3 Effective Recruitment Strategies and Practices for Hard-to-Fill Jobs

Posted by Carbonado on Apr 16, 2020 9:40:51 AM

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One reason the tech sector is associated with hard-to-fill jobs is the high cost of turnover. Technical hires use specialized skill sets that take time to integrate into a company’s workflow and coordinate with the existing team.  At the same time, the tech industry has the highest rate of turnover of any industry (even more than retail—they come in at 13.2% and 13%, respectively).

Finding the right candidate is imperative. Financially, it’s just not sustainable to rehire the same position every year.  Research has suggested that it costs as much as 50-60% of the annual salary for the position to find a direct replacement. But a thorough vetting process takes time and tends to mean being choosier with candidates. Careful HR departments will reject many applicants they may have otherwise hired if there was even the slightest hesitation around their fit with the company.

Here are 4 effective recruitment strategies that can help you find (and confirm) the fit you need for hard-to-fill jobs:

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1. Administer personality and motivation assessments.

It’s incredibly difficult to look past first impressions in the artificial environment of an interview.  A gut feeling does matter when you’re looking for cultural fit, but we can all recognize that the interview setting is anxiety-inducing, brief, and contrived. So why do 75% of companies assess a candidate’s interpersonal qualities through verbal interview questions alone?

Instead, find and invest in a thorough, reputable test that illuminates personality traits, work ethic, and motivation styles. Next, test your own team or at least several valued employees in similar roles. This forms the baseline for what you’re looking for—like-minded folk. Finally, test your candidates.

Now you have a quantifiable dataset to use as a valuable supplement to the subjective Q&A assessment of a live interview. 

2. Ask the experts.

Many HR departments are initially hesitant about partnering with a recruiting firm for the same reason—filling empty roles is one of their primary responsibilities. But a recruiter or staffing agency can never replace the working knowledge of the company that’s housed in HR.  The proper place for IT recruiting companies is a strategic complement to your talent acquisition priorities.  

However, not every staffing agency knows how to recruit tech talent. Select a company that includes actual experts with on-the-job experiences in your field.  Only a veteran software engineer could possibly know (for sure and in detail) what it takes to succeed in a similar role, tech stack, or organizational structure.

Our team at Carbonado, for example, was built with qualified experts who have practical experience in roles at every stage of the development cycle. CEO Tufail Khan founded the company out of a desire to apply his 20 years of experience in the tech industry to optimizing the technical hiring process.  

3. Frequent the watering holes of your niche (not just LinkedIn).

Many human resources teams are familiar with the convenient and powerful tools available on LinkedIn (and LinkedIn Recruiter).  Search algorithms can crawl the entire LinkedIn database and look for user profiles that match a select set of keywords.  However, many of the resulting “matches” won’t ultimately match the exact job description or represent the focused expertise you need.

This leads to extra hours spent sifting through and vetting low-fit results in search of candidates worthy of an interview.  Instead, become familiar with industry watering holes like StackOverflow or DEV. These community resources frequently troubleshoot intricate questions within their specializations. StackOverflow also hosts a job board called StackOverflow Talent, and look at the sorts of posts that come up when you search “jobs” on DEV.  These developer ‘speakeasies’ are the back streets of the talent that’s genuinely living and breathing this work. Post openings where they’ll reach the folks you’ll want most.

If you’re interested in more insights about recruiting for hard-to-fill jobs, contact us at Carbonado, and we’ll be happy to discuss the methods that have given us such proven results.

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Topics: technical hiring, HR insights