The Art of Prioritizing Your Network for Tech Recruiting

What are your key challenges when recruiting the people you need for your company?

When it comes to tech recruiting, there’s no question that it’s a challenging environment. As we’ve talked about previously, it’s highly competitive and you’re often battling just to get a response out of highly sought-after candidates.

There’s also the challenge of narrowing down the field so that you’re targeting the select candidates that you need. You might try turning to a recruiting product to help. Most will claim to have hundreds of millions of profiles to choose from, and this becomes a huge noise problem for anyone who is sourcing candidates.

What you need is a better way to prioritize your networks—to filter down so that you’re approaching the most appropriate people.

[content_upgrade cu_id=”153″]How do you better approach tech candidates? Get our tips here.[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Problem #1: Narrowing the Field

It’s often the case that by the time a company gets started with recruiting a position, they actually needed the role filled yesterday. “Hire quickly and hire well” becomes a mantra, yet when it comes to hiring for these highly skilled positions, you may need to make a choice between one or the other (although, you probably hope that you’ve made a good decision quickly!).

Okay, so you need the best possible senior engineer as soon as possible while continuing with your regular duties as well. Perhaps you’re one of the fortunate few who happens to have a good candidate in mind already—someone you are already connected to and who you already know will be very interested in taking the job. (Hey, this could happen if you’ve been actively working to grow your network!)

Most of the time though, you’re starting from somewhere fairly near to scratch. You see a vast ocean of possible candidates, but face the difficulty of narrowing your scope to a shortlist. You turn to a recruitment sourcing tool that saves you some manual labor involved in building a list to work from, but still gives you too many results. Your time is now spent attempting to narrow the field to only those who will actually be a good match—a task that takes quite some time.

A note here: Recruitment sourcing tools are smart, but only as smart as the parameters you set for them. As Boolean Black Belt states:

“You should always take time to analyze your search criteria to assess the possibility that your search terms may not find all qualified candidates, and in fact might actually be eliminating viable candidates.”

This is true, but we’d also add that if your search terms are too broad, you’re setting yourself up for a huge task sifting through the field of results you get. Try to be as exacting as possible when it comes to defining the terms for the position you need filled.

Another point here is that the tool itself won’t be the panacea for all recruiting woes. We like how Tim Sackett puts it:

“What we know is technology doesn’t make you better at recruiting. Technology makes you faster at recruiting, but if you suck at recruiting, technology will only make you suck faster!”

This really segues nicely into the secondary hurdle of the recruiting puzzle: How do you craft a compelling message to a person on your shortlist?

Problem #2: Eliciting a Response

If you’ve spent any time at all on tech recruiting, you will know the pain of trying to elicit a response from qualified people who you’re keen to speak with. The best tech candidates are being absolutely hammered with messages from recruiters, whether or not they’re actually interested and looking to move on from their current employment. This makes them wary of unsolicited approaches.

“How can I motivate her to respond to me?” becomes the question you should ask about each and every candidate, and you should be thinking about them on that individual level. Boilerplate emails or LinkedIn messages do not work (hint: this would be one indicator that you suck at recruiting!).

Personalized messaging is important and necessary if you’re to get the results you need from your recruiting efforts. For this reason, one of the most common ways of trying to resolve the problem of getting a response is to email people who you are either connected to personally, or who are connected to people in your wider network or team.

Leveraging “who knows who” is an important piece in the recruitment process because it gives you that more personal contact already. This is also why your second and third degree connections on LinkedIn are so valuable.

Here’s the rub, though: By now we know that you need to go beyond just LinkedIn if you want to find the best possible candidates. Many of your best prospects in the tech world will be much more active on other networks, so how can you more easily find those people too?

LinkedIn doesn’t want you using other sites for networking—that’s against their own interests. They want you to stick with them, for better or worse. On the other hand, you want to best prioritize your networks, whether they are on LinkedIn or elsewhere.

Modern sourcing tools and profile aggregators know that users want the same functionality across all of their networks. One of your best strategies is to leverage your team’s networks across every forum and social media site where they are active. This is a great way to get higher response rates, particularly as LinkedIn itself has become rather saturated by unsolicited recruiting messages.

Brilliant. So you can turn to the recruiting tool again to cover a broader range of forums and networks. But then, once again, the problem goes back to the noise and filtering involved with having so many connections.

A Solution: Predictive Analytics

Thus far, all roads have led back to the recruiting product and using it to not only speed up your recruiting process, but help you to provide better results. The problem is that while these tools are smart, they can still give you an absolute overload of options. How do you know which tool will be the best option to use?

We feel that there are two criteria that will help you to separate the best from the rest:

  • Having the best predictive analytics so that results given are more precise.
  • Doing the best job of using the tool to manage relationships with candidates.

If you can work out the best combination of those two things, you will be one of the tech companies who come out winning when it comes to recruitment activities.

[content_upgrade cu_id=”153″]Want a better chance of getting a response from candidates? Get our tips here.[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Human Predictions has been working to assist companies across both of those criteria. We source our data specifically for the tech industry only and are always working to improve the accuracy of our predictive analytics. This includes recent partnerships made with Lever and Greenhouse, to share data and broaden the base that we analyze, providing you with real-time insights.

Secondly, we don’t believe in leaving everything up to the technology. “Make recruiting human again” is one of our big aims, because if you can connect at that personal level, you’ll have a better chance of success.

Prioritizing your network to improve recruiting activities is not the easiest task, but with the right technological assistance and approach to potential candidates, you can get the jump on your competition.

What are your key challenges when recruiting the people you need for your company?

When it comes to tech recruiting, there’s no question that it’s a challenging environment. As we’ve talked about previously, it’s highly competitive and you’re often battling just to get a response out of highly sought-after candidates.

There’s also the challenge of narrowing down the field so that you’re targeting the select candidates that you need. You might try turning to a recruiting product to help. Most will claim to have hundreds of millions of profiles to choose from, and this becomes a huge noise problem for anyone who is sourcing candidates.

What you need is a better way to prioritize your networks—to filter down so that you’re approaching the most appropriate people.

[content_upgrade cu_id=”153″]How do you better approach tech candidates? Get our tips here.[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Problem #1: Narrowing the Field

It’s often the case that by the time a company gets started with recruiting a position, they actually needed the role filled yesterday. “Hire quickly and hire well” becomes a mantra, yet when it comes to hiring for these highly skilled positions, you may need to make a choice between one or the other (although, you probably hope that you’ve made a good decision quickly!).

Okay, so you need the best possible senior engineer as soon as possible while continuing with your regular duties as well. Perhaps you’re one of the fortunate few who happens to have a good candidate in mind already—someone you are already connected to and who you already know will be very interested in taking the job. (Hey, this could happen if you’ve been actively working to grow your network!)

Most of the time though, you’re starting from somewhere fairly near to scratch. You see a vast ocean of possible candidates, but face the difficulty of narrowing your scope to a shortlist. You turn to a recruitment sourcing tool that saves you some manual labor involved in building a list to work from, but still gives you too many results. Your time is now spent attempting to narrow the field to only those who will actually be a good match—a task that takes quite some time.

A note here: Recruitment sourcing tools are smart, but only as smart as the parameters you set for them. As Boolean Black Belt states:

“You should always take time to analyze your search criteria to assess the possibility that your search terms may not find all qualified candidates, and in fact might actually be eliminating viable candidates.”

This is true, but we’d also add that if your search terms are too broad, you’re setting yourself up for a huge task sifting through the field of results you get. Try to be as exacting as possible when it comes to defining the terms for the position you need filled.

Another point here is that the tool itself won’t be the panacea for all recruiting woes. We like how Tim Sackett puts it:

“What we know is technology doesn’t make you better at recruiting. Technology makes you faster at recruiting, but if you suck at recruiting, technology will only make you suck faster!”

This really segues nicely into the secondary hurdle of the recruiting puzzle: How do you craft a compelling message to a person on your shortlist?

Problem #2: Eliciting a Response

If you’ve spent any time at all on tech recruiting, you will know the pain of trying to elicit a response from qualified people who you’re keen to speak with. The best tech candidates are being absolutely hammered with messages from recruiters, whether or not they’re actually interested and looking to move on from their current employment. This makes them wary of unsolicited approaches.

“How can I motivate her to respond to me?” becomes the question you should ask about each and every candidate, and you should be thinking about them on that individual level. Boilerplate emails or LinkedIn messages do not work (hint: this would be one indicator that you suck at recruiting!).

Personalized messaging is important and necessary if you’re to get the results you need from your recruiting efforts. For this reason, one of the most common ways of trying to resolve the problem of getting a response is to email people who you are either connected to personally, or who are connected to people in your wider network or team.

Leveraging “who knows who” is an important piece in the recruitment process because it gives you that more personal contact already. This is also why your second and third degree connections on LinkedIn are so valuable.

Here’s the rub, though: By now we know that you need to go beyond just LinkedIn if you want to find the best possible candidates. Many of your best prospects in the tech world will be much more active on other networks, so how can you more easily find those people too?

LinkedIn doesn’t want you using other sites for networking—that’s against their own interests. They want you to stick with them, for better or worse. On the other hand, you want to best prioritize your networks, whether they are on LinkedIn or elsewhere.

Modern sourcing tools and profile aggregators know that users want the same functionality across all of their networks. One of your best strategies is to leverage your team’s networks across every forum and social media site where they are active. This is a great way to get higher response rates, particularly as LinkedIn itself has become rather saturated by unsolicited recruiting messages.

Brilliant. So you can turn to the recruiting tool again to cover a broader range of forums and networks. But then, once again, the problem goes back to the noise and filtering involved with having so many connections.

A Solution: Predictive Analytics

Thus far, all roads have led back to the recruiting product and using it to not only speed up your recruiting process, but help you to provide better results. The problem is that while these tools are smart, they can still give you an absolute overload of options. How do you know which tool will be the best option to use?

We feel that there are two criteria that will help you to separate the best from the rest:

  • Having the best predictive analytics so that results given are more precise.
  • Doing the best job of using the tool to manage relationships with candidates.

If you can work out the best combination of those two things, you will be one of the tech companies who come out winning when it comes to recruitment activities.

[content_upgrade cu_id=”153″]Want a better chance of getting a response from candidates? Get our tips here.[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Human Predictions has been working to assist companies across both of those criteria. We source our data specifically for the tech industry only and are always working to improve the accuracy of our predictive analytics. This includes recent partnerships made with Lever and Greenhouse, to share data and broaden the base that we analyze, providing you with real-time insights.

Secondly, we don’t believe in leaving everything up to the technology. “Make recruiting human again” is one of our big aims, because if you can connect at that personal level, you’ll have a better chance of success.

Prioritizing your network to improve recruiting activities is not the easiest task, but with the right technological assistance and approach to potential candidates, you can get the jump on your competition.

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