Tech recruitment is a competitive field that’s sometimes characterised by an apparent skills shortage. Whether you’re a hiring manager, recruiter or HR professional, there are issues that come up over again, and particularly with the age old question of how to avoid spending precious time on the wrong candidates. Well, here are 5 ways to help you avoid the time wasters.
1. Overcome a lack of suitable candidates
One of the reasons that companies struggle to recruit for technical roles is a perception that there’s a lack of skilled candidates in the job market. You can recruit for a role and fail to receive any applicants, or anyone that matches the required skillset.
Also known as the pipeline problem, this may not be the whole story. Companies don’t always look in the right places for candidates.
Not all IT professionals have spent time developing the skills they need to effectively promote themselves. Further, the majority of candidates in tech should be considered passive job seekers, meaning that they are not actively looking for roles but are open to hearing about opportunities. In order for you to reach them, your recruiters will need to proactively approach them.
Companies themselves also may need to consider developing a more flexible mindset when it comes to hiring new employees for tech roles, as well as the possibility of upskilling existing staff.
Missing these vital talent pools, can mean you end up passing over a hidden gem, or recruiting the wrong person for the role.
Solution: Go to candidates’ natural habitats.
To avoid missing out on prime candidates, ensure you create a system where you approach top tech talent – both internal and external if you’re a corporate – on a semi-regular basis to ask them about their career aspirations. If you don’t, someone else will.
Expand your source pools to ensure that you’re including as many candidates as possible in your net and think laterally.
This could mean expanding it internally by implementing a training programme or job-shadowing scheme in your company to help upskill current staff.
Or expanding diversity, like getting involved with female-focused groups like Ada’s List, Tech City Women and Tech Ladies where you can find women looking for roles in tech. People are typically enthusiastic and engaged, who have the credibility of being part of established professional groups.
A word of warning: try not to spam the group with job posts. Earn the trust of group members and play the long game, or better yet, convince an existing technical staff member to be your ambassador in the group.
2. Improving communication between recruitment teams and hiring managers
Areas of business traditionally considered to be ‘tech’ are often shrouded in terms that mystify the non-tech person.
It may not be clear which technical skills could be learned on the job, and which are ones that truly essential. There can be subtle distinctions between different types of skills that someone without this specific tech knowledge may accidentally overlook.
Hiring managers may also not be 100% clear themselves on what they’re looking for from their new hire, and need specialised recruiters to help them identify the key skills and competencies.
Solution: Foster a culture of close relations between hiring managers, in house recruitment teams and HR and marketing.
If you have clear, consistent company values, this makes it easier for your different teams to work together to achieve your recruitment goals. Communicate exactly why you need the skills you have specified in the job description, and what you hope to achieve with the role.
Getting the marketing team on board, means you’ll be able to foster a cohesive employer brand, encourage employee engagement and make the advertising for roles more effective.
To successfully execute your recruitment strategy and achieve your goals, hiring managers, marketers and internal recruiters need to work closely together with consistent input right from the beginning.
3. Keep up with changing recruitment practices
Some people think the CV is dying a slow death. Candidates are advertising themselves in very different places in different methods nowadays.
Don’t underestimate the power of your website in attracting candidates, 59% of millennials will search for a company they’re interested in by browsing the company’s website.
Recruitment can also take place entirely across social media, and not just for candidates themselves but also from and to their network as well.
Especially in tech, professionals working in this sector will be showcasing their work through GitHub, advising on stackoverflow and contributing in other opensource projects. They’ll be part of professional networks, especially online, and recruiters need to stay on top of, and get involved in, these trends.
Solution: Build a comprehensive recruitment strategy that recognises traditional and new tools.
Diversify your recruitment practices and make sure you source from a variety of platforms and mediums. Take into consideration candidate referrals, social media, professional networks and internal candidates, as well as direct applicants. Ensure your website and social media profiles accurately reflect your brand and values.
Creating code challenges that test for the skills you are looking for enables you to quickly and simply evaluate candidates’ ability, whilst also being engaging which strengthens your employer brand. Check out ours here (other providers are available, but not as good!)
You can gather practical evidence of the knowledge and ability of your prospective programmers, in a way that they find enjoyable. You won’t even need a CV if you’ve already seen what they can do. Coding challenges are a great way to understand the capability of your talent pool and to build meaningful interviews around.
4. Writing job adverts that are gender neutral
Research shows that job adverts are often subtly geared towards attracting men over women through their use of language and portrayal of values. This is especially prominent in historically male-dominated industries like tech, where hiring managers are more likely to be male.
Research by Mckinsey shows that diverse teams show increased productivity and revenue when compared with teams that lack diversity, but many companies are struggling to recruit female candidates.
This article perfectly illustrates how a job description may subtly exclude women, and what to do about it.
One of the reasons women get excluded is that companies are creating job descriptions using words like ‘superior’, ‘exception’ and ‘dominant’, that are not only culturally perceived as masculine but also considered negative traits if attributed to women. i.e. rather than being seen as ‘dominant’, women are more typically seen as ‘bossy’ in the workplace.
Research also shows that women are less likely to apply for jobs when they don’t fulfil 100% of the desired criteria, compared with men who will apply when only meeting 60% of the required skills. This means you won’t be getting the maximum potential number of applicants for your role.
Solution: Reword your job descriptions.
Simple rewording of your job descriptions can significantly raise your number of able applicants. Balance masculine language by including feminine words such as ‘cooperative’, ‘interpersonal’ and ‘supportive’. This also encourages applications from technical candidates who have better ‘soft skills’, which are becoming increasingly important.
Software like Textio makes it easy for companies to eliminate unconscious gender bias in their job descriptions, along with other wording issues such as too much corporate jargon, that may be limiting the number of suitable applicants.
5. Decreasing reliance on outdated technology
It doesn’t promote a good impression to potential tech candidates if your business is using antiquated recruitment methods. Aside from the rumoured ‘death of the CV’, you may be wasting lots of time interviewing prospective candidates who don’t have the suitable technical experience for the position.
Although the importance of training on the job shouldn’t be underestimated, there will be times when interviewing unsuitable candidates becomes all too common.
It can also very time-consuming to create appropriate in-house tests for every technical role you need to recruit for, not to mention how long it takes to go through each prospective candidate’s results.
Solution: Think about upgrading your technology to streamline your recruitment process.
Investing in appropriate technology is essential for the success of your tech recruitment initiatives. The impression your company gives to prospective candidates is vital to attracting top tech talent, who will expect your recruitment process to reflect what it will be like to work for you.
If you don’t invest, this may suggest you don’t value your tech department as much as you should, or you’re lacking expertise in your team. Don’t just rely on your HR team to know everything about what you want from your your technical hires.
It’s not just candidate impressions either. Using online technical assessments to screen your candidates will save you a lot of time that would have been wasted interviewing unsuitable hires. Having software to help your recruitment takes out the time consuming screening, filtering and processing parts of the job and gets you back to the heart of hiring properly.
While a rising to a challenge may appeal to some candidates, there are many affordable technologies available to help you with your recruitment process.
If you’d like to hear more about how we can help streamline your tech recruitment, get in touch and we’ll happy to support you. +44 (0) 191 562 3171 or email@example.com