These Are The Moving Recruiting Money Shots

I played Patrick the recruiter in our customer conference general session skit. It was less than 15 lines and shouldn’t have been a problem.

But it was, mostly because I’m a ham at heart and like to improvise whenever possible. Forget the fact that there would be a floor monitor and a laptop showing the players the script.

So there I was on stage with some of my esteemed colleagues in front of hundreds of customers – heads of HR and talent acquisition – plus partners and peers – delivering my lines like a seasoned actor.

And then Megan, our VP of strategic accounts, queued me up for my big finale:

“What if you could pin your most frequent searches on your dashboard, and have the results refresh automatically as new candidates show interest, eliminating barriers between you and the next great member of your team?”

“That would be fantastic!” I exclaimed.

Wait for it…then nothing. Odd, I thought, what’s she waiting for? 

Seconds go by. “Um…Patrick…um…would you like me to set up a job search for you?”

Wow. I missed the money shot line. How did I do that?

“Um…yes! Can you set up one for our Store Manager position we’re always looking to fill?”

“Absolutely. We’ve set the Store Manager search to include the important parameters you define and that are unique to the job, including keywords, tags and location…”

Megan wrapped up the Patrick segment, and that’s when I added:

“Megan, sorry, but I’m managing over 60 reqs right now and it’s hard for me to remember which one is which.”

Smiles. Laughter. Some claps. I had my money shot after all.

Okay, maybe not 60 reqs, but I know many talent acquisition teams are carrying heavy job loads because finding and hiring the best people. Tech talent is especially tough today, to find those with the necessary skill sets that are critical for today’s companies – primarily, software programmers and developers, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions.

According to Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast survey, job growth in IT remains very healthy – nearly one-quarter of respondents said that they plan to add more IT employees this year.  At the same time, unemployment for IT professionals is extremely low – just 2.5% according to figures from one of the latest Dice Tech Trends report – making it even harder to find top people with technology skills in high demand.

Conversely, the non-technical positions companies need to fill continuously takes a candidate pooling and constant “warming” approach, as well as engaging candidates with relevant content in various mediums, especially video.

Competing for the best people, regardless of role or classification, has again become priority number one with an emphasis on the speed and quality of the hiring process. But it’s really much more complicated out there: the hiring economy today is like an original screenplay we keep rewriting and reordering, with a lot of sweat and tears, through every economic boom and bust story.

Yes, it’s complicated. According to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Job Openings have increased 28% in 2014, more than any other year since 1999.
  • For the last 12 months we’ve added on the average 200K per month.
  • At the same time, wages aren’t keeping pace, which is causing increased turnover.

And yet, a study last year from Carl Frey and Michael Osborne at Oxford University found that 47% of jobs are at risk of computerization over the next two decades.

And for the past few years, companies on the average receive an excessive number of resumes per every open full-time permanent position. This according to the Candidate Experience Award (CandE) data (you can now download the 2014 report here and then participate in the 2015 CandEs here) from the past two years alone that shows open requisitions for all levels of positions are tracking over 200 resumes each. At the same time, more than half of job applicants are applying for up to four jobs per week, while nearly a third applying to up to nine jobs per week.

Although the competition for top talent is fierce, employers must still find creative ways to entice people with in-demand STEM skills to join their company – getting to know whom they’re targeting is critical prior to and especially during outreach. Thankfully, research and relationship building are alive and well in recruiting today for whatever the roles being hired. We’ve covered this topic detail on the TalentCulture #TChat Show more than once recently.

But what are some specific examples of delivering better talent acquisition regardless of the complicated backstories and plot twists? We keep pitching the “better experiences” for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers, but what productions have made it to the big screen?

The CandEs have them in the spotlight and since founding them in 2010, the Talent Board has created a global benchmark process for companies to gain needed insight into their recruiting processes and more specifically, how their candidates feel about the process and how they were treated.

The CandE benchmark is the foundation for how companies are recognized for the awards, by their candidates. This award process is truly the first and largest “People’s Choice” award in the recruiting industry, and remains the largest single source of candidate experience and recruiting performance benchmark data in the world. (For those keeping score at home, about one-third of the 2014 winners are PeopleFluent customers.)

Here are give great examples of from the CandE winners with distinction, those companies who by far have exceeded the first-tier winning benchmark:

  1. MetLife has built a validated simulation that not only helps assess a candidate’s qualifications, but that candidates also find informative and educational about job requirements. They also distribute surveys to get detailed input from new hires at from day one, after three months and again at one year.
  2. Capital One launched their CandE effort two years ago to build “consistency” of treatment from call center employees to executives. Every person who applies is asked a series of CandE-related questions and their response rates are north of 50 percent (10,000 asks per month) and their Net Promoter Scores are then segmented by location, level, function and recruiter.
  3. NBCUniversal holds Tech Talk Tuesdays and Ask the Experts every Wednesday, every single week. By measuring and acting on their source of hire and other hiring data, their speed to hire has improved from 75 days to 29 days.
  4. Hyatt has begun aligning their well known and well developed “guest experience” to the CandEs. One thing they’ve done as a result is to introduce applicants to employees during the interview process, and much earlier in the process than most companies usually do.
  5. RMS, a three-time CandE winner with distinction conducts weekly and sometimes daily online chats that focus on providing “honest answers” to “honest questions.” They measure hiring like dating and equate the recruiting process to first-date impressions and beyond.

These are the moving recruiting money shots if there ever were. Thankfully there are more killer premiers and sequels like this every year.

Step right on up for your screen test. My people will call your people and we’ll do lunch.

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.

photo credit: DSCN3961 via photopin (license)

That Magical Mindful Presence of Candidate Service

“And with all your magic
I disappear from view…”


She stopped in the middle of the hall and met my gaze. We shook hands. Other customers, partners and peers streamed around us on either side like a river around rocks.

“It was a pleasure meeting you,” I said.

She smiled. “Likewise.  This was a great week. Very informative. You really know how to listen to your customers.”

I’d thought she’d wink on that last comment, but she didn’t. Instead, the gleam in her eyes told me all I needed to know. After earlier conversations about how they’d been waiting for our latest talent acquisition product innovations that would eventually improve their speed and quality of hire over time, her and her colleagues were excited about the possibilities. The streams around us rushed continuously by, color and conversation blurred while we engaged in the magical mindful presence of one single interaction.

“Safe travels,” I said.

“You as well.”

Then we both merged into the nearest streams and were gone. And so it was at our PeopleFluent WISDOM 2015 customer conference, where engaging customer, partner and peer communication streams flowed in and out of the general session hall, through breakout sessions, down hallways, across tables during breaks and mealtimes.

Business thrives when customer communication and education are constant and engagement and retention are high. They are, of course, a very special group of investors who count on some kind of return in short order – streamline our processes, save us time, money and more. In the HR technology marketplace, they want all of the above plus better hires, a smarter workforce, strong leadership, diversity of thought, agile innovation and more.

This is why according to Yvette Cameron, HCM research director at global research firm Gartner who spoke at our WISDOM conference, companies spend over $41 billion on customer relationship management (CRM) technologies. We leverage technology, invest in our products and services, improve our customer service, wheel and deal, bend over backwards and do whatever it takes to hold onto our customers.

Conversely, companies only spend about $11 billion on HR technology, which is just a little more than a fourth of the CRM spend. Yvette then asked us all: What if we treated employees like we treat our best customers?

What if. Ironic, right? But hey, engagement is up according to the latest Gallup research: The percentage of U.S. workers engaged in their jobs rose from an average 31.7% in January to an average 32.9% in February. The latest monthly rate of employee engagement is the highest Gallup has recorded in three years and is a full 1 1/2 percentage points above where it stood in February 2014.

One and a half percentage points. Whooptee do-da-day. Break out the bubbly, kids. As soon as we’re hired we disappear into a faded and muted blur. As soon as we don’t get the job, we disappear.

Progress, however incremental, is progress, and there are those who are making the move on the front end to treat candidates like customers and using the right technologies to enable the much-needed preferential treatment. That’s why research and relationship building are alive and well in recruiting today, something we’re going to cover on the TalentCulture #TChat Show this week.

These same candidates, who like your customers, are doing their homework in advance on whether or not they want to do business with you, regardless of the technology investments you’ve made. This means the HR and talent acquisition teams need to take the time and do their due diligence when sourcing the best talent and invest in “whatever it takes” engagement to hold on to these customers – the current and future workforce.

Finding and hiring top tech talent is really tough today, especially those with the necessary skill sets that are critical for today’s companies – primarily, software programmers and developers, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions.

According to Dice’s 2015 Tech Candidate Sentiment Survey, tech candidates understand that recruiters use publicly available data to research candidates and get a “total person” view before making that first call to provide a better candidate experience. At least 50% of survey respondents said that they wish recruiters would do more research on them and their background before calling.

The candidates are in the driver seat now, so let us not forget that. But, according to the 2014 Candidate Experience Awards Report (the CandEs), employers overall are doing a better job meeting the needs of candidates in the pre-applicant stage of the candidate experience, providing transparency into Values (86.5 percent), Product (81.3 percent), Answers to ‘Why” People Want to Work Here (87.1 percent) and Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here (70.3 percent). They also focused on providing information on key culture initiatives around Diversity (83.2 percent).

This all helps of course, but whether hired or not (we’re all perpetual candidates), business thrives when customer communication and education are constant and engagement is high. Over the past two years, many CandE winners have invested in developing qualitative feedback channels for those candidates not advancing while immediately career pathing those who are.

And although not all their efforts focus on one-to-one communication, many are focusing on interactive communication channels that inform, educate, provide feedback and ask for feedback from smaller groups, leveraging that magical mindful presence of candidate service.

We really should listening more. And answering back. That’s worth at least 10 percentage-point return on engagement, don’t you think?

“And if you were to ask me
After all that we’ve been through
Still believe in magic
Oh yes I do
Oh yes I do…”

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.



Happy Work Folk Are Huggers, Not Walkers

June 30, 2009

“They call them Walkers.”

Rick the recruiter whispered the words like a desperate prayer while he stood at the 10th floor window looking down on the street. Nishi, Rick’s new boss, was puzzled.


“Yes, Walkers,” Rick echoed, and wiped his dry mouth with the back of his hand.

Nishi waved a hand in front of Rick’s face. “Earth to Rick, what are you talking about?”

He pointed to the street. “There.”

Nishi’s eyes tracked along his arm and hand down to the street. Hundreds of people drifted aimlessly toward the front entrance of their building, bumping into one another and eventually amassing as a group in the sweltering heat below. Dozens and dozens more were on their way.

“Oh my God.”

Rick placed his right palm on the window, then his forehead. “I know.”

“Who are they really?”

Rick inhaled and held it. He turned to face Nishi and exhaled slowly into his hands. Nishi’s usually smooth caramel complexion was now ashen, her arms slack at her sides, but fists clenched.

“Ever since the great global economic Armageddon, they’ve been turning up in herds at companies that are hiring, like ours. All over the world. They’re the unqualified, the unemployed, those who can’t find a job. And it just keeps getting worse. More keep showing up.”

Nishi checked her smart phone. “I’ve actually read about this but hadn’t experienced it for myself yet. I’ve also read that they—”

Suddenly they heard shrieks from the street followed by sirens and gunshots. Blue and red lights splashed across their windows and those across the street.

“—eat the employed and the qualified, yes. It’s true.”

Nishi cupped both her hands over her mouth and visibly gagged. Co-workers made their way to the window to witness the horror.

“I know, it’s awful,” Rick continued. “But, what’s interesting is that they only eat those whose companies are thriving, where engagement is high, and where positive company culture is priority number one, which isn’t many right now, but they’re out there. Unfortunately, we’re one of the lucky ones, too. It’s bizarre. They won’t touch the miserable workers anywhere.”

More shrieks from the street. Gunshots. Someone on a bullhorn shouted for the “engaged” to flee the area immediately.

Rick closed his eyes. “I can’t fill my reqs fast enough anymore. They keep eating my candidates. The only way to stop them is to skill them up, or kill them.”

Nishi turned and ran down the hall toward the bathrooms, still cupping her hands over her mouth.

Rick placed both palms and his forehead against the window as if he were bracing for an earthquake. Sweat beaded on his forehead and trickled down the glass in front of him.

“They call them Walkers,” he whispered again…

And today, in the real world, there are still millions of them, although thankfully they don’t eat anyone. For those keeping score at home, I was only having a little fun with the highly popular AMC show The Walking Dead, of which I’m an avid fan.

Sadly, there are still millions of unemployed, regardless of the skewed stats, plus millions more who have given up, and millions of job requisitions that go unfilled because of a growing skills disparity, poor recruiting and hiring practices and trying to find that one qualified candidate in an unfortunate unqualified zombie apocalypse.

It’s certainly no laughing matter. According to BLS JOLTS report, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 2.0 official unemployed per job opening for August 2014. Job openings were nearly 5 million with hiring coming in at a lower rate than July. In fact, job openings returned to pre-recession levels while hires have only increased 27% since June 2009, and private sector job openings have also recovered to pre-recession levels while hires have only increased 28% from their 2009 lows.

Oh my God.

For the tech world, however, the picture is much different. Shravan Goli, President of Dice, shared on the TalentCulture #TChat Show that currently it’s the hardest to fill software engineering, cloud computing, big data and mobile development jobs. And while overall tech unemployment sits at 3% and just 2.3% for software developers respectively, companies are having to get creative in terms of attracting tech talent with perks and compensation.

But because it’s hard enough today to find and source the most in-demand tech talent, or any person with the skills most sought after today, and with the high competition for these “holy grail” candidates, it’s not just the job that needs to stand out – companies must as well.

Stand out they do, but not for the best of reasons.

For example, according to a Fast Company article and recent research from the Center for Talent Innovation, U.S. women working in science, engineering, and tech fields are 45% more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within the year. This is due to male-dominated tech, biased performance evaluations and lack of women mentors. Quite disheartening for my wife and I, being parents of two bright little girls who may go into tech someday. Oh, I’m not even going to comment on the egg-freezing benefit offered to Facebook and Apple female employees who want to delay motherhood either.

Oh my God.

What to do? How about the living up to these two things:

  1. Culture up. Companies need to learn how to build and communicate a “diverse” and “open” company culture that attracts the best tech pros (and anyone for any position). Period. That’s what elevating candidate experience is all about (inside and out). That means developing a work environment that most appeals to in-demand tech professionals, and all professionals for that matter, and how they should effectively promote that culture in their social recruiting efforts (and all recruiting efforts). When they learn how to build and communicate a work culture that attracts the most sought-after candidates, it means they know how to identify the aspects of their unique culture that most resonates with their target candidates.
  2. Skill up. This one affects those companies hire and those they don’t. At least until they do, and then they’ll be happy with the continuous investment they make. If candidates and employees don’t receive the experience they increasingly want – where they feel the employer is committed to their ongoing development and helping set the stage for a long and successful tenure of reciprocal growth, they will seek to work for a company that offers such opportunities. In order to truly engage – and thereby retain – talent, organizations must evolve their continuous learning and development practices to drive talent engagement strategies and determine how they can provide a more rewarding experience.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The happily employed are loyal to the work they love first, then those they do it with and for, where the culture (and business) flourishes and embraces both, and then they’re loyal to the company brand. Happy work folk are huggers, not walkers, tempered only by their individual endurance and the distance to empowered culture and continuous skill development.

Let’s work to avoid further zombie apocalypse, which is still out there by the way. Plus, I prefer chicken and fish anyway.

photo credit: Munir Hamdan via photopin cc

#TChat Preview: A Better Candidate Experience Means A Better ROI

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. #TChat Radio starts at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) and the convo continues on #TChat Twitter chat from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT).

Last week we talked about gratitude and appreciation and how they drive high-performance climates and cultures, and this week we’re talking about improving the candidate experience.

The good news is, according to the 2013 Candidate Experience Awards research, an overwhelming majority of candidates (87.3 percent) reported feeling satisfied to very satisfied with how the application processes allowed them to present their knowledge, skills and experience, compared to 12.7% who felt dissatisfied.

Plus, for the sought after tech talent today, it’s not all about the money in the end, especially for startups. According to the recent 2014 Dice Salary Survey, the technology startup community seems to want to fill their hearts and minds as much as their wallets. Cultural fit, company purpose and investments in personal growth all are included in the rewards startup professionals seek. The fact is, many tech professionals are seeking more than just money — they want their whole selves to be sourced and seen, finding the right culture fit and participating in tech talent communities that bring together like-minded techs in specific fields to collaborate, innovate and invigorate the very heart of their world of work purpose.

Join #TChat co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about improving candidate experience and ROI with this week’s guests: Shravan Goli, President of Dice; Steve White, Talent Acquisition Manager for Pier 1; and Johnny Campbell, Ringmaster and Chief Social Sourcer at Social Talent. Dice is debuting a new hashtag for the event.

Join in with #Dice141!

Sneak Peek: Improving The Candidate Experience

We spoke briefly with Shravan and Steve in a G+ Hangout to learn a little about how improving the candidate experience increases ROI. Check out our YouTube Channel for the full video!

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: Your Employer Brand Owns The Candidate Experience

Gerry Crispin: Net Promoter Score and Candidate Experience

Nick Price: Candidate Dispositioning – What does it mean and why does it matter? 

Christopher Young: Incentivize Recruiters for a More Successful Hiring Process

Siofra Pratt: How To Dramatically Increase Your Job Views on Twitter

This topic is vital for those looking to meet the increasing need for top quality talent, so we hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas and learn from our distinguished panel of guests. This is one #TChat you don’t want to miss!

Newsflash: Dice is helping recruiters better promote jobs via Twitter while making it easier for tech pros to job hunt — all in 140 characters or more! #DICE141

Dice’s new Twitter Cards (#DICE141) allows recruiters to include richer, more engaging content about their opportunities – right in their tweets. You’ll enhance your employer branding, extend your reach and make it faster for tech pros to apply on-the-go.

Download your “How to Create #DICE141 Twitter Cards” instructions today!


Download your “How to Create Twitter Cards” instructions today!

#TChat Events: How Can We Improve The Candidate Experience?

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Wed, April 30 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with guests Shravan Goli, Johnny Campbell and Steve White!

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, April 30 — 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these #DICE141 related questions:

Q1: What do tech candidates value today in their job search and why? (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How does cultural fit impact tech candidate decisions? (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What role do tech talent communities play in today’s job search? (Tweet this Question)

Q4: What feedback can employers give tech candidates who aren’t hired? (Tweet this Question)

Q5: What other online services can help tech candidates in their job search? (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday.

To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

photo credit: Scott Beale via photopin cc

Tech Recruiting: Skilling Up to Fill the Middle #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post. And to learn how you can win this week’s Pebble Smartwatch giveaway, visit Dice.)

I remember when I was choosing the cover art for my book, Tech Job Hunt Handbook. I couldn’t help thinking, “How am I going to fill-in the middle?”

That’s the toughest part. Filling the middle. Developing coherent career guidance for technical professionals – from the job search, to the interview, to the hire.

But I did it. And in the process, I learned so much about how technology touches every facet of our lives, how rapidly the world of work is changing, and how important it is to stay relevant while competing for specialized jobs in areas like cloud computing, big data and mobile application development.

Retooling your skills and re-branding yourself is essential, whether you’re trying to be more effective in your current tech job — or seeking a new professional challenge — or recruiting to fill those specialized technical roles. And of course, retooling can’t be a one-shot deal. It has to be an ongoing process.

Continuous Commitment Counts

As the economy inches back, millions of people are quitting their jobs, confident they can find an attractive career next-step. These professionals are open to competent help. But even with today’s fluid, open-for-business talent pool, “filling the middle” is no easy task.

In a recent hiring survey of recruiters and hiring managers, Dice found that 5 of the 12 most challenging cities for tech recruiting are in the Midwest. Why? They’re “tough recruiting locations based on a combination of supply and demand issues.”

Frontline recruiting reports like that are a call-to-action for anyone located in “the middle,” as well as those on both coasts. Whatever your location, a winning hiring strategy takes marketing savvy, selling skills and “in the know” awareness of the technical positions you’re trying to close.

This week’s #TChat Events with Shravan Goli, President of Dice, and Sara Fleischman, Senior Technical Recruiter at Concur reinforced my conviction that “filling the middle” requires ongoing commitment, at two levels:

1) Keep Skilling Up. In today’s workplace, tech industry recruiters may feel more secure than others. But the pace of innovation is relentless — it challenging us all to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not just about matching job candidates step-for-step. It’s about proving your strength in your  role, and out-pacing other recruiters who are determined to stay “in the know.”

2) Keep Filling Up. As a tech-savvy recruiter, you may have an edge. But tech lingo isn’t the whole package. You add value by staying aware of salary trends and specifics about how your company, city and regional amenities compare. You’ll also build stronger relationships if you’re always up-to-date with practical guidance, tools and recommendations that help candidates assess new opportunities, get noticed by the right people, ace interviews and negotiate successfully.

Over time, recruiters with that kind of commitment build a reputation as resourceful “go to” career advisors. A talent pipeline eventually follows. And that’s what I call filling the middle with the right stuff.

Dice smartwatch giveaway for #TChat participantsShare Your Ideas — Win a Smartwatch!

Thanks to everyone who joined this week’s #TChat Events. We value your ideas. In fact, Dice is so interested in your input that they’re giving away a cool Pebble Smartwatch to a lucky participant!

Entering is easy. Just share your tech recruiting ideas or questions with Dice by Friday, February 7th. Then find out who wins at #TChat on Wednesday February 12th! (See details and enter now.)

#TChat Week-In-Review: How to Find Top Tech Talent

Shravan Goli Sara Fleischman (2)

See the Preview Post now

SAT 1/25:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring two “sneak peek” hangouts with guests, Shravan Goli and Sara Fleischman. See the #TChat Preview now: “Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

SUN 1/26: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered guidance based on her personal experience as a tech industry talent strategist. Read “How Leaders Hire Top Tech Talent.


What Makes Tech Talent Tick?” — by Dr. Nancy Rubin
Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise” — January Trend Report by Dice


Listen to the #TChat Radio replay

WED 1/29:
#TChat Radio: Host Meghan M. Biro talked with Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman about what it takes to recruit tech talent in today’s competitive environment. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Shravan, and Sara joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for a dynamic open conversation, centered on 5 related questions.

See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman for sharing your perspectives on tech recruiting tools, techniques and trends. We value your time and your expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about tech recruiting issues? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how each of us can be more effective at managing our careers, with one of the nation’s best known career coaches, Maggie Mistal, and one of her clients, Laura Rolands. So save the date, Wednesday, February 5, and prepare to raise your professional game!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on the #TChat Twitter stream, our NEW Google+ community, and elsewhere on social media.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Top Student Challenges

What Makes Tech Talent Tick?

The problem is crystal clear. But the solution is not as obvious.

In today’s digitally driven world, skilled IT professionals are in short supply. It’s tougher than ever for employers to build the tech teams they need for successful innovation. But just how tough is it?

Tech Hiring By The Numbers

According to research by Microsoft, the IT labor shortage is alarming. A 2012 survey on the state of U.S. technical talent estimates that the number of new jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in computer science grows each year by 122,300 openings.

In a tough economic climate, that kind of healthy job growth seems like good news. But here’s the rest of the story: The average number of computer science graduates each year is only 59,731. That’s less than half of new job demand.


See infographic at

The survey also uncovered discrepancies between what employers think engineers find attractive in a job, and what engineers actually want. For example:

 89% of software engineers said they applied for 2 jobs or less in the 5 years prior to the survey. This relatively low turnover rate helps explain why it’s so difficult to find and engage experienced software engineers. (Although, in 2014, the picture is no longer as stable. According to a recent survey, more than 40% of companies say they’ve lost tech staff in the past 6 months, compared to 30% a year ago.)

  64% of recruiters believe that the opportunity to work with interesting technology is the primary reason software engineers are motivated to consider a new job. But engineers disagree. In fact, less than 10% of those surveyed say cutting-edge technology is a key reason to accept a new position.

  Top reasons engineers respond to recruiter outreach:
45% — Position is relevant to their background;
13% — Interest in the company;
10% — Competitive compensation.
(These priorities also seem to be shifting in 2014. According to research, 75% of tech workers who changed jobs recently were motivated primarily by higher compensation.)

To learn more about what motivates technology professionals, consider this snapshot from a Dice survey conducted in 2011:

What Tech Professionals Want in Current Job

Motives Matter For Acquisition and Retention

Knowing what matters to technical professionals is vital to the recruitment process. But it’s just as important for successful workforce retention.

Technical Talent Employer Retention strategeis



Building Tech Teams That Last

What’s the best approach to finding, hiring and retaining a technical team that will help your business scale? Chris Lea outlined a time-tested 3-step path at the 2011 Future of Web Apps Conference:

Step 1: Find Talent

  Determine the skills you need
  Spend time on social media to see who shares advice and insights. Build relationships
  Review email lists and attend tech meetups to locate and connect with attractive candidates
  Maintain a dedicated ‘tech blog,” separate from your company’s primary blog

Step 2: Hire Talent

  Can they do the job?
  Are they the right fit for the company?

Step 3: Keep Talent

  Commit to a trial period, so both parties have a chance to determine the fit
  Make sure people take vacation periodically — preferably away from a computer

Chris Lea’s retention “must haves” are echoed by other tech recruiting experts in 5 Smart Ways to Retain Top Tech Talent:

  The more closely your job requirements match the employee’s skills, goals and values, the more likely employees will want to stay. Hire for fit, and retention will follow.
  Start strong. Retention efforts should begin during onboarding.
  Avoid burnout. Evaluate project workflows and organizational structure. Set clear expectations about duties and develop equitable workloads. Actively encourage work-life balance.
  Regularly assess employee engagement and motivation. Gather insight to guide development paths and workforce strategies.
  Commit to sustainability at a corporate level. The connection between innovation, community and the environment is very important to many technology professionals.

What Works For You?

As the hiring landscape grows increasingly competitive, creative acquisition and retention strategies can give your organization an advantage.

Is your company struggling to hire new tech talent? Are you losing IT employees you want to retain? Have you tried new approaches? What works for you? Share your comments below.

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for full highlights and resource links from this week’s #TChat Events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Tech Recruiting: Skilling Up to Fill the Middle.“)

Recently, we’ve seen the rise of the “digital detox” — when individuals temporarily go “off the grid” to reconnect with life apart from technology.

But of course, it’s impossible to escape fully anymore. Technology is now deeply embedded in daily life — its pervasiveness reaches far and wide. And not surprisingly, as innovation continues at full speed, competition for skilled technical talent is more fierce than ever.

How can employers stay ahead of that curve? And what should recruiters do to help lead the way in attracting technology rockstars?

That’s the topic we’re tackling at #TChat Events this week, with Shravan Goli, President of Dice, The Career Hub For Tech, and Sara Fleischman, Senior Technical Recruiter at Concur.

Sneak Peeks: Facing Tech Recruiting Challenges

To frame this week’s events, I spoke briefly with both Shravan and Sara about how businesses can recruit effectively in today’s environment. Shravan suggested three success factors in an audio hangout:

And Sara added her perspective as a technology recruiter:

Is your organization feeling the impact of the tech talent shortage? How are you addressing this? What does this trend mean for business innovation, overall? Join us this week to discuss your ideas and opinions with the #TChat crowd.

Publication1Share Your Insights, Win a Smartwatch!

As extra incentive to submit your best ideas, everyone who participates in #TChat Events this week will be eligible to win a cool Pebble Smartwatch from Dice! After the the #TChat Radio Show and #TChat Twitter Dice shared details about how to enter before the Feb 7th deadline. See details now!

#TChat Events: Tech Recruiting In a World of Pervasive Technology

#TChat Radio — Wed, Jan 29 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Shravan Goli and Sara Fleischman about critical tech recruiting issues and trends. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Jan 29 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, for a live discussion with the entire TalentCulture community.

Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: How do tech recruiters stay skilled up and “in the know”?
Q2: Why is finding tech talent so difficult?
Q3: How do recruiters tap into high-tech hot spots to find tech talent?
Q4: How do employers create a culture that attracts skilled tech talent?
Q5: What recruiting technologies appeal to high-tech professionals?

We look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions, as talent-minded professionals who care about recruiting issues and trends.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!