One of the many things I learned while studying international trade and finance at Louisiana State University is that people frequently move around within the United States – and they do so, typically, in the pursuit of a better financial situation. In short, we move around a lot for our jobs.
Whether it’s a new job with a new company or a promotion with a current employer, people are mobile when it comes to their work. In fact, according to a Bamboo report, 77 percent of employees say they’re willing to relocate for work. To restrict this movement or migration within our country’s own borders is not optimal for the labor force, especially when it comes to highly skilled workers like senior hardware and software engineers.
To only consider local talent is to miss out on a large population of willing and mobile workers.
The Top 3 Reasons to Consider Non-Local Technology Candidates in Your Next Search
1. Supply and Demand
Some of the best engineering talent in the world is not located in top technology markets. Companies need to be as willing as the talent in considering non-local options.
We all know that the technology talent market is tight. And, when it comes to the senior-level hardware and software engineers I recruit for, the market is even tighter. The unemployment rate for these technical professionals is at a 10-plus-year low, at 1.8 percent. And, because of the high demand and limited supply, engineers are getting multiple job offers.
The sheer economics of today’s technology talent market makes non-local options an imperative to filling critical openings.
2. Remote Capabilities
Another key reason to keep non-local candidates in mind for open technology positions is simply because of the mechanics of the jobs they perform. Last year, CNBC reported on a study that found that 70 percent of professionals work remotely at least one day a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of the week. Because of the nature of their jobs, technology professionals are equipped and highly capable of working remotely.
So, even if you’re waiting for a candidate to make the move and get started onsite, depending on the profile type and the work they’ll be performing, these candidates can usually get started right away by working remotely. Oftentimes, despite the logistics, a non-local candidate can get moved and started while positions only considering local options go unfilled.
My advice to our clients in these scenarios is always to keep an open mind and to remind them that the best option is likely not located in their backyard, and can get started right away- elsewhere.
3. Contract Length
Contracting opportunities through Triple Crown range from 30- to 60- to 90-days upwards to months and even years. The average, however, is right between 6-9 months. This means that while there will likely be some moving pieces for non-local consultants to sort out before starting, temporarily moving somewhere for a contact position does not require nearly the same level of planning and detail as a permanent move.
Senior-level technical professionals, like firmware engineers and mobile developers, with 5-10 years of experience have likely already commuted or moved short-term for a contract position before. Instead of ruling out a non-local candidate, consider asking if they’ve moved for a position in the past. If they maintained a permanent residency in a different city or state, ask them which cities they’ve worked in before and what their schedule was like. Did they fly in on Sunday and back out on Thursday? Have they budgeted this travel into their hourly consulting rate, or do they expect any form of reimbursement for traveling or moving? Everything can be worked out in detail; you just have to know the right questions to ask.
In 2019, to exclude non-local candidates in a search means to seriously miss out on population of qualified and willing technology workers. Not to mention, the cost of vacancy to hold out for local candidates only could very well outweigh the initial concerns about the cost to move someone non-local.
Local-only searches are hopeful, and, quite frankly, naïve, especially when it comes to senior-level technology positions, like hardware, software and firmware engineering roles. Video interviewing has replaced expensive travel and there are countless tools, technology and apps – think Airbnb for temporary housing options for consulting gigs – to make hiring and moving non-local candidates easier.
If you’re hiring for top technology talent, make sure your recruiting efforts are modern and yielding the best options – both local and non-local.