Investors searching for what’s next in the world of tech are heading to Irvine, CA. Located just an hour south of “Silicon Beach” and an hour north of San Diego, Irvine’s high-quality of life attracts smart, innovative professionals from both regions as well as other tech hubs like San Francisco and New York City.

Anchored by UC Irvine’s University Research Park, Orange County’s booming tech corridor is already home to a number of online, gaming, AR/VR, software, and hardware companies including Amazon, Blizzard, CrowdStrike, Google, Microsemi, NextVR, PlayStation, and Western Digital. Now, more international firms are turning their eye towards this dynamic research and innovation hub, drawn by Irvine’s rich talent base.

As more international companies announce plans to open Southern California offices or tap Irvine’s rich talent base for remote work, these companies must be prepared with an aggressive talent recruitment strategy. This includes a robust understanding of current market trends, careful consideration of cultural fit, and selecting a search partner that’s truly committed to your organization’s success.

  1. Understand Irvine’s talent landscape.
    The first five hires that a company makes will set the tone for all future recruitment. Rising stars want to work with high performers– and they won’t waste time interviewing at companies that lack top talent. Consequently, early hiring missteps can constrain future recruitment, setting off a chain reaction that makes it nearly impossible to land the best and brightest. A robust understanding of market data and the local hiring landscape is vital to avoiding early mistakes.


  1. Adapt to the local market.
    Early hires not only establish an employer’s reputation as a local talent powerhouse but also set the tone for company culture. In Irvine and throughout Southern California, company culture is a key employer differentiator and can be the deciding factor in an applicant’s decision whether or not to accept an offer. From communication norms to workplace amenities and company benefits, Irvine’s top tech talent expects a certain type of company culture. International companies need to be advised on the local landscape, understand these expectations, and be prepared to adapt to the local marketplace. This global-local (“glocal”) adaptation will get the right talent excited about your company and in the door for an interview.


  1. Get talent excited about new opportunities at your company.
    In Irvine, top performers are already employed and not actively looking for new opportunities. Passive talent needs a compelling reason to even consider switching companies. From my experience, passive talent working at top tech companies cares most about culture and purpose. Since they’re assured of a top salary wherever they go, they prioritize finding companies where they will be working on impactful projects and keeping their skills fresh. When recruiting this talent, you need to focus your pitch on these concerns. You only get one chance to make the right first impression– make it count!


  1. Choose the right recruitment partner who is invested in your success.
    Recruiters do more than just tap into a passive candidate base. They also act as brand ambassadors, selling talent on an exciting new future at your organization. In tech hubs like Irvine, word travels fast in regards to new opportunities. If your recruiter fails to position your company correctly, your entire recruitment strategy may suffer. Focus on building a strong partnership with a single recruiting firm that understands the local market and your company’s big-picture needs.

As a Senior Partner at Lucas Group specializing in the games, apps, high tech and general management search, I know first-hand the difference that a trusted partner can bring to a company’s talent acquisition needs. Oftentimes I am called in on projects where the company has previously worked other recruiting firms and not had any luck hiring talent. The problem? Other firms may talk to the right people, but fail to make the right first impression and speak to their candidates’ needs for culture, purpose and innovation.

As a recruiter, my mission is to provide data-driven insights into local hiring trends, helping you stay one step ahead of the competition and sell top talent on the new opportunities at your organization.