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How to find that scarce cloud talent

You’re walking to your car from a major public cloud provider’s building that houses about 1,000 employees. You have an envelope on your windshield that looks like an invitation to a fancy wedding.

Upon opening it up, you find it’s an invitation to contact a recruiter who promises a $50,000 signing bonus, quick hiring, and primo perks. Best of all, the recruiter attached a $20 gift card for a major coffee chain for just considering the invitation. (I never feel guilty about taking those.) This is how you found out how much cloud skills are a seller’s market.

This is what I’ve run into lately, not in Silicon Valley where this kind of craziness goes on all the time, but in the Washington, D.C., area, New York, Austin, Boston, Miami, and other cities that do not traditionally have a Tier 1 technology vibe. All types of enterprises in all different verticals are looking to move to the cloud, and they all need people with talent and experience to make it happen—no matter where they are.

You might think many enterprises would supply training to build their own “cloud people,” but that path can take months and months, depending on the aptitudes of current IT staffers. Moreover, the existing systems are not going away anytime soon, and they require smart people who are dedicated to those systems, not just to the emerging cloud platforms.

The objective then becomes to hire outside of the company or to use consultants—or both. This means that the consulting firms are also seeking the same people you are, making the demand go up everywhere at the same time.

So, how do you find the talent? Here are two secrets I’m willing to share:

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