Elliot Clark, CEO of HRO Today, recently sat down with Paul Budd, Vice President, Technology Talent Solutions, to talk about hiring tech talent at pace and scale—and how a data-based approach is changing the recruitment and retention game. Whether or not you think of your business as a tech company, every organization needs tech talent—and that need will only grow in the future.

Understanding the technology talent economy: build villages, not mansions

Why are companies struggling to hire and retain tech professionals? Clark notes that the world is not producing that type of talent as fast as we are creating jobs for it. Even with global economic challenges, the mismatch between supply and demand is widening.

Pre-pandemic, companies had narrow location requirements, which intensified tech hiring challenges. Now, a willingness to embrace hybrid work models is opening access to a global talent pool.

“Rather than building the one mansion, a central head office location, organizations are more successful when they build out a smaller number of what we call ‘villages’ with small pockets of expert talent that can work in more of a hybrid model,” says Budd. “We’re shifting our client’s focus from where they are based as an organization to where their talent is based.”

The secret to connecting with talent? Speaking their language.

Clark asked Budd how his engineering background impacts his current tech talent recruitment role. Budd emphasized that the impact is two-fold: he has a better understanding of candidate’s needs because he’s lived them, and he is able to speak to them in their language.

“The way to build rapport is to come across as somebody who understands their market, understands their role, talks the same language—that’s one of the things organizations need to invest in,” says Budd. “Rather than taking a job description for a sales role and adding some technical terms, you need to write that description from the mindset of a tech professional. Organizations benefit when they work with teams of experts who can understand how to communicate with engineers and technical professionals in their language and at their level.”

Recruitment Process Outsourcing

More than RPO — talent realized

How a data-driven approach supports “recruitment for retention.”

Finally, the discussion touched on the importance of retention– and why this is a key piece to the recruitment puzzle, no matter the location. Clark asked what companies should do to minimize turnover risk with new hires, especially in competitive markets like Kraków or Bangalore. But Budd reminded Clark that virtually every geography is competitive now, so creating a driving value proposition that speaks to a candidate’s biggest pain points—purpose and career growth—is essential.

“We've done a lot of research that helps us understand what tech talent is looking for in terms of a new role,” says Budd. “One of the things that stands out is people want to have a purpose. People want to be invested in what the company is building or providing as a product or service. And often companies don't relay that value proposition effectively to the marketplace, so we work with clients to co-create that value proposition.”

“The second is career growth. Everything your technology team is doing today will probably be outdated in five years. If a new hire doesn’t see an opportunity to keep pace with technological change throughout their career at your organization, they're going to go somewhere else to keep their skills current. Organizations need to satisfy a new hire’s thirst for learning. When they do, the business gets maximum value from the employee, the employee feels valued and is more likely to stay long-term, and the employee is also more likely to refer other people within their network to that organization.”

Unlocking the holy grail of recruitment: building a passive talent pipeline

“The concept of a community for the future, that is the holy grail when it comes to recruitment,” says Budd. “We help our clients achieve this by putting together the right components—strategies around value proposition, talent, location, analytics, teams of experts that communicate effectively with these candidates—and then we build a passive talent pipeline for the future. That's how our clients succeed.”


To listen to the complete conversation, access the full podcast with HRO Today, or you can explore our other Tech Talent insights.