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Hiring Technical Talent

How to Build Your Tech Talent Brand – Part 1

Written By Tanaz Ahmed | September 18, 2018

Colleagues, some seated and some standing around a table, discussing in front of a whiteboardThis is Part 1 of a 2-part series on How to Build Your Tech Talent Brand. In this post, we’re diving into what exactly a tech talent brand is and why it’s important. Check out Part 2  for a step-by-step by guide on how to create a tech talent brand. 

The demand for developers in every industry, from finance to automotive, shows no sign of stopping and is quickly outpacing the pool of available talent.

Tech recruiters and hiring managers need to go beyond traditional recruiting methods to attract potential employees in this hyper-competitive market. You need to have a tailored approach for developers. This is where a strong tech talent brand comes in.

Often relegated to the back burner or misunderstood, building a respected tech talent brand is actually an integral part of winning developer talent. In fact, after surveying more than 7,000 professionals worldwide about their perceptions of various companies’ corporate and talent brands, LinkedIn found that a strong talent brand reduces cost per hire by up to 50 percent and lowers turnover rates by 28 percent.

LinkedIn paired the responses from their Employer Brand survey with their existing data on companies that attract the most candidate interest on their platform, turnover rates, and the cost per hire (taking into consideration costs like advertising and recruiter fees) to reach their findings.

The Employer Brand survey from LinkedIn shows the importance of talent brands for attracting interest in any role. Hiring for a developer role is a harder and more unique challenge - developers are inundated with job opportunities from recruiters (e.g. they’re contacted by recruiters three times more than the average professional). Feeling overwhelmed, most developers ignore the majority of job postings sent to them and some have even gone as far as to create ways to make themselves invisible to recruiters. Coupled with the fact that the need for tech talent is exponentially growing, this is why it’s imperative to specifically have tech talent brands.  

In order to create a valuable tech talent brand, it’s important to first understand what exactly it is. Part One of this series will illustrate the differences between a corporate brand, talent brand, and tech talent brand as well as the benefits of tech talent branding.

A Quick Primer on Corporate Brands

Corporate brand, also known as a company brand, is an organization’s overall public reputation shaped by the company’s marketing department. It’s a reflection of how the general public views an organization’s products and services along with how well-known the company is as a whole. Having a powerful corporate brand can make your company seem more appealing to tech talent at first glance. But, this usually only holds true for tech giants. Even for organizations that have strong corporate brands, LinkedIn found that a company’s talent brand is 2x more likely to drive job consideration than its corporate brand.

A sexy company brand also only acts as an initial attractor. A potential candidate is going to dig deeper to learn more about how the organization operates internally. According to CareerBuilder, 64 percent of candidates will spend time researching a job post before applying. The bottom line is that organizations that invest in their talent brands have a higher chance of making a direct, positive impact on their recruiting efforts.

You are in Control of Your Talent Brand

Talent branding, also known as employer branding, is driven by a company’s recruiting team. The goal of a talent brand is to amplify the overall employee experience, happiness, and engagement in order to appeal to prospective talent. It provides an inside look into the company’s culture and how it operates.

Making existing employees the focus has many benefits. After surveying more than 33,000 people worldwide, Edelman found that people trust employee sentiment about companies more than the words of CEOs, Board of Directors, and even journalists. Furthermore, according to Glassdoor, most candidates read six employee reviews before forming an opinion about a company. In general, 70 percent of people check reviews on Glassdoor prior to making any career decisions.

The Rise of the Tech Talent Brand

Most think that a tech talent brand is only necessary for the tech industry. In reality, every single company needs to have a developer-focused employer brand since every organization is transforming into a technology company and needs to be able to compete for tech talent.

Along with being the most sought out professionals, developers are also concerned with different aspects of jobs than the rest of the workforce. According to almost 40,000 developers, their highest priority when evaluating a job is work-life balance.

A close second is the opportunity to continue learning and engaging with new technologies as well as being a part of a challenging, growth-oriented workplace. HackerRank found that at any given time, developers want to learn an average of four new programming languages. Developers are highly invested in the complexity of the technological problems they're solving, the impact, and the flexibility to do so at their pace. According to Netguru, 85 percent of developers said working on an interesting project was far more important than money.

Infographic on what developers value when evaluating companies to work at

A tech talent brand speaks to these priorities and helps solve for the hyper-competitive developer job market that is affecting all companies, regardless of industry. Recruiters and technical hiring managers work together to build tech talent brands, which we’ll dig deeper into in Part Two of this series. The next part of this series will also provide actionable ways to create an attractive tech talent brand.

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Ebook: How to Build a Tech Talent Brand: The Definitive Guide

How to Build a Tech Talent Brand: The Definitive Guide