Process Makes Perfect – 7 Must-Haves for a Standout Recruitment Process

Process Makes Perfect – 7 Must-Haves for a Standout Recruitment Process

By John Bemis On February 14, 2022 · In

Updated: February 18, 2022

You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, and the same is true when it comes to IT hiring. A solid recruitment process can help you stay focused. Whether you’re recruiting for an existing position or a newly formed role, these steps will help you streamline and optimize your IT recruitment and hiring process.

1. Define the Position and Process:

Once the need for a position has been identified and approved, it’s time to meet with the IT hiring manager and internal stakeholders to fully understand the scope of the role and the required IT skills.

Make sure to ask the following questions:

Is this requirement a must-have: It’s important to identify the list of candidate “must-haves” versus “would like to haves” and set expectations with the hiring team.

Can a specific IT skill be developed on the job: How well can someone do the job without having mastered the skill? Can it be taught on the job?

Is this requirement job-related: This is particularly useful when evaluating soft skills. While it may not be job-related, you may want someone who demonstrates flexibility, cooperation, and willingness to learn.

With the final list at hand, rank each requirement to ensure you and the hiring team know which skills are more important than others and if the lack of a certain skill is a deal-breaker.

2. Update your IT Recruitment Plan and Job Description

Make sure you’ve updated the job description to include any new information relating to job requirements, specific qualifications, desired characteristics, and experience. Be sure to include your company’s latest information on remote work, including plans and policies about returning to the office.

Describe the specific steps within the IT hiring process, including:

  • The criteria for initial screenings
  • Determining who will conduct the interviews
  • The internal communication and notifications necessary to move the process forward

Create or update your job ads: Use language that describes your company culture and employer branding. Think about what would attract your ideal candidate and develop benefit statements that emphasize why people want to work for your company. Focus on “What’s in it for them” so your ad stands out from the clutter.

Review your online application: Can applicants easily fill out the required entries? Does your system auto-populate uploaded resumes to their relevant fields and eliminate the need to re-enter the same information that’s already on it? Is the online application optimized for mobile?

Review your company’s career page: This is often the first page candidates visit when they check out your website. Does it reflect your employer branding and serve as an ambassador for potential recruits?

Particularly in IT, top candidates want to know if your jobs fit what they’re looking for. IT professionals want to know what kind of company you are, who they’ll be working for, and your company’s mission and vision.

Is Your Salary Competitive? Download the 2022 Salary and Hiring Guide for the Latest Salary Intel.

3. Start Sourcing IT Professionals!

In addition to LinkedIn ads, job board ads, and social media, develop a plan to reach out to passive candidates.

Announce the role internally: Tap into your existing employees’ social and professional networks.

Publicize: Promote your referral and incentive program to generate interest.

Use Existing Resources: Search your company’s existing database or applicant tracking system to discover potential candidates or reengage with previous applicants.

Engage New Resources: Connecting with an experienced and ethical recruiting firm can be a huge boost to your IT recruitment efforts. This is especially helpful if internal resources are limited or inexperienced in recruiting technical positions or asking technical interview questions.

Explore Unconventional Tactics: Today’s tight labor market requires an innovative approach to attract tech talent.

Ask yourself these questions when recruiting IT professionals:

  1. Will your HR or talent acquisition team be the first to review and eliminate candidates?
  2. Will the IT hiring manager review all qualified candidates?
  3. Have you set a deadline to review the first batch of qualified applicants and identified those you want to advance to the screening stage? Make sure this is done quickly and notify applicants who have been withdrawn from consideration.

4. Screen, Interview, Repeat.

These days, the traditional phone screen and in-person interview have been replaced with a series of video calls. Over the past two years, most IT professionals have become experts at video conferencing. However, it’s still helpful to distribute a video tip sheet to internal managers and candidates to prepare for the best experience possible and avoid technical hiccups.

Screening interviews typically focus on an applicant’s experience, hard and soft skills, work history, and availability. Make it easy for them to schedule a screening call by offering several timeslots to choose from. Consider using an appointment scheduling software like Calendly to allow recruits to schedule a time on your calendar that works best for them.

Once the meeting is scheduled, be on time! Video calls are far more unforgiving of lateness than in-person meetings. If you’re running behind, send a quick text or email to push the meeting back a few minutes.

If the candidate advances to the next round, interviews will be much more in-depth and likely involve several members of the organization. Preparation is critical for both the candidate and the interviewer.
Make sure both have the most relevant details related to the role.

It’s also a good idea to share a standardized list of technical interview questions with your internal team. This enables you to compare apples to apples in the decision process and evaluate feedback from various team members.

Need Interview Questions? Check out our series of IT Hiring Guides for technical interview questions, skill-specific job descriptions, and more!

5. Communicate with Candidates

Prompt and constructive feedback is crucial to filling any position. Schedule a feedback session with your internal team for the same or next day to collect feedback. Share the collective feedback with your candidate as soon as possible. This is as important to the process as it is to your employer brand.

Candidates appreciate clear and consistent communication to know where they stand in the process. Stay actively engaged with top candidates as your process continues to let them know if you’re not ready to make a decision or if the requirements have changed. If you don’t, not only will your top candidate look for another role, they’ll also likely tell people to avoid your company.

Once you do have news, share it with the candidate immediately. Will they need another round of interviews or a skills assessment? What are your background and drug-testing policy? Make sure your top candidates are aware of each step in your hiring process.

Feedback is equally essential when a candidate is disqualified. They appreciate knowing why they didn’t advance and can hopefully use that feedback to enhance their skill set for the future. Giving bad news isn’t always easy, so it’s a good idea to prep your internal team on ways to deliver effective and constructive feedback. This kind of positive candidate experience can be very powerful in building your reputation in that candidate’s network.

6. Hiring Tech Talent

You’ve got a winner! Now it’s time to make an offer and get your new hire on board as quickly as possible. You’ll want to present your complete benefits package which should also include cash, and non-cash compensation and benefits.

In a perfect world, the candidate has been “pre-closed” and understands the scope of the role, its compensation, and is ready to accept. However, that’s not always the case, so you should be prepared for some back and forth before you agree.

Once you’ve finalized the terms, prepare an offer letter in accordance with your company’s policies. Typically, the letter presents the official job title, expected start date, the compensation package including cash and non-cash compensation and benefits, working hours, and reporting structure. Send the offer letter along with more information about the company including your employee handbook and updated Covid-19 policies and health safeguards. Additionally, including some company branded merchandise such as a mug or a t-shirt is always appreciated.

After a comprehensive search, interview, and offer process, you might think it’s time to sit back and relax, but not yet. Candidates may still get tempting calls between when they accept a new offer and when they start the new job.

It’s always advisable to have a backup in case something happens between your candidate accepting the offer and the start date. If you had a strong number two candidate, keep them apprised during the process. They will respect you for this.

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7. Onboarding

Focus on having a smooth and welcoming onboarding process. Keep the candidate appraised of progress throughout any background checks, equipment provisioning, and any other formalities. Treat any candidate like the employee that they are soon to be in terms of communication, closing any loops, etc.

The IT hiring team should be working on a good “first day welcome.” This should provide a clear plan for the first few days and weeks. Consequently, this will help to ensure that the new employee gets off to a strong start — especially if they are working remotely!

About Benchmark IT –Technology Talent

Established in 2007, Benchmark IT delivers superior technology recruitment, staffing, and consulting services throughout the metro New York area and beyond. Our founding principles of dedication to ethics, keen precision, and unparalleled personal service remain true today.

Clients rely on our hands-on approach, proven recruitment process, and relentless pursuit of quality candidates. From proactive pipelining to personally interviewing every candidate we present, to strategy meetings with clients, we believe our job is to provide the right person for every role we recruit.

Our experienced team has extensive networks and employs the latest technology to attract the right talent and fully qualify them for a best-fit scenario. Our clients experience a reduction in unproductive interviews and an improved ratio of interviews to placements. For more information, visit bmarkits.com.

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