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How to design a marketing plan to recruit top tech talent

Recruiting tech talent is a top priority for companies in which the ability to scale depends on the right team. Today, hiring a recruiter or posting on job sites may not be enough.

Many companies are taking steps beyond recruitment advertising to position their organizations as great places to work. For example, General Electric is running a national campaign to recruit developers on network and cable programming called “What’s the Matter with Owen?” They also use a campaign to recruit women in technology called “What My Mom Does at GE.”

Here are some tips to help your business compete for tech employees in today’s tough environment:

Define your targets: Are you recruiting recent graduates? Or do you need experienced hires who must be convinced to leave another job? First, define the talent you need, then determine the most effective channels to reach those individuals, such as paid advertising, social media, events or word of mouth.

Articulate what makes your company a great workplace: Assess the benefits and detractors of working at your company. Build your marketing around the most favorable attributes of the job. Prepare your team to strategically address the detractors when they come up.

Analyze the competition and craft your story: Analyze competitive recruitment marketing and develop messages and marketing assets to position your company against them. Define the top four reasons a tech professional might choose your company. Then, version these for different targets with varying priorities. For instance, a more experienced professional or a working parent may prefer a flexible schedule, leadership opportunities, job security or the camaraderie of a like-minded team to the gaming culture of companies typically attracting recent graduates.

Devise a memorable creative campaign: Develop a creative theme to get attention, then help your company stand out by blending your recruitment marketing efforts under a single concept.

Revisit your position descriptions: Compare the position descriptions on your website to those of a competitor. Does your job sound more enticing? Or is it a bulleted list of requirements that may be a daunting barrier to entry? Be aware that job postings can contain subtle gender-biased language that may discourage women from applying. Examples of masculine job descriptors that project a “brogrammer” culture are: ninja, driven, competitive, decisive, independent and assertive. More inclusive language examples are: responsible, imaginative, dedicated, excellent, adaptable and conscientious. Be sure to craft your descriptions intentionally and carefully.

How to get the word out: Create videos to portray your company’s benefits and what it’s like to work there, then post these to the recruitment section of your website. A paid media plan to get your big idea in front of the candidates could help position you for success. This requires a strategic approach to creating the right content/marketing and gaining visibility with the right audiences to generate applicant interest.

Overall, the uniqueness and consistency of your messages along with your ability to get the attention of just the right people determines the success of recruitment marketing. Get started at least six months before you need your new hire in place. And, once your campaign is developed, share it with your current team to enlist their help in spreading the word.

This article originally appeared in the Austin Business Journal.