Last August, TIER advised that you “find your rhythm in the Nashville labor market.” This year, Nashville’s tech workforce grew by nearly 27% — the country’s quickest rate, with only Las Vegas and Miami in the same ballpark (see figure below). Tech leaders that established talent pipelines in these cities have had exclusive access to high-end, cost-effective talent unavailable to their competitors. This is a necessity in a “doubly disrupted” labor market, where a growing mismatch between demanded and supplied skills will drive an even bigger mismatch between current and future skills and wages.

Here are three other suggestions for adapting your hiring strategy to stay competitive in the labor market:

  • Look opportunistically to nontraditional markets to fill specific needs. The biggest upside is to be found in markets with relatively low quantities of tech labor, because even the high-end talent there generally earns lower salaries. Tech leaders have a first-mover advantage if they can identify underutilized metropolitan areas — such as Cleveland, Minneapolis, and many others.
  • Say no to general compensation models — tailor it to local demand. When investigating those smaller markets, organizations must provide other benefits such as remote work, access to coworking spaces, or flexible schedules to attract top talent. In talent-dense areas such as New York and San Francisco, however, a competitive market salary and in-office perks might be a more attractive compensation package.
  • Follow the innovation investment flow. Technology executives need to consider public policy at the federal and state levels, as development initiatives are influencing the composition of talent migration. For example, Pittsburgh was one of five sites that received federal designation as a key workforce hub this year, owing to its growth in robotics and automation. While investments and policies are ramping, tech leaders can stay ahead of the curve and partner with these regional initiatives to find talent.

To learn more about when, where, and how to expand your hiring pipeline, read our new report, TIER: Uncovering Tomorrow’s Tech Talent Requires A Fresh Approach, and set up a guidance session. Who knows — you might just find the next Nashville.

This research falls under Forrester’s tech insights and econometric research (TIER).