In December I ran a Lunch and Learn titled 'How to attract top tech talent'. I was having many frustrating conversations with tech startups around talent acquisition and wanted to have a space to share the findings of the talent market that I had learned over the past 8 months speaking to heaps of developers and startups looking to hire. Some founders thought all they had to do was publish a job ad on one or many platforms and applicants of high calibre would come flooding in immediately only to find that didn't work. Others were months into their talent search (often for their first technical hire) with no success of finding the right person for the role. With each founder, I had to explain that it is a very competitive market in Melbourne and they should be thinking about talent pipelining ahead of their talent acquisition quest.
Common Code has been talent pipelining for years, cultivating its developer networks, investing back into the community, nurturing people's professional development, and it has paid off: Common Code has never in its history had to hire a recruiter. It was only a couple of years ago that it invested in its own in-house talent acquisition manager. This person has helped clients in the past find their first developer hire.
With an intimate lunch setting, my lunch and learn event was my chance to share learnings. It was also a chance to listen to founders concerns and questions about the whole talent process. Here are my top 3 insights from the lunch:
- Attendees asked at what stage they should start talent pipelining. In Melbourne, we are finding that with the skill shortage, companies need to start talent pipelining months before they intend to hire. Talent acquisition should have a long-term view rather than be reactive. This will help in making sure startups hire the right person for the role without compromises. First technical hires are crucial to the success of a startup so minimise the gamble by pipelining before you are ready to hire.
- One big question, asked by a current client, was "Do we keep all the great candidates for Common Code to hire? And only pass on those we don't?" Daryl Antony, our director, answered "Developers already know what type of place they want to work at. Common Code offers breadth of experience across a range of products, but not much depth, whilst product companies offer developers the chance to deep dive into the product and technologies. They don't really compete as they are different offerings."
- With the skills shortage in tech in Melbourne, employees and employers are on a more even playing ground than in more traditional sectors. This means that candidates wield as much power as the companies looking to hire. I think this is a good thing because it makes companies have to work at being attractive to talent as much as the reverse. This leads to great workplaces, productive teams, and hopefully, better products.
If you'd like to talk further about how to attract talent, get in touch via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Veronica Munro, Client Account Manager, We Are Common