The Ultimate Guide to the Tech Recruitment Process
You would be hard-pressed to find a more exciting industry than tech. With the brightest minds and most disruptive personalities entering this innovative space, it’s more important than ever that you, as a hiring manager, have a sound recruitment process in place.
And with the UK serving as the perfect echo-chamber for tech growth with total 2018 venture capital investment in UK tech topping £6bn, more than any other European country – you need to start thinking about taking a slice of tech talent pie.
To help with the hiring process and talent acquisition, we’ve brought together a wedge of our recruiting insights into this ultimate guide on the tech recruitment process.
Let’s get stuck in.
Why Having A Recruitment Process is Important (Especially in Tech)
What’s that old saying?
Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail?
That sums up why having a recruitment process, as opposed to just hiring and on-boarding, is so important.
There are just so many variables involved in the hiring (and retention) of talent.
You’d be wasting your time if you didn’t have a robust plan that is built to scale with your business.
This is especially important when hiring for technical roles as there are extra steps that need to be taken to ensure you’re getting a good hire.
Things like technical tests, permanent and contract differences and certification consideration add extra hoops for a hiring manager to jump through.
And we haven’t even mentioned all the extra hurdles modern recruiting has adopted, like social media vetting and ‘culture fitting’. The list is truly endless.
So, with all that in mind, building out a robust process is tantamount to success.
Recruitment Process Steps
The recruitment process can be incredibly time-consuming. The good news is that nearly every recruitment drive can be broken down into four steps, many of which you will be familiar with already.
Here’s a one-stop guide that you can use time and again.
Perfect for staying in line with legislation, running a foolproof recruitment process and hiring the right candidates to last and reduce costs down the line.
Know What Tech Role You Need
Knowing what you need helps you find it.
Who’d have thought it?
All jokes aside, this is a serious step that should be treated as such.
Work closely with all the current members of staff who will be working closely with the new hire to determine the following:
- Why is a new employee needed?
- What duties and responsibilities will the successful candidate have?
- What skills or abilities are required to succeed in the role?
- Where does this role fit within the wider business structure?
- What training will that role need?
Ensuring you have an in-depth understanding of the role you are hiring for will make the rest of the recruitment process easier and faster.
You’ll quickly be able to determine who has the experience required to successfully fulfill the role and more.
It also ensures candidates have a clear purpose and planned goals for the position when they join, removing any ambiguity on where they fit within wider business objectives.
Get Your Job Spec Right
A written description of what the role involves and what the ideal candidate looks like.
But a good job spec is so much more than that.
It’s the shop front for your company. The first impression and will be a good indicator of the quality of candidates you’ll be attracting.
- Try to include key responsibilities in the job description to give a good idea for what the role involves, as well as giving a feel for who they’d be working with and what success looks like.
- Person specifications help you characterise the type of skills and mindsets that will flourish in the role.
We’ve got a full guide on what goes into a great job description in 2019 right here.
Choose Where To Place Your Role
There are a number of different places you can advertise your job vacancy, with each of them bringing something different to the table.
An incredibly quick and easy way for you to get mass reach on your role.
But, this is more of a quantity over quality approach and you may find yourself with quite a lot of ‘spam’ candidates who wouldn’t be near the level of quality you’d require.
This is especially the case for high skill technical roles, with an exception being made for things like apprenticeship schemes, internship schemes and entry-level tech roles like help desk support.
Talent surrounds you.
Saving precious resources like time and money, finding the person to fill your role from within your own company might be a good option and one you shouldn’t neglect.
You also wouldn’t upset the rhythm of work with lengthy onboarding periods.
LinkedIn is the number 1 social platform for recruiting and screening candidates with more than 350 million professionals present, above Facebook and Twitter, and allows specific targeting of content to the skills and expertise required for a role.
To have real recruiting wins on social media, you can’t just post your role there.
You need to build out your companies presence with social content that paints a picture of what you’d be like to work with.
Only by doing this will you be getting the best candidates from social media.
If you are already struggling to fit everything in during the process of recruitment, you might want to consider outsourcing to a recruitment agency, especially if you are serious about finding the candidate that ticks the right boxes.
A good recruitment agency can take care of every step in the recruitment process.
Moreover, a good recruitment consultant will build personal and professional relationships with candidates and find them the best possible role and deal.
If you’re looking for someone with a very specific skill set, like high technical knowledge, you may find that a recruitment agency is the only option available to you.
Streamlining the Tech Recruitment Process
Top technical talent is always in high demand. These candidates are fully aware their skill set is highly sought-after – their inbox is flooded with emails from recruiters and headhunters about new ‘exciting’ job opportunities.
But the prospect of jumping through lots of hoops to get an offer isn’t all that exciting.
Elite candidates value their time, and are growing increasingly tired of long and tedious hiring processes. Those business that don’t move with the times will lose out on the brightest and best technical talent time and time again.
As an IT recruitment agency, we routinely see two main candidate pain points throughout the hiring process:
- Arduous and time-consuming take-home assignments.
- Too many interview stages.
These legacy policies need to be revised and updated for the modern market. Now more than ever, companies need to streamline their hiring process in order to attract first-class talent and ensure they see the process through to the end.
Read more about how you can streamline your tech recruiting process here.
Creating A Data-Driven Recruitment Process
The average recruitment strategy looked quite different before the internet. Think bulletin boards and newspaper ads. But in the mid 1990s recruitment changed forever with the arrival of online job boards such as Indeed and Monster. Candidates could easily apply for jobs and employers had access to massive talent pools.
More than two-decades later not much has changed except for the fact that the recruitment industry now generates a huge amount of data on a daily basis. Every application procedure, screening session, communication, or review is can now be easily recorded and archived.
When creating a recruitment strategy, forward thinking companies are actively sifting through this data to create more intelligent hiring processes. Organizations now have the opportunity to test, measure, and continuously improve their recruitment strategy.
At the same time, it’s important to understand the limitations of data and analytics. While businesses try to automate as much of their recruitment strategy as possible, being overzealous actually increases the chances of making a bad hire or missing out on a great one.
This is because a CV, qualifications, and prior work experience alone have little impact on how the candidate will perform once hired. It’s very difficult to break down character traits and attitudes into useable data. So embracing a data-driven approach should primarily focus on figuring out the most effective indicators of a candidate’s success at your company.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing
Effectively managing the cost and performance of HR and recruiting services is fundamental to success in modern business. If talent dries up productivity plummets.
Business owners often find it difficult to decide whether to keep recruiting services in-house or outsource them to an established agency.
To ensure a business runs smoothly and maintains continual growth, few things are as important as having pipeline of talent.
While most small businesses start off with an in-house recruiting team of one or two people, this is not always the right long-term solution.
As the business expands, the demand for talent increase dramatically.
If the in-house department struggles to keep up, the will be hampered by bottlenecks in workflows.
Not good for productivity.
A new dimension is introduced here when hiring for technical roles. Many technical candidates are highly sought after because their skills are incredibly specific. This means that many of them only go through recruitment agencies to find them the best possible deal.
And this favor for recruitment agencies from candidates is mirrored in the growth of the recruitment sector in general.
According to REC’s annual Recruitment Industry Trends, the recruitment industry grew its valuation by 11% to £35.7 billion in 2018. As UK wages accelerated to their fastest pace since 2008 (up by 3.3% for the three months to October 2018), both perm and contract enjoyed increased placement value, with contract growing 20% and perm 6%.
We recently hosted Simon Halkyard, Talent Acquisition Partner at Shop Direct, on the Venturi’s Voice Podcast where he went into great detail on his transition from agency recruiter to internal recruiter. It’s a must-listen for all hiring managers.
Recruitment Process: Contract vs Perm
If you’ve been in IT recruiting before, you’ll know that there is a split between those who will take on roles on a permanent basis and those who will take them on a contract basis.
The difference between the two being as simple as the latter works for your company and the former doesn’t.
A 2016 research report conducted by Experis positioned the UK as one of the top five countries for IT contractor use, ahead of other leading economies such as the US and China. Over three quarters (78%) of UK businesses make extensive use of IT contractors – significantly higher than the international average.
The research (a survey of executives with hiring responsibility for IT employees) demonstrates UK businesses are at the cutting edge of a wider global trend – a shift towards high-volume IT contractor hiring. In response to this, more and more contract recruitment agencies are setting up in the UK.
As someone who is currently hiring contractors it helps to know what makes a good contractor. We’ve written an article on exactly that, find it here.
And, with the introduction of IR35 into the private sector making hiring managers accountable for determining whether a contractor acts more as a ‘disguised employee’ or not, and then paying the relevant fees, it’s more important now than ever for you to start swatting up.
Recruitment Process Management
The recruitment process is one that draws from many different people in many different capacities.
Identifying the one single individual who can take complete ownership of the recruitment process for your new tech hire needs to be one of your first considerations when building a process to scale.
Heads of Talent are tasked with finding an incredibly highly-skilled Python developer and, despite having full support from the rest of the dev team, they can find themselves staring at CV’s that mean nothing.
It’s for that reason hiring managers look to outsource tech recruitment to external agencies who specialise specific candidates.
Another, more tangible reason for using a recruitment agency is cost.
It’s estimated that a company will have a total productivity loss of $33,251 when they dedicate an internal manager to the recruitment of a new developer.
Using a Recruitment Agency
Searching for a new job in IT can be a full time job in itself. You’ve got a CV to update, applications to fill out, and progress to track. That’s a lot to try and keep in mind.
Working in partnership with an IT recruitment agency can relieve you of a lot of this hassle. It’s an effective way to make sure you’re aware of relevant positions as and when they come on the market. However, there are right and wrong ways to work with a recruitment agency.
So how can you do things right and get the most out of your recruitment agency?
Well, you can follow our guide for a start.
Spotting a bad recruitment agency
Understandably, some candidates and employers have reservations about using an IT recruitment agency.
The recruitment industry as a whole has been tarnished by agencies that rely on aggressive sales tactics such as cold calls and spam emails.
These strategies show a complete lack of regard for both candidates and clients. And they’ve clearly had enough. People are sick of being sold too. Adblocker and spam folders exist for a reason. Nobody wants to work with an IT recruitment agency that will harass them at any given opportunity.
But it’s important to note that not all agencies are the same. Those that work hard to tailor their service around what customers actually want are now going from strength to strength. The best IT recruitment agencies are customer-centric rather than sales-centric.
So when weighing up your options, how can you spot a bad IT recruitment agency? Here are a few warning signs to look out for.
Recruiting Trends 2019/20
There are endless “hot” IT recruitment trends, but which ones are actually worth keeping an eye on?
One thing is for certain. The demand for tech talent will continue to outpace supply for the foreseeable future. However, plenty of other things across the tech hiring landscape are undergoing significant change.
A 2018 report from Glassdoor found the tech job market will continue to shift as technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) impact many industries, and mobile changes the way people find and apply for jobs.
- Interview processes will get shorter
- Increased Transparency in the application and interview process
- Encouraging employee passions through role experimentation
- Modernization of mobile job applications
- AI to change the future of work
- Inbound Recruiting
Inbound Recruiting: A Crash Course
The way that we find, research and purchase goods has changed significantly in the past 10 years.
Companies used to have the lion’s share of control over what we see, where we find it and how much we pay for it – but, with the proliferation of digital devices and social media, the dial has shifted towards the consumer.
The same can be said for recruiting.
Companies don’t hold the power anymore because applicants aren’t looking for jobs in the usual places.
According to Careerbuilder, 75% of applicants start looking for their next job through Google.
And applicants are doing a lot more than searching for a new opportunity and applying for it.
They’re researching your brand, they’re seeing how competitive you are and they’re taking notes.
The brands that provide the best experience for this new breed of applicants will be the ones who pull in the talent.
- Content Creation (Blog, Social, Guest Posting, Glassdoor)
- Taking an Omni-Channel Approach
- Layering Lead Capturing Tools
The Technical Interview
Interviews, in general, can be daunting experiences. Technical interviews take that anxiety to the next level.
The only way to get around this anxiety is to prepare yourself. Removing unknowns will fill you with confidence and a sense of control that puts you in the best possible frame of mind for a technical interview.
With that in mind, we’ve brought together a collection of tips and tricks to help you prepare for a technical interview.
18 Technical Interview Questions For Easier Tech Hiring
Most hiring managers will know that good technical interview questions will help identify more than a candidate’s qualifications and technical suitability to the role.
But when it comes to a technical interview for a role that has a very specific skill set, you need to change the script.
Here are 18 technical interview questions you need to work into your technical hiring process.
Bonus: Building A Collaborative Hiring Process – Head of Talent, Amboss.
You already rely on your employees for input on a host of vital matters. So why not consider involving them in your recruitment process?
After all, they are the ones who will end up working closest with new hires. They understand the dynamics of their team better than anyone and will have a good sense of who will likely fit in. Ultimately, they too have a vested interest in hiring great people. Current employees will always be keen to find people capable of carrying their weight on the team.
On the other hand, if candidates are interested in working for your company or are prompted to check out a company after a recruiter’s approach, they will be especially curious to find out more about the job and the company from the people who know the most about it: the employees.
In an age when people are more connected than ever before, current employees can be a tremendous asset in acquiring fresh faces around the office.
Indeed, this is something the team at medical learning platform AMBOSS are already using to their advantage.
AMBOSS helps future physicians succeed in their exams by making medical knowledge easily accessible across the globe. Thanks to a continually increasing user base, their team has grown considerably in recent years. And employees have played a key role in ensuring new hires are a great cultural fit.
We caught up with AMBOSS Talent Acquisition Manager, Alexander Sascha Kootstra, to chat about the benefits of implementing a more collaborative hiring process.
Bonus Bonus: Tech Recruitment Tools
From sourcing talent and interviewing to influencing your new hire’s experience – It’s harder than ever to get the recruitment process right.
Your role, as a recruiter, is to stay on-trend. To know what’s happening in your industry and how that affects the sourcing of talent.
That process starts with integrating your own working practices with new technology and recruitment tools that are changing the recruiting landscape.
Your ‘Cover-all-Basis’ Tech Recruitment Checklist
When it comes to hiring for a tech position it can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.
And with no support in what is already a difficult industry.
To help we’ve put together a tech recruitment checklist that you can use for making a technical hire.
It covers everything from knowing when you need to hire and building the job spec to interview and technical test tips.
Download it by clicking the image below.