Businesses are competing for the best talent on the market, while specialists are looking for the most suitable company to work for. When these two processes converge at one point, a perfect match happens. In this article, let’s focus on this issue from the company’s point of view. What are the main pitfalls in the process of candidate selection? What perceptions and stereotypes prevent your company from hiring a top tech talent? How to formulate a successful recruitment strategy that will effectively work for your business needs?
The selection of tech candidates is often a more complicated process than a regular search. Internal HR departments are often responsible for tech searches but lack enough time to acquire sufficient tech expertise and have to struggle through lots of unqualified candidates. This is especially true for non-tech companies. As a result, the recruitment process takes too much time and gets more expensive.
The competition for the tech talents is getting more fierce amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the digitizing of many businesses. The demand for software engineers has soared. On the one hand, new candidates’ markets have opened, as the remote format of work is gaining ground. On the other hand, companies from other markets are hiring from your local market offering sometimes better conditions and more interesting projects. Therefore, the competition for tech talents will unlikely to get any easier.
How to create a successful recruitment strategy?
A perfect candidate-company match is possible if your business has a clear and effective recruitment strategy for hiring IT talents.
Once the need for hiring a software engineer becomes apparent, you need to formulate the business value of a potential placement and draw up a portrait of the ideal candidate. Determine the limits of flexibility you are ready to opt for in terms of the candidate’s skills, so-called must-haves and nice-to-haves. Another important thing to do is to decide whether you are going to delegate the search to an external agency and calculate potential costs and value of placement.
Generally, there are several steps towards an efficient recruitment strategy:
- Why do you need to hire? The main goal of this stage is to determine the value the new hire will bring to your business. You need to take into account a skill gap within a team, possible structural changes in the short and medium terms, and appropriate KPIs for a position.
- Can you find the needed skill on the market? There is often a shortage of tech professionals, particularly of narrow specializations. Determine preferable companies, their size (startups or corporations) and industries you would like to see in the future employee’s experience, map the geography of the search. You have to make sure that particular skills you are looking for can be found on the market for the money you are ready to pay and by the time you expect your project to start. There is an expression in recruiters’ slang – purple squirrel – which stands for a candidate, who is a perfect fit for the position, ready to start working immediately and even settle for a lower salary. This is a big wheel for business but be ready that this match is almost impossible to find.
- Who will be doing the dirty part? Think about whether your company’s internal HR department can make an effective placement for a position or it is better to use the services of a tech recruitment agency. Here, it is important to keep in mind that professional recruiters have more experience in filling positions with specific skill sets. Moreover, resorting to the professional service would allow your company to reduce costs because as long as a position is not filled, your company loses money and opportunities.
- How will you present a position to a candidate? Job description (JD) is often not given enough attentioт, and this is wrong. You should perceive a job description as a marketing piece. The JD can be your first and often the last chance to communicate with the candidate. It should give a good impression, contain all the needed requirements, cover compensation issues, shed light on your company’s internal life and practices. Make it details, as software engineers want to see the technical specificities of a position.
- How to better communicate with recruiters regarding the search? Provide as much information as possible to in-house or external recruiters about the position and your expectations from a candidate to give them the right hints for a search strategy. Establish the limits of flexibility: for example, tell that you are ready to continue with candidates who meet 70% of requirements, to avoid the situation when qualified candidates are overlooked or rejected before you see their CV. Do not forget to provide recruiters with timely feedback on their work and adjust the direction of the search if necessary.
- How a candidate will benefit from hiring? Think about the advantages a candidate will get once hired and determine benefits and perks you are ready to provide an employee with, including opportunities for growth and a compensation package.
Main myths preventing your company from hiring a top tech talent
Look at the most common employers’ stereotypes during the selection process – if you still follow them, you are risking to miss out on a top tech professional:
- It is up to a company to make a choice in the recruitment process.
When it comes to the recruitment process, the only win-win situation is a match of employer’s and candidate’s needs. If you underestimate the second factor, odds are high that you will face staff turnover and low level of personnel’s satisfaction with their jobs. Mckinsey & Company found out that high performers in highly complex occupations, including software engineering, are 800% more productive than average ones. If you want to hire high performers, you need to make sure they will choose you. Your company should be attractive for the best employees on the market that could be achieved by developing a strong HR branding strategy, working on competitive advantages and reputation.
- If you search long enough, you will find an ideal candidate.
Here, it is all about adequate timing: “hire too slow, and you’ll be bringing on employees to help mitigate disasters. Hire too quickly, and you won’t get the best people.” If you drag out the recruitment process you risk losing even already short-listed candidates – they will just choose an employer ready to make an attractive offer faster than you.
- Too young or too old professionals are less preferable.
There are no strict rules: younger professionals are fast-learning, while older professionals are more loyal, concentrated and experienced. Stick to what candidate’s skills correspond to your business needs instead of calculating the gap between his or her age and the average figure for your team. A recruitment strategy on diversity principles often generates better results.
- There is no point in contacting passive candidates.
Passive candidates are those who are not currently looking for a job. Even if a candidate is perfectly happy employed at the moment, it does not mean that you cannot spark his or her interest in a new opportunity. Find out what you can offer a candidate that they lack at the current job (opportunities, time, money, fun, etc). Linkedin research shows that over 75% of passive candidates read invitations to consider a new position if receive such.
- If a candidate has all the required hard skills, there is no point in paying too much attention to the cultural match.
Yes, this is indeed fortunate to find a candidate that has all the required skills, but think about whether it is a cultural fit for your company? An employee might perfectly perform all tasks but at the same time feel uncomfortable about corporate culture. On average, about 43% of those switching jobs do it because of an unfit corporate culture and atmosphere at the workplace.
- Long remote experience is alarming.
A remote worker is just the same contributor to a business as an onsite employee. Today, many companies offer remote positions, and even senior ones. Many companies are working fully remotely since the establishment and this is a new reality. The pandemic led to the increase of the share of freelancers on the market, as many people worldwide lost their jobs and had to switch to remote work. The situation is different with freelancers, who usually work on projects and might leave as soon as a new opportunity arises.
- Candidate’s prestigious education and a well-known company in CV give him a head start.
Let’s make it clear: yes, both of these things look attractive for an employer. However, they never determine the whole candidate’s career. The best recruitment strategy here is to focus more on the latest experience and, most importantly, achievements. Look at the candidate’s skills, his or her fit into the team and motivation.
- There is no point in contacting candidates who failed to be hired by your company before.
There is a common misconception that candidates who did not get an offer to a company should be blacklisted for future searches. Act smarter: find out how a candidate’s career was developing while you were not in contact, what experience and in what companies he or she received at this time. It is possible that a candidate who was rejected earlier advanced to the desired level. If you politely rejected a candidate earlier and did not damage relations, you can actually contact him or her regarding a new job.
- Job boards are the main source of candidates.
It is quite difficult to stand out from the competition when promoting your jobs via Indeed, LinkedIn or other famous job-related resources. Stop focusing exclusively on job ads, use social media, professional tech communities, referral programs, active sourcing to become more visible to candidates.
- It is easier and faster to hire a local candidate than a candidate from abroad.
Expand the geography of your search, you can find excellent specialists abroad, who are ready to move and work for your company. Often a specialist from abroad can start working as fast as the local (2-3 months). To hire a foreigner will be more cost-saving for business than having an important position unfilled, even taking into account relocation expenses.
- A well-considered recruitment strategy is the first and the most important step towards a successful placement.
- A recruitment strategy should be based on the real needs of your business.
- It is crucially important to determine what skills (both hard and soft) are a must-have for candidates, what are preferable companies and industries in past experience, what personality a candidate should have to fit in your corporate culture.
- Make a clear and comprehensive strategy to present your business to candidates, give them as much information as possible on the position and corporate culture in your company.
- Establish reliable communication with recruiters conducting a search and brief them in the most concrete and detailed way.
- Put aside outdated stereotypes about the recruitment process and focus on the real value of your company and a successful candidate can bring each other!
If you want to hire the best tech professional in the market and are not going to settle for less, Zero to One Search recruiters are here to help you to advance your business by offering quality recruitment services!
- Our team specializes in the tech market and conducts the most complicated searches for clients across Europe.
- The team speaks seven languages that enable it to search for candidates in every part of the world.
- Zero to One Search recruiters daily communicate with representatives of the tech business and have accumulated much expertise regarding the market and nuances of IT positions.
Make these advantages working for your business goals! We are always available via firstname.lastname@example.org