The Game for Tech Talent is Getting Serious

The world of technology is a huge playground with winners and losers. In this playground players are constantly fighting against their rivals, fighting for being the fastest, the best.

If you don’t join the game, you are going to lose.

Recruiting is one of the games in technology playground. Do you want a great tech talent in your team? You need to fight and be aware you are not the only one who craves for this person. As in the battlefield, unless you have a proper tactic, you’ll probably lose. Brace yourself!

“Make love, not war” – building relationships

You don’t need to be brutal to win your games. Let’s get creative. Let’s get personal. Let’s make love. One of the best tactics of recruitment is building relationships. Recruitment is constant work. Even when you aren’t hiring.

Imagine your current tech talent quits or you want to expand your team. Without good relationships, a well-built network, you will probably panic. If you work on your network, you’ll find candidates for your position quickly. Connect with as many people, as possible, but don’t spam them. Get personal, write them why you want to connect with them and be on good terms with them.

If you run social media accounts – use them smartly. Ask people for referrals, let them know you are recruiting. Use ‘weak acquaintances’ – sociologist Mark Granovetter found that most of the people got their jobs through people around them even if they occasionally or rarely met. When the recruitment time comes, you have plenty of possibilities.

“Baby don’t go” – use your allies

Employees are not for granted. Particularly in the tech world, the probability that your talent will quit or be headhunted is very high. Tech talents seek for new challenges and possibilities. No hard feelings, it might not be your fault if they left. But it’s up to you how this relationship ends.

Treat well your “exes”. Your present and past employees may be useful in your recruitment process. You can ask them for referrals – they probably know people which you would like to hire. If your ex-employees want to come back, why don’t take them back? They quitted, got stronger, gained new skills and experience.

“I’m sexy, and I know it” – make them want to work for you

How to make them want to work for you? Use branding – a very powerful tool. Look at Google – even someone who is not technical knows that Google’s working environment (offices, social benefits) is one of the best in the world. Why? Because Google is showing its culture. They know in Google that they need to attract the best tech talents not only using money but also they need to add something extra.

Even if your start-up consists of 2 people, you can be like “Google”.  Show and sell your culture. Generate buzz about you. Stand out in a way which draws the attention of your talents. Be easy to find.

If you are tech recruiter, being “sexy” means being interesting, knowing what you are looking for, what you are talking about. Be up-to-date with the tech world and try to learn as much as possible. The tech talents will appreciate it, and they will treat you more as a partner.

“Come to me, my precious” – invite them over

Are you wondering where you can find your potential candidates? Where can you show how cool you are? Invite them over and be a host. You can create events, hackathons, open code challenges, meetups. Make your future best tech talents know you. Even if they do not join your events, your name will be more and more familiar to them.

In recruitment process invite your candidates to meet the real-life situations. You can offer face-to-face time with your team, which can be impossible when you have many candidates. Use online testing to simulate the first day at work experience with real programming tasks or code review challenges. Test not only their knowledge of certain programming languages but also libraries and frameworks, this way you will show them that you know what you want.

Let them resolve problems their way, use their favorite IDE and all other resources, just like they would do at work to get things done. Always acknowledge candidates who haven’t made it this time. Don’t burn your bridges behind you. It’s the relationship, stupid!

“The time is gone” – use time wisely

No one likes wasting his or her time so make your recruitment quick and as smooth as possible. Don’t make your candidates wait. Simplify the process, use fewer papers. Create clear application forms which result in more relevant candidates.

Consider anonymous assessment where the only what matters are skills and strengths you need. Then you will attract those who are talented, candidates that are afraid to apply will not be put off (I mean those who are afraid of rejection based on their sex, race, religion, background, etc.). Focusing on skills and strengths allows you to find your perfect match.

One year in the tech world is more than decade in other industries; everything changes fast enough to say: your candidates’ past work tells you almost nothing about their current abilities. Use your and your candidates time wisely and it will pay off. In the recruitment time is money.

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s…” – know what you want

Who do you need? Without knowing what you want, you won’t get the best talent. Think about your team – do you need a Batman? Or do you need a group of Avengers whose members are completing themselves? What will happen when your Batman quits? What will happen when your Ironman quits? As silly these question can sound, it’s important to recognize your needs. Clear expectation allows you to recruit the most suitable person for a certain position.

Recruiting the best tech talents isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. Treat them as you want to be treated. Respect, appreciation, being nice, helpful, in touch, having clear expectation combined with working on your image help you find your perfect match, I mean, top tech talent.

Prepare yourself and win your games!

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