Technology today is fast becoming a mainstay in our modern day lives. But it isn’t just humans as consumers that have experienced the growing role of technology. Today, almost all companies that touch a consumer through their day is one way or the other—often rapidly rather than slowly—adopting newer technologies like digitalization and AI to provide better products while helping companies remain profitable. And with advancements in technology becoming the herald of such a change, it comes as little surprise that major shifts in skill set demands has been noticed across tech facing portfolios.
Such shifts over time have created many problems for recruiters. It has now become imperative for companies to proactively chart their skills demand to enable recruiters to identify the right talent pools and source the right talents. But even then the journey is far from easy. With demographic composition across various talent pools changing, today recruiters have to ensure their talent acquisition models are diversified enough to appeal to a varied candidate base. When it comes to 2019, the following trends will be of the most importance.
A greater alignment to the company’s vision
One of the biggest challenges within tech hiring today is to make sure that hiring managers are able to help recruiters align with the company’s vision on skills and expectations. This is because unlike hiring for other industries/portfolios, recruiters of technology roles are screening for skills that are growing in complexity at a rapid rate.
To do this, recruiters are in need of greater awareness of tech roles and the purpose they serve within the company. They should regularly check in with managers and senior leaders to understand the nuances of the technical skills required in each role and how the company’s skill requirement is evolving. Factors such as what are the crucial “must haves” for a full-stack developer versus a back-end developer, for example, are a must know as it'll help them recruit the right talent. In addition to skills, knowledge of what role and expectations such tech talent are to meet will help recruiters narrow their search when sourcing and finding the right talent. Such clarity is often appreciated by the candidates themselves.
This alignment also extends to how effectively recruiters and managers coordinate in filling empty positions within their company. A mismatch here would mean that while recruiters shorten hiring lists, managers might never be able to get the right tech talent working for them as there isn’t adequate and timely feedback shared between the two. This also makes for bad candidate experience. With the focus on aspects such as candidate experience growing largely in recent years, recruiters need to be an important part of the conversation. And alignment across various levels would define how effectively can companies attract and hire tech talent in the coming year.
Employer brand and work culture
Today tech talent pools, unlike homogenous talent pools of the past, are quite varied in both their age compositions and preferences. With such changing talent preferences it's been noted that factors like employer brand—in case of tech talent, a strong tech talent brand— and a flexible work culture which cuts through organizational hierarchy and bureaucracy are a growing necessity to hire the right people.
In a fiercely competitive market, building a strong tech talent brand—one which attracts tech talent—becomes a necessary and often underrated strategy to enable more organic hires and builds a reputation for the company to get more self-selected candidates into their talent pipeline. Strong tech talent branding is a long-term investment. The stronger the brand, the more organic applicants you get, and the easier it is to attract talent in the future. The success of a strong tech talent brand is more dependent on engineering than recruiting; and yet, recruiters are almost twice as likely to invest in tech talent branding than hiring managers. There’s a growing need to educate hiring managers and recruiters on the merits of tech talent branding and enabling them to work with other functions to build one.
Moving beyond degrees and certifications
A great shift that recruiters across the board have experienced when it comes to tech hiring is the diminishing role that certifications and degrees provide. Today both hiring managers and recruiters are slowly waking up to the fact that such means of strengthening one’s portfolio are not good measurements of whether someone will be successful on the job. This has led to many looking at other indicators that demonstrate ability, such as previous work experience, years of experience, and kind of personal projects worked on. With skill becoming paramount, it's necessary that recruiters respond by updating their screening processes accordingly.
Hiring tech talent today is becoming a complex process with old ways slowly becoming obsolete. Faced with constantly changing skill set requirements, recruiters and hiring managers need to respond to ensure that their company has adequate tech talent. And time is critical in many such aspects.