Technical recruiting for dummies. Attracting the top talent.

February 8, 2018
7 mins

You can’t be in the tech community without realizing there is a shortage of talent – Mitch Kapor, Entrepreneur

While talking about the talent shortage, the IT industry is one of the most mentioned! Living in the digital era, more and more organizations decide to invest in their digital presence every day.

Most of these organizations face obstacles in identifying and attracting tech talent.

Especially, if an organization does not operate in the IT sector, but aims to focus on its IT department to compete with other market players.

In this case, it makes it even more difficult for these companies.

Tech talent knows that out there is a huge demand for them. Therefore, they take advantage of the situation, and they aim to secure a place among big companies.

They are more motivated, and it gives them more pleasant to work in a company which solely focuses on IT products rather than in a company which operates in consulting and needs its IT department just to ensure the smooth operation of its processes and systems.

Knowing what tech employees are looking for, organizations need to focus more on some specific steps to attract and secure motivated tech talent for their department (even if they can’t be called an IT or a software company…that’s not the case if you play it smart)

6 steps guide to technical recruiting

Define your needs (Be realistic with yourself)

Having built (or not) a strong employer brand, the first contact you will have with candidates is the job description that you will present them. Make sure you create an attractive job description without going too far.

Present the company’s mission and focus on why someone should consider a position in your company.

What do you offer?

Is there any opportunity to make the new hire feel he/she will have an impact on the company’s achievements?

Is there a specific “cool” project you are working on? What makes you different from other companies?

To answer all these questions you first need to do two things:

  • define your needs
  • be realistic while defining your needs

Recruiters and hiring managers together should take some time and discuss a team’s needs and how they are or can be aligned with the company’s bigger goals.

Try to identify why you have this position and define the tasks the new hire will be expected to take on.

Do not look at blogs and websites which offer you ready job description templates and just copy-paste.

If you want to use them, that’s ok, but use them only as a template which will help you to develop your own specific job description.

My job description is…being enthusiastic – Dhani Harrison

In your job description, you should focus on what set of skills and knowledge you are looking for in candidates who will apply.

If you provide candidates with real examples of how their skills and knowledge will be utilized aiming to achieve a bigger goal or to work on building a vision, candidates will understand that they will be part of a team which performs with a purpose; they will appreciate it and even the top tech talent will be willing to work with you.

Highlight your strengths

Focus on your cool project/product/service

Bet it a big or a small company, a start-up or a well-established company, each has its own strengths. A big company can be good at easily approaching big clients and selling to candidates thanks to its brand and exposure, but a start-up can be good at working on very cool projects which are expected to disrupt markets.

Because you are not big (yet) it does not mean that you can’t be attractive to top tech talent.

If you present to candidates an interesting project that you will be working on for the next few months or if you present them with a new product/service which is about to launch and is expected to change the way we used to see what it replaces (think of Apple launch and Nokia’s “death”), then yes, you give them a huge reason to join your team.

Therefore, be encouraged to include a detailed description of the project that the new hire will be working on.

Do not solely focus on a generic description of the team and its goals, but provide candidates with information about the impact that their work is expected to have on the final product/service.

Tell them about the tools and the systems you use, and let them know that you are open to new ideas/suggestions on improving your processes. Tell them you provide them with ownership.

Over half (54%) of the organizations say the digital talent gap is hampering their digital transformation programs and that their organization is losing competitive advantage because of a shortage of digital talent.

UKTN

Make your employees your “EVP” ambassadors

Another strength of your company could also be the company culture and the flexibility you offer at work. Think of LinkedIn, Netflix and Google.

Despite the success they have because of their products/services, they are well known for their employee-friendly programs and processes.

As big companies they may have already built their brand, and you may not be there yet, but that’s OK! Not everyone has a strong employer brand, and it takes time, effort, and financial investment to build one.

What you can do is show your candidates your ambition and how serious you are about becoming the best in your industry; show them also how you plan to achieve that.

Show them your commitment to invest in their learning and development; after all, investment in learning new skills is related to the company’s overall performance.

While keeping the aforementioned in mind, it is important to make your employees “Employee Value Proposition” (EVP) ambassadors. Who can promote your company to candidates better than your own employees? Exactly, no one!

Your employees’ happiness and willingness to share the open positions, along with the positive impact that the company culture may have, can be your best employer branding strategy. And the best…it will cost you nothing!

 

Choose the right sourcing channels

Now that you have defined your needs, and you have created an appealing but realistic job description focusing on your needs, projects, and strengths, it is time to make the decision where to look for top tech talent. Your career website and LinkedIn are two of the most well-known platforms to post your new open positions, but think a bit further and take the next step.

When you post a job on LinkedIn ask your hiring manager and other team members to share it as well. Thus, “taking advantage” of the hiring manager’s and other team members’ network, you will be able to reach out to even more relevant talent (Word of Mouth). [Read – What is social HR? ]

I know someone who knows someone who may know someone else. – The Pooh Sticks (edited)

Build a partnership with strategic universities

Think of relevant universities. University job boards do not exist only for entry-level positions. Remember that most of the universities have also alumni groups.

Candidates with experience could be found there as well. If not, if your job description manages to gain the attention of one of the other members, be sure that he/she will share it with others. That’s the purpose of an alumni group, to help each other grow in their career by sharing knowledge and opportunities.

Be proactive and start building partnerships in advance with universities where top tech talent study(ied). Make sure you hold a presentation in front of students and make sure you involve students in different case studies or coding exercises which will challenge them and convince them that you are an employer worth working for.

Take advantage of talent pools (use hackathons, talent assessment software)

By 2020 1.3 million new U.S software jobs will require tech talent. But there will only be 400,000 new US computer science grads.” – Indeed blog

Supposing that you have followed all the steps mentioned above, your only remaining task now is to ensure you approach candidates with relevant experience, skills, and knowledge.

One way to do this is by taking advantage of existing talent pools. You may have your own talent pool, but sometimes it is not enough on its own. You can partner with third-party organizations which provide you with a platform where you can reach out to tech talent.

Companies such as HackerEarth can help you organize different hackathons where people from all over the world can participate and only the best ones will go into the remaining steps of the recruitment process.

What does it mean for you? It means a bigger talent pool with no boundaries; all candidates will be tested and assessed on their skills about a specific project or about using specific tools or programs, and it also means that you will be guaranteed a shortlist of qualified candidates for your open position.

Hackathons are not the only way, of course! You can also ask candidates to participate in finding a solution to your case study or for a specific project that you create for them. To be more practical, you can give to your potential candidates a “work sample test” (tasks that the candidate will be performing in the job if hired). This method is the best indicator of future job performance.

To summarize, taking care of these steps is expected to make it easier for employers to approach top tech talent even if the company does not operate in the IT/Software industry. In any case, today when technology is taking over everything, every organization has a digital side, and therefore every company is somehow an IT/Software-focused company.

The way you approach candidates can make it even more clear for them the fact that how serious and ambitious you are to take your IT/Software department to the next level.

Finally, if you make sure you provide candidates with the correct information about the position and the company, and if you use the right channels and tools to approach and assess these candidates, then what is left for you to do is celebrate with your team members about the new hire, because you have already ensured that you will onboard the best one! 😉 ( Also read: How to hire the best developer talent at your next career fair )

You can find some more statistics about top tech talent

75 percent of hiring managers report that the time it takes to fill IT positions has increased over the past three years, with the No. 1 reason being “inability to find qualified candidates.-WilsonHCG

Only 36% of people working in tech feel that they have a clear career path, versus 50% of people working in fields such as marketing and finance, according to a survey from TINYPluse.

83% of employers support that the tech talent shortage had hurt their business through lost revenue, slower product development, and increased employee burnout. – Indeed blog

28% of techies said they understand their companies’ vision compared with 43% of non-techies. – The Economist

47% of techies said they had good relations with their work colleagues compared with 56% of non-techies. – The Economist

Top technical recruiting platform comparison

We decided to compare the 8 most common recruitment software platforms as per the number of users. These comparisons have been made from an external source.

(Read – Top 10 recruiting software platforms)

All platforms have been compared based on price, number of users (admins), number of assessments and 9 other criteria.

Download full comparison by filling the form below –

top recruiting software, top 10 recruitment software platform, recruitment software platform, top recruiting software platform comparison

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About the Author

Nikola Tore
Travel Addict • Tech Lover | Talent Acquisition • HRM • CX • LinkedIn • Freelancer | HR Content Writer

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