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Stop Holding Out for FAANG

June 18th, 2021

You’re ready to hire a senior-level engineer. You have your list of qualifications, internships, must-have experience, and an ideal academic profile to boot.  With a salary in mind, you start recruiting for your perfect engineer coming out of a top global company with Ivy credentials. But as time passes, you don’t understand why you’re not attracting top talent to your disruptive product or service.  Maybe you bump the salary a bit, take out another job ad, or rework the current posting. And still, nothing.  You turn to a recruiter, and they tell you exactly what you don’t want to hear – stop yearning after FAANG.

But why would you stop going after the best of the best? Why would you accept a ‘second tier’ engineer when your team should be built out and run by the smartest of engineers? There are plenty of reasons, but ultimately, you’re not the right company for them. Why not?

If you aren’t actively headhunting specific FAANG employees or alum, then you’re not attracting their attention.  This is a tight labor market and candidates know that they are in high demand. Unless you are wooing them with over-market salaries, RSUs, sign on bonuses, engineering freedom & world domination (just kidding – sort of), then you are not on their radar. Your innovative and life-changing product or service is outside of their scope of vision. Unless you’re hitting the TV circuit or taking out Super Bowl commercial time, you aren’t on their radar.

So now what? Plenty of top tier engineers have had success without a degree from MIT or a Google internship. Despite what we may think, there are tens of thousands of listed companies across the globe that hire beyond FAANG.

It’s time to think outside of the box and hire the right person for the team, rather than seeking out credentials only. It’s time to hire people who believe in your product and service, who have life experience that will enrich their technical experience, and who are genuinely interested in building and innovating with your company.

Just as individuals attempt to explain or rationalize how they’ve obtained their skills or why they’ve taken one engineering path over another, companies do the same.  The idea of accepting a candidate who does not meet the strictest of criteria can be seen as a failure to attract or hire the best of the best.

This posturing means that companies are not meeting their mission critical goals. You are missing out on the opportunity to hire exceptional engineers who have taken non-linear paths to obtain their skills. In particular, the last fifteen months have been difficult for employees across the globe. Even though the demand for tech talent has surged, many great engineers still found themselves out of work at no fault of their own.

You are looking to qualify a potential employee, not disqualify them for a resume gap or a non-traditional engineering experience. Even outstanding candidates are nervous to start the interview process again because they aren’t currently working. Address the elephant in the room and move on.

The right engineer for your company has life experience, professional experience, and other skills that have been built through grit and dedication to their craft. They demonstrate growth, perseverance, and a desire to continually learn as technology develops. These people are the future of your team.

Still unsure that you can break away from the FAANG candidates? Speak to a recruiter a Talener to get an assessment of your job. Our job is to provide honest feedback about the type of candidates you will attract based on your recruitment efforts, compensation packages, etc. 

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Posted in Client News, Talener Blog

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