Texas grocer H-E-B is one grocer positioning itself to better draw quality technology talent, building a facility in East Austin, Texas, specifically for its technology team
Castelán recommends that grocers begin by hiring great leaders – think Kroger with CIO Yael Cosset or Walmart with Walmart Ecommerce U.S. CEO Marc Lore, for instance. While they might not be Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, these influencers still have the ability to attract other great candidates by providing a compelling vision for how the organization will evolve and put the consumer front and center.
Employing technology-savvy recruiters also is key here. In a blog entry, Dave Anderson, content strategist with Seattle-based recruitment software company Recruiterbox, points out that one of the easiest ways to lose a candidate’s interest in a job is to describe that role in a way that doesn’t make sense to them.
“A recruiter who specializes in finding tech talent will not only bring you the right candidates,” he writes. “They’ll also make a good first impression on behalf of your company because they can express what you’re looking for in a practical way.”
2. Budget for Greatness
When trying to court top technology talent – talent that’s currently in demand in many other and sexier fields nationwide – you have to budget for it. No interviewee wants to be told, “We think you’re worth what you’re asking – but we can’t pay you that."
“Digital talent – from UX to data analytics – has many options,” Castelán says. “That means rethinking pay and career paths at companies.”
Think about it: How much value does one extremely talented analyst provide versus an average one? Are you willing to pay a junior candidate significantly more than a longer-tenured employee, because of the need and greater productivity? These are difficult questions that affect the future of the company and its culture, so they must be addressed by forward-thinking human resources teams.
3. Connect with the Community
Grocers need to wake up to their local technology scene and connect through the ways that its members do. And if they’re not near a major technology hub, they should send their top digital talent and recruiters to one.
In his blog entry, RecruiterBox’s Anderson notes that when checking out an area with a high concentration of technology graduates or workers, it’s not difficult to discover Meetup groups; hackathons – where software developers, designers and more collaborate to develop software in a short period of time – workshops; or other social events. Grocers with the appropriate amount of resources might even be able to sponsor an event.