With more and more international technology companies setting up in Ireland and even more Irish based technology companies scaling up, one of the challenges these companies face is introducing their employer brand into the local technical community.
Establishing trust and credibility in order to engage with the technical community should be a priority for them and one of the most important things they need to do as they start building out their teams. Trust creates a relationship, relationships lead to conversations and interactions, and these, in turn, lead to increased awareness and interest.
Here are our 5 tips for building trust in a local technical community
1 Say hello
When starting off in a new technical community it’s important to learn who is already on the ground and active from your own networks or partnerships. These personal or professional connections can be invaluable in obtaining those initial warm introductions needed for entry to the market.
2 Find advocates
Find out who is working in a positive way within the community and who are trusted by the community. These people typically have a lot of respect, longevity and trust within the community. Find ways to get introduced to them and in turn get introduced to the community. Advocates can become champions for your employer brand and provide trusted 3rd party influence
3 Build alliances
Once you have entered the community, try to understand the community. Spend time on the ground, meet people, attend meetups and events. Listen to what the community’s concerns, needs, or ambitions are and see where you can fit in and how you can help. Each local community will have some broadly similar concerns and initiatives (inclusivity and diversity, mental health, environmental) as well uniquely local (a fundraising event, a tech for good initiative). Choose those needs that best align with your own brand and values and actively invest sustained effort in supporting them.
4 Be an active member
Create a stake in the community by participating in community-based programs. These will typically champion a cause of the community such as STEM career outreach programs or celebrate the achievements and success of community members. If you create a stake you can declare yourself a trusted member of the community and demonstrate that you are committed to an ongoing community engagement.
5 Collaborate … always
Continually invest effort in the community, not just funds. Building trust is a process, not a purchase. It’s not enough to simply sponsor beer and pizza for meet-ups. Rather authentic community engagement requires a sustained investment over the long term and a commitment to apply time and effort on an ongoing basis. Actions speak louder than words or money!
In the competitive tech landscape in Ireland, the challenges of attracting the right level of staff are clear and obvious. One of the first steps new companies entering the community or growing startups should take is establishing themselves as a trusted employer.
The tips outlined above can ease this process of becoming a trusted employer. They do not require significant outlay but rather real engagement and effort on the part of the employer to understand and align themselves with their target community.
At Verify, we are pioneering a new approach to hiring; we call this new model community recruitment and building trust within the community is a critical first step.
We have built two community platforms through which employers can engage the community and show alignment beyond the professional, the Ada Lovelace Initiative and Otia.io.
The Ada Lovelace Initiative is a nationwide action which enables female STEM role models to speak to and connect with secondary school students. They tell their own stories of how they came to work in STEM, what the career has brought to them and highlight this path as an option for the next generation.
Otia.io is a magazine created by Verify to show the creative side of the tech community. It looks to show the passions and pastimes of people who work in tech. It is a platform for the tech community which is separate to tech.