Keeping good tech talent local is an issue across the United States. "Students graduate from the University of Texas at Austin and move to Silicon Valley," says Eric Hungate, CIO of the Texas Association of School Boards. "But there are tons of jobs in Austin." To engage students, Hungate works with Campus2Careers, which helps companies build intern programs and manages InternInAustin, a city-sponsored event aimed at retaining and attracting talent to central Texas.
If there's nothing like InternInAustin in your region, you may have to be more innovative. "Reach out to your local chamber of commerce and see what they are doing to retain talent in your region," suggests Hungate. "Get together with local professional IT association chapters; collect a roster of CIOs and visit high schools, community colleges and universities," he says.
And once you have your first speaking gig, don't blow it. "When you speak to students, lead with jobs," he says. "Tell them right off the bat that they can make a lot of money. And I would push passion. I was IT director for Robert Mondavi when my passion was wine."
Martha Heller is the author of the upcoming book The CIO Paradox and she is president of Heller Search Associates, a CIO and senior IT executive recruiting firm. Follow her on Twitter: @marthaheller.
Read more about hiring in CIO's Hiring Drilldown.