Agility and Velocity in Tech Recruiting
Welcome to part two of a three-part series written to help you shift into high-speed recruiting in a candidate’s market.
In the first piece of this trilogy, we discussed prioritization and the steps needed to put recruiting at the top of your team’s list. “Executive leadership must declare that recruiting takes precedence for both the short-term and long-term ability to meet customer needs and company growth demands.”
Here, we’ll focus on the small adjustments that can be done to maintain recruiting velocity and improve candidate experience and throughput.
Part Two: Agility
Agile. This means the ability to adjust to current market conditions and customer demands in real-time in order to deliver results quickly while maintaining quality and service standards.
In other words, turn on a dime for the sake of satisfying customer demand, even if that means abandoning prior processes and so-called “best practices.” These pointers can seem like common sense in an agile mindset and are simple to initiate. However, they can feel like major overhauls to organizations married to the structure.
Keep these concepts in mind:
This one’s too tall. That one’s too small. This one’s too high. That one’s just right.
Like Goldilocks, companies are looking for a perfect fit for culture and skills. Let’s face it — not everyone in the workforce is “A” talent, but that does not mean that every position at every level has to be filled by an “A” candidate to perform the job’s duties.
Companies spend a disproportionate amount of money and time compared to their return on these methods of evaluation. In this market, don’t expect to see an endless tunnel of candidates. Too often, amply qualified candidates are lost while employers wait for more applicants and directly sourced prospects. Either they possess the skills and experience to perform the duties of the position, or they don’t.
If they do, hire them.
What You Say Matters
Job postings, correspondences during the interview process and even rejection letters matter — a lot. What a candidate perceives defines your company.
Cluttered job postings with biased language, jargon and industry clichés can drive off the most talented and diverse individuals. Bias is real, and though you might not overtly say anything inappropriate or mean-spirited, your tone, innuendo and nonverbal communication on a Zoom interview can be just as loud.
Having a clear and concise job posting that has been checked for bias will encourage a better quality of candidates to apply and reduce the number of non-qualified candidates, each of which has to be reviewed and rejected by a recruiter.
A requisition that gets several hundred applicants can take hours to read through. These are hours that can be spent sourcing or giving a candidate more of a concierge’s level of service.
On the other end of the process, no one loves rejection letters, but wording such as “have decided not to move forward” seems finite and discourages applicants from applying again — ever. Instead, leave the door open and invite them to keep looking. “We found someone who was ideally qualified for this opening, but keep looking. Chances are at some point there will be an opening ideally suited for you,” is an honest but open-ended approach to letting a candidate know they are no longer being considered for a particular role they applied for.
Concierge Service for Candidates
A candidate-driven market means that companies no longer call the shots. It is estimated that most professionals in tech are getting 10-15 recruiter touches each week. That’s as many as 60 per month. When you think about it this way, you’ll understand why we are addressing maintaining velocity in the process.
Every day that passes allows at least one or more new opportunities to be presented to your applicant.
They will also want to know why they should work for your company. If this is not addressed throughout the entire interview process, those companies that do present well will win over the talent.
We have to make candidates feel as important as they are. If the hiring manager wants to draw in a prospect, have them reach out early in the sourcing outreaches. In a candidate-driven market, interviews for all candidates should take on a sales feel more than a traditional grilling over every possible aspect of the job.
Suppose the impression is that the environment is hypercritical or presents as elitist. That will repel a variety of talent groups and personas who are exceptionally skilled but overly critical of their own work.
Expand Your Perimeters
The shift toward working at home permanently has opened entirely new pockets of talent to be explored all over the world.
In the U.S. many tech companies were huddled around a few cities, often higher cost of living areas, offering higher comp and incentives to be competitive. But there are highly skilled professionals in other areas of the country that are not as expensive, such as Raleigh, Charlotte, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, to name a few.
Even more remote locations like Bloomington, IN, or Binghamton, NY, have pockets of talent to feed giants like IBM. The Global market is the same, opening talent pools outside of the high-cost cities of Paris and London and the competitiveness of Bucharest and parts of Asia.
Fresh applicant pools mean less competition for more motivated, equally skilled, less expensive talent, increasing the throughput and velocity.
Deeper talent pools, personalized care for your candidates, not only watching but actively eliminating bias and staying open-minded to fit will all strengthen the agility of your hiring process. When considering velocity, agility will help push your team forward during The Great Recession and beyond.
Stay tuned next week for the third part of this three-piece series, where we’ll discuss how to shift and adapt with more complex situations.
Author: Steven Rawlings
Over 25 years of leading in all aspects of Global Talent Acquisition specializing in Sourcing and strategic talent forecasting and recruitment enablement. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.