Abraham Lincoln once said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” I am sure he said that in a different context but to me it seems like he’s talking about the process of hiring a developer. Developer recruitment does not happen overnight and if you think it does, you would be wrong. Like Lincoln said, recruiters need to ‘sharpen their metaphorical axe’ before diving in and searching for potential candidates.
In light of the pandemic and accelerated digitization, recruiters need to step up their game and get creative when scouting developers. They also need to double back and identify mistakes in their existing hiring process.
You can’t cut corners when it comes to recruitment because too many bad hires adversely affect your organization. Get that extra cup of coffee and spend a little more time to see where you might be going wrong.
Here are some mistakes I made and lessons I learned along the way:
Only sourcing for candidates when a new role opens up – Waiting until the day when a talented employee hands in their resignation to start searching frantically for new hires does not bode well for your team. Build a talent pipeline of existing candidates (that you have previously met but didn’t hire), and passive candidates (not actively looking for a job) who you have already interacted with and love what your company is doing. By building a relationship with them and keeping them in the loop with relevant company content, you will be nurturing them until they are ready to join you. Once the right role becomes available, you can reach out directly and significantly speed up your process.
Not investing in your brand presence – Publishing job descriptions on your careers page and expecting candidates to apply does not happen. Candidates want all the information they can find about your company—the work culture, your values and mission, what it’s like to be a part of your team, etc. Invest in your brand presence, interact with your community, and leverage social media to create great brand recall. According to Glassdoor research, 69% of job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its brand. Offer a glimpse of your office culture through your blogs or upload videos on YouTube. Attracting top talent is highly competitive. Even when you build a list of potential candidates, having a significant employer brand presence will ensure you stay on top of the mind for these developers. In tech talent sourcing, your employer brand could be what makes or breaks an outreach.
Having a sub-par job description – Job descriptions make for first impressions of your company; you can either make a stellar one or leave a long-lasting negative impression. Having a one-size-fits-all job description with basic keywords, gender-biased or non-inclusive language limits your talent pool in numerous ways. A clear and compelling job description will play a major role in attracting qualified candidates. While writing accurate and creative job descriptions can be frustrating, finding the time and resources to do so is well worth your while.
Relying heavily on resumes – Recruiters, in general, are fond of resumes. Back in the day, a resume held testimony to the fact that a candidate is skilled and experienced in his line of work. A candidate could be overestimating or underestimating their skills on paper. Now, there are a plethora of options to fully evaluate a candidate’s skills. Assessments are a good measure of whether a candidate has the required skills or not to carry out his job.
Not making the shift to remote hiring tools – COVID has accelerated the shift towards remote hiring tools. In a recent survey conducted by HackerEarth, 42% of the respondents who were not using an assessment tool pre-COVID, have become adopters. Instead of waiting for a pandemic to hit, recruiters should switch to such tools to ensure bias-free and streamlined hiring of candidates. Applicant tracking systems like JazzHR can simplify the initial screening process while technical assessment tools like HackerEarth can help in evaluating candidates fairly and efficiently.
When it comes to perfecting your talent sourcing and hiring strategy, a lot of energy is required. Attracting qualified candidates and finding the right fit for your company can be a daunting task, but when it’s done right, it pays off. COVID has opened our eyes to the common pitfalls of tech recruiting. It falls upon recruiters to go to the heart of the problem and start making changes from there.
Fellow recruiters, you got this! If you avoid making the same mistakes I did, the proverbial candidates will fall into your lap sooner rather than later.