If you watch the local tech headlines, you’ll see that every few weeks we’re hearing another story about an Indiana tech company raising a large financing round. Here are some notable Indiana fundraises over the last year or so.

That’s over $85 million dollars in financing, and much of it is being spent on new hires. But if we’re not hearing a story about a scaleup raise, we’re hearing about a large tech-powered company, like KAR Auto Auctions, building a new HQ and hiring hundreds of tech workers.

Demand for tech talent is skyrocketing. And don’t get me wrong. All of this action is great for the state! But it has also created an 85% increase in tech job postings in Indiana, according to Cyberstates. In fact, by 2020 there will be an estimated 1.4 million open and unfilled software development jobs across the country per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So where are all of these tech workers going to come from? Great question.

Hiring managers and recruiters are certainly feeling the squeeze. In a recent study, over two-thirds of recruiters say their job is more difficult today than it was a year ago, and 62% say it’s harder than ever to attract high-quality job candidates.

Several recruiters we recently chatted with are trying to strip down their hiring processes to the bare bones, just so they can make faster offers. A lead tech recruiter recently told us they aren’t even checking references anymore, “because it’s just too inefficient.”

It seems that the early bird is indeed getting the worm. At least sometimes.

In April a developer from Powderkeg’s Private Talent Network went on the market because his office was moving out of the state. He had ten interviews in just three days, and had four competitive offers by the end of the week. He was off the market before anyone could blink.

What’s the real answer to our tech hiring woes?

Speeding up your hiring process is a zero sum game. One company wins, while others lose.

“What our state needs is a major expansion of our experienced candidate pool,” says David DeRam, CEO of Indiana scaleup, Greenlight Guru. And expanding our candidate pool may require us working together as a tech community. No one company, organization, or educator can solve this problem alone, but we can all contribute.

At Powderkeg we have the privilege of talking with many out-of-state job candidates from the community. The most common thing we hear from them is something like, “I got an offer from (insert Indiana tech company), but if things don’t work out there, where will I go?”

Or, when we’re talking to recent Indiana grads and we hear, “I’d like to stay in Indiana because my family and friends are here, but I’ve got an offer from (insert coastal tech company), and I’m not even sure what innovative companies are here.”

Phil Powell, the Associate Dean of The IUPUI Kelley School of Business backs this up by saying, “Some of our top graduates are leaving the state because they just don’t know that many of their best job opportunities in tech are right here, right now.”

Do recruiters need marketers?

This may sound like a silly question, but which sales team will sell more:

A) A sales team with a strong marketing presence


B) A sales team without strong marketing?

Most of us already know the answer is A, and we invest heavily in marketing to grow our sales pipelines. But recruiters and hiring managers are also a type of salespeople, and most don’t have an inbound marketing strategy to fill their talent pipelines with candidates excited to work at their companies. Two thirds of recruiters say their job is harder today than it was a year ago, but they are essentially operating with one hand tied behind their backs.

Sure, we’ve got a few job boards here and there, but they don’t reach out to the candidate’s heart and say, “This company is awesome and innovative, apply now!”

This is what a Culture Profile will look like in the 2019 Indiana Tech Census. Our CEO, Matt Hunckler, says, “We’re creating these for free because we’re ready to give professionals both inside and outside of the tech community one single place to see all of the thriving tech companies and cultures in Indiana.”

And this is something the Powderkeg community has been doing for years. Brad Smith, an Indianapolis senior developer says, “Powderkeg has shown me a bunch of tech companies here in my own city that I didn’t even know existed, or let alone, were hiring devs like me.” Brad goes on to say, “For me, there’s nothing more important than finding an employer with a company culture I’ll love working in.”

Brad’s not alone, because last year’s Tech Census of over 1,000 tech professionals showed that company culture is the number one reason they join tech companies.

And Culture Profiles are just the beginning.

The Indiana Tech Census data will also be used to power the following solutions that will shine a light on the tech companies powering Indiana’s new economy.

  • On June 20th Powderkeg will be announcing the finalists for the Indiana Tech Culture Awards.
  • Powderkeg will also be using the data to power regional profiles that will display the advantages of working in regions throughout the state.
  • Further, Powderkeg will be launching rich content and media that will feature tech companies with the most highly rated sales and marketing cultures, product cultures, and leadership teams, among other categories.

And all of these pieces will be covered by a myriad of local and national media, including our Tech Census partners and supporters, such as Rise of the Rest, The Indy Chamber, Greater Lafayette Commerce, Elevate SouthwestThe Indianapolis Airport AuthorityInside Indiana Business, The IU Kelley School of Business, Kenzie AcademyAdvisa, mAccounting, and Element Three.

The deadline for your company completing the Indiana Tech Census is May 31st.

If you’ve registered your tech company, and you still haven’t sent the Indiana Tech Census: Tech Cultures Edition to your team, now is the time to act.

And as we stated above, you’re not just helping your company, you’re also helping expand Indiana’s entire candidate pool by showing that you’re one of many great tech companies to work at.