Like family favorites or even holiday cookies, every recruiter has a secret recipe (or two) that they use to find and engage elite tech talent. It’s incredible how combining one part recruiter experience, two parts technology, and a dash of luck can lead to a slew of fresh candidates knocking at your door, ready and willing to get in and get hired.
Make no mistake: Identifying the perfect tech candidate requires some extra time in the kitchen. From the top of the funnel on down, recruiters have their unique ways of promoting brand awareness, expanding reach, tapping new networks, and getting in front of qualified candidates (who sometimes aren’t even looking yet). Here are a few tried-and-true tips from pros who know:
Recipe: Targeted Value Upfront
In this tight tech market, it’s important for candidates to understand what your organization has to offer… and they have little time to waste. Here, knowing your target candidate and personalizing your outreach is critical.
From the kitchen of John Light, Partner at EvolvingTalentGroup.
- Time and effort to understand your targets.
- A well-defined candidate profile.
- Your ability to communicate value to job seekers.
- The potential for future opportunities.
Yields: Engaged tech candidates attracted to what the organization has to offer and eager to join the team.
Tip: Fill the talent pipeline by inviting tech candidates to attend a networking event with executive team members, see the organization in action, and stay in touch for future openings.
Recipe: Straightforward Candidate Communication
The most in-demand tech pros hear from recruiters multiple times a day. To stand out from the crowd, and encourage a swift response, take a strategic and thoughtful approach when building your messages.
From the kitchen of Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, CEO and Founder of YOLO Insights.
- Intriguing email subject lines.
- A generous amount of personalization – do your research!
- A request for a brief, confidential conversation.
- Knowing how to sell them on the role.
Yields: Candidate responses within a brief time of receiving your email and an interest in pursuing those next steps.
Tip: This approach also works as a voicemail or an introduction… if the prospective candidate answers the phone. Even if they pass on the opportunity, it’s one way to get their attention and build a relationship for next time.
Recipe: Specialized Social
Look to social networks to interact with tech professionals, gauge their level of interest and boost the organization’s presence.
From the kitchen of Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for The London School of Make-Up.
- Nearly 2.8 billion social media users worldwide (You’ve already got ‘em).
- Company accounts on pertinent networks (remember, quality over quantity).
- Ongoing community management.
- Access to activity dashboards and analytics.
- A curated content strategy for posting job openings.
Yields: A well-promoted employer brand and an active following of potential candidates already interested in your company.
Tip: Catch folks’ attention where they interact online by posting valuable, insightful information and job openings. Use specific hashtags to track campaigns and general hashtags to reach new audiences.
Recipe: Fast-Tracked Referrals
Tech talent knows tech talent. With that in mind, working your existing networks can be another highly effective way to expand your reach, meet new tech candidates, and get one step closer to making that next great hire.
From the kitchen of Mikaila Turman, Director of People at GoodHire.
- Considering your existing networks before posting externally.
- Employee incentives for promoting open positions.
- Asking for recommendations from personal and professional contacts.
- An awesome culture that encourages referrals… show your appreciation!
Yields: Qualified candidates with proof of their performance, capable of doing the job and fitting in with the team easily. Screening will be a breeze.
Tip: The key is making the program as up-front as possible for employees. Consider an ATS integration that allows employees to email out job descriptions, and assigns these candidates a unique code that ties back to whoever referred them.
Recipe: Job Ads with Transparency, Timelines and Templates
In tech recruiting, it’s necessary to put forth the maximum effort and craft job ads reflective of responsibilities, qualifications and perks. Tech candidates hate surprises, so be transparent from the get-go… and don’t forget to keep in touch.
From the kitchen of Shannon Cyr, Division Manager of Database Operations at Virtual Vocations.
- A clear-cut understanding of your hiring needs.
- Information about potential duties, expectations and workplace culture.
- Generous details around the hiring timeline and internal deadlines.
- Email templates for stress-free communication.
Yields: Better candidate matches, with a clear understanding of target start dates.
Tip: Use informative email templates that correspond with each step of the process to move candidates through quickly. This also saves recruiters the time and brainpower needed to craft unique messages for each exchange.
Recipe: Sourcing Follow-Up and Follow-Through
An effective sourcing strategy can help tech recruiters refine searches and save time, while careful follow-ups can demonstrate your true dedication to the craft. Keep on keeping on.
From the kitchen of Mike “Batman” Cohen, Founder of Wayne Technologies.
- A combination of creative and A.I.-driven sourcing strategies.
- Repeated messaging via drip campaigns (put your recruitment marketing hat on!).
- Supporting technologies and ATS integration.
- Time, persistence and determination.
Yields: Recognition, engagement and a welcome response sometime between the fifth and seventh message (approximately).
Tip: Set up automated searches with Boolean commands; supplement by looking outside the box to Meetup groups, professional certification bodies, relevant publications and more.
Recipe Name: Video Interviewing Efficiency
With a target in sight, dedicated tech recruiters would be wise to streamline the next steps and get the interview in the can, which is where video platforms come into play.
From the kitchen of Matt Dodgson, Director and Co-founder of Market Recruitment.
- A team of dedicated, enthusiastic recruiters.
- Plenty of candidates to choose from.
- A video interviewing solution.
- Stakeholder buy-in.
Yields: Improved screening, simplified scheduling and high-quality, on-demand interview material to better (and more consistently) evaluate candidates.
Tip: You also can use the video interviewing solution to enable time limits for answering questions, so interviews don’t run over the usual 45-60 minutes.
For any organization looking to recharge and renew recruiting in hopes of hiring that top tech talent in the coming months, consider any of the recipes above. Feel free to add your own personal twist. Choose one, two or more to supercharge your efforts to get ahead of the competition. Like most kitchens, cook time may vary. Always keep an eye on your “cooking” and check in as necessary. Enjoy!
Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drive RecruitingDaily. He’s RecruitingDaily’s in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industry’s top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran of the online community and a partner at RecruitingDaily.