Recruiting tech talent is one of the biggest challenges for pretty much every one of our clients. Particularly since the start of the pandemic, demand for top tech talent has outstripped supply. So how does the average lesser-known company compete with tech giants like Google and Amazon in attracting potential candidates? We share our top ten tips on how to hire tech talent from our insider knowledge of the recruitment industry.
Our Top 10 Tips on How to Hire Tech Talent
We could offer endless advice for employers to improve their hiring process. But if we had to pare our knowledge down into what’s likely to give you the biggest bang for your buck? These are our top 10 tips for employers who want to improve their recruitment process and attract the best techies.
1 – Know your stuff
Businesses never let their IT sales reps loose among their customers until they’re confident they know their stuff. Why? Because technology salespeople who lack expert product and company knowledge can make a business seem unprofessional. The financial implication is that they wouldn’t meet their sales quota and damage the brand’s reputation long term.
Undoubtedly, the same should apply to hiring managers conducting interviews. After all, they are ambassadors of the business responsible for making decisions that affect the company’s future.
It’s surprising, then, how many hiring managers have the freedom to publish job ads without fully understanding the job description. Then there are the ones who will enter an interview room expecting the candidate to be prepared after only giving their CV a quick glance. These hiring managers are letting your company down and seriously need to up their interviewing game!
The interview process is a 50/50 experience. With candidates for tech jobs being so scarce, they can afford to be picky. Therefore, anyone interviewing them needs to seriously know their stuff.
2 – Increase your reach
just as employers check out an applicant’s social media accounts before inviting them to interview, candidates do the same. In fact, most candidates won’t apply for jobs with companies that lack an online presence. Therefore, time to think about attracting top talent is not when you have a vacancy to fill. Of course, that’s the most appropriate time to advertise the role.
Before applying, candidates want to understand what daily life is like within your business and what existing employees have to say about their candidate experiences.
It’s not simply enough for your business to throw up a careers page and leave it there. The best applicants want to see social media content that backs up an employer’s claims. Companies can only build up this kind of content with a long term recruitment marketing strategy.
Smaller, less-established businesses often lack the budget to improve their employer branding. If this sounds familiar, piggybacking off the expertise and reputation of a reputable recruitment agency can be a cheaper option.
3 – Understand your target audience
Do you have any idea what your perfect candidate looks like? How about their motivation for seeking a new position? Or their ambitions for the future? Only once you have this information can you devise a long term recruitment strategy that will attract your target candidates.
Just like your marketing team would before introducing a new product to the market, creating a candidate persona is a good place to start before advertising your job.
4 – Be specific
Hiring managers are often wary of being too specific on job ads for fear of putting potential candidates off. However, if what you post on the job boards lacks clarity, applicants will skip past it to continue their search.
So what do candidates want to see on job ads? There are three crucial elements a job advert must include to make it appealing to job hunters.
- What you expect from the successful applicant
- A bit of information about your company
- How you will reward them in return
The biggest mistake we see in job adverts is that they focus far too much on what they expect from candidates. Newsflash… Nobody will want to work for you if they don’t feel adequately rewarded for the job they do.
5 – Tap into your network
Networking is a nugget of advice we always give to job seekers, but it works just as well for employers too. If you have great people working for you, they likely know more hard-working, talented individuals just like them. Tapping into this network by offering existing staff a referral bonus can open up a goldmine of opportunity.
6 – Ask your techsperts
If you have a tech team, they’re your experts or ‘Techsperts’ as we like to call them. They understand what makes people like them tick, what they do in their spare time, where they hang out and what motivates them. So why not hold a focus group and invite them to offer their insights into where you can find more people like them?
7 – Focus on learning and development
If you’re not keeping up with technology, you’re falling behind. That’s why one of the top criteria for tech professionals, particularly for software developers seeking a new position, is learning and development.
Many employers worry that if they offer their tech staff the resources to develop their skills, they will use those skills to move onto pastures new. Actually, the opposite is true; investing in your techies’ skills development can benefit your business and enable you to outshine your competition.
8 – Provide career longevity
Nobody likes going through the rigmarole of searching for a new job and then having to endure the interview process. Therefore, companies offering opportunities for development within the business reduce the need for people to leave.
Conducting regular performance reviews gives management a chance to build relationships, encourage openness, and discover their staff’s ambitions. Providing opportunities to achieve their goals within your organisation can make people feel valued.
Not only that, but it’s cheaper to hire someone at entry level than it is a fully-fledged tech professional. A recent stack overflow report finds that most developers have less than five years of professional experience. Therefore, adopting a tech recruitment strategy that involves promoting from within and hiring replacements with less experience to fill their shoes is likely to be more successful than one that works the other way around.
9 – Reward loyalty
Consider the benefits you offer for a moment. Do they provide an incentive for employees to stay if they were thinking of leaving? For example, if you’re offering only the bare minimum pension scheme, your staff would probably get a better deal elsewhere. Therefore, it might be worth weighing up how much it would cost your business to up your pension offer vs how much you spend on recruitment.
10 – Consider your timing carefully
Tech candidates are hard to find, and talent acquisition is expensive. So instead of looking to hire tech talent at the same time everyone else is, why not plan an alternative strategy? In times of economic downturn, many companies seek to reduce their payroll. At times like this, there is likely to be more tech talent available at a lower cost than when the economy is doing well. Therefore, it pays to keep hiring tech talent during a recession.
A Few Final Thoughts on How to Hire Tech Talent
Hiring in a skills drought, as we’re experiencing now, can be time consuming and expensive. Expert IT recruitment firms have a wealth of experience to offer in addition to the apparent hiring solutions they provide. Tapping into this kind of specialist knowledge can help take your hiring strategy to the next level and beat the competition in the race for top tech talent.
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