Standing still and doing nothing is a recipe for disaster in many areas, cases, and occasions. And IT recruitment is definitely one of them. Laziness, lack of engagement, and doing everything the old way may be detrimental to any business or endeavor. The world is moving very fast and it’s more and more difficult to keep track of what’s exactly going on. Being open-minded, flexible, and eager to learn new things is critical in this regard. It’s because, in general, a lot of things change, and new phenomenons or trends emerge out of nowhere.
This dynamic applies to both the society as a whole and the HR area in particular. One of the best examples is, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it entails to date. Some of the changes include going remote in virtually every aspect or way, from the first contact to commencing employment. Stages such as interviewing, solving tasks, contract signing, delivering needed devices, and onboarding, in general, can all be performed remotely.
The pandemic has accelerated the technological changes regarding the recruitment area that have been here even before. But now, it’s all about being remote, fast, and more and more time- and cost-efficient. But the thing is not to lose the human factor or rather the human touch. These can make the recruiter stand out and give them a competitive edge over others.
Despite all technological or social changes, recruiters should still see a human being within the candidate. And make an effort to get to know them, their motivation and engagement, and assess the signals they send right. Although it may be more difficult when both sides are miles apart. But being Agile, flexible, adaptable, and ready for self-development can make a true difference here.
IT recruitment, the remote way
We all know that performing the hiring process online – including IT recruitment – has become more and more common these days. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a piece of cake. Not at all. Going digital has its own rules, requirements, and constraints. Certainly, recruiters should not assume that it’s the same or that it’s easier. It’s not, and it requires possessing novel skills and gaining some new knowledge.
Even talking to the applicants through various communicators is something that’s quite difficult and demanding. Videoconferencing – for a variety of reasons, including recruitment ones – can make participants feel exhausted, irritated, or emotionally drained. There are many reasons for that, and some of them have been described in this Stanford News article.
Unnatural, very intense, or even constant eye contact, as well as seeing yourself all the time is challenging. What adds up to this is the increased cognitive load needed to receive and send signals from and to others. Compared to „regular” meetings, when remote, we use exaggerated gestures to express or emphasize what we really mean. It may be exhausting, especially if online interviews are scheduled back to back.
Giving applicants appropriate feedback is also crucial because failing to do so in time results in candidates’ disappointment and discouragement. Of course, the recruiter should contact the person in question as soon as possible following receipt of their application. Next, feedback after every recruitment stage should be given.
The remote hiring process may seem to be easier than the traditional one but it’s just the opposite. A bigger effort regarding communication is required but if we want to gain top talent, we have to take it.
IT recruitment: how to approach candidates now?
Those recent changes as well as what’s happening in the job market and the society in general require appropriate actions. Being alert, flexible, and adaptive, as well as an Agile approach is definitely one of them. And when performing a hiring process online we should be aware of how much it’s different from the regular one.
Sitting in front of the computer can certainly make us a little lazy and affect the hiring process, too. A lot is being said to motivate candidates to try harder – dress appropriately and keep the right, enthusiastic approach. But also doing the right research about the company in question and the prospective role and duties. Anyway, we often forget that the remote circumstances can affect recruiters, too, and in a bad way.
We may assess the candidate easier and faster when contacting them face to face. And it’s not only about the way they dress or behave. It’s the nonverbal communication, body language, the tone of voice, and all other tiny signals we don’t want to overlook. It’s better if we don’t overlook them as they may mark important issues applicants will not talk about frankly.
One of them is their true engagement in the process, openness to change their life and accept a job offer. The person may be, in fact, not very interested in changing the job now. They may, for instance, simply test what the market has to offer. For this reason, the recruiter should be sensitive and ready to read the signs to assess the applicants’ true motivation. And when in doubt, be able to ask the right questions – not to waste his own and the candidate’s time.
Engaged recruitment, Savage’s way
The employee engagement evaluation process has been described in an interesting article by Greg Savage. The author advises to utilize it during interviews – and rank candidates according to the factor named as „motivation to accept”. The recruiter is also to know exactly how to motivate a particular applicant – in a given time and situation. Those incentives can be not only of financial nature but also include things like work-life balance, self-development, or employer branding.
The author also points out four levels of commitment the candidate may be at, stressing that they’re evolving over time. These include Flirting, Considering, Engaged, and Committed. The recruiter, according to Greg Savage, should be able to „manage the process through offer and acceptance”. As well as go „beyond the resume, probing, questioning, checking, confirming, scenario-pitching” instead of just finding candidates.
IT recruitment – knowledge is what we need
Constant self-development and new skills are simply crucial in this ever-evolving IT world, and the world in general. Those trends may be unexpected and emerge seemingly out of nothing, so it’s good to keep abreast of current events. What recruiters may do is reading specialistic blogs, magazines, follow their favorite HR writers in the media, etc.
It’s good to read specialistic reports but also know places over the web where developers discuss and share their thoughts. Knowing what IT people think and dream about may help recruiters address their needs easier. And this way, win over the best people for the ongoing HR projects.
For example, during the first phase of the pandemic, a lot has changed in the IT recruitment area in Poland. IT people with impressive experience and seniority have become more valued, appreciated, and sought after. This trend was unveiled in the NoFluffJobs survey which also showed a decrease in the number of offers for juniors. And of course, remote job offers have become more popular, as a part of the remote-first revolution.