To anyone who isn’t involved in hiring developers, talent acquisition might seem straightforward. All it takes is a few job listings and a little patience, right? Of course, you know that finding tech talent is much more difficult than that. You also understand that you need to think outside of the box to hit your aggressive hiring goals.
But how can you tell if a creative developer hiring idea will drive tangible results? Let’s take a closer look at the key components of an outside-the-box initiative that gets your executive team excited.
There are a few tech recruiting stats that keep you up at night. Over 90% of developers are currently employed. Only 16% of programmers are actively looking for new jobs. Based on those two findings from the 2018 Developer Hiring Landscape, your natural reaction would be to brainstorm and implement new ways to attract talent as quickly as possible.
According to Isidore Horween, Research Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, it’s hard to predict when your brain will generate ideas. Because of that, she says it’s important not to rush.
That isn’t to say you should stop optimizing your current talent management strategy along the way. But Horween also suggests that the key to creating new initiatives is letting your brain take its time. “While you are waiting for the brain to get its act together, do the doable,” she continues. “Build mock-ups and prototypes. At the very least, collect other people's problems. That's always a guaranteed doable.”
When you think you know how to solve a tech recruitment challenge, it’s easy to be excited. But according to Anett Grant, author of CEO Speaking: The 6 Minute Guide, there’s a thin line between excitement and anxiety that leaders need to navigate for themselves—and especially for the executives who are considering your proposal.
“Where you see an exciting opportunity, some people may see a risky proposition,” Grant continues. “Big ideas equal big risk. Introduce your idea with conviction, but not fervor.”
You might be convinced that a new initiative could generate hundreds of applicants, but your team isn’t the only one with something on the line. As you pitch your idea to executives, keep their most significant concerns in mind, even if their tech recruiting isn’t their biggest priority.
Maybe you’ve spent countless hours planning a brand new talent management strategy. You know how you’ll measure success and failure. You understand the investment it will require to execute it well. But when you pitch the idea to your executives, there’s still the possibility that you’ll get a lot of feedback—or find out that it’s just not possible right now.
If you run into the latter situation, there are two things you should remember. First, a rejected idea doesn’t mean it was a bad idea. But more importantly, listen carefully to the feedback you receive. You’ll likely discover other goals that the executive team wants to hit—and you’ll have an even stronger idea of how you can impact the company by hiring developers.