To Recruit IT Talent, You Need to Do These 5 Things Well

September 16, 2016

Recruiting IT talent is one of the biggest challenges organizations face today. In fact, LinkedIn data shows that IT professionals get twice as many InMails as professionals with other skillsets, making them among the most sought-after groups out there.

Hence, you can’t just post a job and hope for the best, as you’ll never consistently get great talent that way. Instead, you need a full-fledged recruiting strategy, to ensure you have a steady stream of strong talent coming into your organization.

In her class Technical Recruiting, recruiting expert Barbara Bruno explained what exactly that strategy should look like. Specifically, Bruno said it comes down to doing the following five things really, really well:

1. Emphasize the big challenge your organization is dedicated to solving.

IT employees, along with tech workers in general, love to take on big challenges. In fact, LinkedIn surveyed tech workers who recently changed jobs and asked them why they did so. Fifty-four percent said they changed jobs because the work at the new organization sounded more challenging than their previous job.

Hence, Bruno stressed highlighting the big challenges your IT workers will solve at your organization, as that’ll entice great people to come to your organization.

2. You need to get personal, quick.

Recruiting ultimately comes down to matching what the candidate wants to what your organization offers. Hence, it’s critical to get personal quickly when recruiting, and find out exactly what that person wants, Bruno said.

For example, maybe it is to move into management, maybe it is more challenging work or maybe it is a better work-life balance, she said. Either way, the faster you know what a candidate is looking for in a job, the better chance you have of recruiting them – or, conversely, realizing they might not be a fit for your organization.

The best way to do this is to position yourself as someone who is there to help them find the right role, instead of someone selling a specific job, Bruno said. You can show that by doing things for them – for instance, utilizing their LinkedIn Profile, versus having them fill out an application and asking the additional questions you need answered; advising them on the role that’ll best fit their needs, etc – that prove you have their best interest at heart.

3. Build relationships by becoming part of the tech community.

There needs to be a marketing arm to your IT recruiting efforts, so your recruiters don’t have to reach out to completely cold candidates whenever they need to fill a req. One of the best ways to market your organization and establish more relationships with IT talent is for your organization to become part of the tech community.

To join the tech community, Bruno suggested hosting meetups at your office. For example, she suggested holding a hack-a-thon at your office or bringing in a speaker that people in the tech industry would love to see.

To see an example of a company that did exactly that, check out this story on Medidata, which began holding tech events at their NYC office and started recruiting better tech talent because of it.

4. Sell your organization, not just the job.

Your recruiters should not just be creating a new pitch completely from scratch for each new job. Instead, your organization should create an EVP – employee value proposition – for why someone would want to work for you.

Once that’s established, all of your conversations and recruiting content should fit within that greater EVP. Of course, it’ll be tailored slightly for each role, but this ensures everyone on your team is working off the same playbook, which helps you build out your employer brand.

5. Maintain your reputation by treating candidates right.

This is arguably the most important tenet of all. In her class, Bruno stressed the importance of doing what is right for the candidate, ahead even of what is right for your company.

For example, if you misrepresent a position to a candidate, you might close them. But they’ll be unhappy in their role and tell their friends bad things about your company, all of which will hurt your ability to recruit in the future.

Conversely, if you are honest with your candidates and maintain a strong relationship with them, even if they aren’t selected, they are going to have positive things to say about your company. That’ll make it much easier to recruit in the future and help you build out your brand over time.

*Image by Sebastiaan ter Burg