How to recruit IT professionals? How to prepare for this process? Technical recruitment is problematic for many people for a reason. However, there are ways that will help recruiters even from outside the industry to effectively carry out the entire process and find the right candidate. Here’s a list of 7 tips to help you hire IT professionals. Read on.
How to recruit IT specialists? – table of contents:
- Why is IT recruitment so difficult?
- 7 tips for recruiters
- Check out our video about how to recruit IT specialists
Why is IT recruitment so difficult?
Finding the right IT specialist is not easy, mainly because the demand for such professionals is still growing. Along with the digital transformation, more and more companies decide to hire the right talent, but there still are not enough employees with the required competencies. Candidates who have the expected skills usually already work for another employer. As a result, there are more available vacancies than employees.
What’s more, recruiters have to face the specifics of the industry. The technical vocabulary, jargon and constant development of the sector makes it difficult for those outside this world to understand exactly what candidates care about, what their expectations are and how to reach them.
However, it is not worth giving up. Here’s a list of 7 ways to recruit IT professionals.
7 tips for recruiters
Understand the employer’s expectations
The first issue doesn’t concern the candidate, but the employer. No matter whether you are recruiting for an external company or within the organization you work for, you must first understand what expectations the employer has of the candidate. Why did they decide to hire the person for the position? What skills and knowledge do they need to possess? What will the recruited employee do?
You need to prepare for the fact that a candidate at a job interview may ask about every detail related to the offered position. As a recruiter, you should know the answers to these questions. However, if your description doesn’t meet the reality, the candidate may feel cheated, which may influence their decision to terminate the contract.
Ask the employer to specify the job requirements, then verify whether they are all necessary. Maybe some of them won’t be needed for a particular project, or maybe knowledge of similar technologies will be enough, allowing the candidate to catch up quickly. Make sure that, apart from technical skills, specific personality traits or soft skills are also required, e.g., communication skills, ability to work in a team, good organizational skills.
Create a persona of the ideal candidate
Once you verify what requirements the ideal candidate is expected to meet, a certain picture of the right professional will begin to form in your head. Preparing a persona will not only allow you to grasp what you already know, but will also show you shortcomings. One of them, for example, is demographics.
If the ideal candidate you think should be around 35 years old, it will be easier for you to choose the right communication channels to reach them. You can also specify whether the employee must have a college degree – if so, narrowing down the search to specific universities will allow you to reach out to graduates who could potentially be recruited.
The persona will also let you look at the job from the candidate’s perspective. Think about what stage of life they may be at now. Do they have a family to support? Are they paying off a mortgage? What might their hobbies be? This way you can predict what salary they will expect and what form of cooperation will suit them. Creating a persona of the ideal candidate will also allow you to better target job ads and marketing messages.
Understand the candidate’s expectations
Remuneration and a type of contract are not everything. Many candidates are looking for jobs that offer specific benefits. These may be, for example, free gym memberships, health insurance, the opportunity to work remotely or flexible working hours. Besides popular benefits, candidates may also take into account corporate culture and location. So make sure your website doesn’t lack this information. Nowadays, many people value the transparency of companies. Think about which of these factors might be an incentive for a candidate, and don’t forget to include information about it in your ad.
Learn the technical language
Unfortunately, recruiters who don’t know the IT industry, but don’t want to outsource recruiting, will have to show at least a little initiative and a willingness to update their knowledge. Learning basic technical terms will help them overcome the barrier and better understand candidates. It will also boost the recruiter’s confidence, as they won’t feel uncomfortable about demanding skills from an employee that they don’t even understand. From the candidate’s point of view, talking to a prepared person is also a great plus for the company.
Delving into the IT field is an ongoing process. The industry is constantly evolving and recruiters must prepare to continuously update their knowledge. However, this has additional benefits. Following professional publications, blogs, conferences, or events helps recruiters get to know professionals, how they work, as well as their goals and interests.
Be prepared to negotiate
As we mentioned earlier, candidates can choose between many job offers. Therefore, be prepared to negotiate during a job interview, whether about the salary, contract or other terms of employment. In some situations, it will also be beneficial to take a flexible approach to the candidate. For example, if a potential employee does not exactly meet all the requirements, it is worth talking to them about it. It may turn out that they are able to catch up.
The same applies to the expected years of working experience. Sometimes a candidate who has worked a total of 6 years in a position will have less knowledge than someone who has only worked for 3 years. Again, it’s worth considering that the IT industry is developing, so sometimes a willingness to learn new things is more important than experience.
As a recruiter, you need to have the ability to listen and notice things that are not said directly. Encourage the candidate to speak about their interests. It may turn out that besides work, they have hobbies that could be useful in the given position, and thus add value to the company.
Build your network of contacts
One of the ways to reach candidates is to look for them among your own contacts, especially if they are from the IT industry. This way, you’ll be able to respond more quickly if one of the professionals lets you know that they’re looking for a job or know someone they’d like to recommend.
Another issue is where you look for candidates. Most people are already employed at other companies, but you can still reach out to them with a proposal of cooperation. It may turn out that exactly your offer will convince them to change jobs. However, since officially such people are not looking for a job, this means that they are not browsing ads on job boards either. So don’t base the whole recruitment process on sites like Monster or Indeed. Take advantage of other opportunities that the Internet gives you.
First of all, be active on industry-specific websites, like Stack Overflow or GitHub. There, you’ll find specialists using different programming languages and at various levels of experience.
Another place to look for job candidates is social media. Depending on their age, different generations use various social media platforms. If you want to get to budding talents, for example, students, you can share a job ad on Facebook groups. A lot of people also have an account on LinkedIn. This is where you can join business groups for people from a particular industry or with specific interests.
Local events are also an ideal way to connect with potential candidates. Check if there are any industry events in your area that you could attend. If not, perhaps your company could plan and organize such an event?
Verify the candidate’s skills
You can say what you like on paper. So it’s worth checking whether the candidate really meets the job requirements, as they assured you about it in their resume. However, if you don’t have enough knowledge to verify this, ask another IT professional to help you. While they are checking the candidate’s technical skills, you can assess their personality traits, communication and presentation skills.
But what if you don’t currently have anyone on your team who could verify the candidate’s skills? You can turn to an external company that recruits IT people. Another way is to use your network of contacts. There, you might find someone who could help you with the interview process.
As you can see, a person from outside the industry can conduct an effective recruitment process. If you don’t know the technical jargon, you can use the help of an external company or other specialist. Otherwise, it will be necessary to understand this environment, learn basic definitions and stay up to date. In either case, however, you should know where to look for candidates and how to meet their expectations.