Best Ways to Recruit Tech Talent
Though recruiting dates back to the days of ancient Rome, the intense hunt for tech talent is much more recent. In the U.S. alone, the market for tech jobs is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026 - faster than the average for all other occupations.
But at the same time, finding qualified candidates isn’t getting any easier. Many employers report their struggles with a seemingly never-ending skills gap, unable to recruit Tech talent with the experience needed to meet business goals. Compound this with the lowest unemployment rates since the 1960s, and recruiters are apt to get stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.
Luckily, the last couple millennia have been a learning experience for the talent acquisition space, now equipped with a myriad of tools and tactics for seeking, sourcing and engaging even the most niche talent. With the evolution of technologies, there are many new approaches for employers to recruit Tech talent, but some old ones still remain tried and true. Here’s a look at some of the best ways including old and new ones to recruit tech talent.
While the phone may seem prehistoric to some, it continues to be the lifeline of recruiters. Gone are the days of switchboards and party lines. Those thick yellow phone books are now digitized. The desktop Rolodex has been recycled. Early phone practices have been replaced by wireless headsets, Skype and smartphones—creating a sleeker, streamlined approach to direct communication.
Today, the phone often extends to include text messaging, email and mobile apps, making it increasingly more dynamic and functional for busy recruiters. So much so that recruiters spend roughly 63 percent of their workweek using phones to recruit Tech talent from contacting candidates, conducting phone screens and advancing the hiring process, which speaks volumes about the telephone’s practicality for staying in touch with in-demand talent.
The phone’s effectiveness does vary by stage of the recruiting process, though, so keep in mind some of the “best practices” outlined by the tech pros themselves. For new job alerts, early outreach and follow-ups, stick to email. Once you reach the interview scheduling and post-interview follow-up phase, don’t discredit the power of the phone call.
At one point, not long ago, the easiest way to find a job opening was to look at the classified ads in the back of the newspaper. Pages upon pages of text advertised available positions in just a few words and abbreviations. This method coincided with the early days of tech, making it easy for employers to recruit Tech talent under the appropriate heading.
As the paper fell out of practice, employers turned to job boards to advertise for open reqs. Specialized boards became a new way to recruit tech talent, perfected by the rise of programmatic digital display ads. Designed to target candidates in the places they frequent online, programmatic job ads are another way for recruiters to focus on a specific talent pool. Despite the many ways in which job postings have evolved, they’ve proven to be a must-have for employers seeking exposure from both active and passive tech candidates.
In-Person & On-Campus
Likely inspired by military recruitment efforts, many savvy employers picked up on the power of brand and marketing around the Second World War. By the time the first programming languages were developed in the 1950s, the technology industry’s pioneers sought to hire the best and brightest from top universities. Early adopters of this tactic sent recruiters out to recruit Tech talent and entice them with the promise of a respectable wage, career development and job security to start.
Not much has changed for the campus recruiting programs of today, with recruiters attending career fairs, hosting coffee chats and even scheduling online events to find potential interns and fresh-faced talent looking to get a foot in the proverbial door.
While employer brand and recruitment marketing only entered the talent acquisition lexicon in the past few years, both existed in practice long before. As most know, brand and marketing share the common goal of acquiring customers. Mirroring this ideology is recruiting, only replacing the idea of customers with that of candidates.
Years ago, brand and marketing have been upheld and promoted heavily by recruiters. Now, brand and marketing range from a general online presence to content development to career-specific social media networks. For some, targeting tech talent involves having dedicated recruiters run full-fledged campaigns, with multiple channels working toward a common goal. Data and analytics make it easier to show the effectiveness of recruitment marketing and to determine return on investment (ROI) down to the individual candidate.
Certain recruitment marketing methods might have some recruiters thinking: “There’s no way I have the bandwidth.” If that’s the case, you can still learn a thing or two from the marketer mindset. The easiest, cheapest and most ageless trick in the book?
A Staffing Agency Could Be the Secret to Recruiting Tech Talent
In today’s competitive hiring market, recruiting tech talent can feel nearly impossible. The rapid growth of the tech sector means top-quality tech candidates often field multiple job offers.
For companies that struggle to recruit Tech talent, partnering with a tech recruiting firm can provide essential help.
1. Recruiters build relationships.
Tech recruiters spend their days building and maintaining relationships throughout the industries they serve. This also includes cultivating relationships with “passive candidates,” or tech professionals who are already working but who would consider a new role if the situation were right. As a result, when a client reaches out with a request, recruiters knows which candidates possess the technical skills required. And which would be a fantastic cultural fit.
2. Many recruiters focus locally.
Many staffing firms focus their efforts on deepening connections within the cities or communities they serve. By partnering with a staffing firm, companies gain access to a deep network of relationships within their nearby community. They gain connections with candidates who are already present and building their lives in the area, and thus are more likely to stick with their new employer if the fit is right.
3. Staffing firms help their clients build a strong employment brand.
While technical skills are a must for today’s engineers, designers and programmers, these individuals are likely to chase other opportunities if their values and approach to work don’t line up with those of their employer. Recruiting firms specialize in helping clients build an employment brand that sells their cultural strengths and attracts candidates who will thrive in the company’s unique environment.
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