Recruiting IT Talent: Elements of a Successful Hiring Strategy 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

"Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do."– Marc Benioff.

With changes in the employment market and the increasing number of IT roles available (IT asset managers, software asset managers, SaaS operations managers, IT admins, etc.), identifying the most qualified individual for a post has become increasingly difficult since candidates themselves have more options. 

A greater number of organizations are now competing for the best and the brightest- and the biggest challenge they all face is to retain their top talents.

Prospective employees are increasingly conducting detailed research on the companies they believe are suitable for them, just as the companies are conducting detailed research on their prospects. 

The demand for IT talent is so high that employers cannot afford to simply sit back and wait for the right candidate to walk through the door. 

Employees in the information technology industry have been in high demand, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic increased the use of technology by enterprises worldwide. 

As more businesses embrace the hybrid work environment—with many operating entirely remotely—the requirement to maintain the office system up and running while adhering to the strictest security measures necessitates the hiring and retaining of the best IT talents.

As per Gartner, IT employees are more likely to leave their jobs than employees in other departments, with a 10.2% lower desire to stay than non-IT employees.

Candidates are becoming pickier about the jobs they accept, so hiring managers have to show why their company is the best choice. Use these tips to make your company stand out from the rest and find the best IT talent available. 

Create an Employer Brand The Candidates Can’t Refuse

Because of the high demand for IT Talent, you cannot simply sit back and wait for the appropriate candidate to come to you. When it comes to employer branding, it allows you to explain to prospective employees why they should work with you. Therefore, you must think of creative ways to establish a brand for yourself.

More than just a good income, today's job seekers are looking for an opportunity that aligns with their long-term objectives, beliefs, and vision for their lives. Aiming to make a difference, building important relationships at work, and having a good work-life balance are all the things that appeal to candidates.

Benefits of a strong employer brand

  • Decreases the attrition rate in the workforce 

  • Attracts high-quality prospects 

  • Helps in retaining quality talent

How to create a good employer brand

  1. Figure out what is your key differentiating factor: You should be able to sum up the mission of your company in a few words and support that in all of your organization's activities. 
    In order for candidates to connect with you, they need to know your mission and the core values of your business and if it aligns with them. 
    Do you value new ideas? Flexibility in the workplace? Nurturing leadership? Have what you promise mentioned in all your branding activities and social media campaigns. So, as soon as a candidate come across your job post, they'll already have an idea of what your company has to offer because of your website, social media profiles, and careers page.

  2. Create a good workplace culture: The employer brand is driven by employees, and one aspect of having a strong employer brand is ensuring that the talent you currently have is properly fostered. People that work for you are the ones who spread the word about what it's really like to be a part of your company. The more you build a positive company culture, the more people will talk about how great it is to work for you.
    Good workplace culture is one of the motivating factors for a candidate to choose you. Your potential employees are learning about your work culture from websites like Glassdoor, so you should keep an eye on what employees are saying about you on such websites so you can work on your pain points if there are any.
    As per Tinypulse, employees who dislike their workplace culture are 24% more likely to leave within a year.

  3. Focus on your recruitment brand, too: Positive feedback on your recruiting process can assist your organization in establishing a reputation as a company that values its employees and applicants and treats them with respect.

The following are some important pointers for developing a good recruitment brand: 

  • Candidates should be able to communicate openly and clearly about the company and the role, and it is your responsibility to make them feel comfortable having queries. A bad communication experience can deter them from considering you 

  • Have a hiring plan and process curated to each skill set as not every role is the same.

  • Make the application process as simple as possible. It is ideal to have a simple form collecting only the necessary details. Candidates will be more than willing to submit an application if they do not find the application process complex and time-consuming. If they do, they may put off filling out the application and even forget to come back to it later.

  • Instead of ghosting the candidate who has been rejected, it is best to inform and provide feedback on their rejection, as the vast majority of candidates welcome feedback if given correctly. You can also inform them in a rejection email or a phone call that by enhancing a certain skill set, they are more than likely to apply again.

  • If you do not give a good recruitment experience to your candidates, they will not recommend you to their friends and colleagues; they will also give bad reviews about you on review sites. And in certain cases, if they happen to be your consumer, they may just stop buying your products and services and ask their family and friends to do the same.

  • To identify areas for improvement in your hiring process, gather input from applicants on what they liked and disliked about the hiring process. 

  • Just like the application process, make the interview process seamless as well. Do not have an interview process that takes weeks to months; the long wait can deter the right candidate from appearing for further rounds, and chances are they may join another employer or even your competitor.

  • Have an onboarding program that is both structured and inviting.

Reach Out to Potential Candidates as They May Not Always Be Searching for a Job Change

Since IT talents are in high demand, they may not always be seeking a job change, especially those who have a good experience; just like you are finding ways to attract them, their current employer might be working as hard as you to retain them. Leaving you with the option to reach out to your potential candidates through various means to attract them, here are some ways:

  • Send a warm email highlighting your offerings; you must be different from the rest and avoid sending mundane emails that they would not even read.

  • Send them a connection request on LinkedIn and focus on building a connection with them. If they find your offerings reasonable and your presence welcoming, they are more than likely to consider your offer. 

Be Open to Hiring Fresh Talent and Training Them

Tech giants hire and groom freshers on a regular basis, while a company that has not yet experienced exponential growth is more likely to put off hiring a fresher simply because it is time-consuming. Freshers must be trained and groomed in order to execute their work effectively, and this requires a commitment of three to six months. Companies would rather recruit a professional with a much higher wage as and when they have a need to fill a position fast. Oftentimes, these highly trained and experienced professionals leave the organization, leaving the company with an open position to fill. There is no guarantee that a fresher will not depart as well, but you will most likely have those who will stay.

Even though a fresher's knowledge base is far less than that of a seasoned professional, their ability to learn quickly allows them to quickly acquire new skills. 

It's far easier to develop freshers to fit the needs of an organization when they're full of enthusiasm and have an eagerness to learn. Fresh talent is willing to take on the challenge of trying something new and excelling. Fresh talent has a high tolerance for change, which makes it easier for the organization's vision, mission, and values to be incorporated.

Because new graduates will lack a track record of previous employment success, a better way to evaluate them is to assess their potential to perform effectively in the role, the team, or the organization as a whole.

Build a Campus Recruiting Strategy 

As a part of hiring fresh talents, you must also have a campus recruitment plan.

When it comes to building a company's talent pool, a campus recruitment program can be a vital component. It allows the company to screen individuals for positions that are currently available, as well as discover potential candidates for positions that may become available in the future. 

Recruitment activities on college campuses can assist your organization in making a lasting first impression on a big audience, many of whom will be exposed to your company for the first time while still in college. 

Young professionals who are not selected for available positions right out of university, on the other hand, will carry their impressions of your organization with them into the future, thus building a lasting impression of your company. 

Great campus recruitment programs are especially crucial in a competitive corporate climate when it is difficult to fill open positions. A strong campus recruitment program should be a component of a comprehensive recruitment strategy in any environment.

 The possibility for long-term talent pool development and brand identity development through campus recruitment, in addition to providing access to a high-energy set of applicants at a cheaper cost, are two additional benefits of campus recruitment. 

As per plum.io, campus recruitment has a significant impact on the increased retention rates in the workplace - organizations that recruit talent from colleges and universities have reported retention rates of up to 98.6 percent.

Have Opportunities for Growth

A competitive salary is a motivating factor, but what makes employees stay is the opportunities they get at work to learn and excel. Some even seek role change within the organization; not having that option can make the employees in your office feel stuck with their job roles.

You must have the necessary resources to support your employees with learning new skills as they progress in their careers. The desire to learn and grow among employees plays a huge part in their retention. As employees often leave when their interests are not aligned with the company.

Build a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion

Businesses that hire people from a diverse range of backgrounds have access to a wide range of varied viewpoints and perspectives on a variety of issues. Companies with a more diverse workforce outperform those with a less varied workforce. 

Those employers who wish to reap the benefits of having a more diverse workforce must adopt policies and procedures that foster the recruitment of diverse talents and collaboration among employees. 

In order to hire good talent, remove prejudices based on a candidate's age, ethnicity, gender, religion,  region, or sexual orientation, as well as other personal traits that are unrelated to the job role.

Be receptive to the idea that different people bring different values to the discussion. 

Consider the following scenario: if you are one of the startups that are not taking advantage of WFH culture and are not hiring talents who do not reside in your city, you are significantly reducing the size of your pool of possible employees. To determine what works best for you in this case, consider whether you are limiting yourself in any way and how it is even working to your advantage.

Hire people who are obsessed and have the skills you want (Not where they have graduated from)

The best IT talent does not necessarily come from well-known colleges; therefore, if you only consider candidates who meet that requirement, you are restricting your options. The ability to learn new skills is more vital than anything else. 

Google and Microsoft, for example, no longer require a professional degree holder for certain job opportunities; instead, they only require individuals who have the necessary skills and experience in the field. People should be hired based on their ability to perform tasks and to perform them well. And that is something you can very well evaluate by their previous work experience and how they have done the assignment for the interview.

Work/Life Balance and Flexibility- Don't Just Promise, Deliver

As per Linkedin-” Flexibility in the workplace increases a company’s ability to recruit and retain top talent. Recent research even shows that 80 percent of workers in the U.S. would turn down a job that didn't offer flexible scheduling." Hence, more and more employers are adopting the culture of work/life balance and Flexibility. But are they even applying it practically- this is another question.

During recruitment, many companies promise work-life balance and Flexibility but fail to exercise it. When employees are given projects after projects as they are constrained by a deadline, without keeping work-life balance in consideration, the monotonous work environment, and the strict adherence to unreasonable working hours, employees start to seek opportunities elsewhere. 

A recent report from Slack revealed; that 12% of workers around the world want to go back to work daily. Almost three-quarters of people would like to split their work time between the office and at home. More than half said their work-life balance has been better when they work remotely.

Companies are considering implementing flexible working at a greater scale than prior to the pandemic in order to retain employees.

Use Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are a top source of quality hires. Every company wants to hire the best people possible, so they spend a lot of time and money advertising jobs on a lot of different job boards in order to get the most applicants for a job. But internal hiring is one source that doesn't need a lot of money to advertise, and it still gives you better talent than other sources. An employee referral program is a great way to hire faster and cut down on acquisition costs at the same time.

According to SHRM, recruiters say employee referrals are the top source of hires. In a study that analyzed data from more than 14 million applicants, employee referrals delivered more than 30% of overall hires and nearly half of internally sourced hires.

Benefits of Employee Referrals

  • Increased ROI: Employee referrals help employers save money by not having to spend money on job postings and recruitment campaigns, all while saving time. 

  • Less time taxing: Employee referrals are faster to hire than people hired through job postings. This is beneficial for companies that have an urgent requirements.

  • The increased retention rate among referred employees: As per HR Technologist, Companies with referral programs in place boast a 46% average retention rate, compared to 33% for employers using only career sites. Along with referred candidates, those who refer have an increased retention rate as well.

Identifying and recruiting exceptional candidates takes a well-thought-out strategy, as there are so many dynamic factors at play. Although difficult, the rewards of good hiring far outweigh the challenges.


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