Effective Hiring Practices in a Talent Starved Marketplace

There’s (not) too many fish in the sea

Despite what Momma told us, there aren’t enough qualified IT candidates to meet the existing demand.

A recent Indeed.com survey of over 1000 tech hiring managers and recruiters revealed that 83% have experienced lost revenue and employee burnout due to the tech talent shortage. Over half have accepted candidates that did not meet their job requirements due to their urgent need to hire quickly. Reeling in one of the best is more challenging than ever.

Shortfalls in the supply of newly trained professionals and the continuing possibility of tougher H-1B visa restrictions will likely compound this shortage and increase competition for the best talent. From this limited pool how can you lure in the high quality talent your organization needs to rise above the competition?

Use attractive bait

Factors other than competitive compensation will attract exceptional candidates. Mention available growth opportunities, unique benefits, and the advantages of your location. Social media posts of your company events demonstrate successful teamwork, showcase your diversity, and attract quality applicants. If you haven’t dipped your toes in the social media pool yet, photos and video on your career web-page will help candidates picture themselves as part of your team.

Shine a bright light

Your job postings and career web-page should highlight your culture, explain your vision, and boldly state that you attract, seek out, and retain the best people in your industry. Tech-savvy candidates will research your online presence, and what they find will have an impact on your success, so show your organization in the best possible light to attract the best talent.

Go where they live

Where are schools of qualified candidates gathering? Top candidates will often focus their search or locate themselves near tech hub cities because well-respected schools, bootcamps, and hiring corporations drew them there. Effectively recruiting in those areas at a distance is challenging, and locating the elusive local talent outside those areas is equally so. Experienced local guidance may be needed to improve your candidate pool.

Hire a guide

A professional IT staffing firm will have the established network and online resources to guide you in these waters. Candidates are vetted and their references, skills and certifications are confirmed—not just fish stories. If the position is a stretch assignment or a short term need they will locate a professional who will gain those skills quickly or fill the gap while your hiring process has time to succeed. Working with an experienced IT recruiter can dramatically shorten time-to-hire while reducing the risks.

Evaluate what’s on the line

As you determine the qualifications of your ideal candidate give thought to how to measure or observe those traits rather than simply asking about them. Check references early and incorporate behavioral evaluations, personality surveys, examples of work, and job shadowing into your process. Job shadowing for an hour (or a day) with a successful team member can confirm your catch is a keeper.

Keep your hooks in the water

Watch for and keep in touch with exceptional candidates for future opportunities. If a short training would turn a desirable candidate into an ideal one, consider making that investment. New technology is increasingly focused on the human experience and innovation, which leads many recruiters to consider these factors and other soft skills as important as technical certifications. What bites is sometimes better than what you were seeking. 

Land that keeper

Be cognizant of the need to reel them in before a competing offer is accepted. Communicate with your top candidates about the process to keep their interest alive and let them know they are still in the running. Competition in this market is fierce and skilled experts may be receiving 20+ recruitment offers a day. Poaching is rampant. Don’t let the good ones get away!

Fishing these waters requires the newest communication and evaluation technology combined with experience, networking, accurate information, and creative solutions. Are you consistently putting keepers on the deck? Share your fishing secrets and comment below!