There are No Shortcuts in Successful Tech Recruiting

Here’s a question for you: when you’re starting to get desperate for good tech talent, how tempted are you to try and find shortcuts in the hiring process?

You’re busy, we know, and with technology solutions for recruiting all around us the force is strong when it comes to the temptation to find a quicker route.

“But, everyone’s doing it,” you might say, “technology solutions save time.” Well, perhaps everyone is trying to find shortcuts, but the point is, in this competitive environment where we’re all fighting over top tech talent, you can’t afford to be just like everyone else.

You need to be different, a renegade…

… and there are no shortcuts to good tech recruiting practices.

A Typical Tech Recruitment Scenario…

Let’s run through a brief scenario of how tech recruiting is often operating right now:

  1. You identify a vacancy that needs filling in your team.
  2. You hire a recruiter to find candidates for the position (mistake number one, we think).
  3. The recruiter uses some kind of software to scrape data, usually from platforms such as LinkedIn.
  4. The recruiter looks for buzzwords in the profiles that they believe makes the person a good candidate.
  5. The recruiter sends a “cold” message inviting the candidate to apply for a “great opportunity” using a template message (mistake two).
  6. Candidates who respond get put through the interview process.
  7. You (hopefully) hire someone, based on whoever was the best to turn up for an interview (possible mistake three).

So, what’s wrong with this scenario? We see a few reasons why this just isn’t working and why tech companies are not getting the top people whom they’d really like for their roles.

5246142450_89d7d9d670_z

Photo credit: Detlef La Grand via VisualHunt

[content_upgrade cu_id=”44″]What do best practices for tech recruiting look like? Check out our tips here:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

What’s wrong with this?

First of all, there’s the recruiter. We’ve touched briefly on this previously – regular recruiters often are just not cutting it when it comes to identifying and wooing top tech talent.

Recruitment has become a numbers game just like sales. Recruiters are hoping to achieve targets and shift pieces around on the board. This has often lead to an approach of “throw enough mud and see what sticks”, not the best way to ensure that the you’re really attracting those who are most fit for the job.

While recruiters have a job to do and many of them are great at it, they don’t necessarily have much insight when it comes to knowing what top tech talent actually looks like. They’re hoping that a few technical terms on a profile might mean a good match. Reliance on recruitment technology doesn’t automatically mean identifying the best people.

Secondly, there’s the approach. The most qualified tech talent are simply not responding to those cold, templated messages. They get so many of them that usually, they simply tune them out. They don’t care for the impersonal nature of the approach either – it’s usually clear that the person hasn’t really done any research.

Thirdly, are you one of the many senior people in tech who complain that you “can’t find good talent?” Of course you can’t if you’re forced to choose from “the best who turned up” rather than “the best for the job.” If your first touch of the recruitment process is interviewing a short list of candidates, then you’ve come in too late.

Recognize the Limitations of Technology

We’re tech people and we love a new tool as much as the next guy – why make things manual and laborious when we can create an algorithm, right?

Recruiting technology is awesome; it can produce results in minutes, which saves you or your recruiter hours of manually searching through profiles and databases (or sorting through resumes if you’ve had to advertise a job). With a few tweaks, you can create a shortlist that matches your specific needs.

Here’s what recruiting technology can’t do:

  • Reach out to candidates with a personalized message.
  • Build relationships with people.
  • Make enticing offers that appeal to the individual.
  • Present a good case as to why they should leave their current job to take up a new one with you.

In short? Recruiting technology cannot do anything “human.”

Make Recruiting “Human” Again

Don’t get us wrong, we’re huge advocates of recruitment technology (we created Human Predictions specifically to help with tech recruiting and are very proud of it), but “make recruiting human again” has become somewhat of a mantra of ours.

Why? We believe that the ideal recruitment process uses the technology as a tool to aid the shortlist process, but does not try to replace the human element with it.

You could liken it to online dating. You sign up to a dating app and answer a few questions as to your preferences for a date. Based on your answers, the app searches through other profiles and presents you with some choices it thinks may be a match.

What happens next? Do you get the app to send a “template” message at the push of a button?

“Hi, my name is …. Check out this awesome opportunity! I have an opening for a date. Please respond with a comprehensive dating history and four reasons why you’d be a good fit.”

“Swipe right” type apps aside, probably not, right? If you are someone who is looking for a serious relationship, you’re going to spend time looking into the profile of the person and crafting a message that you hope will be appealing on a personal level. You don’t expect them to do a whole lot of work providing you with information first when you are the one making the approach.

That’s exactly how it should be with tech recruiting. While the tool you use may help to create a shortlist based on your preferences, long-term working relationships are not built from a “swipe right” mentality.

Relationships are built with thought, care and understanding. This means humans communicating with other humans, learning about them and seeking to find common ground. The decision to choose one employer over another most often does not come down to the tangible elements, such as the size of the compensation package. It comes down to the less tangible, like the environment, relationships and the general feeling someone gets about a place.

Top talent in the technology world wants to know more about you. What types of projects will they work on? What will they learn or be able to contribute to? Who will they be working with?

An algorithm in conjunction with a template cannot build that relationship for you. Use the tool, but remember that is all it is; don’t try to shortcut by replacing the real, human interactions.

2-man-using-mobile-phone

[content_upgrade cu_id=”44″]Are you following best practices in tech recruiting? Get our tips here:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Final Thoughts

If there’s one overriding thought we’d love senior managers to take away, it’s that there are no shortcuts if you want a successful tech recruiting process.

Use the recruiting tools, they’re great for saving time, but don’t ever expect automated responses to replace the human element.

Remember, talented people want to sign up to work with other humans. They’re looking for the less tangible elements, such as culture and environment which only a human can convey. Be interested and engage on a personal level, this way you can make recruiting human again.

Here’s a question for you: when you’re starting to get desperate for good tech talent, how tempted are you to try and find shortcuts in the hiring process?

You’re busy, we know, and with technology solutions for recruiting all around us the force is strong when it comes to the temptation to find a quicker route.

“But, everyone’s doing it,” you might say, “technology solutions save time.” Well, perhaps everyone is trying to find shortcuts, but the point is, in this competitive environment where we’re all fighting over top tech talent, you can’t afford to be just like everyone else.

You need to be different, a renegade…

… and there are no shortcuts to good tech recruiting practices.

A Typical Tech Recruitment Scenario…

Let’s run through a brief scenario of how tech recruiting is often operating right now:

  1. You identify a vacancy that needs filling in your team.
  2. You hire a recruiter to find candidates for the position (mistake number one, we think).
  3. The recruiter uses some kind of software to scrape data, usually from platforms such as LinkedIn.
  4. The recruiter looks for buzzwords in the profiles that they believe makes the person a good candidate.
  5. The recruiter sends a “cold” message inviting the candidate to apply for a “great opportunity” using a template message (mistake two).
  6. Candidates who respond get put through the interview process.
  7. You (hopefully) hire someone, based on whoever was the best to turn up for an interview (possible mistake three).

So, what’s wrong with this scenario? We see a few reasons why this just isn’t working and why tech companies are not getting the top people whom they’d really like for their roles.

5246142450_89d7d9d670_z

Photo credit: Detlef La Grand via VisualHunt

[content_upgrade cu_id=”44″]What do best practices for tech recruiting look like? Check out our tips here:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

What’s wrong with this?

First of all, there’s the recruiter. We’ve touched briefly on this previously – regular recruiters often are just not cutting it when it comes to identifying and wooing top tech talent.

Recruitment has become a numbers game just like sales. Recruiters are hoping to achieve targets and shift pieces around on the board. This has often lead to an approach of “throw enough mud and see what sticks”, not the best way to ensure that the you’re really attracting those who are most fit for the job.

While recruiters have a job to do and many of them are great at it, they don’t necessarily have much insight when it comes to knowing what top tech talent actually looks like. They’re hoping that a few technical terms on a profile might mean a good match. Reliance on recruitment technology doesn’t automatically mean identifying the best people.

Secondly, there’s the approach. The most qualified tech talent are simply not responding to those cold, templated messages. They get so many of them that usually, they simply tune them out. They don’t care for the impersonal nature of the approach either – it’s usually clear that the person hasn’t really done any research.

Thirdly, are you one of the many senior people in tech who complain that you “can’t find good talent?” Of course you can’t if you’re forced to choose from “the best who turned up” rather than “the best for the job.” If your first touch of the recruitment process is interviewing a short list of candidates, then you’ve come in too late.

Recognize the Limitations of Technology

We’re tech people and we love a new tool as much as the next guy – why make things manual and laborious when we can create an algorithm, right?

Recruiting technology is awesome; it can produce results in minutes, which saves you or your recruiter hours of manually searching through profiles and databases (or sorting through resumes if you’ve had to advertise a job). With a few tweaks, you can create a shortlist that matches your specific needs.

Here’s what recruiting technology can’t do:

  • Reach out to candidates with a personalized message.
  • Build relationships with people.
  • Make enticing offers that appeal to the individual.
  • Present a good case as to why they should leave their current job to take up a new one with you.

In short? Recruiting technology cannot do anything “human.”

Make Recruiting “Human” Again

Don’t get us wrong, we’re huge advocates of recruitment technology (we created Human Predictions specifically to help with tech recruiting and are very proud of it), but “make recruiting human again” has become somewhat of a mantra of ours.

Why? We believe that the ideal recruitment process uses the technology as a tool to aid the shortlist process, but does not try to replace the human element with it.

You could liken it to online dating. You sign up to a dating app and answer a few questions as to your preferences for a date. Based on your answers, the app searches through other profiles and presents you with some choices it thinks may be a match.

What happens next? Do you get the app to send a “template” message at the push of a button?

“Hi, my name is …. Check out this awesome opportunity! I have an opening for a date. Please respond with a comprehensive dating history and four reasons why you’d be a good fit.”

“Swipe right” type apps aside, probably not, right? If you are someone who is looking for a serious relationship, you’re going to spend time looking into the profile of the person and crafting a message that you hope will be appealing on a personal level. You don’t expect them to do a whole lot of work providing you with information first when you are the one making the approach.

That’s exactly how it should be with tech recruiting. While the tool you use may help to create a shortlist based on your preferences, long-term working relationships are not built from a “swipe right” mentality.

Relationships are built with thought, care and understanding. This means humans communicating with other humans, learning about them and seeking to find common ground. The decision to choose one employer over another most often does not come down to the tangible elements, such as the size of the compensation package. It comes down to the less tangible, like the environment, relationships and the general feeling someone gets about a place.

Top talent in the technology world wants to know more about you. What types of projects will they work on? What will they learn or be able to contribute to? Who will they be working with?

An algorithm in conjunction with a template cannot build that relationship for you. Use the tool, but remember that is all it is; don’t try to shortcut by replacing the real, human interactions.

2-man-using-mobile-phone

[content_upgrade cu_id=”44″]Are you following best practices in tech recruiting? Get our tips here:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Final Thoughts

If there’s one overriding thought we’d love senior managers to take away, it’s that there are no shortcuts if you want a successful tech recruiting process.

Use the recruiting tools, they’re great for saving time, but don’t ever expect automated responses to replace the human element.

Remember, talented people want to sign up to work with other humans. They’re looking for the less tangible elements, such as culture and environment which only a human can convey. Be interested and engage on a personal level, this way you can make recruiting human again.

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