How Small & Medium Companies and Startups Can Hire For New Frontiers (Software Engineering, Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO)
A decade ago your business probably didn’t need a website or a developer for that matter. In less than 10 years the way we do business in Nigeria has changed almost drastically. Almost everyone is going online and you cannot be left behind.
Companies and businesses that are serious about remaining competitive realize the need to be on top or at worst abreast of the trends.
The facts show that the web and mobile internet are beginning to play huge roles in shaping the performance of companies. The Nigerian Communication Commission says the number of active mobile lines in Nigeria has hit 113 million. As at the end of 2012 there were over 45 million internet users (web and mobile) in Nigeria and the numbers keep growing.
Businesses can no longer ignore the internet factor in business growth and thus the need to start getting talented hands in some of the areas needed to take advantage of the online growth.
Companies and businesses previously never needed to hire specialists and talented workers in areas like content marketing, design and development, social media, SEO etc. Today the story is changing and adverts for titles like Social Media Specialist, Java Developer, Chief Content Officer are becoming more prominent.
I call these emerging areas of recruitment need the new job frontiers. Ambitious companies and organizations are well aware of the need to recruit able hands for these new frontiers to enable them strengthen their positions and gain massively from the online opportunities for revenue and brand growth.
While tech companies and startups are mostly aware and in fact do much of the hiring for these new frontiers brick and mortar businesses will need to learn how to attract new hires in these areas and jump on the internet wagon.
Finding Talent in New Frontiers is Difficult
Depending on the skills and expertise you are looking for it is more difficult to hire qualified people in these new frontiers than it is to hire for traditional positions such as business development, accounting, operations etc. While there may be several developers for instance you will find it tough getting the real talented ones at a budget you can afford as a small or medium company. Those few talents often prefer being consultants or running their own gigs.
The relatively new popularity of these frontiers mean that there are not enough qualified and experienced hands to choose from.
Determine What Your Company Needs
Depending on what your company does you may not need to hire a full time developer for instance. You will first need to determine what your organization needs then explore possibilities around these needs
Full Time Employees vs Contract/Freelance
The needs you have identified will help you choose whether to bring in full time workers experienced in these areas or make do with contracted work from freelancers and consultants. If you do most of your business offline but need to have a comprehensive website to attract prospects you might go for paying a web developer to design your company site. Then you will also decide if there is enough work involved in maintaining and running the site to warrant having a web administrator.
However these days there’s not much value having a static website that does not have regularly updated information to attract reasonable visits from the search engines. Many companies serious with having an active online presence now know the value of a company blog and some other content marketing channels in bringing new, targeted prospective customers and users. Deciding to go with a content marketing strategy (inclusive of maintaining an active blog, guest posting, etc) will mean hiring specialists to drive the strategy.
Social media is increasing in importance for businesses. Again depending on your area of business and ambition you will have active social media channels for your business on at least any of the following major social/business platforms; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. Should you choose to have an active social media strategy you will also need to hire social media managers and engagement officers.
How To Hire for Design & Development, Engineering, Content Marketing, Social Media, Data Management, Community/User Operations, etc
Like stated earlier hiring for software engineering and development positions can be more difficult than for areas like community/user operations and social media. Still hiring for all these hitherto unknown job areas of a business is definitely challenging for business owners and managers who are not very tech savvy.
Hiring programmers, software engineers, database managers, social media and content marketing specialists etc will entail combining a few strategies such as stalking and poaching (which will likely get you better experienced hands at bigger wages), advertising on tech job boards and tech publications and word of mouth.
For the first you have to actually be conversant with the industry and build up your target list of people who have the skills and experience you require. A good place to start your search might be LinkedIn where you can search for people based on the title or skills you have in mind. Refining your search smartly can help you find developers around your location. You can check out their profiles, recommendations and send them connection requests. You can also cross over to Twitter and follow same persons to know more about what they do daily. Twitter has a curious way of letting you into the work or thought patterns of people you are looking to work with.
While many job boards are mostly useless for hiring experienced hands in these job frontiers you could find decent prospects for softer niches like community/user operations, Operations, Social Media and to some extent Content Marketing by advertising in a few reputable job sites. Tougher positions like those in engineering, design, database administration, digital security etc might require that you advertise in tech sites that attract a good number of these tribe of people.
If you are active in meeting and knowing people in these frontiers you could actually quietly pass word around via Twitter, email and face to face meetings and you could end up getting decent prospects referred to you this way.
If you are more tech conscious than savvy like me you definitely will need an associate or consigliere well versed in these areas to help you decipher the real valuable prospects from the chaff.
From sounding out prospects to the actual interview you will need to have one or two associates or advisors experienced in that particular niche to help you negotiate the various steps and get the best possible candidates. A software engineer will not do much to help you if you are recruiting for a Chief Content Specialist. Asking a Database Administrator/Engineer to help you hire a PHP developer will not cut it either.
The key to attracting and hiring A list people for your organisation’s march into the new frontiers mean is to be clear on what you want, be patient, utilize the right candidate attraction techniques and get the right assistance (if you are not savvy in these areas).
Did you like this? Share it: