In our increasingly tech-dominated economy, certain occupations are more in-demand than ever.
That's why companies have got to be smart about recruiting for tech. There's plenty of competition out there when it comes to snagging the best workers.
Doug Gray, senior vice president of engineering at Indeed, has several key pillars of recruiting stellar programmers, engineers, and other tech workers.
Have you read?
These principles also double as strategies for subsequently retaining said top talent:
1. Promote ownership
Does the job candidate take ownership of their past projects and display passion and emotional investment in what they've worked on in the past? If so, that's a good sign.
In order to attract and retain the best talent, tech companies should also encourage a culture of ownership.
"People want to be able to control their own destiny," Gray tells Business Insider. "They want to be able to say, 'The things that I think matter, actually matter.'"
Gray says that a good number of companies make the mistake of treating their software engineers like machines, instead of encouraging them to take ownership of their work.
He says the mentality is too often: "Go build me that program. Don't worry about what it's supposed to do and why it matters. Just build it."
"That's very frustrating," Gray says.
2. Foster intellectual challenge
Gray says that many of the best tech workers go into the field because they like solving puzzles.
"They like that experience of actually being frustrated — and then there's this magical moment where you've figured out how to do it," he says.
Candidates who can point out a time that they earnestly pursued some sort of professional challenge are often keepers. However, if you want them to stick around, you need to give them the space to continue to pursue complex issues.
"If you're not growing, trying new things, and getting into the 'discomfort zone' at some level, then your people will feel like they are stagnating," Gray says. "Are you offering your people at every level the opportunity for intellectual challenge?"
3. Encourage development
Of course, hiring candidates with impressive technical skills is a must. However, if you want to retain them in the long run, you must be sure that your organization is fostering a culture of professional growth and development.
Gray says that adopting cutting edge technologies and helping your workers stay attuned to new skills, languages, and programs is crucial for retainment.
4. Focus on real world impact
Great candidates know that they'll be passionate about helping an organization achieve a real world impact. That's why it's important to ensure that your company is able to effectively communicate goals and outcomes, as well. Gray says that an emphasis on real world impact is particularly important for software engineers.
"They go in and there are some magnetic changes that occur on a disc somewhere," Gray says. "It's not like building a house or doing something where there's an obvious physical change that occurs."
Basically, explain why your organization matters. Gray says that's what initially attracted him to Indeed — it's mission to help people get jobs.
"I'm working on complex problems that matter," he says. "The 'matter' part is really, really important. I think it matters to all people. If I'm going to spend eight hours a day, 40 hours plus a week doing something, I want to know that this has meaning."