Boise Makes Progress on Building a Stronger Tech Talent Pipeline

September 2, 2013

9:00 am

When Frank Gruber, Tech Cocktail’s CEO, visited Boise last year, he commented about the positive momentum taking place in making a Boise a business-friendly place that can grow successful companies. Many tech-based startups have an urgent need for new software professionals, which is why Boise’s economic development agencies have been working together to implement solutions that will build a stronger talent pipeline.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP), Idaho Department of Commerce, Idaho Department of Labor, and the Idaho Technology Council, progress is being made in transforming Boise into a dynamic environment that can support the growth of new startups. Recently, these groups came together to offer a Best Practices Forum on software talent recruiting, hosted at Hewlett-Packard’s Boise campus. This forum, held on Tuesday, August 27th, was the first of several events being planned that will help Boise companies have success in building up their workforce.

This forum focused on how HR and recruiting teams can use creative solutions and tools to find, attract, and retain software professionals. A recruiting panel also shared insights on their experiences and answered questions from audience members.

The Panelists and Topics:

  • Mike Thiel (Sr. Technical Recruiter, Taos): Utilizing LinkedIn as a Tool for Recruiting & Best Practices
  • Johanna Osterman (Technical Account Executive, Adecco Engineering & Technical): Focus, Tools & Networks
  • Christina Tierney (Director of Human Resources, Balihoo):Power of Internship Programs, Marketing Positions Effectively, & How to Use Your Team to Recruit for You
  • Penny Garrison (Project Manager, Hewlett-Packard)

The goal for the forum was to attract between 18 – 30 HR professionals, but because of popular demand, more than 50 people registered for this free event. Towards the end of the forum, several announcements were made about other initiatives that will help Boise companies build a stronger talent pipeline:

  • Attendees were invited to a LinkedIn Group called Recruiting for Boise Valley, which will allow HR Professionals and Recruiters to share resources and best practices that relate to attracting professionals for technology positions.
  • BVEP also highlighted their Technology in the Boise Valley brochure as a resource for tech companies. Click here to view BVEP’s technology page on their website and download the brochure.
  • BVEP also previewed the new video, “Day in the Life – Boise Valley Tech,” which is intended to showcase the wide variety of opportunities for technology professionals in the Boise Valley. This video was funded by BVEP, Idaho Department of Commerce, and Idaho Power. If you’re in town on Monday, September 16th and you’re interested in attending the video premiere, register here.

The need for software talent is a national issue, but what makes Boise exceptional is the degree of collaboration taking place between private and public sector organizations. If this level of coordination continues to take place, Boise’s tech industry will not only grow, but it will thrive as solutions are implemented to meet the direct needs of tech companies.


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Malcolm Hong is a writer and tech advocate with a passion for innovation. He’s connected to entrepreneurism and technology through his work managing the activities of the Idaho Technology Council, the state’s largest member-driven association that fosters the growth of Idaho’s tech ecosystem. Originally from Hawaii, Malcolm quickly realized that Idaho does a great job of growing startups, not just potatoes. Follow Malcolm on Twitter: @IDTechCouncil

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