The talent market is full of amazing people. As much as you may want to hire all of them, you simply can’t. You need to prioritize a finite set of characteristics that add value to your organization – and if you’re not sure where to start, the first place to look is your 2014 strategic plan.
Technology has quickly become the heart and soul of business. Forward-thinking companies are investing heavily in their big data, mobile and online marketing strategies. Programmers, engineers and computer scientists are in higher demand than ever.
As you develop your hiring strategy, keep in mind that engineers are only one part of the technology ecosystem. To execute an effective tech strategy, your organization needs artists, analysts, and growth engines, among other talent. Here are the five types of people you need on your team:
1. Growth Engines
People are the heart of technology. While engineers will be your organization’s builders, your account managers, partnership leaders, business development teams and marketers will help you find customers.
They’re in the trenches helping you cultivate key customer and stakeholder relationships. They champion the intersection of people and tech – and make it look easy.
Business has gone global. A company in downtown San Francisco will likely have clients, business partners, and offices in New York, Utah, Seattle and Los Angeles. Visual communication will be mission-critical to your organization – whether you’re pitching clients or collaborating with remote teams.
Top designers can effectively balance form and function. They’ll make something look beautiful and can explain the rationale behind every detail and element. They’re equal parts artist and scientist.
3. Data Masterminds
Data is more than a quantitative discipline. It’s a creative sport. That’s why Harvard Business Review calls data science the sexiest career of the 21st century – not because these leaders are crunching numbers but because they’re synthesizing abstract concepts, pioneering new research, and testing new revenue opportunities.
When hiring a data scientist, look for more than just Excel proficiency and coding ability. You want data scientists who will roll up their sleeves and dive into any messy situation.
4. Swiss Army Knives
These team members demonstrate a rare ability to tackle any challenge. They can learn on the fly, embrace risks, and enjoy forging their own unique paths.
They’re natural leaders who don’t quite fit the mold of “marketer, sales pro, or product manager” – however, they could have found their way to any one of these teams. They can do it all, which means they could easily switch over to a new group at a moment’s notice.
Your Swiss army knives are your company’s future. These are the leaders who will help you navigate new terrain and set up new technology departments. When you find this talent, keep it close.
Technology concepts are complex. To effectively connect with stakeholders and customers, your organization needs to tell a powerful story and invest in customer education materials.
Storytellers – brand strategists, content producers, product marketers, and writers – will be mission-critical to this process. They’ll help your company shine in the spotlight as thought leaders and influencers.
Hire Perpetual Learners
The tech landscape is forever-changing. You need folks who are committed to facing their fears, pushing past their weaknesses and have a commitment to growth. Technical skills can be taught. Curiosity, however, is a trait that comes from within. Find that, and you’ll have found the right people for your business.