Idaho Technology by Tim Ramey: Co-op aims to create talent pipeline

TIM RAMEY, software development manager at WhiteCloud AnalyticsAugust 13, 2013 

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Tim Ramey

One of the challenges for Idaho’s tech sector is developing a steady talent pipeline to fuel the growth of Idaho companies. To meet demand, Idaho tech companies have to recruit talent from out of state, which is an expensive, competitive and time-consuming endeavor. Many smaller tech companies lack the resources to make recruiting trips outside Idaho, which compounds the problem and slows down business growth and expansion. To help Idaho’s fledgling tech companies gain better access to talent, members of the Idaho Technology Council recently launched an ambitious program, the Boise Recruiting Co-op, to allow our companies to pool resources to collaboratively recruit candidates.

The vision of this program is to create a sustainable way for Idaho tech companies to gain access to a broader pool of out of state candidates. Participating companies are responsible for making at least one college recruiting trip per year and transfering the results of the trip into a main repository that any member of the co-op can use.

As an incentive, each company that goes on a recruiting trip can hold back 20 percent of collected resumes for 30 days of exclusive contact. After 30 days, or if the company decides not to pursue those candidates, those resumes are transferred to the main repository.

Each company will target a university that is unique within the co-op group and will work with the university’s placement office to meet students and vet the most promising candidates. Company recruiters will use a standardized form to ensure consistent formatting in storing information about students for the co-op repository. Each company will use marketing materials that promote other members of the co-op and the greater Boise Valley.

This program is creating an unprecedented level of unity among Idaho tech companies seeking to promote themselves. Each company that makes a recruiting trip will promote all companies participating in the co-op, which will demonstrate the breadth and depth of opportunities available in Idaho tech sector. One of the most common concerns that tech professionals have about relocating to Idaho is the perception that if their first Idaho job doesn’t work out, there are few other opportunities available. Essentially, each company that participates in the co-op program will act as a brand advocate for the state’s growing tech sector. By promoting the entire tech community at each recruiting trip, we can send a powerful message about Idaho’s growing tech industry.

To be successful, ITC members would like to recruit a large number of Idaho companies to participate. Any company that hires software or IT professionals is eligible to participate and we hope to see engagement from companies in other industries that have an established IT or software department. We also would like to see participation from companies that anticipate future growth, even if they are not currently hiring. By being involved now, companies can gain immediate access to the talent pipeline when they have job openings.

We envision this program as a long-term investment that will build Idaho’s entire tech sector. Each quarter, the members of the co-op will evaluate the program and make changes to improve its effectiveness. Through this program, we will create a unified approach that builds a stronger talent pipeline and promotes Idaho’s tech industry.

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