Despite market fluctuations, demand for skilled and experienced tech professionals is still high. Subsequently, organisations are struggling to find the right talent to meet product demands and drive growth, and are often in fierce competition with other companies for those same skills.
At the same time, news of tech layoffs is spreading globally, making candidates feel uneasy about switching positions. In worse cases, candidates commit to an application, but when it comes to signing the offer, they pull out.
This leaves tech recruiters in a difficult position. On the one hand, they need to fill positions, but on the other, candidates are behind the steering wheel, and are increasingly selective about what kind of company they want to work for.
With roughly 77% of the tech workforce constituting as passive, how can recruiters convince candidates to jump ship?
This guide, featuring insights from Ants Recruiters’ Talent Acquisition Manager, Elisabeth Wehlin, provides practical tips for hiring teams to excel at tech recruitment and close candidates.
Know what you’re talking about as a tech recruiter
Tip: Technology moves at a fast pace, and so do tech skills. A good way to stay current with the latest technological developments is to read up on the tech world!
Alternatively, HR teams are increasingly using Chat GPT to ask questions. For example, if you’re unsure about what a software engineer spends their time on, ask ChatGPT.
Be creative about how you source tech talent
Here’s the hard truth. Candidates rarely go through ads. LinkedIn is also becoming a crowded marketplace, with sought-after candidates getting bombarded with dozens of opportunities simultaneously.
How can tech recruiters stand out from the crowd? Start by thinking outside the box.
Tip 1: Experiment with job ads
Imagine you have a passive candidate that is thinking about changing jobs. They’re commuting on the train and scrolling through social media when they stumble on your job ad.
Which type of ad will elicit a favourable response?
- A long and cluttered ad, with huge must-have requirements listed in the ad and little to no information about your company and mission.
- A short and snappy ad with a storytelling hook and no cv-requirement to make it easy for candidates to apply on the go.
You guessed it; the candidate would most likely go for the second ad type. Being unafraid to experiment and test different ad formats and messaging will get you results. Remember, your job ad is your company’s selling point. You only have seconds to grab the candidate’s attention; make it count!
Tip 2: Post your ads on multiple forums
If you're posting your job ad on LinkedIn, one of the best ways to beat the algorithm is to ignore the candidates who crop up at the top of the pile. While they might be quality material, they've probably been contacted by hundreds of recruiters already.
Instead, post your ad on Github, community forums, online developer groups, coding boot camps, etc. Also, open your search worldwide if you're open to remote talent. The world is your oyster here in terms of finding talent!
Tip 3: Be personal when communicating with candidates
Nowadays, candidates can smell a generic copy/paste message miles away. Take the responsibility to write better InMails that are personal and approachable. Also, read up on the candidate before contacting them and mention why the job would be relevant specifically for them.
According to Elisabeth, tech candidates are tired of being contacted by recruiters who don't do their homework.
Upskill in recruitment marketing
These days, it's as much about the candidate choosing to apply to your position as it is about you choosing which candidates to progress with. That means a good recruiter must also be a good marketer.
Consider taking a mini-copywriting course to brush up on your writing skills. This will help you write punchier job descriptions, ads, and messages, increasing your chances of getting a decent application rate.
But your work doesn’t stop there. Go back to your InMails and job ads at some point and make sure you do A/B testing and check the candidate response rate. Like this, you can figure out what’s working and not, then test, tweak, and repeat.
Never assume anything
When you’re a tech recruiter, you’re going to face uncertainties. A tip for navigating the field is never to assume anything, and always ask questions and clarify things before you set things in stone or make up your mind about a particular candidate.
Tip 1: If you’re not sure about something, ask candidates
Imagine you’re on a call with a potential candidate, and suddenly they drop a programming language you’ve never heard of into the conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask the candidate to clarify their skillset. You’re being transparent as long as you approach it from a "Hey, I'm human" perspective and ask them to explain what they mean.
Tip 2: Be clear about role requirements with the hiring manager
One of Elisabeth’s best tips is to always check in with the hiring manager about role requirements and expectations. This can be done in the startup meeting when you’re mapping the role together. This is an important part of the process, as you’re figuring out what competencies are needed for the position, enabling you to understand what you’re evaluating candidates for.
You should also double check a hiring manager’s strict criteria for the role and, if need be, challenge some of their assumptions.
For Elisabeth, it’s about “daring to open up your requirements profile. What can you teach within the organisation in the long run?”
With digital transformation, the advent of technology, and increasing economic pressures, some would say it’s never been more challenging to excel at tech recruitment.
No matter the global market, with the strategies and tips outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to finding and hiring tech superstars.
Curious to see how Alva Labs can support you in finding top tech talent? Sign up for a demo today and get a comprehensive tour of our candidate assessment platform.