Print
Technology

Recruiters Talk Challenges In Hiring And Retaining Tech Talent

By Johanna Cano, posted Dec 12, 2018
Moderator Harold Zeishner talks to panel of local company recruiters about challenges they face hiring and retaining tech talent. (Photo by Johanna Cano)
Recruiters from some of the area’s largest technology companies gathered this week in Wilmington to talk about some of the largest issues they face, including the lack of medium-sized businesses and trailing spouses, when it comes to finding the right talent for the job.

The Tuesday panel for the NC TECH Talk Live event included Lynn Barbee, CIO at Atlantic Packaging; Chris Bartosik, vice president of engineering at CastleBranch Corp.; Thomas Eggleston, head of recruiting at Live Oak Bank; and Jill Harrington, director of recruitment at nCino.

The panel was moderated by Harold Zeishner, senior business development manager at Alliance of Profesesionals & Consultants Inc., and it was hosted by NC TECH.

The topic was “Competing with Urban Markets for Top Tech Talent,” and the discussion was held at Ironclad Brewery, where the panelists discussed some challenges in the Wilmington area they say should be addressed to better stack up with other technology talent recruiting markets such as Charlotte and Raleigh.

While it may seem evident that the beach is one major alluring feature for workers moving to Wilmington, making the Port City seem attractive is not that simple.

“The beach is really nice, but I don't think that's our go-to with candidates,” Harrington said. “Wilmington is a cool city; it's growing very rapidly. It's a great place if you're a young person … it's a great place if you're my age and you're raising a small family, it's a great place if you are considering retirement. So, I think the way that we get candidates excited about moving to Wilmington is finding out what makes them tick.”

It is also important to paint a picture of what is beyond the job, Eggleston said.

“What I always tell people is the job you're doing today is most likely not the job you're going to be doing in 18 months or it may look slightly different,” he said.

Sean Ahlum, senior director at tekMountain, chipped in from the audience to note that Wilmington is a unique market, but is lacking in mid-sized companies that draw in younger workers.

“One thing that Wilmington misses that attracts talent is the companies that are within 20 to maybe 50 people in size and scale,” Ahlum said. “That is where a lot of people coming out of universities or out of colleges get to go in and have a breadth of experience versus being niched which is what happens when they get into larger organizations.”

Those mid-sized companies would not only attract young talent but also provide more diversity when it comes to the type of companies that are in the community and help address the issue of trailing spouses, panelists said in the discussion.

“We absolutely have a trailing spouse problem. I have now been recruiting in Wilmington for 15 years. I will tell you every year it's become less of a problem, but it is still really hard,” Harrington said. “I think the recruiters in the room who are really good at what they do are really good at connecting those trailing spouses with companies to make that a little bit easier. If you're in the medical profession, awesome. Do you already in higher education? Awesome … but a lot of things outside of that, it can be really hard to place a trailing spouse.”

New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the largest employer in the area, has been helping with the trailing spouse problem, but there is a need for more manufacturing and medium-sized businesses, Harrington said.

What Live Oak Bank is doing to diversify the types of businesses in the area and diversify the talent pool is incentivizing all companies it does business with to come to Wilmington, Eggleston said.

“Every company that we're buying into whether for a joint venture or we’re investing in that company, our strategy is there's an incentive that's negotiated upfront for them to move operations here,” Eggleston said.

Wilmington used to be a closed community with not a lot of opportunities in tech, but that is no longer the case, Barbee said.

“My message behind all this is it will change over time,” Barbee said. “I would ask you to take a positive approach because Wilmington can be whatever we want, but we have to push it. It doesn't just happen; companies don't just show up and say, ‘I think I'll plant here.’ We have to make it.”
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Robindavisccu1 1011944433

How Corning Credit Union Is Helping Its Communities

Robin Davis - Corning Credit Union (CCU)
Carolinemontgomery4

PPP Forgiveness - What You Need To Know

Caroline Montgomery - Adam Shay CPA, PLLC
Dallas headshot 300x300

Growing Business Value When Times Are Tough

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors

Trending News

Burney's Sweets & More Coming To Mayfaire

Jessica Maurer - May 27, 2020

Some Area Restaurants Stick To Carry-out

Jessica Maurer - May 27, 2020

Attractions Face Significant Revenue Losses

Christina Haley O'Neal - May 26, 2020

Attorney: Business Interruption Insurance Should Cover Virus Losses

Jenny Callison - May 28, 2020

On Castle Hayne Road, Fetching Space For Doggy Daycare

Cece Nunn - May 27, 2020

In The Current Issue

MADE: Spicing Up Local Markets

RAWsalsa is a local, independent maker and seller of smallbatch, fresh salsas. Products include signature fresh tomato and fresh pineapple s...


NHRMC: Suitors Come Calling

Of the six health systems that submitted proposals for buying or partnering with NHRMC, three have moved ahead of the rest of the pack for f...


WorkTok Aids Communication

One new Wilmington startup is trying to address those current workforce trends and increase employee/ employer interaction through its app,...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WILMA Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`