Tech Talent Hunt 2023: 9 Proven Strategies to Secure Top Talent 
Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  1. Fine-tune your job descriptions and define your Candidate Personas precisely
  2. Keep an eye out for companies, within and without your industry, who employ people in similar roles 
  3. Make maximum use of employee connections and referrals
  4. Collaborate with recruiters in other organizations
  5. Task your engineers and developers with networking with other similar technical people
  6. Create a gender-neutral benefits and compensation system
  7. Promote DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  8. Research and Innovate continuously
  9. Arrange exciting events for technical people to participate in and compete

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered work environments greatly. Employees are now seeking hybrid and remote work flexibility rather than being in the office every weekday.

Technically qualified people, who are not only tech-savvy but can also code and create, are more conscious and vocal about the work-from-home aspect.

DigitalOcean, a cloud-based platform, surveyed 4,500 developers. They have this to say in their report:

Forty-three percent of the developers we surveyed say the ability to work remotely is a must-have when considering an offer with a company, while over half (53%) say they think less highly of a company that does not offer remote work options. Developers say it gives the impression that the company is behind the times.”

As expectations and demands of tech candidates evolve, technical hiring practices need to keep pace with them and adapt accordingly.

9 Effective Strategies for Technical Recruitment

#1 Know ‘What’ and ‘Who’ You Need

Most organizations are unable to attract the right candidates because they are not sure what they are looking for. They know they want the ‘Best.’ But when the time comes, they are unable to identify the ‘best’ from the ‘good’ and the ‘better.’ 

Know what problems you are looking to solve by hiring a tech person. Hire people with those specific skills instead of chasing the imaginary perfect candidate.

List down the skills which are an absolute must. Every candidate must possess these. Your other list could be of some ‘good-to-have’ skills – skills that are negotiable. A detailed job description will make the task easier. 

#2 Companies with People in Similar Roles

Compare your job description with those of other companies. Look for companies that have a position with roles and responsibilities similar to what you are looking for. Here, it helps to be industry agnostic. 

Search the various job websites and forums, and job boards of different companies. Companies that are advertising for a similar role as you probably already have someone, or a team, doing that work. These are your potential candidates. Invite them over for coffee.

#3 Referrals

Referrals are a recruiter’s best friend. Include your entire organization in the hiring process. Motivate them to share their references. Ask them to spread the word among their professional and personal forums that you are hiring.

Request your higher management to tap into their networks. 

Dig into LinkedIn profiles of employees, and people in similar roles, to look for potential candidates within their connections.

There are quite a few examples where strangers who just happened to be sitting together on a flight ended up as colleagues or even each other’s replacements! So get that network cracking.

#4 Collaborate with Competitors

Keep on good terms with recruiters from different organizations and industries. If you are facing a challenge recruiting for a tech role, chances are most other recruiters are too. 

Meet up with other recruiters. Share notes. Discuss your various sources of generating leads. Refine job descriptions together, plan interview structures, etc. Such collaborations benefit all participants.

#5 ‘Engineer’ your PR

It is said Birds of a feather flock together. Just like other professionals, technical people are more comfortable talking to others of their ilk – other techies – who can understand their ‘language.’ It is natural that people are more at ease when they are not being interviewed. Engineers will open up more easily to other engineers because they do not feel the burden of being viewed as prospective candidates. 

Ensure your tech talent take part in communities, forums, and events where potential candidates are more likely to be found. Such events are where recruiting jackpots are hit.

#6 Equal Benefits 

Today more and more women are entering tech roles. They are not asking for special treatment. But they appreciate the equal treatment. 

Women are denied growth opportunities because it is assumed that they would take more leaves than men. The concept of ‘parental’ leave instead of ‘maternal’ leave would benefit both men and women and, consequently, the organization. Both parents get to spend time with the family, while women are relieved of at least some domestic duties.

Hire women whom you can visualize progressing in their careers in the future. And then promote them to those roles when they have proved themselves. Promoting an equal percentage of men and women employees is a great motivation booster for your employees, as well as positive PR for your Employer Brand.

Equal pay to the genders has been found to be a bigger motivator than higher pay.

Broadcast your organization’s non-discriminatory policies, and you will see tech talent knocking on your recruitment team’s doors.

#7 DEI Culture

Employees today are sensitive to discrimination and exclusive policies of organizations. Many of them consciously decide not to work in such environments. Hence, it is ever more important to develop a culture where DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) is unalienable from the daily routine.

Technology does not discriminate, and neither should your hiring practices. The easiest way to attract top tech talent is to improve your rank every year on the list of ‘Best Places to Work.’

#8 Keep the Innovation Treadmill Running

Professionals want to work on the latest tech. They want to be a part of its growth and pride themselves in its mass adoption. Innovative tech attracts tech talent like magnets attract metal. 

Advertise the new technology that your organization has adopted. Talk about the cutting-edge research your organization has undertaken that can have a huge impact on the industry and the daily lives of people.

Pitch yourself as a playground for the best in tech.

#9 Arrange Developer Events

Arrange events like coding contests, hackathons, gaming competitions, and any other event that would attract participation from engineers, coders, developers, etc. 

Besides the exciting PR that such events generate, they also turn out to be a goldmine of talent.

Wrap Up

Technical people are akin to artists. They hone their ‘art’ over time. And someday, a moment of brilliance changes their and their organization’s growth trajectory. 

This talent needs to be recognized and harnessed. Give them the confidence that the organization has their long-term best interests at heart. Let them know that they will have at their disposal every tech tool needed to excel and innovate at their work. This will win you the technical recruitment race more often than not.

FAQs on Technical Recruitment 

What are some ways to improve the success rate of technical recruitment? 

Consider the following strategies to bump up your technical recruitment success rates:

1. Fine-tune your job descriptions and define your Candidate Personas precisely
2. Keep an eye out for companies, within and without your industry, who employ people in similar roles 
3. Make maximum use of employee connections and referrals
4. Collaborate with recruiters in other organizations
5. Task your engineers and developers with networking with other similar technical people
6. Create a gender-neutral benefits and compensation system
7. Promote DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
8. Research and Innovate continuously
9. Arrange exciting events for technical people to participate in and compete

What are the responsibilities of a technical recruiter?

A technical recruiter has the following responsibilities:

1. Understand the need for and the requirements of the open position
2. Write job descriptions 
3. Create ideal candidate personas
4. Create the job post
5. Publicize the job post to reach their target candidates
6. Tap into their own, and their employees, networks to source the best talent
7. Collaborate to organize technical events and conferences, which will attract candidates to their organization
8. Screen applicants
9. Arrange interviews in person, over the video, or the telephone
10. Perform background checks
11. Generate job offers for the successful candidate(s)
12. Communicate with applicants at every stage of the recruitment process
13. Ensure a smooth candidate journey
14. Forecast recruitment budgets

What are the skills required to be a successful technical recruiter?

A technical recruiter may be required to have a few more skills besides what is expected from non-technical recruiters. Technical recruiters are generally expected to display the following talents:

Don’t let the jargon get to you: It may feel like a challenge the first couple of times, but ultimately you will get the hang of it. And then it only gets easier.

Be ready to learn something new every day: Keep abreast with the lightning-fast developments in technology. 

Have a precise Candidate Persona in your mind and on paper: Before connecting with candidates, know what you are looking for. Also, understand what will excite the candidate you intend to speak to.

Build relationships with prospects: Make small talk with candidates. You can encourage them to talk about their day or their vacation. This can bring out a lot of information not evident in the resumes.

Never assume your candidates’ preferences: You never know what will motivate a candidate to say “Yes.” So ask them direct questions. Ask them whether they are willing to travel a certain distance. Ask them whether they are willing to learn technologies and new ways to work.

Use your Creativity: The best of the best candidates are usually not available online. They surface only when they want to. Cultivate sources beyond the usual suspects like job sites, social media, LinkedIn, etc.

How can an organization attract women to tech roles?

Many women are interested in the tech roles on offer. They are certainly qualified. But the general perception of tech being a ‘men’s world’ hinders their growth. At times they are overlooked for promotions because of the misplaced belief that “women always prioritize family over work.” This completely ignores the fact that they juggle both efficiently. 
To attract female talent, create an environment of equality, equality in pay, and equality in growth prospects. Through their actions, the organization’s leadership has to instill confidence that an employee will not be at a disadvantage simply because they belong to a particular gender. 

Encourage DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) practices, and imbibe them in your organization’s Mission and Vision. DEI should not feel like something special; rather, it should be a matter of fact in your organization’s routine.

Broadcast your organization’s non-discriminatory policies, and you will see top female talent in tech leading your organization into the stratosphere.

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