Recruiting And Retention
Tech Talent Recruiting Methods That Don’t Work and How to Fix Them

Tech Talent Recruiting Methods That Don’t Work and How to Fix Them

by Maria Gomez   |   April 8, 2020   |     10 min read
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It’s a fierce talent market, a dog-eat-dog world, an eclectic and competitive field rapidly changing and adjusting to consumer demands and the need for a specialized workforce. Such is the world of tech today, as there is no single skill or characteristic that will guarantee the right candidate for your company’s particular needs. Top candidates are fluid, adaptable, and creative— possessing the right balance of technical skills and soft skills. Your company’s future might depend on recruiting the right person to fill the slot, but you find yourself spending countless resources and hours sifting through resumes, interviews, emails, only to have the candidate be far from what you’re looking for or leave the job after a few weeks. 

So what have you been doing wrong? 

According to Forbes magazine,  the average recruitment process takes about 52 days, but top candidates only last on the market at about 10. Fifty-two days is almost two months. That’s a long time for a tech company looking to jump into the grind quickly and get their projects started. 

The world of recruitment and hiring has changed significantly in just the last two decades, particularly for tech companies. Quality developers and software engineers often have varying types of experience and education. A lot has changed thanks to widespread technical education throughout universities, as outlined by Stackflow. It was not until the 1980s that more formal study programs sprouted throughout higher education as software development became a more institutionalized field. In the 2000s, the competition at these universities was raging as the internet was taking hold, and other countries implemented highly-focused tech programs on computer science and engineering.  Today, developers have a mix of formal and informal education as well as hands-on experience ranging from prestigious university degrees to online courses, on-the-job-training, and working on open source contributions. 

So let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes tech companies make when recruiting and how you can improve your company’s hiring and recruitment process and grow your team effectively. 

Ineffective Recruitment Methods That May Be Costing You Time and Money 

Bad Tactic #1: Passive Recruiting & Old Timey Methods

If you’ve owned a business or ran a business for any amount of time, you are likely aware that remaining stagnant or not budging when change comes a-knockin, that you are likely to fall behind your competitors. The same goes for recruitment. Passive recruitment refers to employers that recruit passively through their in-house teams. This may be in the form of posting on the office bulletin board, on the company website, and they simply wait for the ‘right’ applicant to magically drop their resume at their door. While this might work for tech giants like Google and IBM, if you are a startup company or mid-size company whose name might not be in the category of ‘household name,’ you might need to be way more proactive. 

So perhaps the company takes it to the next step and tries to actively recruit candidates. They attempt to reach recruiters through job fairs, college campuses, or external sites. And yet, according to an SHRM research report, 83 percent of in house recruiters reported difficulties with these methods. Here are some additional statistics: 

  • Recruiting on your company website:  According to research conducted by LinkedIn, your website is an effective Talent Branding Tool, but it is not an effective way to engage with candidates. Top channels people use to look for new jobs are online job boards (60%), professional social networks (56%), and word of mouth (50%). 
  • Job boards: These can still play a significant role in company recruiting, as many major companies continue to use these as a way to fill positions. These online job boards can be somewhat effective in recruiting competent candidates if your company has posted a well-written and compelling job posting, description, and if you have a good strategy in place for applicants. 

How To Fix it:

Be proactive in your hiring and don’t passively wait for the right candidate to show up at your doorstep. Your company must invest a conscious effort on a strong web presence and excellent branding. Ways of increasing web presence include having current employees post reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. This way, candidates running into a post will be more likely interested in the company. 

Bad Tactic #2: Lacking a Solid Recruitment and Application Process 

Looking at a resume alone will not tell you much. If you’re seeking a specialized workforce like a mobile developer or a developer that specializes in a particular language or application, a half improvised recruitment process will cause you to miss out on talent. You want to have a strategy in place that involves several steps and is clearly laid out. 

In fact, many companies have branched out to include a third party to help them with the recruiting process. Your strategy can involve several phases and should include a way to get to know the candidate, learn about their background, experience and/or education and provide them with adequate skills assessments that will show you how they work in real-time or how they solve problems. 

How to Fix It:

Have a precise and organized process set in place. For example, have various stages of the process: primary interview, secondary interview, skills assessments, sample projects, etc. A staffing firm might be able to help in facilitating a recruitment process.  As a staffing firm, CodersLink evaluates candidates to ensure they have the necessary skills for the job. Only after they are vetted, we send the resume to the recruiting managers. This facilitates the entire recruitment process. 

Stephanie Troiano, at The Hire Talent, says, “in a tight labor market, forcing candidates through a cumbersome, lengthy and disjointed process is the easiest way to lose good candidates to other opportunities and competitors.” People like Troiana, recommend a strong focus on creating a process that is smooth and easy to navigate without unnecessarily complicated hoops to jump through.  

Margarida Pfaumann, Head of HR at Travelcircus, also stresses the different ways to create a positive applicant experience. According to her, one of the reasons companies lose great candidates is due to the company inadvertently creating confusing processes for applicants. When it comes to attracting tech talent, companies should start by assessing their current recruiting strategies and simplify the process that might be confusing or frustrating candidates. 

Bad Tactic #3:  Neglecting A Well-Written Job Description 

If you’re using job postings or job advertisements, the job description is actually a crucial part of the ad. Many companies neglect to spend some time on this description and end up with jargoned, excessive descriptions that don’t communicate any sense of company culture. We’ve written extensively in the past about how to construct compelling job descriptions for hiring PHP developers, Python developers, and mobile developers

How to Fix It:

A job description is a communication tool that describes the duties and responsibilities of a job and the qualifications required to be successful in the job. It is the foundation on which candidates determine interest and decide to apply to your organization. Spend some time thinking about your company culture, company ethos, and the kind of language that can feel welcoming and exciting to eager developers. 

If you have a designated person or manager, have them take the lead in developing the job description. Employees that will have contact or collaborate with the new hire can also contribute and be part of the discussion. 

Perform a job analysis to gather data and compose an effective job description.  The analysis can include information such as: job responsibilities of current employees, internet research, other sample job descriptions, work duties, tasks, a careful articulation of important outcomes or contributions expected from the position, and more. 

A job description typically contains several components. These include: 

General Information

– Job Title
– Experience Level
– Years of Experience
– Location
– Language

Position Information
– About the Company
– About the position

Details of the Requirements
– Responsibilities
– Required Technical Skills
– Desired Soft Skills

Remuneration and Benefits
– Salary
– Benefits

2020 Recruitment Trends That Will Grow Your Company 

A contemporary recruitment strategy requires several different aspects. Finding unique tech talent requires companies to employ a unique and more people-oriented recruitment strategy. Here at CodersLink, we’ve adopted a new philosophy when it comes to a recruitment strategy; we seek a unique and people-oriented recruitment strategy that centers around seeing the candidate in a more three-dimensional lens. 

We’ve built a community of uniquely talented professionals that can bring more than just hard skills to the companies that employ them. So in review, there are a couple of significant steps you can take to alter your approach. We suggest:

1- Getting away from the idea of looking at candidates as just a collection of technical skills, and view the candidate as a whole person that is nuanced and reacts to certain conditions. 

Here’s what we mean:
A professional that has a life outside of the job—a healthy work-life balance— comes into work with more focused energy and drive to get things done. People that have a more comprehensive range of interests and pursuits are more likely to possess a positive and proactive attitude needed for the continuation of learning, effective communication, and creative problem-solving. 

2- Avoid prioritizing hard-skills over soft-skills 

Don’t close yourself off when candidates don’t meet all the technical criteria you require. Soft-skills refer to necessary and valuable skills like communication, creativity, problem-solving, and more. They are called ‘soft’ not because they are less valuable or in some way lesser than “hard” skills but because they are intangible. They are hard to measure, difficult to assess from a resume or single conversation. Yet, it is often the soft skills that will make a candidate the right fit for the development of a project that might not be straightforward, might run into issues or is still being discerned. 

3- Don’t limit yourself to only college degrees 

Big-time tech companies like Google and Apple say they no longer require college degrees of applicants. This is because the work of software developers and engineers can be a self-taught skill.  A Stack Overflow survey claimed that 69% of developers are self-taught, and less than half hold a bachelor’s degree. That means that quality candidates might have a resume without formal education but tons of hands-on experience, which means that you may be missing out on a solid candidate due to self-imposed limitations on your application. 

4- Branch out, go beyond your borders

In today’s tech world, reaching out to people only within your geographical area is a thing of the past. There is a whole world of developer and software engineer talent growing by the day across the globe and in places outside of the United States. By opening your doors (figuratively speaking) to remote workers, you are opening up possibilities and the ability to hire anywhere in the world, including countries with a high concentration of trained and experienced talent like Mexico

5- Work on your hiring process and consider the candidate experience 

As was stated above, a massive pitfall for many companies includes when they neglect to implement a thought out and organized application and recruitment process, which means putting the candidate through a tangled mess of interviews or a disorganized process. This is no good. When candidates enjoy a positive experience while applying to your company, they are more likely to recommend it to others. 

Streamlining the Process With Staffing Services

Another wave of recruitment technique involves bringing in a professional staffing services agency or staffing firm. Many tech companies have sought out the services of a company that is already working on vetting and recruiting qualified software developers so that they provide the connection to candidates with a setlist of skills or requirements. The staffing agency will then connect you directly with the candidate, and your company can proceed with your regular hiring process/skills assessments. 

A staffing firm will also help your company in hiring remote employees per-project basis or as a permanent placement. Staffing firms like CodersLink, give your company a lot of flexibility and control. You essentially set the conditions. 

You might want to hire a remote employee and try them out for a couple of months. You might choose to have your company hire a permanent placement employee and have a hiring agency to assist with HR services. Perhaps you want help finding the right candidate, and you use a staffing firm for a few months until they help you transition into a permanent placement. 

Employ the Right Tactics For Your Company Needs and Hire Smart 

Finding the right candidate is a multifaceted task. There are plenty of things to consider. Here at CodersLink, we specialize in assisting companies in the hiring process and facilitating some of the most challenging aspects and questions relating to hiring remote employees or finding quality candidates. 

Let us know what other methods have you found effective in today’s recruitment world?

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