Looking for tech talent? Try these hiring hacks

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The job market is competitive across the board, but tech companies, in particular, are feeling the crunch. The number of programmers in the job market has decreased over the past two years. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that roughly 4.5 million new tech jobs will be created to fuel the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things

What are some changes that recruiters can make to help bring in tech professionals? 

The shortage of tech talent will continue for the foreseeable future, meaning tech recruiters’ jobs are about to get a lot harder. And, according to one expert, those in recruiting roles are getting caught in the trap of finding the perfect applicant: “We’ve become so obsessed with finding the ‘right candidate,’ we’re struggling to find any candidates at all, a problem that’s sadly secular, not cyclical.” 

Offer unique perks

The median salary being offered at Google is $113,000. Apple and Facebook are offering even higher average salaries. Few companies can compete against these eye-popping six-figure wages. But, there are other ways companies can compete for tech talent beyond dollar signs. 

Company culture is paramount to millennials, who say they want to work at a place where they feel valued. “Promote the company culture first. Studies show that today’s employees want more than a paycheck. They want purpose and to be working on something they believe in,” said one expert in the US Chamber of Commerce blog. 

Culture has become a buzzword that many companies think they achieve by adding a ping pong table in the break room. However, a truly differentiated culture is more nuanced than that. When millennials say they want purposeful work, they mean contributing to a larger mission. That can be the company’s mission, as well as the social values of the business. According to research by Korn Ferry,  

  • 63% of millennials believe a company’s aim should be “improving society”
  • 94% of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause
  • 57% of millennials wish there were more company-wide volunteer days

Recruiters should also highlight perks such as remote work, flexible hours, and work-life balance: something high-powered tech companies can’t always promise. 

Look beyond the CV

Many programmers and tech professionals are self-taught. One report found that less than 50% of software developers had eight years of experience in coding. Even fewer have professional work experience in coding. 

Over 80% of programmers enjoy coding as a hobby, and nearly all software developers learn their skills informally. Even in the larger job market, resumes are an unreliable source of learning about a candidate. Nearly 50% of candidates lie on their résumés. Job interviews have also been proven to be, at best, irrelevant. So how can recruiters find tech talent beyond traditional methods? 

One option is to diversify your candidate pipeline to reach candidates who are a better match for your tech start-up. Some recruiters look to a candidate’s social profiles, Github page, and portfolio to learn more about their work. Others expand their hiring to remote roles, tapping into a global network of tech talent. Think outside the box to improve your inbound recruiting and increase your likelihood of finding great tech talent. 

Finally, consulting firm McKinsey suggests leveraging your existing employees to attract tech professionals. “Talent attracts talent, especially in technology functions,” writes their expert. By focusing your recruiting efforts on a CTO or another high-caliber senior executive, you can also gain access to their network. That person’s reputation can win over candidates, thereby improving inbound recruiting and streamlining the process. 

Test after candidates have been won over

Skill testing is an integral part of validating your new hire has the skills necessary to succeed in a role. How soon in the hiring process should a recruiter invite the candidate to take a skills test

One survey found that “over 40% of developers say unclear hiring processes is one of their biggest employer turnoffs.” The competitive market is a good indicator that when a candidate stops responding, they’ve likely already found a new position and aren’t interested in the role anymore. As a result, hiring managers are advised to deliver a skills assessment early in the process. This gives the candidate a feel for whether or not they are a good fit and gives the recruiter the ability to send feedback throughout the process – creating clear communication and transparency. 

Overall, recruiters should start by highlighting the unique culture and other differentiators that make their company a pleasure to work for. Access deeper insights about a candidate by heading to non-traditional social profiles and seeking examples of a candidate’s ability. Then, use a skills test to validate those candidate’s capabilities. Get started by learning more about Vervoe’s library of coding and programming assessments.

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