Emerald Technology Jan 10, 2023 1:13:13 AM 19 min read

How to hire good talent in the technology industry

As the world of technology is rapidly developing and growing, there is an increased need for tech talent. It is now clear that business success relies on digitalisation and keeping up with technological advancement. Thus, most businesses need competent, technologically skilled employees and contractors.

In the technology business, as a VP of Talent or Head of HR and talent, you are likely to know the difficulties in finding suitable candidates. And as you might have experienced, holding on to this talent in this highly competitive field is also challenging.

This article will examine the complexities of the tech recruitment process and its unique qualities. We also dive into the strategies that will help you find the right talent and top tips on retaining them.

 

What is technical recruiting?

Tech recruitment is the process of sourcing, assessing, and hiring tech talent specifically for IT and engineering jobs. It is a highly specialised area of recruitment, as businesses very often need highly skilled and technical talent to fill their positions.

A tech recruiter must possess in-depth knowledge of the industry they are hiring for. Since the tech industry grows fast, talent is in high demand, so attracting them to new roles takes work. Their expertise and skillset encompass several fields, including software and network engineering, UI & UX design, IT support, data science, web development, project & product management, and many more.

 

How to attract the right talent in tech: best practices

Understanding the unique complexities of tech hiring is vital to succeeding in the tech industry. Tech candidates can afford to be selective in their employment choices, so recruiters and employers must know the best ways to approach them.

The following hiring strategies will help your business attract the right candidate in a competitive workforce market.

 

Have a remote hiring strategy in place

To benefit from a vast pool of remote candidates, you must ensure that your hiring and onboarding processes are ready to accommodate such shifts. Top tech talent expects a smooth, fully digital and skill-based interviewing and hiring process where they can start their new position entirely remotely. You can achieve this by acquiring the best technologies available for remote hiring and re-establishing your hiring processes and objectives.

 

Advertise on the right platforms

Unsurprisingly, it would be best to look in all the right places to find suitable candidates. The following channels are great examples of the best sourcing channels for tech talent:

  • Tech events, meetups, and conferences: networking on these platforms will help you build connections with potential candidates.
  • Online tech-specific platforms: some great examples are GitHub, Dribble, AngelList, Stack Overflow, LinkedIn and Talent.io
  • Your existing network and contacts: some of your employees and industry contacts can make great recommendations and bring vetted talent onto your radar
  • Traditional recruiting channels: Engage with an experienced and established talent partner for headhunting and executive search. Finding the right fit requires specialised knowledge and experience, and talent partners offer you precisely that.

 

Have a candidate-first approach

A successful candidate-centred approach will help you improve candidate satisfaction. Employ the following best practices for a great experience:

  • Structure your hiring process based on skill evaluation
  • Use interactive tests
  • Consider Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
  • Keep candidates updated (progress, feedback, next steps)


Have candidate evaluation tools in place

Use the best available tools to screen and evaluate your candidates. Several recruiting tools are available, such as task simulations, coding tests, task-based video interviews and even screening chatbots.

Using these will help you provide a seamless candidate experience while ensuring that you are screening thoroughly for the right skills and competencies.

 

Knowing whom to interview and how to interview

To interview candidates successfully, the interviewer must have a deep knowledge of the job requirements and the candidate’s background. Asking the right questions when assessing the candidate’s knowledge and skills are prerequisites for a successful interviewing process. Consider enlisting a subject matter specialist to assist you with more specialised positions.

 

Make them want to work for you

Actively searching for candidates is a great way to find new talent, but you can also attract the attention of those seeking a new position. You can use the following strategies to make your company an attractive workplace:

  • Employer branding — create an excellent Work for us page, explain why it is great working for you, and provide a career roadmap.
  • Use current employee testimonials & create a referral program.
  • Stay engaged with potential candidates via blogging, social media and in-person meetups.
  • Build relationships with key influencers in your industry.

 

Why is finding the right tech talent key to success?

Digital transformation is an expensive and complicated process that requires unique skill sets. Many businesses would struggle to survive and grow without excellent tech talent that drives innovation.

Tech professionals usually hold some of the most responsible and essential positions. Generally, they create products from scratch that the company is centred around. But they are also responsible for developing and designing for other departments so they can function at their best.

They deal with sensitive and confidential data, where any misstep could cost the company a lot. For this reason, hiring tech talent as full-time employees rather than engaging them as contractors can benefit you immensely. Having reliable, loyal, and technologically advanced talent to fill these positions is priceless. Tech people are also vital in administration, communication and security. With them, innovation and growth are possible.

 


Main stages of the tech recruitment process

A skilled tech recruiter should be well versed in the area of technology they are hiring for and ask questions that filter out the best potential candidates. They are responsible for the following main tasks in finding and hiring tech talent:

 

Sourcing

The tech talent partners will post jobs on relevant platforms and connect with potential candidates in their networks, encouraging them to apply. Networking and advertising are the two best sources of tech talent and are widely used by all successful tech recruiters.

After making the initial connection and receiving the applications, the talent partner screens the candidates based on their work history and references. Less experienced recruiters also tend to do a quick phone call with the candidate, while more experienced talent partners have more established processes for evaluating a potential hire.

Assessment

Some applicants will be asked to demonstrate their technical skills depending on the position criteria. They also get asked behavioural questions so the recruiter can understand what it would be like working with them in a team.

Recommendation

Following the technical assessment, the recruiter decides whether the candidate should go on to the next interviewing phase.

Interviewing

The recruiter invites a group of shortlisted candidates to attend the next stage. Future team members and the technical recruiter conduct this interview. After the candidates complete the technical tasks and a behavioural interview, the recruiter will assess their skills and whether they fit into the company culture.

Decision-making 

The tech recruiter recommends who should be considered for the position, but usually, the tech team will have the final say. The recruiter will ensure that the chosen candidate covers all the core competencies, fulfilling all job requirements.  

Rolling out the offer

Finally, the recruiter gets in touch with the selected few that get the job offer. They will receive a formal offer letter, while the rejected candidates will receive feedback regarding their application.

The recruiter will also convey the negotiations between the company and the successful candidates until the final decisions are made. When the offer is accepted, the recruiter ensures that the new employee signs the contract and the onboarding process is ready to start through HR and Customer Success.

Top attributes to look for when hiring in tech

When recruiting in tech, there are specific attributes you should be looking for in a prospective candidate. Due to the ever-changing nature of technology, it is also essential that your candidates have certain personality traits and attitudes, not just technical ability.

Screening for the following non-negotiable qualities will ensure that you invest in the right person.

 

Deep understanding of the necessary technical skills and tools

Technical jobs require deep knowledge and expertise in given areas. A potentially successful candidate must fulfil them to be a productive member of your team.

 

Ability to effectively collaborate and communicate

Since tech roles are highly collaborative, your candidate must be able to communicate both with technical and non-technical colleagues. A great team member will contribute to solving the problem and allow others to achieve the best possible result. Excellent collaboration skills will hugely benefit team spirit and productivity.

 

Attention to detail

Tech candidates must display exceptional attention to detail. They will always ensure that jobs are completed to the highest standard by the required deadline.

 

Pro-active problem-solving

Great employees exhibit a proactive attitude toward problem-solving. They demonstrate a sense of ownership of the challenge by going above and beyond. This attitude is a tremendous driving force in achieving the desired outcome for your business.

 

Desire to learn and improve

Wanting to keep up with the ever-changing tech space is an essential requirement from a tech candidate. They should be able to keep up with current trends and gain a working knowledge of new tools promptly.

In a candidate, you should look for a passion towards their career. This attitude multiplies productivity by bringing energy and enthusiasm to your team. A passionate individual will ensure they are always up to date with the required technologies and stay committed to innovation.

 

The ability to remain calm under pressure

Tech companies work at a high pace, and changes are constant. New hires must keep up and deliver high-quality, innovative results under pressure. Those who can stay calm under these circumstances will be a great addition to your team.

 

Cultural fit

As an employer, you should identify what skills and attitudes best fit your company's goals. Hiring a team that aligns with them will ensure that everyone can pull their weight and bring their personal best while collaborating effectively.

Hiring someone who is not a cultural fit will result in disruptions. For example, an employee who does not show humility can be strenuous to work with and bring down the team morale. Virtually everyone dislikes working with an individual who wants to take all the credit, which harms the team's ability to accomplish things.

Hiring the wrong cultural fit has a financial impact; the loss is estimated at 30% of the employee’s annual earnings, a considerable amount at the management and executive level. Furthermore, the morale, productivity and engagement of whole teams are also affected by a bad hire and can lead to losing other employees.

Thus, you must take the time to find a candidate that will thrive in your company and fit into the team environment you are building. 

 

Top strategies to retain tech talent

Thanks to the demand for skilled tech talent, other recruiters and businesses will offer them significant benefits that your company will need to match (or do better!). A better offer could tempt them if they are unhappy with their current employment conditions and career development. The following strategies can help you retain valuable talent.

 

Enable career development

Investing in your employees' professional development improves their knowledge and expertise and helps your company grow. It is also essential to keep in mind that according to a recent report, 46% of people say they would consider leaving a job if they don’t see opportunities for upskilling and career advancement.

Finally, the turnover cost outweighs the investment cost in continuous improvement. Offering these opportunities, such as training, educational resources, and paid certification courses will keep your talent happy while improving your bottom line.

 
Give your tech team a voice

Employees that don’t feel engaged tend to search for other opportunities. Connecting with your tech team, recognising their needs, having regular meetings, and including them in decision-making will increase involvement and productivity. Team members that feel valued are more likely to stay; thus, increased engagement translates into increased profit margins.


Be flexible

Since the recent shift to flexible working models such as hybrid and remote (work from home), most tech employees expect to be offered these benefits. These working styles allow them to have a much better work-life balance, preventing them from burning out. Thus, remote and flexible working benefits your workers in multiple ways, and it also saves money for employers by providing a larger hiring pool, reducing costs and contributing to retention.

 

Recognise and acknowledge

According to Deloitte, one of the top non-financial factors for retention is employee recognition by managers and leaders. Being valued and recognised for their hard work and commitment motivates employees, creating a great culture and work environment. It strengthens the relationship between team members and contributes to better outcomes.

A generous compensation package is also among the top requirements tech talent looks for when applying for a position. Due to the high demand for talent and the value of high-level skills, offering an excellent package will help you attract and retain talent.

 

Provide high-level technology

Providing up-to-date hardware and software at work is vital. Top tech talent expects to have the best solutions to support their work and help them reach their full potential.

 

Embrace diversity

A company that accepts different cultures, ideas and backgrounds, sends a positive message to current and future employees. Embracing diversity will help your company stand out and attract high-value candidates while contributing to employee satisfaction.

 

Key takeaways 

Although hiring in tech is difficult due to high demand and other unique factors, several strategies can help you succeed. A skilled tech recruiter can help you source and hire the most suitable candidates for the positions you need to fill.

Tech recruitment is a niche area of hiring highly skilled technical talent. However, you are looking for more than specific tech skills; you also need a great cultural fit for your company. Filtering for the right personality and attitude that matches your team’s ethos will benefit their team spirit and productivity.

As an employer, you should also be prepared to offer significant compensation and career development opportunities, as these are among the top requirements for tech talent. From recent survey data, it is clear that the option to work remotely is one of the most highly coveted benefits a tech employer can offer. Remote workers have higher job satisfaction and an outstanding work-life balance, resulting in longer and more successful careers.

In conclusion, a great tech hire can massively benefit your company's success. Thus, investing resources in a sound recruitment strategy is vital. Offering excellent career development prospects in a diverse and flexible work environment will ensure that your hires will stay and grow with your business.

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