Tech Recruiting in the COVID Era

The pandemic has proven that digitalization has been here all along. We simply needed to use it. With the sudden radical call for new technology to support hybrid and remote workforces, there has understandably been an explosion of demand for tech talent. Considering the requirements for talent, standing beneath a looming Great Recession has undoubtedly peaked concern in the tech recruiting industry.

It’s not going away anytime soon, either. A Microsoft report earlier this year stated “tech-oriented” jobs would increase from 41 million in 2020 to over 140 million by 2025.

There has not been a higher requirement for tech professionals since the 1990s web boom. And with more companies adopting work-from-home and hybrid models, talent is on the move. Some estimate that 30 percent of the entire tech workforce will change jobs in the next year.

This will create chaos but, simultaneously, an opportunity to snag new talent fresh on the market. The competition in this candidate-driven market is fierce, forcing companies to rethink how to put the candidate experience first, how they recruit and who they hire, sometimes turning to training and apprenticeship programs.

Agile organizations who are willing to part with legacy processes and adopt new, candidate-focused recruiting and hiring practices will surely reap the benefits.

Velocity means just that; how long it takes a candidate to pass through any single step will directly affect how many actually complete the interview process and even get to an offer stage.

This is the first of a three-part series that will help you shift into high-speed recruiting.

Part One: Prioritize

Executive leadership must declare that recruiting takes precedence for both the short-term and long-term ability to meet customer needs and company growth demands.

Put these policies in action:

Adopt a 24-48 Hour Response Time

We’re all busy, and it’s easy for work to pile up. Before we know it, we are a page of email behind. But when a position goes unfilled, a full inbox can become a tsunami and affect overall productivity and customer satisfaction.

Adopting an agreement between all persons involved in the interview to agree to 24-48 hours of hiring process reduces bottlenecks.

It’s up to managers to enforce this and practice it, as well. Candidate reviews should be returned to the recruiter in that 48-hour timeframe. Any delay means another company has a legitimate shot at snagging a potentially great prospect.

Show Up and Stay Engaged

Recruiters, hiring managers and interview panel members should equally understand that if they reschedule, they lose time and velocity. Plus, a candidate may perceive that they’re not a top contender and move along because, well, they have options.

Keeping your appointments and making people feel valuable and important during the interview process is critical. But in a candidate-driven market, we must allow flexibility to make sure we don’t spend a week waiting for an available time slot.

Candidate engagement is crucial. Hiring manager outreach is an effective ice breaker because it allows a high-level, low-key assessment of the individual. It also allows the applicant to communicate on a deeper level and gather enough insight to ask detailed questions about the position, which could spark more interest or shift them to withdraw earlier in the process.

Prepare Offers and Negotiations

A real offer is often the first time your candidate will stop and weigh their options. Give the recruiter a little power to negotiate so time is not wasted in the approval process.

In this heated race, don’t be surprised if four or five offers hit a candidate at once and stall acceptance. Sign-on bonuses for key roles can help solidify more urgent offers. Even consider offering to double the sign-on amount if they accept on the spot and show up the first day of work.

You’re Optional

No one likes to hear those words, but it is the harsh reality of a candidate-driven, tech recruiting market. Much like any other relationship, prioritizing and staying considerate of your candidates’ time, interest, attention and value helps create confidence and a better candidate experience. To say that this dynamic is critical now more than ever is an understatement.

Stay tuned for part two of this three-part series, where we’ll discuss agility, bias, demographics and more.

Steven Rawlings

LGBT Inclusion Champion, seeking diverse skilled talent in all fields. Over 25 years of leading in all aspects of Global Talent Acquisition specializing in Sourcing and strategic talent forecasting and recruitment enablement. Please contact Steve at [email protected]