Hiring in Tech: Four Truths All Managers Need to Know

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 Few job markets move as quickly as the technology market, and no city moves faster than New York. The best tech roles — and the best candidates — are often off the market in less than one business week. Keep reading to learn how to move as fast as the market, and hire the right person in an ultra-competitive landscape, according the local expert: Division Manager of Workbridge New York, Samantha King.

 
As technology is one of the most integral parts of modern business, finding strong candidates to fill IT roles can be a daunting, arduous task. If you are looking to build an all-star tech team, you'll need to stay ahead of the competition.

A vacancy in a mission-critical position for your team can derail larger business goals, creates unsustainable workloads for team members and damages morale. While active employees are covering the extra workload, you’re trying to carve out small increments of time to find a "perfect" replacement, and deadlines start to slip as the strain on your team increases. 

Plus, coordinating schedules with busy internal stakeholders can take weeks — so it's imperative to be able to get the talent you need for your projects and deadlines.

Navigating the competitive hiring market in tech while maintaining the pace of your current team or project is no small feat, and finding the right fit takes time and careful consideration. This is why no matter the industry, market condition, company size or budget, hiring managers bump up a few universal truths that impede the interview process - but small adjustments in light of each of these can make a big impact.

Hiring Truth 1: You know who you're looking for, but they're nowhere to be found

It's one thing to design the idea of your perfect hire and list every skill and talent you want them to possess. A quick search on LinkedIn will reveal what type of candidates are on the market, if those are skills that you can find in one person and it's someone you can afford. 

Begin adjusting your search by identifying skills sets that are valuable, realistic and obtainable. If you have requirements in mind that do not currently exist on the market, you’ll be looking for a long time.

HR TRuth 1

"The key is to differentiate what a hire should know coming in on day one and what you can teach them," advises Samantha King, Division Manager of Workbridge New York. "I advise my clients start by identifying what is unique to your business functions compared to industry norms, and dig in to differentiate from the market."

Once you've identified these differences, you can start to consider which skills are required for the role, compared to those just desired or that can be learned on the job. One of the most common hiring mistakes is that employers seek to hire someone with the most advanced skills, rather than the candidate with the most growth potential.

If you consider your current employees, their skill-sets have likely improved in their role since joining your team. If you hire someone with a solid foundation and understanding of your needs, you can guide them to refine their skills and improve. Plus, the more room you can give them to grow and learn, the less likely they will become complacent and bored, and seek their next challenge.

If a potential hire as at least three core skills and two desired skills, they likely have the capacity to improve and grow into the role. So start thinking, and hiring, outside the box.

Hiring Truth #2: You're hiring because you're busy, but you're too busy to hire

Here’s the good news: an open role, either newly created or filling a replacement, means your business is in a position to grow and your credibility as a manger has been proven. However, an open role means each active team member is pulling more weight; making time to interview and on-board a new hire a lower priority on their agendas. 

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If you can efficiently move a valuable candidate through your interview process, your existing team can focus more of their energy on active responsibilities and goals. While growing pains are common when a company reaches a new level of success, it's important to make sure an understaffed team does not delay your upward progress, which can effect morale and organization.

By prioritizing hiring at the managerial level, you decrease the duration of time your team is overworked. Treat hiring like any technical project, with a project manager, road-map, timeline and objectives. Set clear expectations, block time, send calendar invites and stick to your deadline. By creating a system that holds each stakeholder accountable, it is easier to manage an efficient project flow and make the right decision with a higher sense of urgency for all involved. 

Are you pressed to hire top tech talent? Get connected to your local tech  recruiting team today

Hiring Truth #3: Blink and you'll miss them: the best candidates go fast

If you’ve hired before, you know high-caliber tech candidates are hard to find. In the tech world, your best options are off the market in less than a week. By planning a shorter interview process, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on your top choice.

4T-3

"The best candidates are off the market in less than one business week, and are most likely to accept offers from companies who can showcase their excitement, flexibility and appeal. My clients know that this market moves fast, so my team of tech recruiters works with each hiring manager can do the same without sacrificing quality," says King.

Once you find someone you're excited about, it's important to ask them the right questions to expedite the interview process so that you can prepare to make an offer. By being honest about your interest, expectations and limitations, you set the foundation for a healthy, productive working relationship. 

Hiring Truth #4: Meeting candidates back-to-back makes it easier to make a decision

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If you are to interview one or two candidates per week, it becomes harder to remember what you liked or disliked about those prior.

While it can seem like a task to line up just one promising interviewee, managing multiple candidates simultaneously and seeing them back-to-back helps you weigh potential team members evenly and with clarity. Allowing for late-stage options and comparisons help your team feel ready to make decision  you are all excited about.

Are you pressed to hire top tech talent? Get connected to your local tech  recruiting team today

By being realistic, keeping your goal focused and prioritizing the process efficiently, you'll find yourself in a position where you are not only attracting high-quality, qualified candidates, but ensuring a smooth hiring process along the way. If you set clear expectations, deadlines and instructions for all involved stakeholders, you'll seamlessly move through a hiring process and get back to what you're best at — leading your team to success.

samantha-king, workbridge-associates,

Samantha King is the Division Manager of Workbridge Associates New York and has been advising hundreds of companies, from early-stage startups to Fortune 10 companies for more than ten years. 

She has managed thousands of interviews from entry to C-level technology candidates with her team of New York-based recruiters.

Samantha helps build teams by understanding clients, and by becoming extensions of their brands. We work together to develop a hiring process that is efficient, effective, and gets the right people into the right roles."

Need more advice on finding the right candidate for your team ASAP? 

Get in touch with Samantha here.

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Workbridge Associates, part of the Motion Recruitment network, provides IT Staffing Solutions (Contract, Contract-to-Hire, and Direct Hire) across 11 major North American markets: BostonNew York, PhiladelphiaWashington DCChicagoDallasSan FranciscoSilicon ValleyLos AngelesOrange County, and Toronto.

Workbridge offers a unique and deep expertise in the highest demand tech skill sets, such as UI/UX, Open Source, Microsoft Development, Network Security & Infrastructure, and Mobile Development. Our high-touch, specialized and team-based recruitment model, paired with our deep networks and knowledge of our local technology markets, results in an exemplary track record.

Related: smart recruiting, new york tech, hiring tips, hiring strategy, hiring technologists, IT career

How Will Artificial Intelligence Transform Recruiting Practices?

 

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In the ongoing debate of what artificial intelligence will automate and replace next, recruiters have become a hotly debated target.

A hire can make or break the success of a team; which is why companies annually invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into outsourcing its hiring. But what if they could automate those practices and spend the surplus budget on other things?

It’s appealing.

Back in 2000, everyone was excited about Monster.com for a somewhat similar reason. You could post a job and collect ad response from hundreds of candidates, or search through resumes for the perfect addition to your team.

There was nothing like it that could connect you to people so quickly. It was expected to completely revolutionize hiring and make third party recruiters irrelevant.

Well, it’s 2018, and third-party recruiting isn't gone yet — and we’re betting the agency model will survive AI, too.

But, the real question is, why? Why is recruiting so difficult to replicate and automate?

The Human Element

Recruiting is a relationship-based business; recruiters will recommend roles to a candidate that they might not have looked twice at while scrolling through a job board. Seasoned recruiters have inside detail on what makes a role or company unique, and an intimate understanding of how an opportunity will fit what the candidate is looking for in their next role or career move.

A recruiter’s priority is to educate and advise candidates on why your position is good for them personally, which computers inherently can’t do. Conversely, they may submit a candidate for your open tech role who doesn't have 100 percent of the desired skills. Rather, they recognize that the candidate will mix well with your existing team, or possess an aptitude and drive to learn and grow in the right environment.

 

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A good recruiter is not only a matchmaker -- they’re a coach and confidant. They will understand the vision you have for your team and customize their search for your hire accordingly.

They’ll understand the importance of a culture fit, diversifying talent, skill-sets, and voices to make a team they support as strong as possible. They will advocate for the best interest of a candidate and company, which is a feature that AI can’t offer.

Click here and connect with your local tech recruiting team today

Ultimately, recruiters possess one vital factor that artificial intelligence can't compute; why the sum of a candidate's experience is wholly greater than their parts.

The Limitations of Data

AI is only as intelligent as the data it draws from. When a machine makes data-based conclusions, the result will be only as accurate as the inputted data. As this data is still supplied by humans, it's vulnerable to becoming corrupted by subjectivity.

In your hiring process, if you have historically hired a specific type of person for a role, an AI program will suggest similar candidates -- limiting your exposure to new ideas and perspectives. A great recruiter will challenge your perception on who the right candidate would be, offering you instant access to their diverse network of IT professionals.

 

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The key to analyzing data is context, and we’re still some years away from a machine being able to provide just that. We’ve seen this with mapping technology. You hear about people getting lost in the Australian rain forest, or driving off cliffs because they rely solely on an automated map telling them where to go instead of augmenting that data with common sense.

So, if AI can’t yet fully replace recruiting, what can it do?

The AI and Recruiting Partnership

In short, when used in partnership with strong hiring practices, AI can help make recruiters more efficient at their jobs. AI and data can help recruiters make better decisions about what types of accounts or roles to prioritize.

AI can catalyze lead generation and replace basic functions of a recruiter’s role, like sourcing new candidates and setting up interviews. Alleviating their schedule from these manual tasks leaves recruiters free to focus on building stronger relationships with candidates and clients to better service them.

AI can even help replace or supplement certain communication touch-points, when appropriate, through email automation. The important thing to remember is that as efficient as it can make you, AI isn’t a stand-in for real, human interactions.

Why wait for AI?  Get connected to a local tech recruiter today

Recruiting is all about relationships, which is why a live contact is imperative to successfully understand and recruit for an employer’s open roles, just as a candidate still values recruiters for their advice on how to navigate their career.

AI can be incredibly potent key to success for your business. But that, in itself, is the key: AI is a tool — not a solution — to the problem.

 

 

Related: tech hiring, artificial intelligence, tech trends, manager advice, smart recruiting, tech team, business tech, leadership advice

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