Talented Tech Employees

How to Recruit and Retain Them

Artur Meyster from Career Karma
7 min read
Team & Culture
Startup 101

In the past, talent was often recruited from one place: universities. Traditional jobs only required a conventional type education, but that is no longer the case. In the 21st century, people of all ages have access to education and knowledge that was previously restricted and less sought-after.


When trying to find and recruit some of the top tech talent for your company, keep an open mind and explore untraditional places. How you recruit tech talent depends on two main factors. Both have their benefits and come from different sources. Ask yourself:

  1. Are you’re looking for fresh minds that you are willing to train; or
  2. Are you’re looking for more experienced minds that require less training.

Find Coders Graduating from College

Beginning with the first of the two options, relying on the classic recruiting path is still a great way to acquire fresh minds for your team. Coding, specifically, is an excellent field that more young students are beginning to pursue. The possibilities for work are endless when one has knowledge of coding languages, and recruiting coders is a fantastic way of bringing valuable tech talent to your team.

Why recruit coders from college?

There’s a youthful aspect to these coders, as new college graduates have minds like a sponge, easily absorbing technical knowledge and show receptiveness to challenges. That being said, it’s not impossible to train experienced coders and sometimes their experience is a huge benefit. Furthermore, anyone can code at any age. If you don’t mind taking the time to teach new recruits, there are tons of programmers and coders graduating every year from colleges and universities around the world.

Identify Students at Trade Schools and Bootcamps

This method of recruiting new and talented tech employees is the second option. People of all ages and backgrounds who have non-tech or varying experiences and are interested in up-skilling will sign up for trade schools or bootcamps. These forms of education are far more specialised and offer short-term rigorous industry training.

Springboard is a good example of a trade school that offers courses in everything from UX design to data analytics. Trade schools are a popular option for many who have become tired with their career paths and desire to branch out. This is why recruiting talents from this source can often find you individuals with various existing industry experience.

Another option besides trade schools that has raised in demand in recent years is specialised bootcamps. Those who enroll in a bootcamp undergo an even more intensive training in their selected programs. Some of the top data science bootcamps offer a range of classes that can prepare individuals for a career that used to require a formal master's degree.

Recruiting from places such as trade schools or bootcamps is the best way to get a talented employee who knows exactly what field they wish to enter. The potential that they may already have industry experience is a huge plus overall as well.

Understand the Market of Demand

The above two places are not the only locations to source for highly talented tech employees, but they are among the most effective. After hiring your suitable employee, that’s not the end of it. To ensure your company is at the forefront of the changing workforce, you need to retain your tech talent. This is best done by understanding the market demand for tech skills. Data science was mentioned earlier, but did you know that there is a rising demand for technology jobs, and a shortage of supply for them?

According to a recent Salary Benchmark 2019 report released by recruiting firm Michael Page, there is a high demand for specialised e-commerce, digital marketing, and data science talent, but a shortage of supply, with companies seeking leaders who can drive digital strategy while anticipating technology disruptors. Keeping a data scientist around will require an understanding of their demand and a competitive salary offered to match that demand. You could also sponsor employees to pursue degrees in fields such as computer science, as a way to upgrade the tech skills that both parties need, while also retaining them since they work for you as it is.

Read also: Answered: Can You Build a Startup Without Technical Experience?

Undoubtedly, the job market is changing at an impressive rate. Previously undisturbed job conditions can now be enhanced by technology and altered in unforeseen ways. This will naturally lead to a change in demand for the skill sets required, thus recruiting talent possessing future skills needed in the workforce is the ideal course of action you can take today.

People are a company’s best assets. Setting your company up to succeed in the coming years can be achieved by hiring top tech talent and keeping your employees satisfied through fulfilling work and deserving salaries.

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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