Tech Recruiting Hiring Guide

Tech Recruiting: answers to why hiring tech talent is hard and what you can do about it.

Part 1:

What’s the driving demand for tech talent? 

For the past decade, tech recruiting and demand for tech talent has exploded, demand continues to escalate even in times of recession. The pandemic and subsequent remote work culture assure businesses can hire tech talent from anywhere around the globe. 

1. Enterprises now have access to a global talent pool 
2. Tech talent no longer have to live in tech hubs like California

 For the enterprise, the global talent pool and high demand has created the new dilemma of how  do you maintain or achieve talent quality, specifically:

1). Does the candidate have the skills required to do the job?
2). Can the candidate do the job?
3). Does the candidate want the job?
4). Is the candidate the right fit?

In the U.S. alone, employers posted 1.1 million tech job openings in the first quarter of this year (2022).

Perhaps the biggest factor for tech talent demand is businesses going digital first, hence a skills gap for tech candidates, digital savvy, and digital operations. Adding to the fuel,  consumer patterns have shifted to a digital preference. 

There are now 197,000 more open IT roles in the U.S. than a year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that IT employment will increase 13% between 2020 and 2030. 

PART 2:

Why is tech recruiting and finding qualified talent hard?

The remote-first work world created exceptional access to more talent from all over the globe. The decentralized talent pool, however, requires a new hiring strategy that traditional recruiting tools and hiring processes were not designed to manage, specifically: 

1).  How do you ensure talent quality (do they have the right skill)?
2). How do you ensure cultural fit when you can’t meet in person?
3). How do you manage new employment legalities?
4). How do you hire quickly to keep pace with skill gaps and needs?

Many staffing firms, hiring managers, and recruiters still grapple with taking hiring operations online. They struggle on how to provide an optimal hiring experience. And, although they realize something needs to change, they don’t have clarity on the new tool kit, such as AI, skill tests, assessments, virtual interviews, etc. 

Gamification tests industry knowledge while also assessing candidate skills like problem-solving and creativity. It helps keep candidates engaged, too, as it’s fun. After all, most candidates would rather play a game than complete a lengthy application form. – Kim Pope, WilsonHCG 

i. Remote work and decentralization 

Remote work and hiring is no longer a trend, it is the new order of business, creating 

– A decentralized talent pool
– High paying jobs 
– High urgency to fill open positions 
– Larger volumes of job applicants 

Talent is now global, but in countries like the US, talent is no longer concentrated in tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle or New York, rather they have migrated to cities like Miami, Denver, and Austin.

Recent research from Axios shows that tech workers are migrating to other regions in the U.S., such as Miami, which saw an influx of 30% of workers from the software and IT sector in 2021. There are also signals that people in tech are relocating, such as a rise in VC activity outside the Bay Area and the percentage of investment dollars in the Bay Area dropping below 30% for the first time in 10 years in 2021. 

ii. Bigger and better opportunities for talent  

Tech talent is in the driver’s seat- deciding where they want to be instead of being steered wherever the job takes them. Business has seen the benefit from eliminating expensive office space and rent to a more diverse talent pool.

Remote work eliminates much of the daily commute for workers, which is equivalent to 89 million hours each week in the U.S.  

 

In many ways, decentralization has eliminated borders and lengthy immigration protocol,  changing  hiring criteria for landing top tech jobs from location and work authorization to skill prowess. 

In the last six months, based on over 100,000 work contracts processed from Deel, U.S. tech hiring abroad has grown by 74% alone. 

 

What is even more striking is that engineering salaries in these countries are on the rise by an average of 29%, narrowing a wage gap that is existed since the dawn of the internet. 

 

From July to December 2021, wages of people hired via Deel grew in Mexico (by 57%), Canada (38%), Pakistan (27%), Argentina (21%), and India (8%). 

The dynamics have yet to play out, but the benefits are already here. A couple of years ago in Argentina, the median salary for an engineer working remotely was $33,000. Now it’s $43,000, according to Deel’s data. Multiply this phenomenon around the world, and you start to grasp the impact. 

 

Although recruiters understand the upside, many organizations are mired in traditional hiring practices making it harder than necessary to hire top talent quickly. Top talent doesn’t wait, digital transformation 2.0 is remote hiring in a candidate-first experience. 

66% of staffing and recruitment professionals view globalization as an opportunity.

 

PART 3:

Where do tech recruiters go wrong when hiring tech talent? 

Talent decentralization created a tech tools and systems gap, specifically how to evaluate, interview, and hire candidates remotely. 

The global online recruitment market size was $28.68 billion in 2019 & is projected to reach $43.39 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.1% during 2022-2027.

About 15% of HR members in more than 40 countries agree that automation and AI are revolutionizing workplaces to streamline and automate recruiting workflows and high- volume and repetitive tasks.  

 

Only a few years ago, most hiring was in person with candidates traveling to take in person evaluations and interviews. Today when hiring tech talent, the digital hiring experience is critical.

CHALLENGE 1: No remote hiring strategy in place 

A successful remote hiring strategy requires knowledge of what technologies for remote hiring are available, reevaluating your hiring processes, and establishing hiring objectives, e.g.: Quality talent, faster hiring cycles, diversity, etc. 

Old habits die hard, and companies find themselves still relying on resumes, references, and credentials to hire talent rather than skill tests and task-based interviews. 

According to a report by Recruitee, while 94.6% of survey respondents stated that their company is currently working from home, over half of the survey respondents indicated that they do not have a remote hiring policy (52%) or a remote onboarding policy (54%) in place.

CHALLENGE 2: Lack of a candidate first approach 

A few best practices to boost candidate satisfaction and improve candidate experience is by having:  

  • A standardized, structured hiring process  based on skill evaluation (48% of candidates respond positively to receiving interview information ahead of time)
  • Using interactive tests and ways to evaluate candidates (74% of candidates look for opportunities to present their knowledge, experience, and skills during the hiring process
  • Having a DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) friendly hiring process to prevent bias. This must include diversity-friendly language across all direct communication channels with talent, such as job posts, job descriptions, career pages, in tests and during conversations (67% of candidates value a more empathetic tone in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements
  • Keeping candidates continuously informed of their progress, feedback, and next steps (52% of candidates who were given feedback were more likely to continue a relationship with the company)

The top 5 recruiting priorities of recruitment professionals in 2021: Improving quality of hire (52%), Increasing retention rate (24%), Improving time-to-hire (23%), Growing talent pipeline (22%), Diversity hiring (22%) . 

 

CHALLENGE 3: Low adoption of candidate evaluation tools 

Tech recruiting tools like conversational screening chatbots, coding tests, interactive assessments, task-based video interviews, task simulations, and one-way interviews are some of the most successful recruitment tools required to hire tech talent.  Adoption for these technologies continues to lag. 

  • Only 17% of contingent employees found jobs using mobile apps for on-demand jobs (ICIMS). 
  • 50% of employers do not use applicant tracking software (Accurate). (source) 

CHALLENGE 4: Knowing how to interview and knowing who should interview

When recruiting for tech roles many recruiters lack the deep knowledge required to assess and interview whether a candidate is really qualified to do the job. Further, knowing what questions to ask is just as important as knowing the answer. 

Many companies will enlist a subject matter expert in the process, but the opportunity cost and expense is often too high not easy to scale based on the number of job requisites and volume of candidates. 

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