Enliven hosted the brand-new St. Louis SaaS Meetup group for a panel discussion on recruiting all-star candidates for tech companies or positions. Our president, Ian, joined Jay Murchison, founder/president of Concero Technology Group, to lead a discussion on their approaches to acquiring tech talent. Here are some of the most pressing questions they addressed:

There’s a large discrepancy between the amount of tech talent, and the number of unfilled technical jobs. What’s the deal?
Mostly, the need for technical talent has exploded faster than any computer science department can keep up with. However, there are a variety of coding camps and immersive programs hoping to balance things out, so be ready for a variety of business-turned-tech professionals to hit the workforce in coming years.

Millennial are notorious for job-hopping. How do we improve retention?
Companies are trying all sorts of things to appeal to our younger workforce, be it coffee bars, free lunches, unlimited PTO, or bring-your-pet-to-work days. While some of these can foster a stronger culture, Millennials have spoken loud and clear on what wins their loyalty: contributing to something important. This has two parts to it:

  1. Projects should be important 
  2. Employees should be empowered to contribute in a meaningful way 

To increase retention, allow millennials to work on significant projects where they can get excited about the results. Then, make sure they have some degree of ownership and an opportunity to share ideas within their team.

Veterans vs rookies? What should I be looking for?
Of course, it depends on your business’ current needs. If you’ve got a level of time-sensitivity, an experienced developer will be able to hit the ground running and contribute very quickly. 

However, don’t count out the new guys! Enliven loves to work with organizations like LaunchCode to find new developers who are smart, savvy, and love the world of technology - even if they don’t have years of programming experience. There’s something to be said for a programmer who is flexible and eager to learn, when looking for a long-term fit for your company.

How about remote workers?
The common theme for successful remote workers is an established relationship before distance is introduced. Hiring, onboarding, training, then working from a distance is a challenge. But if you have a great employee who wants to move, or travel, or split time between home and the office, they can absolutely be as productive and collaborative as any other member of your team.

Hiring in the technology field, or for a tech-related position, can feel overwhelming from someone with a non-technical background. However, this philosophy makes it simple: it is better to pass on several great candidates, than regret hiring the wrong one. If this is your company’s recruiting strategy, you’ll surround yourself with competent, smart people who you enjoy being around - a win-win for you, your business, and your clients!

About SaaSTL: 
SaaSTL is a Meetup group that creates a space for new and experienced entrepreneurs, founders, and SaaS executives to come together to share successes, failures, challenges and solutions to help each become better at what we do. Does that sound like something you want to be a part of? Click here to get an invite to the next event!

Rachel is a digital marketer from Chicago. She specializes in business development, community outreach, and content strategy.