With a record 4.3 million Americans having quit their jobs in August, industries across the board are facing a dire worker shortage. Chief among these industries is technology, with a staggering 65% of technology leaders agreeing that hiring challenges are hurting the industry.
Tech workers know they have leverage, so it’s in the hands of talent acquisition professionals to adjust their hiring practices and make their organizations stand out among the competition.
Here are five tips for how to stay competitive when it comes to tech recruiting:
- Solidify your interview process before you begin recruiting: Having a well-thought-out interview process before starting the recruiting process is crucial. In the technology world, the interview process isn’t a one-and-done deal. It typically requires five or six different rounds to fully evaluate a candidate’s technical competencies. Before you begin recruiting, be sure to understand exactly what your hiring manager wants the interview process to look like. For example, who will handle initial phone screenings with the candidates? Will you require candidates to complete any assessments or coding tests? If the process isn’t clear, it creates a confusing experience for candidates and signals to them that the organization isn’t set up for success.
- Be open to candidates with less traditional backgrounds: In today’s evolving workforce and changing economy, many professionals are looking for alternative ways to develop new skills to prepare them for a career change. Tech bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a quicker and less expensive way to earn technical training. With software engineering jobs (and related roles) projected to increase 22% by 2030, it’s going to be more important than ever to look beyond traditional educational backgrounds when it comes to filling open positions. Bootcamps and apprenticeships provide a large and diverse pool of applicants and can be an excellent source for finding qualified job candidates.
- Consider transferable skills, not just technical skills: It can be easy to keep the recruitment process technically oriented, asking candidates about tech stack systems, projects in their portfolio, etc. But it’s important to find candidates who will be a good fit culturally and possess the leadership and communication skills needed to be successful within the organization. Look for candidates who not only have the technical skills they need to perform the job at hand but also can effectively relay their ideas and processes to key stakeholders. In technology roles in which written reports and client presentations are frequent, transferable skills are invaluable and are key to making a great, well-rounded professional.
- Ditch the traditional recruiting schedule: There are new job candidates on the market every day, so businesses that hire just a few months each year are doing themselves a disservice. Switching to a year-round recruiting model gives companies the opportunity to meet the needs of the business throughout the year and allows organizations to create a more dynamic pipeline of candidates. Rather than focusing on traditionally defined university graduation dates to fill all entry-level positions, year-round recruiting opens your organization up to better recruit graduates of less traditional education paths.
- Don’t ghost candidates: According to the Human Capital Institute (HCI), the most common reason jobseekers report having a negative candidate experience is that employers simply don’t bother responding to them. In fact, 75% of applicants never hear back from employers after applying for a job, and 60% never hear back after an interview. It’s not entirely surprising. No one likes to deliver bad news. So, rather than letting job applicants know they didn’t get the job, many hiring managers say nothing at all, leaving candidates in the dark. This can tarnish an organization’s reputation and affect employee recruitment. As soon as you know the position has been filled by someone else, give candidates the next best thing: honest, direct feedback. Look at it as an opportunity to make the exchange worthwhile for all parties.
Nearly 1 million additional tech jobs are projected to open in the United States this decade, according to CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the global IT industry. This, coupled with the skills gap within the technology industry, presents a significant challenge for hiring managers. To stay competitive in your tech recruiting efforts, consider getting creative and follow the tips outlined above.
Lesia Harhaj is director of career success at Fullstack Academy, a national tech education provider. A career development and education professional with over 12 years of experience, Harhaj’s work focuses on engaging with employers to help them build a robust pipeline of Fullstack Academy graduates. She also oversees the development and execution of strategic career development initiatives for Fullstack Academy’s students and alumni. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.