5 Ways We Recruit
Top Technical Talent

Finding great technical talent isn't as easy as posting a position on your favourite job board anymore.

Where are all those technical wizards you’re after?

A simple job posting doesn’t give the candidate any sense of company culture, and often results in a time-consuming chore; a bottomless scroll of resumes, that can take days to wade through. A list that’s too often loaded with candidates that aren’t quite as talented or qualified as you had hoped.

In today's market, you can’t find talent in obvious places.

1. Look in places that talent technical professionals make a presence

How often is stellar talent just sitting out in the open? Finding technical talent has always been difficult, but it’s become particularly challenging now considering the increasingly competitive job market. Many of the best developers and technical professionals take unlikely paths to build their expertise, which can result in an unconventional resume.

Did you know that almost 90% of developers said they have taught themselves a new language outside of their formal education? But they don’t always include these skill sets on their resume. The good news is, technical skill sets can be quantified so you can see if they meet your job description, if you know what you are looking for.

Your recruiting efforts might just be scratching the surface. You could be at a recruiting roadblock where you’re struggling to gain ground, yet the costs keep racking up and putting stress on your budget. Technical recruiting is a specialty that requires time and money to do internally. Spending immense resources to master it is not for everyone. Here are 5 tips from elite recruiters on how to attract, vet and retain top technical talent.

Your recruiting efforts might just be scratching the surface. You could be at a recruiting roadblock where you’re struggling to gain ground, yet the costs keep racking up and putting stress on your budget. Technical recruiting is a specialty that requires time and money to do internally. Spending immense resources to master it is not for everyone. Here are 5 tips from elite recruiters on how to attract, vet and retain top technical talent.

The hard part is finding the candidates. Here are a few lesser-known places to look for these hidden stars:

Headhunting

Due to a shortage of IT talent in North America right now, elite technical workers are rarely looking for jobs. These technical gurus are happily employed; delivering exceptional work for someone else until you present them an opportunity that really accommodates their needs.

But recruiting a technical wiz that’s already employed can be tricky. You might have a non-compete, or not want to approach an employee directly. A professional technical headhunter will approach these talented individuals for you, and help bring them to your organization.

GitHub

What if you could get a glimpse of the tasks your candidates are working on? With GitHub, you can. Millions of developers use this open-source social platform for code sharing and other forms of collaboration, and almost 90% of developers have an online profile via GitHub. By creating your own account, you can search member profiles to see if candidates have the talent your company is missing.

 

GitHub profiles allow you to find a developer’s name, location, contact information, current employer and more. To dig a bit deeper, you can have a look at their recent project activity and find out the type of work they’re involved in. An experienced technical recruiter can learn a lot about a candidate’s capabilities just by browsing what they’re involved in on GitHub.

Tired of coming in second?

Technical Recruiters have the expertise and resources to identify and connect with the most skilled IT professionals in North America. Whether your business has two branches or ten, you can count on them to find incredible candidates in your region.

LinkedIn

Posting in the jobs section isn’t the only way to find candidates on LinkedIn.

All sorts of LinkedIn groups exist to encourage collaboration between members with shared interests. There are heaps of technical discussion groups teeming with qualified talent. There are even discussion groups for employees by skill set, like front end development, web development, or programming, which allows you to search for exactly the type of employee your company needs.

By joining these groups, not only can you identify experienced talent, but you can also learn a lot about their involvement in the tech community. Everyone can say they are involved on their resume, but this allows you to see if that’s actually true. In these groups, you can read candidates comments or questions to see how they interact with other experts in their field.

If other professionals are looking to them for advice or agreeing with what they are saying, chances are they know what they are talking about. The way that this network reacts to what candidates are saying will show you exactly what level of experience they have.

After you find a potential candidate, the information provided on LinkedIn means that you can easily contact them, and see if you have any mutual connections. This makes starting the conversation a lot easier and gives you a much better shot at getting a response than traditional methods.

2. When you interview,
give technical leadership the reigns

Can your HR department relate to a highly-specialized technical pro?

Maybe, but there’s a good chance they’ll struggle to connect. They won’t know what to look for, and you will end up interviewing people that don’t meet your requirements. A technical interview is different from a regular job interview. Their talent is extremely specialized and in high demand. Six out of 10 job seekers have received two or more offers at the same time, and are only on the job market for an average of 10 days. Based on this competition, you need to have an interview process that will make you stand out. You only get one chance to land this talent.

Put your technical leadership in the driver’s seat for the interview process. They’ll be able to relate to the candidate and talk about the details of the position, and hopefully entice the candidate with a luxurious, yet intriguing and challenging job description. They will know the questions to ask, and what type of work the candidate will be placed on.

Each technical position has different requirements. For example, a Software Architect may need to know any combination of the following: Agile, .NET, Ant, API, C++, Cassandra, CORS, CouchDB, Git, HTTP, Java, Maven, Mongo, MySQL, MVC, Oracle, Perl, PHP, Python, Redius, Ruby, SOA, SDK, Teradata, Unit-testing, or WebSocket.

Anyone who isn't involved in technology likely won't know what all of these mean, never mind how to know if someone is qualified in them.

Put your technical leadership in the driver’s seat for the interview process. They’ll be able to relate to the candidate and talk about the details of the position, and hopefully entice the candidate with a luxurious, yet intriguing and challenging job description. They will know the questions to ask, and what type of work the candidate will be placed on.

Each technical position has different requirements. For example, a Software Architect may need to know any combination of the following: Agile, .NET, Ant, API, C++, Cassandra, CORS, CouchDB, Git, HTTP, Java, Maven, Mongo, MySQL, MVC, Oracle, Perl, PHP, Python, Redius, Ruby, SOA, SDK, Teradata, Unit-testing, or WebSocket.

Anyone who isn't involved in technology likely won't know what all of these mean, never mind how to know if someone is qualified in them.

3. Evaluate them with the right tests

Many employers forego skill testing their IT talent, which is passing up on a great opportunity to vet the applicant.

With the right tests, you’ll know if you’re interviewing a superstar technical wiz that you should hire immediately to bring on board, or just a neophyte developer that doesn’t even stack up to the claims on their resume.

It’s important to have your technical team oversee the tests you use to ensure their quality and relevance to the position that you need to fill. Nothing will turn off a hot candidate like a poor test.

Your technical leadership should pose these types of questions in an interview to test the developers skill:
Explain the difference between these 2 lines:
Func<int, bool> l = x => x > 5;
Expression<Func<int, bool>> l = x => x > 5;
Explain what’s happening here, assuming “kernel” is an IoC container:
kernel.Bind<IHelperManager>().To<HelperManager>().InSingletonScope()
kernel.Bind<IApplicationManager>().ToMethod(x => x.Kernel.Get<IHelperManager>().GetDefault());

If you personally can’t answer these types of questions, you should think about outsourcing your hiring needs to a technical recruiter. They aren’t just there to convince an employee to work for you, they embody a wealth of technical knowledge and experience sourcing, interviewing and closing top talent for your open positions. Their know-how gives them a competitive advantage to handle this time consuming, costly part of your business, leaving you time to focus on growing your business.

DevStaff’s recruiters are technology professionals themselves, which reduces your average time to hire to under 10 days.

If you’re worried about not knowing how to properly conduct a technical interview, partner with us. We can help keep your candidates engaged throughout the hiring process.

4. Develop a Network

Think about how much you spend on things like job postings, going through applicants' resumes, and interviewing. Imagine if you never had to do that again.

Over the course of their career, a technical professional builds a robust network of other like minded professionals. They often partner with a technical recruiter they trust, to gain access to the hidden job market. Today 85% of all jobs are filled via networking, and, although only 16% of technical talent is actively looking for a job, an overwhelming 75% of passive candidates are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. This means that the technical candidates you are seeking to hire aren’t actively looking for a new opportunity, so you need to find a new strategy to contact them. Setting up a solid employee referral program is a great way to reach all the stellar talent that your employees have worked with over the years. This provides employees with sweet perks for referring top-notch candidates.

When your employee brings you a strong candidate, reward them with legitimate incentives.

Whether this is in the form of a bonus or a new opportunity, if you develop a successful referral program, your employees will constantly bring you top-notch talent. It’s relatively easy to set up, and you’ll find it really pays when your IT department is staffed with technical gurus that work well together.

When your employee brings you a strong candidate, reward them with legitimate incentives.

Whether this is in the form of a bonus or a new opportunity, if you develop a successful referral program, your employees will constantly bring you top-notch talent. It’s relatively easy to set up, and you’ll find it really pays when your IT department is staffed with technical gurus that work well together.

5. Make your business an envied employer for technical talent

One of the things that a truly talented technology expert has going for them is that they can pick up new employment at a moment’s notice. Frequent job changes are the norm; about half of them have taken a new job within the past 2 years. Chances are that stellar software developer you are trying to hire can receive 3 other offers at the same time.

That means you need to create a company culture that makes them want to stick around, and it’s not all about salary. Of course, pumping up your pay structure and benefits can help, but there are a variety of other things that attract top technical talent. Flex time, work environment, continuous learning and atmosphere can all make your business a favourable home for technical talent.

Did you know?

68% of developers consider the ability to learn new things more important than salary when considering new job opportunities.

You should also ensure that your business is supportive of your technical department’s priorities. Developers say that their top motivators for taking a new job are the compensation and benefits offered, followed by the specific technologies that they’ll work with. Because technical pros are in-demand, it would be wise to make sure the job you are offering gives them purpose and meaningful work. Lots of technical professionals are interested in learning about new technologies, on projects that challenge them and impact the world around them.

Did you know?

68% of developers consider the ability to learn new things more important than salary when considering new job opportunities.

You should also ensure that your business is supportive of your technical department’s priorities. Developers say that their top motivators for taking a new job are the compensation and benefits offered, followed by the specific technologies that they’ll work with. Because technical pros are in-demand, it would be wise to make sure the job you are offering gives them purpose and meaningful work. Lots of technical professionals are interested in learning about new technologies, on projects that challenge them and impact the world around them.

As the saying goes, you are only as strong as your weakest link. That’s why most advanced technical professionals have a desire to work alongside other brilliant, innovative colleagues so they can learn and develop within their team. They want a management team that understands and values their work and their importance in the company. This has been proven to make them feel more professionally fulfilled, and satisfied with their position

If you don’t put the time into making your company a place where technical professionals want to stay, you’ll wind up starting the hiring process all over again. More money spent on recruiting, more time spent on interviews, and more time that your IT department is understaffed.

End the cycle today.

DevStaff Canada would be happy to assist you with technical recruiting. We are an established technical company with talent from all over the world. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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