Avoid These 5 Recruitment Myths for a Better Tech Talent Acquisition Strategy
There are any number of factors that need to be taken into account when developing a talent acquisition strategy for your business. As with creating any kind of plan, one issue almost always prompts another and, before you know it, things have got out of hand. There’s no real tried and tested method by which to avoid all of them – live and learn is one way. Engaging expert support is another. For now though, here’s a handful of my musings on where you can tighten your recruitment drives.
The value of experience should be measured in years
Ok, this one’s a can of worms, mostly because everyone agrees with the sentiment, but none of us can fully agree on an alternative. It’s in our nature to want to quantify everything. Label something with a value that’s visible, and justifiable. It makes sense that someone who has done a job for three years, is going to know that job better than the person who’s only been doing it for a year. Right? Not always. I’d even go as far as to say you’d rarely see much of a difference at all, when years of experience is all you measure by. Let’s say Joe is a Java developer. He’s been working with Java in the same company, for ten years. Then we have Jenny. Jenny graduated 3 years ago and has been working with Java ever since on a number of pretty cool, short-term gigs. Is Joe a better Java developer than Jenny? The answer, of course, is… he might well be.
The point of my little rambling? He might be better. If he is better though, it’s folly to presume that it’s purely because he’s been at it longer.
In a time when technologies are ever-evolving, and development languages and platforms are ever-emerging, the difference between three years and ten years, is ever-shrinking. Concentrate on what you need your new addition to the team to deliver – don’t hamstring yourself with assumptions of ability, based on tenure.
Candidates must have worked in your sector
Pigeon-holing is a sure-fire way to cut out a huge amount of talent from the results your search yields. Granted, in a number of cases, market knowledge plays a big part in how quickly a new colleague takes to their role and, by extension, how quickly they start bringing value to your business. Often though, a fresh set of eyes on a pinch point in your project, can be just what you need in order to solve it. Likewise, new ideas and perspectives can be invaluable when aiming to take your business to the next level.
A decent project manager will likely be able to (within reason) turn their hand to planning and delivery of projects in any number of sectors. A gaming software developer might not know much about, say, payment platforms - but they will always have the end user in mind.
Once again, focus on what you’re going to need your new colleague to deliver, rather than making pre-determined judgements about the tools they need in order to do it.
If it isn’t in the CV, they don’t have it
Not necessarily. Nowadays roles in any company tend to be a lot more fluid than they used to be, meaning that it’s not only possible, but likely that a candidate has gathered all manner of knowledge and experience, outside the particular remit suggested by their job title. It’s also recommended in these days of ever-shrinking attention spans and time being at a premium, that candidates only include 3 – 5 points outlining their responsibilities in each role listed on their CV, lest they lose the interest of the reader. With that in mind, any candidate worth their salt is never going to be able to highlight everything they’ve done, so that’s a point of order for the first interview. Plus, anyone can write, re-write, or have their CV ghost written to make th
emselves look great – often, it’s the simpler, humbler profile that represents the stronger candidate.
A speedy hiring process is always best
We all love a quick win. Time is money (pause whilst the author cringes at the cliché he’s just let out) and, when something’s taking too long, it’s generally considered to be inefficient. This is certainly true when it comes to the recruitment process. Even throughout the arduous COVID navigation we’ve all been going through, Ireland’s talent market has, in the tech sector at least, remained largely candidate driven. That is to say, there have been more roles available, than there has been talent to fill them, so the candidates take the upper hand due to the competition for their skillset. It might seem like I’m digressing a little but, the point is; take too long, you’ll lose that person to another company looking to hire someone similarly qualified.
Get ready for the “but…” BUT, that doesn’t mean you should race to get through the process too quickly either. Changing jobs, whilst more common these days than perhaps it was 20 years ago, is a big decision to make. A new hire for your business, whether you’re a start-up or at enterprise level, is a big decision. As with all big decisions, it’s advisable to take a bit of time, even just a couple of days, to digest all the information.
Pros for the candidate; time to properly decide whether they actually want the job or not. The last thing you want is for them to accept amongst all the excitement, only to realise the day before they start (or worse, the day after) that it’s not for them.
Pros for the employer; Same as the above. Weigh up how this person’s going to fit in your business going forward. Not just if they can do the job, but if they’re going to bring genuine value to what you’re trying to achieve. Also, you can learn a lot from potential future colleagues by how they deal with waiting – impatience can be very damaging.
Bargaining gets the best deal
Some fifteen years ago, I took a day trip from Spain, to Morocco. Whilst there, I visited markets and bazaars where I was introduced to an element of the culture there that I had not yet been acquainted with. I’m speaking of course, of the barter system. I remember finding it very novel – gathering up all the things that I liked and wanted to buy, then haggling over price with the proprietor at the end. It was, what many of my esteemed colleagues might call, “Great craic”. I’d say two-hundred Dirham, he’d say a thousand Dirham, and we’d laugh and joke until we shook hands (the good old days) at around six hundred. It was always going to be six hundred, but I had a go at getting it for less, whilst he had a go at getting it for more. A right pair of chancers, we were.
This approach is often taken by employers, when it comes to the offer stage of the interview process. “Let’s see if we can get them for €45,000, rather than the €60,000 they’re looking for”. Sure, it depends here if the 60k is appropriate for a candidate of this calibre (candidates can certainly be chancers, too) but, let’s assume for the sake of this point that it is. Under-offering, or “Low-Balling”, especially at 25% under expectation is a sure-fire way to sour the relationship in an instant. If you want to hire this candidate, then you need to present them with a respectable offer. I’m not saying to pander to their every expectation, and if you can’t afford what they’re asking, say that, but don’t go in low just for the sake of trying to save a bit of money. Even if after this, you end up offering the sixty thousand, and secure the hire, your new colleague is going to remember that and, even though they got the figure they wanted, they’ll always feel that little bit under-valued. Not the best start to a working relationship and not the best way to motivate your latest addition to the team, to deliver their best.
If you’re looking for guidance on current salary trends and expectations in the Irish market, look no further than our handy IT salary guide.
So, to summarise…
Try not to limit yourself by adopting antiquated methods of quantifying knowledge and experience. Think outside the box when it comes to defining “relevant” market knowledge. If you don’t see something written down on a CV, take the extra minute and ask the question before dismissing what could be your next star hire. Don’t drag out your hiring process, but don’t give your candidates whiplash with the turnaround either. And finally, respect the candidate’s value – don’t damage the relationship from the word go for the sake of banking a few quid.
This is just a handful of points to consider when putting together your business’ recruitment strategy. Partnering with GemPool can help you navigate the labyrinth. Check out our Service Offerings or get in touch today.