Several online studies and surveys over time have indicated that a majority of recruiters find it challenging to source and hire qualified technical talent.
Technical hiring can sometimes turn out to be difficult especially given the rapid pace of innovations in the marketplace. As new features and capabilities are launched and as the market expands with newer tech models and platforms; the workforce has to keep up with the pace of innovation by knowing how to use, adapt-to and optimize these technologies to help achieve higher business results. Not only is staying updated important, the workforce also has to have the ability to transfer new know-how and training to other team members and peers to create a balance in tech and companies have to instil a stronger training and upskilling protocol.
A good technical hiring process is one in which recruiting teams have the ability to quickly source and screen talent as per very narrow requirements and skill sets. Technical jobs are high in demand and found across industries like IT, manufacturing, engineering and more. The skill sets required for each change as does the role. What’s common across all today is that the work environment across segments is now digital-first and technical roles and vacancies fuel the need for hiring managers to have a consistent pipeline of systems engineers, software developers, data scientists and similar others.
Technical recruiters are usually tasked with creating and implementing an end-to-end technical recruitment strategy, Identifying the right ways to engage with the best-fit technical talent, Creating specialized job descriptions, pre-screening, interviewing and performing initial hiring assessments, coordinating with team or department heads to move talent along the technical hiring journey. In order to meet the hiring needs of a company well, recruiters need to sport a set of recruitment skills besides having in-depth knowledge of the industry and the role.
Technical talent is high in demand today. That makes it more challenging for recruiters to find, engage and acquire quality talent.
When recruiting for some of the most demanding technical positions or recruiting for strategic positions within a tech company, it is important to keep a few helpful tips in mind;
Stay on the same page as the hiring manager and their specific hiring needs
Before investing time in a candidate search, work closely with the department head or hiring manager that has a hiring requirement on their team. These business heads will already have a sense of what candidate with what precise skills will be needed to perform and be successful at certain tasks. Recruiters who do not discuss the specific vacancy and talent requirements with the department or team head will end up following a spray and pray method through which there will be a long pipeline of candidates to speak to but few will fit the bill.
In fact, when recruiters and hiring managers / team leaders work together to define the job role and description in this step; there will be higher chances of the team finding the best-fit talent within a shorter time frame. Technical candidates like to know what technologies and tools they will need to work with, what their key areas of responsibility will be. Working on a comprehensive job description that captures all these details at the start of the cycle will help recruiters have a more streamlined approach.
Read More on HR and HR Tech: TecHRseries Interview with Ben Wright, Founder & CEO at Velocity Global
Create an ideal candidate persona
Creating Ideal Customer Profiles helps marketing and sales teams run more precise campaigns that will have a higher chance of resonating with the audience. Similarly, when recruiters create their ‘’ideal candidate persona,’’ before initiating any outreach, it will help them have a reliable framework or valid reference to rely on.
To create the ideal candidate persona, recruiters should have sufficient knowledge about the industry and the role, including knowledge on how competing companies are sourcing their candidates from a certain talent pool.
Understanding the priorities between technical and soft skills
Given that technical recruiting comes with own set of challenges, when identifying the must-have skill sets and qualifications for technical vacancies in tech, it is also important for recruiters to understand from team and business heads what priority they would accord over skills – would there be preference for a candidate who has strong technical training but poor soft skills or the other way around? This information has to come from the hiring manager who has a vacancy on their team.
Technical skills are not the only requirement to succeed. In some roles for instance, especially customer-facing ones, it might be important to prioritize soft skills.
Proactive approach to ensure continuous talent pipeline
The best technical talent is probably already employed somewhere, it’s likely that they also have many recruiters approaching them regularly. This is why, technical recruiters need to know how to network and build business relations with candidates belonging to different tech roles and having diverse skills. Maintaining a continuous talent pool and keeping them engaged will help recruiters have a ready-reference to pick from the moment there is a vacancy in their company. This will help reduce the time spent on the hiring process.
This why recruiters should work more proactively on preserving candidate details in a central recruitment database or system, so that it can be accessed by relevant stakeholders when needed.
Read More on HR and HR Tech: TecHRseries Interview with David Hood, CEO at VanillaSoft
Establishing the right testing / screening parameters
For most technical roles, tech talent is usually required to perform some sort of pre-assessment test. These candidates are used to the process of being screened and tested for their technical skills and knowledge. Here’s where technical recruiters have to match up to understand how to create a seamless screening and testing process that ensures the best ones move along the hiring journey. If the technical recruiter doesn’t have enough to go on when it comes to assessing candidates based on certain tech-heavy requirements; senior tech leaders from within the company have to be looped in to help streamline the shortlisting of candidates.
Increased use of technical recruitment software for more data-driven decisions
The right recruitment tech stack will help make any technical hiring process easier and more successful. Recruiters can benefit from technical recruiting tools that allow them to quickly screen resumes for specific keywords, for instance. Video interviewing tools can come in handy to assess body language and communication skills despite locational differences.
Technical hiring is challenging but not impossible. In fact, it can be considered an exciting project, everytime a new vacancy opens up. With the right strategy, approach and recruitment tech, a majority of the challenges a typical B2B tech recruiter faces can be solved.