Last week, NASSCOM announced that India added 1,200 new tech startups in 2018, the highest ever, while eight startups joined the unicorn club in the year. Another report by ASSOCHAM notes that India is world’s third largest tech startup hub after the US and the UK.
This blistering growth makes obvious the fact that India is also going to be a very competitive market for high-quality tech talent.
However, startup founders who we talk to frequently tell us they have to face a tough fight to attract and retain the brightest tech minds in the business. This talent scarcity is a product of a series of underlying issues, the biggest of which is brain drain.
India underwent a massive tech talent exodus in the late 90s and early 2000s when the country’s economic environment was not conducive to employ freshly minted technology professionals graduating in big numbers. Many of the brightest tech minds from the country migrated, most of them to the USA.
Secondly; there is an ever-growing demand for top notch talent. Many tech startups like Flipkart, OYO, Swiggy, Zomato have spun spectacular success stories in the recent years for the entire world to notice. Inevitably they end up competing with global leaders in their respective industries; and as this competition heats up; so does the demand for the right talent pool. As a result, attracting top tech leadership talent isn’t exactly a piece of cake for most Indian tech companies.
Finally, the demand for high-quality talent has always outweighed supply in the country’s tech sector. Taken together, these three factors are forcing Indian companies to adopt creative ways to approach and court the candidates.
Related Article: Can Innovation Alone Buoy India’s Deeptech Startup Ecosystem?
Based on what I have seen and experienced, there are a handful of important approaches that work:
Great Talent Attracts Great Talent
The best talent out there would want to find out about the big fish already working with you. Chances are you already have the best talent in your organisation. Why not use it to draw more high performers to your company?
I completely agree with what Tom Perrault Chief People Officer at MemSQL thinks, “People join us not only because we have a great culture, but also because we have amazing, world-class tech talent already here. When a prospective employee meets some of the talented folks we already have on board, they are more eager to join. Great talent attracts great talent, and it’s a virtuous cycle.”
In essence, your current top-tiered employees are your brand advocates. When recruiting a high-profile candidate, take a closer look at their professional network. You can always exploit it in future to approach the right tech talent. And if all goes well, you can even rope in the entire team of talented employees that worked with the candidate in your company.
Once you have found these perfect diamonds, keep them, nurture them and show them all your love. Remember, if they leave, they will take all the best people them.
Promise To Nurture Passion
“Passion is the genesis of genius.” – Tony Robbins certainly got that right!
All entrepreneurs and industry leaders view passion as the key ingredient for success. The top-level tech talent is no exception to this school of thought.
The sheer thought of where our world could be in terms of technology in the coming decades causes them to push their boundaries to innovate and experiment. Show them your organisation is supportive of their passion for technology.
Maybe you can offer them creative autonomy or allow them to work on something they are passionate about. Let them participate in tech activities outside of their work.
These are some of the best ways to attract and retain top talent in your organisation.
Top-level tech talent is hard to come by, especially when you are facing global competition. When it comes to hiring a top-tiered tech executive, experience is reviewed before education in most cases.
In the end, it all boils down hands-on experience, inherent skills, and the unique perspectives a CTO brings to your organisation. That’s why Indian tech companies need to take the road less traveled to find suitable talent and ensure to nurture those talents and not just employ them.