Take it from us, a Portland technical recruitment firm. We deal with a whole spectrum of technology recruitment, from technology executive search through IT staffing, and we know: An employer's brand makes a huge difference in attracting the best technology talent.
Positioning your company as a brand your employees are proud of not only helps you attract even more great people, it also increases the overall value of your brand.
Big technology companies in places like San Francisco or New York can tout their location and facilities. As Portland technology recruiters, we love Portland dearly, but we do know it's not a huge hub, and that most companies here don't have vast campuses filled with luxurious amenities.
So if you're a smaller tech company located in a medium-sized city, how do you set your employment brand apart in a competitive technology jobs market?
Four simple steps to effective employment branding
Many of the things you already do for your company can be leveraged to boost your employment brand.
1. Coordinate branding between marketing and human resources. While a brand can be expressed in different contexts, there should be just one brand. Make sure your human resources department and recruitment firm (if you have one) understand your branding, and have access to all your company's marketing and branding collateral. Have your HR and recruitment folks meet with your marketing people from time to time, so they can work together and make sure your brand is communicated in recruitment ads, at job fairs and in other recruitment efforts.
2. Develop your employer value proposition. Think about your communications to potential employees just as you think about communicating to any of your target markets. You want to communicate the value of your company as an employer, just as you communicate the value of your products and services. Make sure potential employees can quickly and easily find information and get a basic understanding of your company's working environment, culture, values, and management style.
3. Make sure all communications are on-message. From job postings to employer campaigns to online recruitment materials, ensuring consistency hammers home your brand voice and creates a sense of credibility.
4. Put your recruitment materials online. For all the time that tech companies put into developing compelling, beautifully designed recruitment materials, it's surprisingly rare for these to make it onto the company's website. You don't need to pay a developer to integrate them in a clever or interactive way - just link to your print materials in .pdf format. Choosing a job is a major, life-changing decision for anyone, and if you provide better information about your company, you'll get better qualified candidates.
Looking for some great examples?
Atlassian, a maker of product tracking software, has a terrific careers page. It's not just one page, either - there's a series of slides, each touting another great reason for working at the company. Anyone who spends even a few minutes on this page will understand that transparency, collaboration, and flexibility are some of Atlassian's most important values. Note: Every slide offers a "learn more" link to deeper information.
Jive Software, which develops social platforms for business, takes the cake for consumer and employer brand consistency by touching people's hunger for a better, more social working life. The company's introductory video frankly addresses the points we all encounter in the workplace, addressing them in a way that's consistent with Jive's brand.
Google has a reputation for extensive - and expensive - perks. But a blog post by Google's top executive for People Operations, Laszlo Bock, points out that most of what really makes Google special doesn't cost a thing. Bock offers suggestions for ways that small and medium-sized companies, too, can make employees feel valued, special and committed to the company's mission.
We're always looking for new role models to learn from. Know any other companies that do a great job of communicating brand in their recruitment efforts? What's your company doing to set itself apart? Please comment below.
If you or your spouse are looking for a technology job in Portland, we're happy to report the opportunities are diverse and plentiful.
As Portland IT Recruiters, we're proud to be a part of a vibrant technology community in Portland. Thanks to a growing start-up scene and the expansion of well-established tech companies in the Portland area, the Silicon Forest is thriving. With the low cost of commercial rents compared to other technology hubs, high quality of life, cheap electricity, and a DIY culture, it's easy to see why.
High-tech manufacturing, software development and renewable energy companies have all taken root in and around the City of Roses. Let us give you a glimpse into some of the most exciting technology industries in Portland.
Portland high-tech manufacturing companies are world-class
FEI Company - (NASDAQ: FEIC) Ever wonder who makes electron microscopes? (We're technical recruiters - electron microscopes push out geek buttons!) FEI is a leader in electron microscope and focused ion beam technologies for nanoscale researchers. If you know what those are, we applaud you. FEI's global headquarters are right outside of Portland in Hillsboro, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Portland.
Intel Corporation - (NASDAQ: INTC) If you own a computer, chances are pretty high it has an Intel microprocessor in it. While Intel's headquarters are in Santa Clara, California, the semiconductor development and manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, just outside of Portland, is Intel's largest, employing nearly 16,000 Oregonians. With seven campuses and on-site amenities that rival those of a small city, Intel Oregon is the largest private-sector employer in the Portland metro area.
Portland software companies - varied and successful
Jama Software - Privately held, locally-grown Jama builds software for managing complex projects that have many requirements - for example, devices must pass the Food and Drug Administration approval process. Jama has won many recognitions since its founding in 2007, and is regarded as one of Portland's most promising technology companies. It has about 50 employees.
Jive Software Inc. - (NASDAQ: JIVE) We've been keeping an eye on this rapidly growing business. Now headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Jive has 200 employees in Portland, where it was headquartered for a few years. Jive's social business platform has been so popular, the company executed a successful IPO in December 2011 raising more than $160 million.
the CLYMB-For those who find their passion in the outdoors, The Clymb inspires human-powered adventure by delivering member-exclusive 72-hour sales on premium brands and experiences, hand-picked by our team of fellow enthusiasts and experts. Membership is free, allowing users to shape the community by inviting like-minded friends. The company is based in Portland, Ore., and was founded in 2009 by a seasoned team of outdoor and sport industry veterans.
Urban Airship - Mobile technology company Urban Airship creates tools for app developers. One of the beneficiaries of Wieden+Kennedy's Portland Incubator Experiment, Urban Airship has received more than $20 million in venture funding since its genesis in 2009. True to the start-up stereotype, the company has in part been so successful due to its emphasis on creating a fun environment to attract and retain talent.
Webtrends - One of the first players in web analytics, Webtrends is privately held and headquartered in downtown Portland. Its analytics software is used by companies that have large, complex websites, including The New York Times and Microsoft. Webtrends employs nearly 400 people worldwide, with about half in Portland.
Renewable energy companies abound in Portland
ClearEdge Power - ClearEdge Power manufactures fuel cells that efficiently transform natural gas into electricity and heat. Think miniature, refrigerator-sized power plants. The start-up recently signed a $500 million, 50-megawatt deal with Austrian company Gussing Renewable Energy GmbH - the biggest deal yet for a fuel cell company.
SolarWorld - (FWB: SWV) German solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld has its U.S. headquarters 20 minutes west of Portland in Hillsboro, Oregon, where it employs about 1,000 Oregonians. Its Hillsboro location is the largest solar cell manufacturing facility in North America.
If you want to learn more about technology jobs in Portland, Oregon, we highly recommend you visit the Silicon Florist blog to get updates on the latest technology jobs and news in Portland. Or, search our job listings here.
Bar food is stereotypically portrayed as greasy burgers and fries. Portland is one of the rare cities in the country that you can find a vegan bar which serves fresh, organic food. On a rainy Sunday afternoon, I ventured out to the Sweet Hereafter Bar to sample the clean eats and cold brews.
Being a Sunday afternoon, the Hereafter was relatively empty. Unlike most bars, most of the patrons ordered food first, and then drinks if they preferred. Most of the bars and breweries in the Portland area serve some of the best plates in town. The vegan menu at hereafter focused on a variety of tofu dishes. Among the choices were a Vietnamese tofu bahn mi sandwich, Jamaican jerk tofu with rice, and a Buffalo “chicken” sandwich made with meat substitute. My friend and I ordered two dishes and split them. The food was warm and fresh, though not exceptional. However, the large beer and spirits selection allowed us to have a beverage that complemented our meal perfectly.
The Hereafter is located on Belmont Street and is very near other restaurants and bars, making it ideal as a late night attraction. The outside seating at Hereafter also looks welcoming for the sunnier days. Wunderland Nickel Aracade is also located a block down the road, allowing you to wait out any level of sobriety you might find yourself in by playing video games. In short, the Sweet Hereafter is an ideal meet up location to start of the night with some food and drinks, before letting the evening sweep you away. Nice area if you are one of our candidates in town interviewing and want to experience a great part of the city.
October 4, 2011
Residents of Portland learn to appreciate sunshine. Rain and clouds are staples of the Portland climate, so people are used to walking around in the rain (remember not to carry an umbrella unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb). However, there is always a destination in mind. Portlandians can usually be found huddled inside coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries during the extended rainy season. However, when the sun does peek out, the streets are immediately filled with crowds soaking in each ray they can. On a day like this, our office took a small break from sourcing technical candidates to enjoy one of the many scenic golf courses in the area. Not being golfers, Aaron (our music aficionado) and I decided to enjoy the sunshine in another Portland activity: eating at one of the boutique restaurants around town. The sun influenced our choice and we found ourselves at the tropical and exotic Mee Sen Thai Restaurant
. Mee Sen
is like many of the restaurants in town, in the sense that the owners try to give visitors a holistic authentic experience. Mee Sen
has an open garage-style door that allows the sun to shine in, and guests to walk in and choose their own seat. The seats are wooden benches, and the water cups are made to look like cheap tin cups. The idea of this décor is to make the restaurant seem like a road side restaurant in Vietnam. In my experiences around the world, the best food tends to come from simple road side venues. Although these additions do not enhance the flavors of the food itself, Mee Sen
definitely sets the tone of the experience with the design and décor. Mee Sen
has no need to try and fool their patrons into enjoying their food, as the meal we enjoyed there was amongst the best Thai food in Portland (which is saying something). Aaron had the Beef Pad Thai that he described as “outstanding,” as the flavors were balanced because the spices didn’t overwhelm each individual ingredient. This observation brings light to the fact that a truly great chef needs to understand a dish is made flavorful by intelligent moderation, not flooding the palette. My tofu Pad Kee Mao was also superb, and the ingredients were noticeably of a high quality. Before I left, I peeked at the happy hour and dessert menu. The reasonable prices and the exotic choices immediately piqued my interest, and I will definitely be visiting Mee Sen again as soon as possible. The restaurant is located in the culturally growing Mississippi Avenue district, and is open for lunch and dinner.
Ravi Parikh, Researcher/Bloat House Guide
September 13, 2011: One of the best attributes of the city of Portland is its rich cultural diversity. From all walks of life individuals come together, creating a landscape that embodies the best facets of the people who make up the city. Nowhere is this more apparent than within Portland’s renowned music scene, where on any given night a person can see just about any style of music being performed, at any number of great music venues. You want Jazz music? Head down to Jimmy Mak’s to catch the best Portland has to offer. Interested in Indie Rock? The Doug Fir Lounge regularly features great local and national acts. Wherever your tastes lie, the great thing about Portland is that your interests will always be satiated.
Being a young professional and lifelong musician, I understand the importance of any music lover’s work-life balance. For many, music is the lifeblood that makes one feel alive, and Portland is a city that can fulfill this passion. I am fortunate to work at a company I enjoy my time with, but also, I’m fortunate to work in a city that has a musical culture that fulfills my musical interests. I could go on forever about the specifics of Portland’s music scene, and will delve more deeply in the future, but most important to understand is that Portland is a city in which no fan of music leaves unsatisfied.
-Aaron McCoy, Researcher/Heavy Metal Aficionado
Team Fortress 2 - Now free to play
September 7, 2011: Team Fortress 2 is a team-based multiplayer first person shooter video game produced by Valve on the online Steam platform for distribution. It was originally released in 2007 as part of the Orange Box compilation, but is now free to play, which has caused quite a bit of hype and a lot of new players joining. Overall it's a blast, and I'll walk through the highlights and low points of the game.
There are three categories of classes: Offense, Defense and Support. Offense includes the Scout, Soldier and Pyro; Defense includes the Demoman (think grenades, and lots of them), the Heavy (machine-gun toting Russian) and the Engineer; the three Support classes include the Medic, Sniper and Spy. Each class has their own strength, as well as weaknesses.
Classes Good Bad Best moments
Scout (Offense) Speed & agility, double jump high into the air Low health Can be crazy fun running circles around opponents
Soldier (Offense) Powerful rockets, rocket jump into the air Reload times on rocket after 4 shots, a bit slow Blasting enemies into smithereens
Pyro (Offense) Flamethrower covers a lot of area, air blast is good defense Range on flamethrower is limited Roasting multiple enemies in a row after sneaking up on them
Demoman (Defense) Spamming grenades, sticky bomb-jumping into the area, wielding a sword and shield Going through grenades quickly and frequently reloading Seeing enemies blown apart during the kill cam
Heavy (Defense) Carrying an enormous machine gun, highest health of all classes Very slow speed, and gun spin-up times Eating a "sandvich", and the awesome Russian accent
Engineer (Defense) Setting up machine gun sentries, healing dispensers, and teleporters making the whole team efficient Set up time for devices, Spies can easily sap devices, weak offense aside from sentries Can single handedly turn the tide of the game on defense with sentries, or on offense with teleporters
Medic (Support) Healing is a good thing! Has some offensive weapons, but playing Medic for extended periods of time on purely healing can be repetitive Uber-healing a Heavy while mowing through opponents like a John Deere through dried-out summer grass
Sniper (Support) Taking head shots at enemies long distance away, has a great bow weapon Low health, slow reload times Sniping opponents from a long distance
Spy (Support) Disguising as opponent, invisibility, sapping Engineer's devices Low health, invisibility goes quickly Is an adrenaline rush back-stabbing opponents anytime
The team play aspect to TF2 is critical to winning, as it is RED (Reliable Excavation & Demolition) versus BLU (Builders League United). The two teams duke it out in objective-based competition, i.e. instead of just jumping in to take each other out, the focus is on example having the BLU offensive team push a bomb-laden cart on train tracks into the opposing RED team's base to blow it up, while RED in turn tries to prevent it. Another major aspect to success in team play is having a good balance of classes on the team.
The fun factor is huge for TF2. The graphics are refreshingly original, however the cartoon-like style might throw off new players. I quickly adapted and enjoyed the appearance, especially as on the standard setting, the game can be graphic with people being blown up. The sound effects are great, and each of the classes has well developed characters and funny sayings.
Overall, the replay value is high. With such large differences in the classes requiring time invested to understand the purposes, strengths and weaknesses of the different classes, it will have a very long replay value. As well including the various achievements that Valve offers for each classes, it guarantees a long shelf life. Steam offers frequent updates and offers new maps in development. There are of course areas of improvement for the game. Maps can take a long time to load, especially when the maps are customized. Once loaded however, lag time is generally not a problem. Another item that might irk original TF2 players might be the now free to play status, which like any other game that moved to F2P, has resulted in a large influx of new players that are new to the game. Generally however, players are friendly and welcoming of new gamers.
Overall, I highly recommend checking out TF2 if you like FPS (first person shooters). The combination of interesting classes, teamwork being critical and fun graphics and gameplay make this one a winner.
August 31, 2011
My co-workers and I at EnGn share one common bond: our love for food. Fortunately for us, we are lucky to be in the heart of food paradise. Portland has led the charge on many culinary frontiers, such as the growing "food cart" phenomenon, the cultural lean towards "slow" natural foods, and emergence of international fusion cuisine. As a team, we challenge ourselves to seek out new and exciting dining venues to visit and sample. Our diverse team consists of those with varied tastes and diets, and everyone has different opinions on the venues we visit. However, we share the thrill of the hunt in finding the next best haunt, and love the exploration process along the way. We hope to use the knowledge of Portland's eateries to supplement our expertise on the Portland market, and be better consultants to our candidates and clients.
Most recently, our team visited Big A** Sandwiches in Downtown Portland. The food cart is heralded as one of the premiere lunch destinations in the Burnside area. BA Sandwiches features large Ciabatta-style hoagies filled with different meats, veggies, and sauces. However, the cart is most famous (or infamous to some people) for the copious amount of fries that are piled in the middle of every sandwich. Every sandwich is handed to you warm, and you realize why they earned their name as you feel the weight of it in your hands. Unique creations, such as the Pork Hammer and Caesar Salad sandwich, fill a short but tasty menu.
The only problem with the cart is that it might be TOO filling. Our senior recruiter Matt ordered a Pork Hammer, but spent the rest of the day fighting the urge to fall asleep at his desk. Also, many people felt that the fries were overwhelming, ruining the other flavors in the sandwich. Overall, the general opinion in our group was that although the sandwich was tasty in the first few bites, the grease and heaviness would make it a better snack on a much hungrier stomach.
BA Sandwiches is located on 2nd and Alder. The cart is vegetarian friendly, and offers relatively quick service. Also, it is open late on weekend nights to feed the hungry bar crowd in the area.