The Portland technology industry is an exciting one for businesses, but a great deal of competition for talent comes with the territory. The gig economy is changing tech hiring in the area as managers deal with the continuous skills shortage in the field. Companies are turning to various strategies in order to capture the attention of talent and recruit them, but there is one that is often ignored: employer branding in Portland can be your key to securing top tech talent.
For growing companies especially, making themselves known to candidates in the Portland marketplace can be a challenge. In an effort to attract job seekers, a company may try to offer a high salary. In practice however, salary is not a differentiator. Money does not set companies apart in an IT and tech industry where there is always another player prepared to offer more. This is why the Harvard Business Review finds employer branding strategically more important than before; it can help you stand out to talent in a competitive field.
In the day-to-day grind of the evolving Portland IT industry, it can be difficult to take a step back and look at the big picture of employer branding. If it’s not salary, what sets your organization apart to the area’s job seekers? A lot of what professionals want are the intangibles that they can’t hold in their hands, and your culture is a big one. Just as improving culture helps employee retention, it also works to attract talent. A great environment full of happy people who are enjoying excellent work-life balance is contagious.
What technology do your tech pros have access to? IT professionals want to work with cutting-edge programs and systems, and companies with outdated technology find that their open roles are a tough sell. At the same time, job seekers have their long-term career in mind when they look at opportunities. Do you provide options for training and continuing tech education through online industry platforms such as CBT Nugget? Additionally, where does a professional want to be in 10 years? What niches do they want to add to their skill set? How can your company make that happen? Employer brands that differentiate themselves are the ones that address these questions early on in interactions as well as on websites and social media channels.
Efforts to improve employer branding are hardly effective if you don’t spread the word about the great things happening inside your organization. Word of mouth can play a huge part in growing a brand in Portland, but it doesn’t happen completely on its own. It has to be fostered and encouraged as quickly and as strongly as possibly; it needs a foundation. Social media and a digital presence is critical to that end. Studies show that people view their peers as nearly twice as credible as the CEO of a company. Maintaining social media channels, websites, and profiles on review sites that encourage employees to share their stories and positive experiences provide transparency and can capture the attention of other tech pros.
At the same time, the power of in-person interactions can provide a memorable human touch in an increasingly digital world. Perceptions of your employer brand are forming anywhere a tech pro might interact with it. Getting out into the Portland community by sponsoring events, volunteering, or attending conferences puts you in a position to shake someone’s hand, look them in the eyes, and leave a strong positive impression. Networking for tech pros in Portland is thriving, so encourage current employees to attend user groups, meetups, and other professional development functions where they can become your brand ambassadors while interacting with peers.
These days, organizations must use every tool in their arsenal to speak to technology professionals who are fielding interest from dozens of competitors. Employer branding in Portland can make a big difference, but it is just one piece of what should be a holistic strategy for maintaining a fully staffed workforce. When your organization finds itself in need of skilled IT talent quickly and there’s simply no time to carry out a rebranding, CorSource can help.