Why is tech recruitment so difficult?

Why is tech recruitment so difficult?


posted on:
by John


Tech recruitment is one of the biggest (If not the biggest) challenges to Multinationals to SME’s alike, it can literally make or break a company and in my opinion, human capital is really the only capital we all should be worrying about. 

I have met many CXO’s recently and they have listed their ability to hire the right people at the right time in their top 3 business priorities.  We have already seen technology reshape the travel, transport and telecoms market, why not tech recruitment?

In doing some background research for this blog, I discovered there’s somewhat of a gold rush of sorts happening in the world of recruitment, investment into Tech Recruitment Startup’s has increased by 40% from 2013 to 2014 with over 400M invested in over 120 Tech Recruitment Startups (Ref: http://tcrn.ch/1vwcEsq), all looking to leverage the data that is being currently being “flung” online; interestingly we are still in the growth phase of data creation and sharing. 

Some impressive milestones in 2014: (Ref http://bit.ly/1BDWH6g)

  • Worldwide social media users exceeded 2 billion back in August 2014;
  • Worldwide penetration of mobile phones passed 50% in September 2014;
  • The number of global internet users passed 3 billion in early November 2014;
  • The number of active mobile connections surpassed the total world population Jan’15;

In the last 3 years online profiles have transformed from a two-dimensional static online profiles to a three-dimensional enriched view of the candidate across multiple data sources, giving enormous insight into the candidates.  I recently carried out an audit on my own online profile - I had approximately 21GB’s of content online and I’m generation X!

Tech Recruitment startups are looking to extract value from this enriched content to challenge the dominance of traditional recruitment industry and incumbent technology companies. 

Some are succeeding, great products like Hassle.com (https://hassle.com/ - operating in a candidate surplus market) are truly disruptive within the cleaning industry and advancements in machine learning in the last 12 months, show great promise (TED - “The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn” - http://bit.ly/1xkvFA7) but in my opinion, current algorithms deployed within current batch of tech recruitment startups still fall short when deducing the “Human Science” of niche IT recruitment..

Let me explain my reasoning..

In it’s simplest form, Tech Recruitment startups have tried to replicate what good IT recruiters have been doing for years, building up candidate data to deduce whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the job/company and/or whether the company is a good fit for the candidate.  

So the question is, how does GemPool stay ahead of the present day Tech Recruitment startups?

  • Technical vertical expertise – Our consultants work in vertical specialties e.g. development, test, infrastructure and tech sales roles, allowing a strength and depth of vertical knowledge as well as wealth of networked contacts built up of 90 years of combined recruitment experience.
  • Continual consultant technical training – We set aside quite a large training budget covering for example,
    • Time management
    • Internet Recruitment Training (http://bit.ly/1Jkv2ba)
    • Online technical courses for our consultants (https://www.coursera.org/)
    • Onsite presentations – From external candidates and hiring managers, this gives our consultants an insight into the daily activities of the candidates / clients as well as their pain points with recruitment.
  • Freedom to experiment - Personalized consultant budget to allow the consultants experiment with their recruitment techniques, resulting in a tailored blueprint recruitment process for each client we work with.
  • Rigid Screening
    • Pre-screening process for the candidates and clients – We carry out a requirements gathering activity to ensure we correctly identify the needs of the clients and candidates from a technical, cultural & personal fit.
    • Pre-interview process for the candidates – Ensuring the interview time is maximized and focused on what the candidate and client want to get from the interview.
    • Rigid post-interview process for the candidates and clients – Ensuring the client / candidate experience is positive regardless of the outcome.
    • The results from each of these stages are fed-back into an iterative improvement process until we build an accurate 360-degree view of both the candidate and client.
  • And finally, GemPool consultants are truly obsessive about their chosen vertical e.g. development, test, infrastructure and tech sales roles..

Outside of our strengths above I also want to look at some insights and norms GemPool has observed over the last 12 months..

  • Profile Data/Content Restriction - GemPool has been seeing some interesting insights over the last 6 – 12 months; technical professionals are beginning to take control of their online content by restricting public access and in some cases removing their online public profiles to limit any courtship from companies and recruiters alike.  Making it harder for recruiters but near impossible for Tech Recruitment Startups.
  • IT candidate driven market – Candidates are not actively looking for roles so why would they opt into a jobseeking platform to look for a job?
  • Human Touch & Trust factor – More often then not, technical candidates/clients will go back to the recruitment consultant that they partnered with in the past to find future opportunities and fill roles.

In conclusion, I don’t believe that there will be a “like for like” technological disruption within the Tech Recruitment Industry in comparison to say, the taxi industry (Hailo), I see more of a gradual change where tech recruiters will still lead the recruitment process relying less on traditional tools e.g. databases searches, Linkedin, jobs sites, etc and will work in tandem with technology to leverage live dynamic fragments of online and offline data to continue to form opinions and decisions.

About John Power

John has over 15 years working in the Software, Telecommunications and IT Recruitment sectors contributing to the profitable performance of both large PLCs and smaller, privately owned enterprises, including start-ups.

Linkedin Profile - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmjpower

About GemPool

At GemPool we offer a radically different approach to recruitment. GemPool was founded by IT entrepreneurs with a proven track record in building successful software companies.  We know your frustrations in sourcing for specific skill sets - from experienced commercial through to niche technical - we understand the importance of getting the right hire for your business!

GemPool has a combined total of over 90 years worth of niche IT recruitment experience, we have seen demand for our services increase by over 200% compared to this time last year, we’re also looking to increase the team from 14 to 20 people in 2015!  And finally we’ve also engaged with Enterprise Ireland on a model for European expansion!



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