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Tech recruitment: where to find the candidate

According to a recent IDC report, the IT industry is expected to grow by 4.6% to $5 trillion in 2021. This means that tech recruitment and qualified software developers will be more in demand than ever. Not only that, as the global economy begins to recover from COVID-19, candidates may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of new vacancies.

When COVID is mitigated and life can start returning to normal, businesses will need to quickly gear back up. If things go well, it's possible that more people will re-enter the workforce in 2021 than in any single year on record.

—Daniel Chait, CEO at Greenhouse.

Recruiting top performers is a complex process that requires multiple skills and competencies in addition to deep industry knowledge. To compete, recruiters will need to have a well-rounded strategy in place. The first step, of course, is to get your well-written job vacancy in front of applicants by posting it on job boards.

In this article, we will cover:

  • Which job boards to use, pros/cons of each
  • Common mistakes in IT recruiting
  • Alternative recruiting tools and strategies.

Let’s get started!

Top places to recruit employees in IT

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is perhaps the world’s best-known professional social network. One of the major pluses of this platform is that you can reach out to potential recruits via direct message, even if they have not applied to your vacancy. In addition, LinkedIn also has its own job board feature where you can post your listing.

If you decide to reach out to candidates directly, it’s important to take a thoughtful approach. It helps here if your recruitment team has great soft skills. What you should absolutely not do under any circumstances is send mass messages to anyone with a matching keyword in their profile. Receiving these types of messages is among LinkedIn user’s top complaints, and such messages are almost certain to turn any candidate worth having off of your company.

But if you identify a handful of best-matched candidates and reach out to them strategically and individually, the direct message approach may pay dividends.

If you decide to post your vacancy on LinkedIn’s job board, be sure to design your posting carefully. The reason to pay special attention here is that LinkedIn’s «easy apply» feature, on its default settings can allow candidates to apply to your vacancy at the click of a button, without even attaching a cover letter. The low barrier to entry here increases the likelihood that you will get spammed with irrelevant applications.

If you have a good ATS, it can filter these applications for you, but it’s better to select among lots of high-quality applications than sift through a sea of irrelevance. If you use easy apply, be sure to set it up so that a cover letter is required along with application.

Indeed

Indeed is one of the world’s largest job boards, hosting up to 90 million resumes at any given time. It’s free to post jobs here, and the system also aggregates jobs from the wider web — some of your vacancies may already be here, even if you haven’t posted them.

Indeed’s sheer scale can also be a drawback. Without a very well-crafted search strategy, it can be difficult to find the perfect candidate among the 90 million-plus resumes hosted on the site. There is a built-in ATS, but it has limited functionality compared to some of the more specialized options out there.

Twitter

Believe it or not, Twitter can be one of your best recruiting tools, despite the fact that this social network has no dedicated job listing function at all.

The reason Twitter can be so powerful as a recruitment tool comes down to the power of networks. If you’re company has built up a solid content strategy and gained a decent-sized following, you can tweet out a new vacancy when it opens. Your followers will see it and retweet it to their own networks — which consist of people who are generally interested in their content, and not job seekers specifically.

This serves as a sort of quality filter. The people who apply to your job from Twitter weren’t there to spam applications. It means they saw the vacancy shared by someone they follow, took the time to check it out on your site, decided they liked it and only then applied.

This powerful network effect makes Twitter an important tool in any recruiter’s arsenal. Though, there is one caveat. If your company has a very small following, the effects are likely to be less pronounced.

Angel List

Originally developed as a platform for startups to seek Angel Investment, and later expanded to become a place where startups could post job listings as well. It’s an especially good place for tech companies to post job listings because people with IT skills are overrepresented here compared to more generalized job boards.

Angel List also offers some basic ATS integrations, which, while simple, are still nice to have.

Angel List is often compared to LinkedIn, as both have some similar functionality and can be used for recruiting and raising capital. When it comes to AngelList vs LinkedIn, the former is usually better for startups, whereas the latter may be a better option for larger-scale organizations.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a knowledge sharing platform for devs that also has a job listings section. It is an excellent resource for IT recruiting because the platform is 100% dedicated to tech. According to the tagline on their website, they offer recruiters the ability to «Reach the world’s largest collection of tech talent.» They also over employer branding services to help you increase your appeal to applicants.

There is a minus to Stack Overflow, which is that there is no option to post even a limited number of vacancies for free.

Facebook

While it isn’t widely known as one of the top recruiting websites Facebook does have a job listings function. But fewer candidates are searching here than on the better known boards.

That said, the Facebook job board may not be the primary tool you use for recruiting on FB. Using targeted ads can be a great way to source «passive talent» that is to say, talent that it is not necessarily currently looking for a job, but may be interested if the right opportunity comes their way.

Facebook offers the most sophisticated, fine-grained advertising algorithms in the world. So, with the right campaign set up, you have a much better chance of attracting tech candidates than you would by just posting on a job board.

The downside here of course is that setting up an advertising campaign requires an advertising budget, so it’s not the best option for resource-strapped organizations or start-ups.

Publicly available tech resources

Another place to source candidates for technical recruitment are public repositories, the most famous of which is Github. Sites like Github are places where programmers can post projects they’ve worked on or contributed to. It’s a great resource for recruiters because it gives you an idea of what the person can do before the hiring process is even initiated.

But keep in mind, the top contributors on Github are very likely to already be employed, and thus more difficult to recruit.

IT Recruiting Tips and Key Aspects of Technical Hiring

Using the right tools and job boards is the beginning, not the end of the recruiting process. Once you’ve sourced candidates, you also need to be sure you have a good process in place for evaluating them. This is the real challenge.

One pitfall software engineer recruiters often fall into is over-reliance on technical evaluations. The temptation here is easy to understand, applicants either pass the technical or they don’t, which removes guesswork from the process.

Technical evaluations are necessary, but they need to be used in conjunction with soft-skills evaluations. If you hire someone who writes amazing code, but refuses to show up to work on time or communicate with stakeholders, it’s not worth it no matter how well they did on technical evaluations.

A great way to test soft skills can be to have the applicant have a discussion with a non-technical team member as part of the interview process, and explain an aspect of their work to them.

If an applicant is able explain their work reasonably well in layman’s terms, then that indicates they have good soft skills and communication skills. On the other hand, if the non-technical person feels condescended to, then that is a red flag.

Hiring Tools

Whichever job board you end up using, you won’t be able to take advantage of it without the right hiring tools. This means choosing the right ATS for your business needs and making sure you are able to integrate it across all of your relevant processes.

If you are doing tech recruiting, you may want to consider Employa, an AI-powered applicant tracking system that specializes in finding and sorting the best IT talent on the market.

Need Employa to advance your tech recruiting?

Whether you need a recruitment service or upgrade existing recruitment software, Employa is ready to help.

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