Because the technology needs of companies are frequently changing, and human resources doesn’t always have the proper understanding of tech skills, it’s nearly impossible to find the perfect tech candidate. In this article, we will explore the downfalls of seeking out the “perfect” tech candidate and share methods to hire the “perfect fit” instead.
Companies looking to onboard a tech candidate, such as a developer or programmer, often have unrealistically high expectations for applicants. They are looking for a “perfect” candidate who doesn’t need further training or educational investment. It’s this thought process that eliminates many qualified and oftentimes superior candidates for a job.
With the laundry list of technical skills many companies include in their job postings, they unintentionally create an environment for good candidates to self-eliminate before ever speaking to anyone at their organization. Instead, companies searching for tech candidates should structure their job postings to win candidates, move quickly to hire a good fit and offer tech candidates the opportunity to grow their skills to become the perfect tech employee.
Winning Candidates Before Ever Meeting
A candidate’s first impression of a job is typically formed through an online job posting. Companies must learn the proper verbiage and structure to attract quality tech candidates. By recognizing the qualities a top candidate is looking for in a job – such as schedule flexibility and a clearly defined company mission – and including them in the listing instead of sharing an extensive list of technical skills, companies are more likely to attract a candidate that fits into their organization.
Job posts themselves are becoming too impersonal, often listing only the skills required and the expectations for the role. To attract tech candidates, postings should include insight into what software and hardware an employee will be working with daily. Moreover, companies should be realistic about what skills are necessary and what skills can be learned. We frequently see job descriptions with skill requirements that sound more like three jobs than one. Not only do candidates self-eliminate because they don’t have all the skills needed, they also get the impression that the company will expect too much of whoever takes on the position.
Company culture should also be heavily highlighted in a job posting. Candidates should be able to clearly envision themselves at your organization. Don’t be afraid to share the mission of your company, how the position impacts your company’s work ecosystem, and the tangible or non-tangible perks every employee enjoys.
Competition with Your Competitors
Despite the immense innovation we have seen in the world, companies are slow to pull the trigger when it comes to selecting tech candidates for a job. Tech candidates have more options than ever before. A quality applicant can be taken off the job-hunting market at any moment, as competitors are eager to hire quality candidates, and a candidate may have multiple offers in the works. Companies need to evolve and develop a streamlined process for hiring before losing out on qualified candidates.
It is also important that companies are open to listening to their recruiting partner (if they have one). Recruiters have their ears to the ground for their specialty industries. If partnering with a third-party, companies must be open to truly listening to and implementing the recommendations recruiters have. Third-party recruiting companies will know what types of candidates are going fast and how their candidate stacks up compared to others in the field. Recruiters will be able to identify which candidates need to receive an offer quickly.
Mold Each Candidate into Their Role
Companies should understand that the work of hiring a tech candidate does not end with a signed acceptance letter. Once you find the perfect fit for a position, companies must then work to help them flourish in their new roles.
While many companies put forth a long list of skills needed for a candidate, the company that has brought on a much more realistic candidate must then work to teach those additional skills to their new hire. With patience and diligent training, the perfect fit candidate can grow into everything your company needs.
Training should extend far beyond those first crucial months. Those who work in tech are often open to continued education, as they are passionate about learning and becoming an expert in the next great skillset. Companies can give alternative educational opportunities to make sure tech employees continue to grow their skillset, such as paying for courses, seminars and certifications.
Although the perfect tech candidate does not exist, companies must be open to finding the best fit instead. With the right job post structure, an expedited hiring cycle and the right training, companies can win the hearts and loyalty of the best candidates the hiring pool has to offer.
Jon Melzer is the vice president of technical services at Loyal Source Government Services, an Orlando-based workforces solutions company proving elite contracting services worldwide.