The rapid development of technology is the biggest driver of change and opportunity in the world of work today. The way software is built has changed dramatically over the last decade. Technology players have had to scale their operations into the wider open world in order to be able to integrate into the functional environment required by their customers. The homogeneous world of computers and browsers is a life left behind. Instead, we build applications that run across multiple clouds, devices and environments. Traditional ways of producing documentation and training are not scalable to modern application development. New ways to learn things and build a credible employer image in the market are needed.
With such a change, it is somewhat surprising that the change in technology recruitment skill requirements has not yet been concretely implemented generally. This rapid development has created new challenges for recruitment. It has become imperative for companies to map proactively the demand for certain technical skills in order to identify the right talent and get the right talent in time to meet the growing need. Recruiters and HR professionals in companies around the world are struggling with technical recruitment. There is a worldwide shortage of talented technicians.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that by the year 2020 there will be more than one million IT-based jobs in the US without qualified graduates. The situation in Europe is not much different.
Hiring top technical experts is becoming a complex process, with previously learned methods becoming obsolete. In the face of ever-changing skills requirements, it must be ensured that the recruiter also has sufficient understanding of the technology. Time is also a critical factor in getting the best candidate and how he or she experiences the recruitment process. When technical talent is of paramount importance, recruiters must respond by updating their screening process accordingly.
The first step for recruiters is to have more awareness and knowledge about the technology roles and the purpose they serve in the company. You need to stop regularly in order to check in which direction and how the skill requirements of your organization are evolving. Knowing the role and expectations of the technical talent to be sought after will help recruiters narrow their search when seeking the right candidate and skills. Oftentimes candidates also appreciate such clarity. This also adds value to the organization in the eyes of applicants as they compare the various options that these top professionals surely have.
At Islet, we put together the best tips for recruiting technical talents that we have found helpful to attract potential candidates.
If you really want to build a bond and leave a mark on potential candidates, you need to learn to speak their language. You don’t have to be a coding expert to interview technical experts, but you still need to know what you’re looking for, understand the basics of a developer’s job, be able to explain the direction in which your business is going in this area, and what new potential might be invested.
High-tech talents make sure they are challenged in the right way. They enjoy the opportunity to test and demonstrate their skills and intelligence. For example, in a recruitment situation, you can give them a challenging task to solve. With certainty, they jump in eagerly to try it.
Most of our technological talents are so-called passive candidates. This means that the best tech candidates are not actively seeking for work. They do not visit corporate websites to evaluate a potential employer or read job announcements through advertising channels. So where do you find the technical expert? We need to look at the right places and tap into existing potential.
Here are some tips for seeking potential candidates:
• Technology community sites across different social media channels
• Collaboration with entities providing training in the field of applied technology
• In-house contacts and a rewarding incentive bonus for successful tips
• Direct personal contact
• Participating in technology events and fairs
• Organizing your own events around topics of interest
• Sparing and exchanging information with other technology organizations
Career blogs and videos from experts in your organization play an important role when candidates evaluate a potential employer after first contact.
Although only a fraction of the technical persons are actively looking for work, I noticed that most of it them , however, are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. Usually the best way is to contact them directly, either by phone or email, and be able to explain why you think an open job and company would suit that person. After that, you should be able to describe clearly the technologies in use and the related projects and future opportunities.
How to successfully recruit technical talents?
First of all, make a benchmark study. Find similar job listings in your area to identify duplication and make your ad to stand out, professional and engaging. It is also good to ask your own employees, especially those recently hired, what made them interested in the company. Knowing which factors influenced the employee to choose your organization from several other options will give you insight how your company stands out in the market. Highlight clearly enough the strong employer brand that you have built and strengthen it in all your communication.
When searching for a technical expert, always start by knowing that you understand the position you want to fill. The first problem for HR professionals and recruiters is to understand the substance of the jobor technology. HR professionals and recruiters who do not have technical background often struggle to understand what skills are required for a particular technical position.
Does the back-end, front-end or full-stack need a developer, for example? What are the key skills of the developer in search? Does the candidate have the latest knowledge of the technology or only experience from older versions? In how many projects has the candidate really worked with the technology and in what role? How do you define the specific skill level differences between a junior and senior? As a recruiter, you need to know exactly what kind of skills and experience you are looking for in an ideal candidate.
Once you have identified the most important skills for the technical role to be sought after, you must write a complete job description. In order to succeed in finding, attracting and, ultimately, hiring the best expert in the competition, you need to understand all the nuances of the role.
In general, most developers are men and a large part of them may still be learning a new programming language outside their previous education. Developers, like other experts, are relatively mobile, meaning that CVs often show job changes every few years or they work on their own projects with multiple employers. Changing jobs is indeed the norm today.
Find out what motivates them the most and what factors work as a driver? What are their wishes and needs? And what, in turn, can be demotivating at work? It is also important to understand how technical experts evaluate the new work. How important is the reward and bonuses offered, the flexibility of the job, the nature of the projects, and how does the organization invest in the latest, best technology or anything else?
How do you retain the talent in the organization?
There must be a clear path to what a person can achieve in their career in the organization and the awareness that they are working towards an agreed goal. For example, in the gaming world hundreds of hours are spent doing the basic thing while playing, but the reason why it is done is not just play, but what you can achive by doing it.
I talked to Rasmus Roiha, CEO of the Software and e-Business Association, who is a visionary in the world of technology experts. Rasmus raised two points that influenced the choice the job of experienced developers. The first thing to note is that the job itself is not as important as the impression that the company is doing ‘magical’ things. Nor was a competitive wage among the top criteria. A strong employer image made them want for that particular job. Therefore the choice of workplace seems to be largely image-based. This proves that the brand of a company plays an enormous role than just the perception of customers and consumers.
Another consideration is a meaningful work. That is, top talents want to work in an environment where they can be in a similar company, meaning A-team players want to play with A-team. Surprisingly, if only the young, the ‘Farm League’, were hired, then from the employee’s point of view, this could be a negative thing. Thus the key is the way of doing work. The organization may have a ball pool and they tend to do all kinds of fun together on Fridays, glass of champagne etc., but in the expert’s opinion, the ways of doing work is far more important when going into a world of seniors-level.
The bottom line is that building a brand image of an organization that exudes professionalism and pioneering in a highly competitive market is one of the most important factors in attracting technically talented individuals. The stronger the brand, the more applicants you get and the easier it is to attract talent and the right expertise to the organization in the future.
Author Piia Hoffsten previously held the role of ISLET’s operative leader.
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