IT people are still in high demand, and for many employers, this means failing to attract the desired specialists. Although they try hard and offer candidates more money and additional benefits, it doesn’t work the way it should. But does it really should? Longtime experience in the area of Executive Search within the IT/Telco sector shows there may be more important factors. The key to getting the relevant talent is figuring out what the needs of IT specialists are. And next, fulfilling them. But to make it happen, profound, in-depth knowledge of the IT job market is necessary in the first place. Let’s get to know some pieces of advice in this regard that every good headhunter might share.
A headhunter’s golden rule: to make a difference
So, what candidates are looking for, nowadays? When recruiting, you should stress everything that can make a difference, that makes the job look special. It’s a good idea to prepare a short movie presenting the team and the company in an original way. It may be witty, cheerful, brilliant, with a grain of salt, whatever you like. It should, however, make the viewer think: yes, I want to be a part of this team! And leave the impression that it has a great culture and offers a possibility to develop in professional terms. To achieve this goal, it’s best to hire an established recruitment company who knows how to do it right.
But a smart headhunter knows not only how to present things best but also what exactly to show. Shaping the company’s positive image professionally, or building a strong Employer Branding is extremely important here. And how the organization may present itself as a trustworthy, attractive, almost picture-perfect employer? Creating such a reputation should rely on providing a good working environment, opportunity to grow, and decent financial conditions.
Of course, there are many things money can’t buy. These are, for instance, the possibility to learn new skills and appropriate company culture. These factors were indicated by tech knowledge workers as more important in accepting job offers than “benefits beyond salary“. They received 39% and 42% respectively, compared to 26% acquired by additional benefits. And the only factor ranked higher, and the major one was the base salary, indicated by 53% of respondents. These are the results of the 2019 Global Brand Health Report research, published at Hired.com. It was based on a survey of 3,600 tech workers.
A headhunter’s tricks of the trade: Use facts, not appearances
It’s good to keep eye on facts, educate oneself, and utilize the expertise you get daily. And not apply the trial and error method, used by many recruiters regarding factors supposedly tempting for IT professionals. Perks and benefits are definitely on the list, and that’s where hectic and unreasonable actions take place very often. And missing the goal by offering unattractive conditions means giving way and letting the candidate go. Because when you do something wrong as a headhunter there will surely be others who’ll do it just right. And it’s them who will win over the best people as the IT job market is extremely competitive nowadays.
For this reason, it’s very important to hire an agency that is fluent in day-to-day IT recruitment. One that employs experienced consultants who are aware of various tools and current developments in the field. Some of the services it may be worth implementing embrace headhunting, Executive Search or Direct Search, and Employer Branding. Other interesting points within the IT Recruitment offer include Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent Market Mapping, and Interim Recruitment services.
But it’s good to stay real also in other aspects, including your requirements towards candidates. Remember that “purple squirrels“ don’t exist, just like robust students with 10 years of professional experience. Instead of looking for a Holy Graal, it’s better to apply the 80/20 rule. It says that if somebody fulfills 80% of requirements, he or she will soon reach the 100% level. In short, such young talented people who are looking for opportunities to get even better are a good match. Some time, patience, and professional training are what they need to stand out. Grateful that they’ve excelled thanks to you.
Great atmosphere and opportunity to grow – what does it mean?
A good headhunter knows best that a great company culture or supportive atmosphere are things IT candidates value nowadays. For this reason, it’s good to emphasize such factors as the supervisor’s openness to employees’ preferences and personalities. This usually means giving them a lot of space, both literally and figuratively. Candidates often appreciate giving them the freedom to decide whether they’ll work remotely, or at the company desk. Next, come providing varied office spaces, including chillout zones and a well-equipped kitchen with great food and beverage deliveries. And enabling employees to keep a work-life balance.
A brief mention that the company does care for its staff is often very beneficial. It’s because candidates are looking for good reasons to join a given company. This applies especially to outstanding IT specialists, as they receive numerous offers from various organizations, competing with each other. But how to do it? One way is to show that employees form a truly harmonious team of workers. Tech Camps, integration departures, online platforms, and company blogs for sharing experiences may all make a difference.
As indicated, the opportunity to learn new skills has been named the most important by 39% of tech workers. Thus, the company they are likely to stick to for a long time should enable them professional growth. Cutting-edge technologies and high-quality equipment are crucial if we want to attract remarkable tech workers. As are various kinds of training and interesting projects. And let’s not forget that people not only want to belong somewhere but also feel needed. On one hand, a headhunter should offer them a possibility to broaden skills and experience. On the other – give them a feeling that their work makes an impact and does matter.
Don’t let the first impression be the last
The first impression counts, also within IT recruitment. How can you shape it? It’s good to meet with candidates for the first time not in the office but rather somewhere outside. Eating lunch together will be more enjoyable, for sure. But you’ll also be able to show that you’re not only the supervisor but a colleague, as well. It’s beneficial to prove that the boss is listening to what the future employee has to say. Right from the start.
It is also extremely important to give appropriate feedback after the job interview. Under no circumstances let the candidate feel bitter, disappointed, or offended because you didn’t treat them right. Each of them deserves at least a brief thank-you email for their time and effort in the recruitment process. Plus, having good relationships with candidates is very advantageous and is a part of the right Employer Branding. Besides, it gives you a high possibility that they will contact you in case of future job opportunities. Because the recruitment phase is just the beginning of the way.