In today’s digital age, all companies are tech companies. Even those who aren't tech-savvy have a use for websites, social media platforms, cyber security, and data analysis.
With the US tech industry laid off more than 247,000 employees in 2023, non-tech companies are at an advantage. There are more talent-seeking jobs in the tech sector than ever before.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can attract early-tech talent and land the best candidates.
What type of technical roles does my organization need?
All companies can benefit from evolving with technology to improve security, efficiency, and communication. For example, Starbucks is fueling exponential growth in its business by combining in-store experiences with digital innovations while staying true to its brick-and-mortar foundation.
To keep up with the digital world, non-technical companies should focus on prioritizing these talent areas:
- Software developer - creates and oversees computer and app software
- Cybersecurity engineer - protects sensitive data, including financial records and customer information
- Data scientist or analyst - studies data to guide strategic decisions, improve performance, and maximize profit
- Product/UX/UI designer - develops and implements a smooth user experience for web portals and native apps
- Digital marketer - promotes offers via online channels, including social media and websites, to build brand awareness and generate leads
- IT support specialist - provides tech assistance, including troubleshooting, user support, and training
As the need for technical skills grows, there’s still a gap between this demand and qualified talent. A McKinsey Technology survey found that out of 3.5 million tech job listings, less than half that number were suitable candidates.
Fortunately, there are ways to stand out as a non-tech company and attract viable tech talent.
8 ways for non-technical companies to source tech talent
From small startups to large enterprises, tech companies have offered perks and other details that their employees have come to value and expect. To attract the best tech talent, it’s essential to understand what they’re looking for.
Common factors include:
- Flexible work conditions
- New and improved tech stack
- A holistic view of compensation
- Job stability
- Employee ratings and reviews
- Appealing job descriptions
- Benefits of hiring early talent
Let’s explore how you can tackle these strategies for attracting tech talent.
1. Allow for flexibility
A recent study found flexibility important to workers of various ages, including Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. This includes location and schedule flexibility.
Employees can do many tech jobs from anywhere, and a strict schedule isn’t necessary. Allowing employees to work remotely or hybrid allows you to attract more talent. The same goes for working hours.
You can require employees to work a specific number of hours but let them work times that suit them best.
There are various guidelines you can put in place for flexible working conditions to work. For example, employees may need to attend meetings at specific times or be in the office for a set number of hours.
When you list positions, identify flexibility options and guidelines, as many job seekers search for this. Notice how Target highlights the flexibility of its remote and hybrid tech-related jobs.
Some industries aren’t conducive to flexible locations and schedules. In that case, you might offer other flexibility options, such as flex PTO or start/end hours.
2. Advertise new and improved tech stack
Research shows that 50% of U.S. tech workers want access to modern technology. Stand out as a non-technical company to tech talent by advertising a new and improved tech stack.
Not only can your set of technologies attract or turn off employer prospects, but an effective stack can help with employer productivity. It can also help your company be more innovative and efficient in a technology-driven world.
When hiring for tech roles, highlight what your company’s tech stack includes, similar to what REI does for their tech job listings. During the interview process, ensure the interviewer(s) understand and use technology terminology.
3. Consider benefits to take a holistic view of compensation
A competitive salary helps attract top tech talent, but non-technical companies often don’t have the budget to compete. The solution? Offer highly competitive and attractive job benefits.
Benefits can include sabbaticals, a home-office budget, and medical benefits.
Liberty Mutual has an excellent benefits package with:
- Tuition reimbursement
- Paid time off (PTO)
- Adoption and surrogacy assistance plans
- Well-being programs
- Flexible work arrangements
- Short-term incentive award
You can also consider non-traditional perks like Nike offers. These include fitness opportunities, employee discounts, and rewards for volunteer time.
Bonus structures are also attractive to tech talent. These incentive programs reward employees when they meet metric goals. This is especially common in industries like finance, where employees can be rewarded for going above and beyond to meet individual and company benchmarks.
Benefit packages will depend on your budget and business structure. The best way to take a holistic approach to compensation is to identify benefits most suitable for your company and high-performing employees.
4. Lead with values
Sharing and staying true to your values is crucial for attracting and retaining tech talent. Most Gen Z talent apply to the tech industry, and 81% of these applicants only work for companies with similar values.
Indeed recently surveyed 1,000 U.S. tech workers. Here are the top company values respondents look for:
- Transparent leadership - 90%
- Gives back to the community - 80%
- Shares my values - 76%
- Allows me to learn new skills - 60%
One simple way to know if your company’s values are competitive for candidates? By keeping tabs on your reviews and employer brand on communities like Glassdoor and Blind, where tech workers continually seek out information and share their experiences.
It’s also imperative to make good-faith efforts to promote diversity in external marketing and hiring practices.
The survey also found that women found diversity slightly more essential, likely because women are a minority in many tech roles. That said, at least 80% of respondents of all genders said diversity is important.
Mastercard plans and executes meaningful diversity efforts with an inclusion team representing people at all company levels.
5. Tout your stability
164,769 tech employees were laid off. The number is already higher in 2023.
With so many workers impacted by layoffs, stability is vital for job seekers.
Offering job security and highlighting this in job descriptions is one of the best ways to stand apart from other companies and attract leading tech talent. You can also mention the average tenure of employees.
Of course, some companies make layoff decisions quarterly. If you can’t promise job security, demonstrate stability in other ways. For example, mention how long it’s been since your company has conducted layoffs or share long-term employee spotlights to showcase the possibility of longevity.
6. Highlight stories and profiles of technical team members
People connect with stories, so why not leverage this when hiring for tech roles? Transparency also attracts job seekers because it builds trust and gives a look into what it’s like to work for your company.
To highlight stories, use your website and careers page to showcase:
- Your technical teams and departments
- The problem(s) you aim to solve
- Who do you help, and why
- Photos, videos, and words to tell the story
- Company culture, values, and processes
Cotopaxi does this well with its founder story, company and ambassador stories and impact reports.
Consider creating a balanced portfolio of employer vs employee-generated content. Content created by employees feels authentic and appeals to younger demographics.
To make the most of this, create a nurturing environment where everyone on the team feels encouraged and comfortable sharing their stories.
7. Review commonly ranked titles
To reach your target tech candidates, write appealing job descriptions.
Start with appropriate titles that show up in search results and reach your ideal candidates. To do this, create straightforward job titles people are searching for, not how they are classified in your HR system. For example, “web developer” is more search-friendly than “information technology specialist II - HTML.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth projections for these tech jobs is faster than average:
- Data scientist
- Information security analyst
- Web developer
- Software developer
- Computer and information research scientist
- Software quality assurance analyst
Job descriptions should also include details that appeal to tech talent, including pay transparency, flexible working conditions, meaningful benefits, and strong values.
8. Leverage early talent to your advantage
Not only are there many looking for jobs in the tech sector, but there are benefits to hiring early-talent tech employees:
- Fresh outlook and energy - Many young workers are eager to learn and improve their skills.
- Tech savvy - As digital natives, young people have a natural understanding of technology.
- Cost-efficient - While a fair wage is important to early talent, their starting salary is typically less than prospects with more experience.
- Culture development - Younger generations prioritize culture and usually want to participate in team building.
- Diversity - The latest workforce is more diverse than ever, which can also contribute to cultural development.
- Stability - A recent study found that 85% of students want job stability, showing young talent wants to commit to longevity.
To compete in the digital world, non-technical companies must hire tech-savvy employees who implement technology adequately. As big tech companies are having mass layoffs, it’s an excellent opportunity to get strategic with sourcing tech talent.
Your organization can stand out to the best tech employees by meeting expectations and offering the perks young talent seek. Consider essential factors, including compensation, job stability, innovative tech stacks, and appealing job descriptions.