Are you procrastinating right now? Me too, so I thought I’d write some tips that help me stop. It’s easier to overcome procrastination when we understand why we do it. According to the Procrastination Research Group at the University of Sheffield, “procrastination has a great deal to do with short-term mood repair and emotion regulation”. In short, if we feel bad, we put things off.
That perfect hire is out there—and as a recruiter, it’s your job to find them. But how?
For the first time in human history, every person has the ability to connect with anyone else in the world. That means talent pools—and the companies seeking people to fill key technical roles—are expanding. The basic economic concept of supply and demand has shifted into a reality of intersectional orbits. Are you part of a recruiting team, in London, that wants to hire an engineering director in San Francisco’s deep technology community? You may not have met that person yet. But they’re out there. They have no idea that you’re seeking them out, which makes it easier to ignore your outreach.
Software Developer roles are becoming increasingly harder to fill, but if you’ve been recruiting in tech for a minute – this is old news. Not only are there more roles than people to fill them, (there are 223,000 open roles in the US, 91% of them being outside of Silicon Valley) but folks in tech are also getting increasingly hard to get a hold of. Hard stop. If we can’t pique the interest of the person we want to chat with, how can we grow our team?
Today, as tech talent continues to get increasingly harder to hire, it forces recruiters to adopt a different game plan — especially when trying to diversify to include more people from underrepresented communities. When unemployment is low, this can feel like an impossible task, but we have solutions for you.
On March 2, 2011, an ailing Steve Jobs stood on stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to announce the iPad 2. “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough – it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing,” he told the rapt audience. Speaking with his biographer, Walter Isaacson, toward the end of his life, he recapitulated his philosophy: “I like that intersection [of humanities and science]. There’s something magical about that place.”
At humanpredictions, we detect signals that tech people leave on public websites indicating they are open to making a move. We use those signals to form our proprietary “hp Priority” score. When recruiters focus their time and energy on high hp Priority scored candidates, they increase their rate of placement and have a higher return on investment with outreach efforts.
For the past several months, we’ve been working on a project our team cares a lot about — we recently launched a diversity initiative and we want your feedback. We created an open source project to catalog the growing list of groups, organizations, and resources for diverse talent in the tech community (e.g. Black Girls Who Code, Lesbians Who Tech, and PyLadies). The point of creating an open source project is to allow anyone interested in this information to have access to it, track the evolution and growth of the list, as well as have the opportunity and ability to contribute to the list and/or the overall project and mission. In this open source project you’ll find the free Boolean search strings we’ve made for any recruiter or hiring manager working in tech to help source a more diverse pool of candidates.
Sure, putting an apprenticeship program together requires a lot of work, but have I mentioned there are some incredible outcomes and a great return on that investment that goes beyond financial gains? If you haven’t read the first two articles of this three-part series on apprenticeships, you may want to read about the building blocks and challenges first! I started by digging into what it takes to build a plan for a program and then explored the challenges companies should plan for early.
=&1=&I’ve witnessed companies that struggle to afford software developers turn to apprenticeship programs to meet their skill demand, but what was often overlooked in that decision was the required time investment it takes. Any given team and engineering manager has to understand having a junior person on the team is going to require a certain amount of coaching and teaching. Whether investing financially or with time, there is an investment that has to be taken into consideration.
For Digital Bridge Solutions, they needed talent that wouldn’t break the bank as they scale their team to meet business demands. Yet they knew that in building an apprenticeship program they needed to be prepared to invest an adequate amount of time to get their apprentices up to speed, Joseph Purcell, Senior Developer and lead for Digital Bridge Solutions’ new apprenticeship program explained.
Meanwhile, almost every engineering team at Signal has junior people on it.
Before Monster, LinkedIn, and all other software that opened the recruiting floodgates, recruiting was a craft that required strategy, interpersonal skills, and a lot of industry-specific knowledge of your vertical. Today’s recruiter is off-putting not only because they spam a bunch of people at once for the same job, but because modern recruiters also don’t take the time to learn their respective industry. Recruiters lack the vocabulary to truly communicate with the person they’re recruiting and fail to invest time to wrap their heads around the skills, tools, and responsibilities of these positions. Instead, they put a couple acronyms into a search and send an “okay” email that is broad enough to use on repeat to everyone that matches their buzzword bingo.
Recruiting is about building relationships with other humans. At the core of good recruiting you’ll find human relationships combined with being an industry analyst. Recruiters that still specialize in the =&0=& of recruiting know the good, the bad, the challenges, and all that goes into the job they’re recruiting for. These recruiters take time to know the people that develop and hone the skills to do the jobs. These recruiters pay attention to what is happening in the industry with new technologies, demands, pivots, company trends, layoffs, and a lot of times know before the general public.
The craft is dying.
Many recruiters today aren’t really recruiting. Instead, it’s an administrative process management job of managing email campaigns and ATS reports — making it such a mindless career. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying social media and email are bad tools for recruiters to use because they can be great to show “I’m a human that you can connect with!” instead of “I’m a robot that forwarded you several phrases from a job description.” The key is that human authenticity is what inspires people to connect, not blanket emails or spam. One of the most important qualities in a recruiter is trust, and the growing number of bad recruiters breaks the system.
How do you ensure that your team and company are employing good practices? Here are some quality solutions: