C-Suite challenge: How to hire and keep the right tech talent

A few guidelines an effective hiring process with the involvement of the C-suite.

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These days even companies that don’t have a strong technical focus are recognizing the value of bringing new tech talent on board. From managing internal databases to developing new and innovative programs for consumers, tech professionals are making their influence felt in almost every industry.

The field is only becoming more competitive and talented. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in the computer and information-technology sector is expected to in-crease by 13 percent by 2026, “faster than the average for all occupations.” In addition, with 2016’s median wage for tech workers exceeding $82,000, it’s clear that making the right in-vestment is crucial for a company’s financial outlook.

This makes an efficient hiring process essential and your company’s C-suite will often need to be involved. After all, inspirational “A players” tend to recruit and shape other “A players.” But how can you ensure that the involvement of the C-suite creates a beneficial hiring experience? Here are a few guidelines for cultivating an effective process.

Involving the right people

Tech employees are in high demand and they will be looking for any clues that indicate your company isn’t the right fit throughout the hiring process. While C-suite executives will natural-ly want to be involved in hiring higher-level tech employees it is essential that those who meet with candidates can talk the talk.

“If a C-suite executive can’t understand or accurately describe the technical terms that come up during a tech candidate’s interview, they’re probably not the best person to be involved in the nitty gritty details of the hiring process,” says Justin Stewart, co-founder and COO of mIQro-Tech. “Tech employees want confidence that their bosses understand and appreciate their work. Those involved in hiring should be able to speak the right language.”

While other members of the C-suite can certainly be involved in assessing a candidate’s cultur-al fit and general background, the CTO or other C-suite executives with a tech background will be the most qualified to accurately analyze a candidate’s abilities. When filling upper-level management positions, in particular, those involved in the hiring process should have a clear understanding of what the company truly needs so they can help find the best fit.

However, this doesn’t mean that non-tech C-suite members should necessarily be left out of the hiring process altogether. This is especially true in smaller startups, where an individual’s pas-sion, work ethic, and cultural fit will have an even greater impact on the company as a whole. One survey found that for 27 percent of employers, a single bad hire could cost the business over $50,000. As such, while other C-suite executives may be left out of the more technical as-pects of the hiring process, their involvement and input will likely still be necessary to ensure that the right hire is made.

Determining the level of involvement

So how should the not-so-tech-savvy C-suite executives get involved in the hiring of tech tal-ent? It’s important to remember that while a tech employee may not interact with most C-level employees on a regular basis, they still look to these individuals as the ones who set the tone for the company’s overall direction.

Your company’s CEO may not have much of a tech background, but the story behind why they started the company, as well as the core values that guide company decisions, will still resonate with a potential candidate. C-suite executives can have a direct impact on the hiring process by sharing what makes your company unique — and high-performing candidates will relate to messages that come from high-ranking leadership.

Such involvement can go a long way to ensure a hire is a good cultural fit, which is more likely to result in a highly engaged and loyal employee. Failure to adequately communicate your company’s mission, vision and values during the hiring process can translate into missing the “superstar” hire or cause trouble with long-term retention.

As Ben Wigert of Gallup explains, “[The] most talented employees are more likely to have high expectations of their workplaces. They are also more likely to have other opportunities available to them. They seek out better opportunities where they can grow and develop their skills.” Appropriate C-suite involvement during the hiring process can clearly demonstrate why your company provides the best opportunity for tech career growth.

It is also important to consider who should have the final decision-making authority for differ-ent hires. After all, management and human resources are there for a reason. In a larger compa-ny, the C-suite likely does not need to be directly involved in every hiring decision, particularly for lower-level positions.

However, management positions and business-critical roles will generally necessitate a meet-ing with a C-suite executive. Determine the level of involvement needed on a position by posi-tion basis before starting the recruitment process to ensure a streamlined approach that allows you to complete the hiring process quickly and effectively.

Making the right hires

While ensuring that you on-board the right tech talent is important, taking proper steps to im-prove the candidate experience is essential for finding the best fit. By involving your compa-ny’s C-suite in a meaningful and practical manner, you can ensure a quality outcome that will strengthen your business for years to come.

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