Rethink Your Tech Talent Strategy: Identifying and Utilizing Undervalued Sources
Are you tired of scouring tech hubs and major cities for top tech talent, only to come up empty-handed or face fierce competition for the few diamonds in the rough you do find? It’s a tough market out there, and it can be easy to feel like you’re spinning your wheels trying to build a strong tech team. After all, there are currently five open positions for every software developer in the United States.
But while it may seem like there’s a shortage of top-notch tech talent out there, the truth is that the job market is changing—and you can leverage this change to build an even stronger team than you could have imagined.
We’re talking about one of the growing tech HR trends in 2023, and that’s tapping into undervalued sources for tech talent. These are the software developers and engineers who may not have the most impressive resumes, but still bring enormous amounts of potential to the table.
The limitations of traditional tech talent sources
Here’s the thing: the traditional sources of tech talent (i.e. top universities and established tech hubs) are great, but they’re not the be-all and end-all. In fact, relying too heavily on these sources can actually limit the diversity and potential of your tech team.
And while it’s true that these sources can provide access to some truly impressive applicants, they often come with high price tags. When you add in the cost of relocation and other benefits, recruiting tech talent from top universities and major cities can be a strain on your budget—not to mention a drain on your time.
Leveraging undervalued sources of tech talent
So, what can you do to find the best tech talent while still keeping an eye on your bottom line? The answer is simple: look beyond traditional sources and start tapping into the vast potential of undervalued tech talent.
Undervalued tech talent refers to professionals who don’t necessarily have a long list of credentials or industry experience, but still possess the skills and passion to make valuable contributions to your tech team. These professionals can come from a variety of backgrounds—from coding boot camps and online educational programs to remote work experiences—and they offer an incredible opportunity to diversify your tech team while staying within budget.
Coding boot camps, in particular, have exploded in popularity in recent years, and they can be a fantastic way for motivated individuals to break into the tech industry. Plus, these programs often have a more practical and hands-on approach, which can be especially valuable in the fast-paced world of tech.
Next, let’s talk about underrepresented groups. It’s no secret that the tech industry has a diversity problem, and it’s high time we did something about it. By actively seeking out and recruiting underrepresented groups (such as women in tech and minority groups), you can not only do your part to promote diversity and inclusion but also tap into a whole new pool of talented individuals who may have been overlooked by traditional recruitment methods.
Finally, consider geographically undervalued areas. It’s easy to default to recruiting in major cities and tech hubs, but have you ever thought about looking beyond those boundaries? Smaller cities and even rural areas can be a goldmine of tech talent, and candidates from these areas may be more open to relocation and willing to work for a lower salary (at least initially). Plus, these areas may have a lower cost of living, which can be a win-win for both the company and the employee.
The secret to implementing undervalued tech talent in your team
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to source and recruit undervalued tech talent, but the key is knowing how to effectively integrate them into your existing team. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Acknowledge their skills: Undervalued tech talent may not have the same qualifications as more traditional candidates, but they still possess valuable knowledge and experience. Always make sure to recognize and appreciate these qualities during the recruitment process. This means taking the time to get to know them as individuals—their backgrounds, interests, and goals—as well as highlighting how their skills can benefit your team.
- Provide support: Getting settled in a new role within an existing tech team can be intimidating, so be sure to provide plenty of guidance and support when onboarding undervalued tech talent. This could include setting up mentorship programs, offering specialized training, or providing access to professional development resources.
- Offer flexibility: Undervalued tech talent may not have the same industry experience as more experienced professionals, so be willing to provide greater flexibility and autonomy when it comes to tasks and projects. This could mean allowing them to work remotely or adjust their hours to accommodate work-life balance.
At the end of the day, incorporating undervalued tech talent into your team can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both you and your organization. Not only can you access an untapped pool of potential employees and promote diversity in the tech industry, but you may also find some hidden gems who have the skills and enthusiasm to take your team to the next level. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing your part to make the tech world a more inclusive and equitable place.