For years it was thought the recruitment industry would be replaced by job boards, in-house hiring, social hiring like LinkedIn or newer content-focused employment sites like Jobbio. While these innovations have filtered some candidates – the industry continues to thrive and is worth around €1.7bn per year in Ireland alone.
In fact, recruiters now make up a large percentage of accounts on these job-seeking websites.
Our data-driven age has propelled tech talent into the recruiting spotlight and with innovations in candidate sourcing, interviewing and placement – you would expect it to be easier to fill tech jobs.
However, the tech-talent pipeline is drastically depleted with an estimated 825,000 vacant ICT roles in Europe by 2020 (including all graduates). This has resulted in a talent land-grab, turning senior tech-staff into gold dust.
Experienced programmers are aware they can be choosy, speaking their language could be key to unlocking a talent goldmine before competitors do.
Sourcing the right candidate for a client can be difficult. To start, there are so many languages and technologies utilised for one project and if you’re hiring for a senior developer role, capturing that key skill can be difficult.
In fact, a recent LinkedIn survey highlighted that 47% of top recruiters say their biggest barrier to recruiting is finding candidates in high demand talent pools. Tech has arguably the highest talent pool demand – which is why firms invest so much in employee retention.
Recruiters now have a wealth of technologies at their disposal for sourcing and matching great candidates to companies.
Code can pair people up with their future husband and wife using social dating applications. Companies like eHarmony have taken this idea and evolved it to pair people up with their future employer using social recruiting tools.
Using tech to boost recruiting efficiency is helpful but without a deeper understanding of candidates or company needs, placement becomes educated guesses or a tick-the-box exercise.
“As a recruiter, you work closely with leaders in software departments and at all levels – the more knowledge you have the better,” said Brian McFadden, Recruiters Founder with 25 years experience.
2. Data-Driven Decisiveness
According to a 2014 Big Data Report, the unemployment rate for the technologically skilled was at 2% – a record low in any industry. With a dried-up talent pool and a flood of tech-sector openings – it’s a data-driven recruiter who can see through the crowd and act quickly.
There are many reasons why a talented developer might leave their previous role or why they would choose one recruiter over another. Utilising data analytics, a recruiter can highlight the most qualified, engaged candidates and determine if they’re right for a job the moment it gets listed.
Data-driven recruiting mixed with an informed team of recruiters creates a competitive advantage and decreases the risk of poor placements.
“Big data is the future of job recruiting and development, and understanding how to make sense of it will be critical to a company’s success,” wrote Michael A. Morell for Wired Magazine.
A tech-savvy recruiter can refine their data-driven insights to highlight more specific skills and traits, as opposed to keywords in the job description: Fewer pointless interviews, better reputation and placement precision.
3: Thinning the List
You’ve gathered your candidate list, and you’re ready to begin the screening process and for the non-tech recruiter, this can be the trickiest part.
Candidates can sometimes embellish their abilities, working off the “everybody does it / learn-on-the-job” attitude.
On the other side, irresponsible recruiters try and tailor qualifications to match job specs.
Your candidate will leave when the pressure grows, or a company will realise their ineptitude – leaving you in the lurch either way. There’s a simple way of fixing this problem — knowledge.
An interrogative approach is not recommended if a recruiter thinks a candidate is lying – what if they’re not?
Asking the right questions can be the key to (polite) clarity.
If a developer feels their recruiter is approaching their job-placement from a general one-size-fits-all approach, they may be inclined to seek help elsewhere. Tech knowledge is the first step to building professional rapport.
4: Building Rapport & Placement
It’s becoming increasingly important to understand beyond surface-level needs. And no, this doesn’t mean Google messages or ping-pong in the office – dive deeper into development, accurate appraisals and clear career paths.
What if this exceptionally talented recruit’s needs are all technical? Building a rapport could be difficult if you spend too much time deciphering what the candidate is saying.
Your technical knowledge will build trust with recruits, provide assurance and make a recruit more flexible.
Put simply: “I came across your Python-based portfolio on Github and I know you’d be perfect for this role because…” sounds better than “Hi, looking to change jobs? You’re working in IT, there’s a role you might be good for.”
Learning the basic concepts of coding allows you to script better job ads to attract better clients. You’ll be better equipped to interview and to build a rapport based on a mutual understanding. A broad understanding of a talented tech candidate’s needs allows for smoother on-boarding, leading to increased retention.
According to a Winhurst Group survey, 57% of well on-boarding employees stay at their role longer, protecting your commission and your reputation.
5: Proactive On-Boarding
There is a consensus in the recruiting world that the on-boarding process should be started in the recruitment phase. This BambooHR Report states 32% of all employees leave new jobs in the first six months, further punctuating the need for good on-boarding.
Retention is a huge headache for recruiters, who – on average – need their placements to stay put for six months to retain commission.
But what’s to be done?
The same report detailed the best way to prepare these employees for their new role with a full review of company documents and content – before they start!
Factors like; company culture, workload, team, hours and place (remote / office) and even the first day can give to the overall fit of any employee.
After all, despite the competitive nature of the industry – recruiting is a consultative role.
Technical knowledge will enable you to work in tandem with the business to understand the full scope of the role advertised.
This increases employee retention, keeping clients happy and boosting your reputation!