Hiring Tech Talent Is Hard: 4 Ways to Make It Easier

When you’re looking for tech talent, you don’t expect the task to be a walk in the park. Because these positions often require specialized experience and education, the process can be demanding. But current workforce trends, including the growing desire for flexible work schedules, make hiring tech talent even more challenging.

Hiring Tech Talent Is Hard: 4 Ways to Make It Easier

To put it mildly, potential team members can afford to be picky about which organizations they’ll work for. Companies and recruiters must bring their A-game to the table from first contact to the official offer. And what happens during onboarding and afterward is just as critical to a candidate’s experience. You don’t want to hire good employees only to have them leave because of mismatched expectations and unsupportive cultures.

But how do you find the tech talent your company needs to compete in today’s hyper-connected and fast-paced environments? While trends like the Great Resignation make recruiting your next rising star more difficult, it’s not impossible. Here are four ways to make the process easier.

1. Enlist the Help of Specialized Staffing Agencies

Nearly everyone knows there’s a hidden job market. Some of the most prized positions never make it to online job boards. Instead, hiring managers give them to specialized recruiters to fill, or they scope out passive candidates. These people already have good jobs and may like what they’re doing. They’re not necessarily unhappy with their roles or companies but are open to considering other opportunities.

Passive candidates, individuals interested in relocating, and those who prefer short-term gigs are another side of the hidden job market. So are the employees who want to keep their job search under wraps and work directly with industry recruiters. These aren’t the people who are going to post their resumes online or advertise that they’re open to work.

But you can tap into this qualified talent pool by partnering with engineering staffing agencies that recruit technology workers. These agencies can help find your next full-time developer to add to your programming team. Or an agency might match you with temps and contractors to handle those extra projects. Whether you have long-term or immediate staffing needs, agencies that know tech will find and screen talent much faster.

2. Hire as a Candidate, Not as a Recruiter              

As a hiring manager or recruiter, it’s easy to view the process from your perspective. You’ve got several positions to fill and boxes of qualifications to check. So be it if it takes a few weeks or months to contact candidates to schedule interviews. However, approaches and outlooks like this are probably turning good tech talent away.

Job seekers don’t have time to wait or feel like they’re not a priority. They’ve got other options, and they’ll pursue them. Tech talent won’t tolerate poor recruiting processes or candidate experiences. They’ll remember a company that ghosted them or put them through a series of online assessments to get an interview. You’ll lose out on recruiting these candidates and their peers now and in the future.

To make it easier on those job seekers and yourself, look at your recruiting process from a candidate’s perspective. Would you feel frustrated if you had to upload your resume and fill out the same information on a form? How about if you went through four rounds of interviews and you didn’t get feedback for a month? You might write the organization off as a place that didn’t value its employees. Instead, simplify the hiring process and follow up after each interaction.

3. Look Within

When it’s time to recruit talent, the focus often shifts to finding external candidates. Managers may assume that everyone who already works for the organization is comfortable where they’re at. But this perception can cause internal candidates to be overlooked for promotions, lateral moves, and development opportunities.

In reality, most people don’t join a company hoping they’ll stay in one role. They want to learn and eventually take on new responsibilities. For organizations, promotions and lateral moves for internal talent are powerful retention tools. Moving higher up the ladder or into a different position can reduce turnover between an employee’s first and third years.

Around 75% of employees who receive a promotion in their first three years will stay with the company. Another 62% of staff members who make lateral moves will still be with an organization by year three. However, 65% of workers who remain in the same role that they got hired for will leave by their third year. Hiring managers and other company leaders can prevent this by creating cultures and development programs that prioritize internal candidates.  

4. Use Personalized Branding

Techies may have a reputation for being detail-oriented and work-focused. But that doesn’t mean they want to work in environments without a sense of camaraderie and purpose. Job seekers who don’t see what it's like to work at organizations or get behind-the-scenes previews may think twice.

Personalization is essential if you’re looking to recruit and develop younger tech talent. Personalized work experiences are something younger generations expect from employers. They’re not just looking to punch the clock and punch out. They want to make their mark without a lot of bureaucracy or red tape in the way. Younger talent is also looking for meaning and want to know why they’re doing certain jobs or tasks.      

This means your employer brand must be approachable and communicate why your organization does what it does. Job seekers can take their tech talents and do the same job anywhere. Why should they want to do it at your organization? Showcase your uniqueness with every social media post, direct message, or career website page. Personalize or humanize your workplace so that candidates can envision themselves in it.

Finding Tech Talent

Hiring good tech talent doesn’t have to seem impossible. While recruiting employees with specific skill sets can be taxing, there are ways to simplify and expedite the process. Working with staffing agencies, improving candidate experiences, developing existing employees, and personalizing employer brands help remove the most common obstacles.