Top U.S. Hot Spots for Recruiting Remote Tech Workers

Want to attract tech talent for your business? Learn what remote technology talent is looking for and where to source top talent for your business.

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Top U.S. hot spots for recruiting remote tech workers

Here's what you need to know about the top U.S. hot spots for recruiting remote tech workers:

  • Computer and information technology talent make up some of the most sought-after workers in the country.
  • Recruiting top tech talent requires strategic involvement from both the IT and human resources departments.
  • When hiring remote IT positions, widen your talent pool by looking for talent beyond traditional tech hubs.

Computer and information technology talent make up some of the most sought-after workers in the country. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in these occupations will grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, which is greater than the average. Around 667,600 new jobs are expected to emerge during that time frame.

CompTIA’s Workforce and Learning Trends 2021 report found 66% of companies planned to add more tech staff. While there’s a lot of competition for hiring these roles, one advantage these positions offer is that many roles are remote-friendly. That means you can widen your talent pool outside of your geographic location and hire employees from all over the U.S.

If you want to attract tech talent, it helps to know what these candidates are looking for so you can optimally position the role and your company. Here’s what tech candidates want and where to find top American tech talent.

What is tech talent looking for?

Because tech talent is so in-demand, computer and IT workers are prioritizing jobs that:

  • Offer a competitive salary
  • Provide benefits like health insurance and flexible time off
  • Give them the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution

Flexibility is also a key factor. The 2021 Talent Accelerator report by Citrix studied 2,000 knowledge workers and found that 88% of respondents said when they’re looking for a new position, they prioritize those with complete flexibility in work hours and location.

86% of employees want to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output.

When you’re hiring remote tech talent, consider making “work hours” flexible so long as employees achieve their objectives. The Citrix report found that 86% of employees want to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts also matter to IT talent. The 2020 Global Brand Health Report, a survey of more than 4,100 tech professionals, found 64% of respondents said a company’s commitment to DEI strongly impacted their decision to take a job.

What gets in the way of a candidate’s job acceptance?

The two most significant deterrents to taking a job were a poor company culture and a bad corporate reputation. For companies looking to hire remote tech workers, a brand’s representation online, on social networks, and on company review sites like Glassdoor can influence candidate decisions.

“Bro culture,” in particular, can turn off tech candidates. Bro culture can be defined as anything ranging from sexual harassment and assault to an uncomfortable work environment caused by male-dominant attitudes and behavior.

A 2021 report by “CIO” found 72% of women said they’ve worked for a company where bro culture is prevalent, while only 41% of men said the same. More than three-quarters (78%) of women in tech say they feel they have to put in more effort compared to their male counterparts to prove their worth.

Tech candidates surveyed want:

  • Transparency about pay equity
  • More women and people of color in executive leadership and board positions
  • Published annual diversity reports
  • Opportunities to learn new skills

In August 2021, CompTIA reported IT job openings reached a 2-year high, but unemployment rates for tech workers were at a 2-year low. Companies that want to attract tech talent need to consider how they can differentiate themselves in terms of culture, benefits, and workers’ ability to contribute on the job.

How do you recruit top tech talent?

Recruiting top tech talent requires strategic involvement from both the IT and human resources departments. A 2020 report by Monster found differences in hiring criteria for HR versus IT create unnecessary pain points.

To mitigate pain points, IT managers can work closely with HR managers to appropriately define each job description. To widen the talent pool, only feature the necessary technical skills, so great candidates don’t get disqualified.

You may also want to eliminate 4-year degree requirements and be more flexible on the years of experience required, considering technology is such a rapidly evolving field. Ensure the hiring process is quick to prevent candidate drop-off. Outline the offer process so you can proceed and negotiate quickly, if necessary.

Best U.S. cities for finding the top talent in technology

In the U.S., Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay area has been the country’s technology hub for decades. Businesses can comb this area for full-time employees who are looking to move to remote work.

New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the country’s three most populous cities, are also considered tech hubs due to major tech players like Google, Facebook, and Apple having a presence in those spots. Seattle, another tech hub, has the highest concentration of top engineering talent.

But beyond major cities like these, the remote work boom has spread-out tech talent throughout the country.  In 2021, technical hiring firm Karat released its best cities for hiring remote software engineers outside tech hubs like Seattle, New York, and Silicon Valley. The following list is based on the percentage of people who pass Karat’s technical interviews.

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • Washington, DC

Phoenix is also worth noting for remote technology talent. Arizona’s capital has technology career initiatives like Pipeline AZ, which promotes IT and cybersecurity careers and education.

There are viable states outside of the city list, too

Also of note: the Milken Institute 2020 State Technology and Science Index ranked the following states in the top 10 for its index ratings, with 9 out of 10 making the list in both 2018 and 2020.

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Companies might want to focus on these states’ capital cities, like Boston, Denver, and Salt Lake City, to source tech talent.

Enlist the help of your current IT employees when you’re creating remote tech job descriptions.

Businesses looking to hire remote tech talent can also look at cities with universities that have robust technology programs. Companies can partner with schools to create a talent pipeline to source entry-level candidates and upskill them at work so they can grow their careers with the company.

Work with your IT talent to strengthen your workforce

Your current IT employees can also be powerful referrers for your business. Enlist them for help when you’re creating remote tech job descriptions. Gather feedback on how you can improve your company’s DEI initiatives, particularly in your tech department.

When hiring remote IT positions, widen your talent pool by looking for talent beyond traditional tech hubs. Ensure your open positions are competitive by offering strong salaries, benefits, and value propositions, so tech talent candidates become interested.

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