can feel more confident that the company is moving forward.”
2. Create an Attractive Employer Brand
To stand out in a competitive job market, a strong and compelling employer brand is essential, and that’s especially true for non-tech employers looking to attract top tech talent. Highlight your organization’s unique selling points, such as professional development opportunities, challenging projects, a supportive work environment, and any tech culture initiatives you have in place. Emphasize the company’s commitment to technology and digital transformation, showcasing how tech professionals can make an impact within your organization. Use testimonials from current tech employees to provide credibility and authenticity to your employer brand.
Michelle shared, “We put together an employee value proposition that provides our candidates with as much detail as possible about what they’ll get out of a job at Spring Health, as well as the challenges that they may experience. We want them to understand the benefits of working at a mission-driven company, which impacts many people.”
She continued, “So this document [above] is attached to all of our job descriptions and provides a deep dive into our company values, insight on the day-in and day-out of a role here. Really it’s meant to show what it means to work at Spring Health.”
3. Leverage Relevant Tech Communities and Networks
To reach tech and digital talent, it’s essential to tap into relevant tech communities and networks where this talent audience spends time. Find ways to showcase your organization as a thought leader in the industry, as most tech and digital talent want to work for industry leaders. For example, attend industry conferences, meetups and hackathons to connect with potential candidates. This will get your brand out to the community you’re trying to reach and show you’re trying to engage them in their space.
Also, sites like GitHub, StackOverflow and Discord can be great ways to build connections and participate in tech talent communities. Get your subject matter experts and hiring managers involved, such as contributing blog posts, adding comments and sharing knowledge.
4. Effective Recruitment Marketing Campaigns
One of the most important recommendations from our speakers was the need to develop targeted Recruitment Marketing campaigns that speak directly to tech and digital talent.
Carries shared that she used enhanced visual job descriptions when she worked at a bank. “We were looking for a second contact after the initial phone screen to give a reason for the recruiter to follow up and get the candidate excited about the role. We created these recruiter enablement pieces that offered more about the company in a visual way that was easy and concise to understand. We included pieces like a company overview, our commitment to community and social responsibility, the benefits and even the description of the actual job. These were all different marketing pieces to help paint that picture for the candidate of what they’ll be getting into and what the day-to-day would look like for them at the company,” she said.
5. Showcase Tech and Digital Projects
Highlighting tech and digital projects that your organization has undertaken is a great way to get the attention of candidates as well as show them what your company is capable of. Your marketing team is likely creating this type of content already, so try to partner with them to repurpose content like case studies or project portfolios that demonstrate your capability and innovation in leveraging technology.
According to Carrie, “I’ve seen companies be very successful using video in their recruiting strategy. Both on a careers site and throughout the candidate journey, focus on putting together videos about what working here in a technology or digital role looks like. Maybe it’s a video showing some of the people this role is going to work with or maybe it’s just some of their career stories and journeys of current employees in these positions.”
It’s a good idea to have a mix of videos so different candidates can see what’s most valuable to them and their career and needs. For example, showcase your Cyber team and your Development team in separate videos. Provide details on the challenges faced, the technologies used and the results achieved. Sharing success stories of products launched or customer projects completed will not only attract tech talent but also cultivate a reputation as a leading employer in the industry, which in turn will support the efforts of your marketing team.
6. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits
Tech professionals are highly sought after, and they often have multiple job offers to consider. To attract and retain top talent, competitive compensation packages are a must.
Research your talent competitors and stay updated on current market trends to ensure that your salary ranges and benefits packages are in line with industry standards. Consider offering additional perks and incentives that are particularly appealing to tech professionals, such as flexible work arrangements, training and development opportunities or the ability to work on cutting-edge technologies.
But remember that tech professionals are in high demand and can get multiple offers at the same time. According to a ZipRecruiter blog from late in 2022, laid-off tech employees were finding new jobs relatively quickly (around an average of 8 weeks).
To avoid losing out on top talent, your candidate experience must be modern and streamlined. If you portray your non-tech company as a tech company, but then candidates are faced with a terrible candidate experience that is outdated and takes too long, you will lose interested candidates immediately. One of the best ways that you can create a modern hiring process is through an easy-to-navigate careers site and ATS that’s mobile optimized and that supports easy apply through social profiles.
7. Emphasize career growth and development
Tech professionals are often motivated by opportunities for continuous learning and career advancement. What are examples of employees who have experienced career growth at your organization? Do you offer mentorship programs, ongoing training initiatives and the chance to work on challenging projects?
Employee stories are a great way to communicate the career progression opportunities available and demonstrate how previous employees have advanced their careers within your organization. There’s nothing more convincing than hearing these stories directly from the people who work for you!
Jacob also reminded us that the type of questions and interest about career growth can be different based on the experience level or role of the candidates. He explained, “If it’s someone who’s more junior, they’re going to want to know more about the role’s tasks throughout the day. If it’s someone who’s at a more senior level, they’ll want to know more about the career growth potential. What are the projects? Are they going to have an impact on the product or even a hand in the roadmap?”
8. Prioritize diversity and inclusion
76% of job seekers and employees said that a diverse workforce is important when evaluating companies and job offers, according to Glassdoor.
You won’t be successful in attracting and retaining tech talent (or any talent) today without actively promoting a culture of diversity and inclusivity or by implementing policies and practices that encourage equal opportunities and representation.
Michelle told us that they go a step further, “When a candidate is moving forward in the hiring process, we invite them for a very informal 15 minute conversation with one of our ERG or DEI leaders. The conversation is not scripted, it’s a chance for the candidate to speak with a current employee honestly about their experience at Spring Health. We want to give our candidates an honest understanding of the different perspectives and types of people who work here.”
Attracting and recruiting tech and digital talent by non-tech employers may seem like a daunting task, but with the right talent acquisition strategies, it can be achieved successfully.
By implementing these pro tips from our awesome experts, non-tech employers can position themselves as attractive destinations for tech and digital talent. Remember to continuously evaluate and adapt your recruitment strategies to stay up-to-date with industry trends and demands. With a focused and proactive approach, non-tech employers can successfully attract, recruit and retain the tech and digital talent necessary to drive innovation and success within their organizations.
Thank you to Jacob, Michelle and Carrie for sharing their experience and insight! If you’d like to learn more, watch our Webinar On Demand, Recruiting Tech & Digital Talent for Non-Tech Employers.