The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, by 2026 the demand for software developers will grow almost 3.5 times faster than that of other occupations. This means tech recruiting is only going to get more competitive as time goes by.
Here are 10 top tips to improve your tech recruiting strategy. All of these insights are backed by industry data from Stack Overflow, GitHub, Dice, and Devskiller.
When getting in touch with tech candidates at the sourcing stage, be ready to share details of their prospective job. This way, you address developer expectations already in the first email.
Stack Overflow survey respondents believe an estimate of the compensation range is the most important piece of information in an email from a recruiter. If possible, share details on the company (21%), and tell the candidate why you think they're a good fit for the position (19.9%)
Now that we know what developers expect to hear from you, let's look at the best way to reach them. Survey data shows that developers would like to be emailed to their private addresses (63.9%). Only 13.7% prefer to be telephoned.
Companies worldwide do various amounts of international tech recruiting, either outsourcing, employing people to work remotely (though not as a third party), or for relocation purposes.
With that in mind, identify countries with high coding test scores. While the average score for all candidates globally is 40.71%, the average for New Zealand developers is 54.66%. The Netherlands comes second with 53.58%, followed by Russia (50.14%).
When considering a job move, developers want to know which technologies they'd be working with. Make sure to communicate this as early as possible to attract their attention.
Tech recruiting has long been the subject of a heated debate, with developers complaining about the ineffective screening and interview process based on pen and paper tasks, whiteboard quizzes, and random questions. One question that garners much frustration is the infamous "Tell me about HTML".
Companies continue to use this practice and Engineers/Developers continue to complain. Has this collective negative experience turned developers against all forms of coding skills assessment? Luckily, the answer is "no".
Are developers willing to invest time in a pre-employment assessment? Yes, they are willing to undergo technical screening as long as it's executed in the right way. What they don't appreciate is having their skills assessed with outdated and ineffective methods like the infamous whiteboard interview testing.
To maximize completion rates, all coding tests used for tech recruiting purposes should be:
Knowing how popular certain skills are allows you to decide where you want to focus your efforts or be more flexible with some of your candidates in terms of pay or benefits.
One of the ways to identify such areas is to look at skills that are tested more frequently than others. This shows the demand for them and gives you an understanding of the level of competition on the market.
This suggests that recruiters know the importance of front-end skills as Java is often paired with CSS and HTML. These languages make up the core skills of a quality front-end developer, so it's obvious that they're often tested together.
Developers typically have tasks and projects lined up. According to Stack Overflow, despite having their hands full at work, they also code as a hobby. In fact, 80% code outside of work and 56% contribute to open source during the weekend.
Similar to open source contributions, sitting a coding test is less likely to happen over the weekend. Coding tests sent on Tuesdays tend to get the fastest response and those sent on Wednesdays typically take the longest to be completed.
The "interview" is the #1 word used by developers to describe the exhausting part of job searching. In other words, the interview room is where companies typically make the most mistakes. It's also where they have the most room for improvement.
Being able to preselect your candidates with technical screening software and asking relevant questions allows you to limit the number of face to face interviews without sabotaging your hiring results. Having fewer interviews only with viable candidates saves the time of both the IT and the HR team.
A word of advice is to really take the time to do this, as some developers don't use big words like Java to avoid being inundated with recruiter mail.
In the words of Art Zeile, CEO of DHI Group, Inc., "…technology is an important driving force behind innovation and almost every company will be a tech company at its core in the future. How we incentivize our tech talent will define our business success".
When it comes to incentives, nothing beats a good paycheck.
The Dice Salary Report states that majority of professionals want to change jobs in order to receive better compensation.
From the perspective of the employer, this means you may need to be more flexible when it comes to negotiating pay, both with candidates and current employees.
Given the historically low unemployment rate in tech, both attracting AND retaining technical talent is now a challenge. That's simply because there aren't enough skilled employees out there to fill all the open positions.
Losing a good employee puts your organization under pressure and creates huge productivity losses. The question is then, how to make your employees stay?
According to the Dice report, training and education are the #1 benefit tech pros find important (71%). What's shocking is despite being so valued by developers, training and certification are used as motivators to retain talent by a mere 3% of employers. This makes training and certification a great key differentiator among all employee benefits.
The waters of tech recruiting are difficult to navigate and it doesn't seem like this is going to change anytime soon. To get a head start, make sure to follow industry leaders and familiarize yourself with industry benchmarks about what your peers are doing.
The key to success is in your tech recruiting strategy.