How to Hire Silicon Valley Engineers – What Do the Experts Say?

July 25th, 2013 by David Rothschild Leave a reply »

Silicon Valley HiringWhen the success of your business depends at least in part on hiring the best engineers in Silicon Valley, you should know that it’s not always about high salaries and stock options, according to a number of hiring experts from top Silicon Valley companies.

Recruiting highly talented engineers in this region is always intensely competitive. To that end, the Commonwealth Club’s Inforum recently hosted an event in San Francisco to discuss the various strategies that local technology firms are using to recruit the best talent, according to a recent article at ZDNet.

On hand were hiring professionals from Cisco Systems, Collaboration Group, Google and Twitter.  The following are some of the top hiring points they made:

Cater to the Generation

Members of the generation born after 1981, often referred to as “Gen Y,” may seem to require a bit more coddling, with expectations of perks such as transportation, house cleaning and free beer and food.  Although wanting these perks may seem like the candidates have a sense of entitlement, keep in mind that these extras make them feel welcome at a company on top of the high salaries and multiple benefits.

You need to acknowledge that your applicants will have an expectation of some perks like these, at the very least so they can have a bit more incentive to come on board as well as have some bragging rights among their peers. Besides, offering employees free bus rides to and from work is a good way to ensure that they will get to the premises on time.

Working at Home

Tech-savvy workers may feel hamstrung if their companies require them to always work on-site.  If your corporate culture can accommodate it, you will definitely want to consider offering the option to work at home to your most promising engineer candidates to sweeten the deal. Twitter’s representative, for example, said the company welcomes its employees to work at home, as long as they continue to do their work.  This trend is continuing to proliferate the engineering space as many coders do their best work at strange hours that are more conducive to working at home.

Coaching for the Future

Potential employees want to have a sense that they can continue to grow in their field, the article noted, emphasizing the importance of offering coaching to your engineer candidates.

When an engineer feels that the company is taking an active role in helping him/her develop for the future, it can go a long way toward job satisfaction. The representative from Cisco said that in fact, coaching is more important than salary for people who believe they will grow with their company.

As a human resources professional, you need to make sure that you are providing the most compelling options for attracting the best of the best when it comes to your engineers.  No longer can you feel secure by focusing on incentives such as stock options and big salaries.  Although these items should surely be up front during the hiring process, don’t forget about those other perks that might stick with the candidate when they are considering the position.


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