Technical Recruiting: The Ultimate Guide to IT Recruiting

Top talent is the driving force behind innovation. Few things are as important as that in information technology (IT). According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, only 13 percent of employers say they can find the IT talent they need. 

Hiring is a complex issue, and even more so for technical recruiting. So, what becomes the priority when you hire for IT? Consider 20 areas of focus that should stand out. 

1. Effective and Accurate Job Descriptions

Part of recruiting is developing job descriptions that accurately detail responsibilities and qualifications for employment. Accuracy saves you and potential candidates a lot of time during the hiring process. 

An effective job description will organically filter out some unqualified candidates, giving you access to better options. A poor description will be more work. 

2. Sourcing Candidates

Where you list your jobs is just as important as how you describe them. Think about where the top talent might look for a job lead. Some possibilities might be:

  • College and universities – Many have job boards that help graduates find employment.
  • Professional social media sites – LinkedIn is the top choice. 
  • Job posting platforms focusing on IT – Such as DIce and Crunchboard.
  • Popular job posting platforms – Don’t ignore the ones at the top of search engine rankings, such as Indeed and CareerPlacer. 
  • Professional organizations – CompTIA and ACM are some general IT organizations. There are also some that are sub-industry-specific, such as for gamers or healthcare. Many professional organizations accept job postings. If nothing else, you can use the directories to get leads. 
  • Community Platforms –These would include GitHub and Stack Overflow. 

Anything that serves as a professional resource could be a place that allows for IT job postings. 

3. Create an Interactive Job Posting and Application Process

The posting should do more than just explain the details of a job. It should act as a filter to ensure you spend time on the talent best suited to your needs. One way to do that is to make your initial job application process as interactive as possible. 

Your goal for the initial application is to learn enough about a candidate to decide if you should advance them to the next stage. You can ask some questions at this level to help you determine that. For example:

  • What is your favorite piece of software? 
  • What professional organizations do you belong to and why?
  • What is your biggest professional challenge? 
  • What is your top skill, and why does it make you a fit for this job? 

Asking a few strategic questions at this hiring stage can be a timesaver. It allows you to bubble up the best IT professionals for the job. 

4. Ask Questions That Improve the Recruitment Process

IT staffing companies should also ask a few questions that help improve the recruitment strategy. For example, what tech communities do you participate in or forums do you follow? This not only tells you something about the applicant, but it also gives you information about where talent spends their time. You may be able to use that next time you post a job. 

Another practical question “Where did you see this job posting?” This provides insight into what posting platforms are the most successful for this job type. 

5. Plan to Build Relationships

Creating interactive postings also allows you to see if the candidate might be a good fit for another role. Approach the recruiting process as a chance to build relationships with IT talent so you can contact them if another job is better suited for them. 

6. Develop a Rubric for Each Stage of Hiring

Your initial rubric is the questions you ask as part of the application process. Create something like this for each stage to help filter out the candidates. For instance, if the next step is a remote or phone interview, set up a strategic rubric to help judge whether the candidate has the necessary hard and soft skills. 

The rubric doesn’t have to be questions you ask the applicant. Maybe you rate each one after the interview or check boxes for ideal qualities. Knowing if this candidate should advance to the next hiring level is whatever it takes. 

7. Do a Little Reputation Research on the Brand Before Hiring

Hiring is a two-way street. While you are assessing the qualifications of an applicant, they are giving the employer a deep look, too. Before posting, you should look at reviews about the brand and address anything negative. 

You don’t need to worry about major brands like Google or Apple, but most small to midsize companies require a reputation checkup. See what current and past employees say about them. Is there is anything negative? Consider how you will address that issue with a candidate if it comes up in conversation. 

8. Use Each Job Recruitment as a Learning Opportunity

Take the time to assess how things went after each recruitment. What worked and what didn’t? What job posting provided the best candidates? What did you learn from this recruitment? 

9. Use Metrics to Improve the Process

Simple metrics like time-to-fill can help IT staffing companies be more efficient for subsequent recruitments. 

10. Map Out the Interview Process

Some candidates may go through several interviews before getting hired. Figure out how to do those interviews. The easiest method is remotely, but what platform will you use? Is it necessary to have an in-person interview? 

11. Be Clear About Notifications

Be upfront with candidates on how you will notify them if they can move to the next level or are not the right fit for this job. If you can’t send notifications, tell them that. 

12. Follow the Trends

IT recruitment is an industry that is constantly changing. You want to stay on top of those changes as a recruiter to ensure you get the top talent. 

13. Have a Plan in Case a Candidate Turns Down an Offer

Ideally, you will already have a second and third-place candidate ready if your first pick rejects the job. 

14. Create an IT Recruitment Playbook

Map out your recruitment process step-by-step. This will allow you to review it often and make tweaks as needed. It is also something you can show clients or hiring managers to give them a better understanding of how you recruit. 

15. Have a Plan in Place to Organize Your Candidate Pool

This is important if you hire for several jobs at once. It gives you a central place in case someone who applies for one position is a good fit for another. 

16. Keep Candidate Information for a Set time

If a new technical recruiting job comes up within that time, you already have a pool of candidates to consider.

17. Understand the Hiring Company’s Selling Points

As the recruiter, it is up to you to put this employer’s best foot forward. Find out what is unique and use it when doing job postings. Are they known for promoting within? Do they have a fun and easy company culture? 

18. Understand What Each Applicant Wants

If you understand the company’s selling points, you can match them with the candidate’s goals.

19. Look at Exit Interviews If Possible

This can give you insights into the company. Not all companies use exit interviews or will let you read them, but it is worth asking them about it. 

20. Learn to Think Like a Marketer

IT recruitment is all about marketing. You have to market the job in a way that top talent wants to apply. You also have to sell the candidate to the hiring manager. If you learn to think like a marketer, it will help you do both. 

Since 2000, Innovar Group has developed a proven record for finding the right IT talent. We specialize in Denver IT recruitment. Whether hiring or looking for a career, learn more about Innovar Group today.