You Are A Tech Company – Hire Like One

It’s 2016. Every business is or needs to become a tech company. But therein lies the problem. Tech skills have gone from being relegated to distinct departments to being required in all departments, in all industries. In fact today, it is the only industry. 72% of Fortune 500 CEO’s consider themselves to be a “technology company” – do you?

“These days, I consider my company to be a technology company.”

So the question is – how can you make that happen? How can you as a business attract the best talent to make your digital transformation a reality? In order to do so, you have to answer to some tough questions.

Q: Are candidates aware of you?

A: They should.

It may seem intuitive, but being a well known brand can give your employer brand a lot of swagger. We recently did a study on the effectiveness of LinkedIn job ads for digital marketing roles in Malaysia. We found a very high correlation between a brand’s investment in their social media presence and their ability to attract applicants. Companies with a large were able to attract 3x more job post views and 2.2x more applications.

Unfortunately, more candidates isn’t necessarily better. From experience, job boards continue to struggle delivering quality candidates. For a generalist digital position like account manager or project manager you can expect about 33% of your applicants to be worthy of a second look. While you can expect <15% to comply for software and mobile developer jobs.

So, when you invest on your brand online, it will have a positive impact on your ability to attract new hires and can compound your marketing ROI, but you need to be able to effectively sift through your pool.

Q: Can you actively find them?

A: Get your employees to help.

Not every candidate is actively looking, nor are they easily found online. In fact, only 35% of Malaysian professionals share their accomplishments online. Which is especially true for tech professionals, who are notorious for being shy or hidden in what for most are unfamiliar platforms like Stackoverflow or Github.

So to simply Google the best is a specialised skill, or can be very expensive. (Here’s a a hack) LinkedIn charge for the privilege and other platforms do the same.  At POTENTIO, we built a search tool that gives us access to 150 million profiles worldwide, which we are currently working on making public to all of you, for free!  🙌

But recruiting the best talent shouldn’t be the job of a single person or department, rather it should be a mandate for the entire company. Study’s by Deloitte, LinkedIn and ClearCompany all point towards current employees being your best source of new talent.  They are less expensive to hire, faster to hire and are 2x more likely to stay >1 year.

In fact, a company’s referral rate is like an internal Net Promoter Score and aleading indication of retention.

Q: Who are you competing against?

A: Everyone.

Attracting the best tech talent becomes increasingly important when you realise that you’re not just competing for talent on a local or national level, but on a global level. The war on talent has no borders. There is a serious lack of tech talent not only in Malaysia, but globally, so being open to hiring foreigners is very important.

A recent experience articulates this so well. We recruit for our sister company HYPERLAB, who had an opening for a Full Stack Developer. Our preferred candidate was from Bangladesh who had job offers from an established global startup with an operation centre in Hungary, a tech company in Singapore as well as from Hyperlab in Malaysia.

In the end he choose Hyperlab because of 2 reasons: Malaysian cost of living and he agreed more with Hyperlab’s vision.

Q: Are you involved in the process?

A: You should be.

Sometimes we can forget that we’re human. People don’t follow companies, they don’t join corporations – they follow people and they join people. The #1 piece of advice I can give leaders of a growing company is that your #1 job is talent recruitment. That’s it. You need to be out there, meeting people, voicing your company vision and building a culture with purpose that your staff can wrap themselves in.

In LinkedIn’s recent Top Attractors Report, one of the key insights found is that an in-demand company is led by an enigmatic founder. And if you can’t be enigmatic, you need to hire someone who is or get help from a third-party (likePOTENTIO 😉) who can help share your vision.

In summary

The winning strategy can be summed up in 3 words: be a magnet 👈

By that I mean become an employer brand that is well known, has an effective, global talent pipeline championed by a visible leader who imbues confidence. Essentially, you want to create a brand that gives your employees social status for simply being employed there. Do that and you’ll become a magnet employer, which may provoke reactions like…

“OMG! You work at Gaapplebook? 😍”


On that note, listen below for more on this theme in my recent interview with Angeline Teh on BFM Enterprise.

Your browser does not support native audio, but you can download this MP3 to listen on your device.

Employers, Opinion

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