How Atlanta Talent Pros Work Around the Challenges of Tech Hiring

February 2, 2017 at 7:35 AM by Ronnie Bratcher


As Chairman of the Technology Association of Georgia’s recruiting society, I strive to offer the local recruiting community resources for continued learning and networking.

Keeping up with today’s candidates means understanding talent trends – knowing where people spend their time searching for jobs, how they want to interact with employers, and what engages them with a new role – whether or not they’re actively looking. You’ve heard it repeatedly: Modern day talent networks are saturated with recruiters vying after the same people. In Atlanta, some of our hiring challenges include attracting non-local talent, building diverse candidate pools, and discovering the “next big thing” in the world of sourcing tools.

TAG recently partnered with Entelo to bring together over 150 industry peers to talk about the state of hiring in the Atlanta market. What does it take to engage and hire a local candidate?

We kicked off the event with a panel featuring Pindrop, MailChimp, and Chick-fil-A sharing their experiences hiring in the Atlanta market, and closed off the evening with The Sourcing Institute’s Shally Steckerl, who discussed hacks to find candidates on Facebook. Here are some of the highlights from Recruiting @ Scale, Atlanta:

Leverage the economic draw of your locale.

Pindrop, whose U.S. headquarters is in Atlanta, has been able to compete for tech talent by marketing the longer-term value of a local engineer’s salary in Atlanta, versus their counterparts in cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York City – all ranked in the top 10 most expensive U.S. cities.

Mailchimp, also located in Atlanta, takes a similar approach to attracting Silicon Valley candidates, who often don’t think of Atlanta as a hub for tech and startups. Mailchimp has also started shifting their focus to engaging candidates with the city attractions, weighing out the economics of the role and salary between the Bay Area and Atlanta.

Diversify your team by diversifying your recruiting channels.

Chick-fil-A has an overall retention rate of 95%, which they attribute to the process they built around their employer brand and because of the diversity they already have within their current employee network. They also partner with universities and groups like Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the National Association of Black Accountants to extend their recruitment opportunities.

At MailChimp, diversity is a hot topic. They recently hired someone solely focused on diversity to learn where to source and engage candidates outside of their typical talent pools. Pindrop began hosting female-driven tech meetups to expand their network and started training their team on the implications of unconscious bias to encourage the growth of a supportive, safe working environment.

...starting with the obvious.

LinkedIn is out, overfished, and already changing, said Shally Steckerl, President and Founder of The Sourcing Institute. To find new pools of candidates, recruiters have to expand their network on some of the more obvious, but least expected talent sources, like Facebook. You can check out Shally's Facebook recruiting hacks here.

Atlanta is often not realized or branded as a tech talent hub, and we compete for talent in markets like Silicon Valley, Austin, and New York. But by building our tech brand and being more proactive in marketing our locale – the economic cost of living, the major tech orgs already located here, and the dynamics of our bustling city – we’re able to hire more quality, diverse, highly skilled talent. I’m excited for what’s to come for the future of hiring in Atlanta.

Thank you to our speakers at Recruiting Top Talent in Atlanta Circa 2017: Shally Steckerl (The Sourcing Institute), Courtney McAtee (MailChimp), JT Haskell (Pindrop), and Kelli Easley (Chick-fil-A). We also want to thank Entelo for sponsoringand supporting bringing the Atlanta Recruiting together for a great discussion on the state of the Atlanta talent market.

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