Recruiting top talent is by no means easy. Typical recruitment practices are time-consuming and outdated. A Deloitte study showed that a typical recruitment process lasts 52 days - it's safe to say that by that time, top tech talent will be taken by another company.
There's no obvious answer to this issue. Old best practices no longer cut it out, and on top of that, top talents today are more self-aware and independent. These candidates know what they are worth and like to get things done quickly.
Challenges in recruiting tech talent
Today recruiting is changing globally. Companies start embracing digital transformation, automation, and technology. In the tech world, especially with top talents, these changes aren't enough. Recruiters in tech companies have to deal with at least five unique challenges.
Not enough talent
Demand for skilled tech professionals grows all the time. All organizations are looking for candidates with similar characteristics: innovative, creative, dedicated, with knowledge of the latest technologies. Many tech stocks are new, and there are not enough senior specialists on the market. In fields like DevOps, Data Science, Cybersecurity, finding an experienced professional is especially difficult. The same thing goes for all new frameworks, languages, and databases - the job market is simply not established yet.
In the IT sector, relocation contracts are a common practice. Often, companies are so competitive about an expert developer that they are ready to bring talents from elsewhere, pay for tickets, and first months of housing. The market is no longer local. To attract the best talent in the field, you have to embrace international recruiting.
Another possibility is working remotely, but many organizations are not accustomed to remote communication and management. For many teams, such workflow would mean restructuring most of their processes and metrics - and it's not something that can be done in one day.
Tech professionals are highly aware of their dominant position in the job market. They are ready to negotiate, put offers on hold, and look for better options. A lot of them have their minds set on big companies, and they wouldn't even consider smaller businesses.
On top of that, it's not just about salary and company name. Developers and testers like working on interesting projects - it's a key choice factor. To be competitive, a business has to offer creative challenges (something far beyond refactoring).
Slow recruiting is as good as none
Tech talents are quickly taken off the market. While a company decides whether to offer candidates a meetup, another business will already propose a contract. The classical recruitment process with multiple test tasks, interviews, and meetings is not competitive anymore.
Some companies (especially startups) offer positions to candidates in less than one day. It's a record-breaking speed, and not all businesses are ready to embrace it. However, it creates certain expectations in a candidate's mind - so your tech talent might not even agree to go through a weekly long process.
Requirements are changing all the time
Technology changes every month. New updates, tech stack appear all the time. It means that recruiters should always have a long-term perspective in mind, looking for candidates who aren't only excellent in their skills, but also have great learning capacities. Once again, a typical recruitment process doesn't offer a way to detect such abilities.
Tech Recruiting: How to successfully recruit tech talent
To overcome these challenges, you need to establish a new recruiting approach. This means the change in mentality, used tools, and criteria used to select candidates. We summarized it all in a checklist - seven easy-to-follow steps of recruiting tech talent.
Understand the tech position you are looking to fill
Not all companies can afford to hire an HR with a tech background. Understandably, recruiters don't have practical experience in that field. Still, they shouldn't come through for the company in writing a position description or conducting a recruitment process.
- HRs should consult developers to understand the specifics of a position-to-fill.
- You can take a look at software development companies and their websites to see what skills are trending on the market, and how tech experts go about describing them.
Define your candidate persona
Even before you start recruiting, you need to have a clear idea of what kind of people you'll interact with. Stack Overflow's Survey supplies a lot of relevant insights.
- The majority of developers are younger than 35, and 90% are male.
- More than half of them have less than 5 years of experience.
- The majority of developers taught themselves a new language or framework outside of their formal education.
- More than 90% of developers are working part-time.
These statistics alone set your expectations in a different direction. Years of experience and formal training shouldn't matter as much as actual skills and tests. Also, it's clear that developers don't like committing to a single project - so perhaps, you should take that into account while making an offer.
Recruit online with sophisticated tools and social media
In tech recruitment, timing is everything. HR experts have to keep track of all feedback and updates. Ideally, you want to react as soon as you got a top talent's resume. That's why automating recruitment processes is a must for tech fields. Here's the list of applicant tracking systems that you can use for a start.
- iSmartRecruit: It is an AI-based Recruiting CRM Software that provides multilingual open with advanced features and can be customized as per your requirements.
- Workday: A recruitment software for enterprises with automation, email marketing, and CRM features.
- Bullhorn: A specialized tool for recruitment agencies who work with multiple fields simultaneously and process a great number of CVs.
- JazzHR: A hiring software for small businesses with a rich free version, automation and marketing add-ons, and planning features.
When you are using recruiting software, be sure to avoid abusing its capacities. Many recruiters set up their tools to look for keywords and end up spamming their offers. Such a practice earns a company a bad reputation and discredits it in the eyes of a potential hire.
Speak the tech talent's language
Chances of attracting a top talent depend on the slightest details. The first impression of a recruiter is one of those. A positive image is formed by a professional who knows at least basic software development terms, understands the stages of a software development process, and is familiar with details of a dough position.
Develop an interview process that brings out interviewees' true skill sets
The best advice we can give at this point is avoiding cliche. Questions like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" are no longer seen as genuine interest. Instead, prepare original lines and make sure that the flow of the conversation is natural. You don't have to ask every single question on your list. It's better if the interview is carried out as a natural dialogue.
To assess practical skills, invite developers and testers to join the conversations. Experts of the same field will understand the technicalities and check the actual skills of a potential hire.
Collect best sources of tech talent
Finding developers and testers is easier if you are in their natural habitat. Generic job boards and even LinkedIn aren't necessarily the primary sources of talent. We suggest looking for developers in code repositories (GitHub, GitLab), tech forums (Stack Overflow), Medium (look for developers that are writing guides related to a position). You don't have to look for talents strictly online: offline tech events and hackathons are also prominent destinations.
Engage your existing team
Finding a tech talent by connections and word-of-mouth is incredibly common. Developers and testers know each other from local events, online discussions, common projects. The next top talent may lie within a close reach. Encourage your team members to refer their colleagues to your company (obviously, for a reward). Using social media is a must in looking for referrals. Post on your LinkedIn and Facebook requests about recommending great developers and testers - and people will likely reach out.
To be successful in recruiting tech talent, you need to enter the field as an insider. We suggest exploring local and international tech communities, forums, blogs. Familiarizing yourself with terms and concepts is only a part of the process. You also need to get to know tech talents' priorities, needs, and problems firsthand, so you know what to address. The tech field doesn't play by established rules.
You will need a new framework, and the earlier you start creating it, the more talents you'll be able to attract. So, get familiar with the industry and focus on understanding tech talents - before you reach out to recruit them.