How to Hire Great Tech Talent

Earlier this year, the unemployment rate for tech professionals fell below 2% and everyone, from software developers to cloud computing experts, is in demand. With fewer people actively looking for jobs and retention rates dropping, tech companies struggle to hire the best in the industry. However, resetting priorities and speeding up your hiring process can do wonders for bringing, and keeping great hires. First, let’s talk about the three barriers companies face in hiring tech talent. Then, read on to find out how you can move past these barriers to win over more quality candidates.

3 struggles companies face in hiring:

  1. Time-to-market is critical. If you don’t act fast and get a great product out on the market, someone will beat you to it. You need the best tools and the best people to stay afloat. If you’re wasting time hiring and rehiring, your competition will beat you to it. Better isn’t enough; you must be first.
  2. The quality of software and tools you’re using must be top notch. To build the best, your team needs the best. Otherwise, your current employees will struggle and potential hires will pass you by.
  3. If the quality of your team is a challenge, it will hurt your software development life cycle, too. Again, you must move quickly and efficiently in this fast-paced tech world.

That said, there are things you can do to overcome these challenges and hire great IT talent.

Use online tools to search and screen

Test out your candidates with tools like hackerrank.com, where you can assess a developer’s skills before hiring them. Likewise, Github has created a community of developers where recruiters and hiring managers can search for and screen candidates before committing. Want to discover more hiring and screening tools? Check out our previous blog on tools for hiring managers.

Implement multiple rounds of interviews

Don’t make a decision after the first phone call. Have candidates meet with different members of your team. You want to ensure talent, but culture fit is also vital. Meet with candidates a few times, on the phone and in person, to see what they’re capable of and how they get along with your current developers.

 

Additionally, try scenario-based interviews. Give your candidate a problem to solve and learn their process for overcoming obstacles and working with others. This will give you a better sense of how they will perform on the job.

Pay attention to your employer brand and candidate experience

The candidate experience matters, so keep communication open and pay attention to how the process appears to them. Be clear about expectations and sell the position from the beginning. It’s a job seeker’s market, so you must be clear about the position available and convince candidates to work with you from the first interaction.

 

Be sure to let the candidate know as soon as you have made a decision. It’s likely they’re weighing other options at the same time and will need to make an informed decision.

 

Likewise, assess your employer brand. What are people saying about you on LinkedIn and Glassdoor? Those reviews and comments will impact who is applying and accepting positions at the company. If needed, revamp your online image before you begin a search for candidates. Ask current employees to leave positive reviews and share feedback for improving the overall candidate experience.

Use the talent you have and ask for referrals

Speaking of your current employees -- ask them for referrals. Use your team of great talent to find more great talent. Birds of a feather flock together and it’s likely your developers have developer friends. This creates a new, already vetted, pool of candidates you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Work with HR to keep things going

If there are many steps and a long chain of command to the hiring process, keep communication flowing within the organization. Once you have a referral, pass it to the right person and follow up to make sure they’ve reached out. After the first round of interviews, ensure the next interviewer knows what’s expected and has a deadline to make it happen. As you get close to making a decision, inform HR so they can start any necessary paperwork. You don’t want to miss out on a great candidate because of unanswered email or a missed phone call.

When you find the right person, hire fast

Don’t sleep on it! As soon as you make a decision, make an offer. Chances are, the best candidates have a few offers and they won’t wait around. Have any paperwork, offer letter, benefits package, and everything else ready to send. Verbal confirmation is not enough for you or the candidate. They can easily accept another offer in the time it takes you to get things moving in HR.