Sourcing Top Tech Talent
Sourcing Top Tech Talent
As technical recruiters, we carry the trust of our clients to identify, screen, and present the best candidates to join their team potentially. We understand the gravity of this responsibility and have spent years perfecting our process to determine which candidates are worth our clients' time. In this blog, I will outline our process, helpful tools to implement for automating where needed, and key insights from our years of experience that will allow you to avoid common pitfalls.
The Technical Recruiter's Process
When our clients present a role on their team that they need filled it is important to research the day to day responsibilities of what an individual with that title is expected to deliver. From there we can confidently engage with our clients and ask them questions about those expectations; where they apply in their company, and where they diverge. If we don’t fully understand the role we are sourcing for - we will not find the best candidates. We start with the end result in mind.
Researching Potential Candidates
Once we are confident we understand what we are looking for, the fun begins: finding individuals that can accomplish what our clients are looking for. There are a number of useful platforms where the workforce can showcase their skills for potential employers: Linkedin, GitHub, etc.
Luckily, with our tenure in the MidWestern market, we have a network of qualified candidates that we can approach about the potential opportunity. After a small pool of qualified professionals has been identified (more on this below) it’s important to identify what makes these individuals tick. What sort of leadership structure do they thrive in? What sort of team makes them the most efficient? What sort of work life balance do they prefer? And from there it’s narrowing the pool down to 1-3 candidates. We don’t want to be the recruiters who just shotgun candidates over, hoping the client will qualify them for us.
Vetting for Skills and Qualifications
When it comes to vetting candidates from a skillset perspective, there is a lot to unpack here depending on their title or position. For now, I will focus on how to take a deep dive into vetting a Software engineer. What I like to do first is have the candidate describe what they are passionate about. There are some who truly enjoy working on full stack projects, but the majority will inform me that while they are capable of doing both, they much prefer the front end or the back end of development projects. From there I like to inquire about what tools, or languages they find most useful, or what they are most comfortable working in. Here it’s important to remember architectural patterns, frameworks, and specific libraries. Once I have a solid understanding of their preferences, I can begin to ask situational questions. For example: Let’s say your employer needs a new application to process CAD drawings, store them individually, and capture specific data from those drawings to be displayed in a dashboard. What sort of technologies would you consider deploying for something like that? I can use specific questions like that depending on the clients specific needs
Determining the Best Candidate
Once a pool of technically qualified candidates has been identified, it’s pinnacle to consider aspects of cultural fits that will cohesively fit into our clients existing team structure. Things like willingness to learn, be coached, how collaborative they are, what their interests are outside of work, etc. Again, this data is not useful unless we know what our client's team structure is. For example, some development environments are very organized with well documented steps to take when it comes to deploying code. Others might be leaner and less organized. We believe there is a right fit for every client and every developer. It’s only through asking the right pointed questions that we can identify those fits.
The Final Decision
After the interviewing has concluded, and the client is looking to extend an offer there are a few key actions to take. In this market, almost every software engineer is employed, and with that being said companies that are faced with a software engineer leaving their shop with all the tribal knowledge they’ve amassed is a massive setback. We must prepare our candidates to anticipate a counter offer. Counter offers 9/10 are hyperbolized promises of how things will change should the candidate stay put and not leave the company. At this stage, if we haven’t done our job well and ensured that the reasons why the candidate is looking for a change in the first place are larger than just a paycheck, we are in danger of the placement falling apart due to a counter offer. We recommend our candidates respectfully extend a two week notice to their current employer, and let them know that their decision is final & isn’t about money.