Solving the Unique Challenges of IT Recruiting

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1 Solving the Unique Challenges of IT Recruiting pg Eishenhower Parkway, Suite 300 Roseland, NJ recruitingdivision.com recruitingdivision.com

2 Although IT recruiters have the same challenges as recruiters of other types of positions and industries, they also face some challenges that are unique to the IT industry and IT candidates. All recruiters needs to find good sources of candidates, find a large enough pool of qualified candidates, attract passive candidates, and find candidates with culture fit. But IT recruiters must find software professionals who can not only pass a technical interview, but that also display the passion and intellectual curiosity that top companies are looking for. And many IT hiring managers seek a 100% match to their position requirements. The challenges of IT recruiting can be met with a range of tools and strategies, including Technical Pre-Screening, Networking, Social Aggregation tools, and Social Media platforms. No one IT recruiter can know everything about the work that their diverse candidates must perform when recruiting database developers, software testers, Java developers, and other IT professionals. Technical pre-screening enables recruiters to verify candidate skills, abilities, and experience before sending them to client interviews. Social aggregation tools such as Hiring Solved, Gild, and TalentHook enable recruiters to spot top candidates through their social activity across the web with faster, easier, and often onetouch search features. Social media platforms are a cost-effective and highly successful way to reach out to a large number of candidates, provide valuable and engaging content, and promote your open positions. Networking enables recruiters to get the attention of great programmers, developers, and engineers who may have numerous employment opportunities and recruiter solicitations. There are some complex challenges in IT recruiting. When evaluating a candidate, successful recruiters need to ask these questions: Are these candidates really skilled at everything they have listed on their resume, or are they using their resume as a notepad for every peripheral experience they ve had in their career? Can these candidates pass a technical interview? For software developers, in addition to passing a technical interview for their chosen skill set, such as Java or C#, can they also pass an interview that assesses their understanding of the foundational, basic software engineering principles that underlie all programming languages? What s their code like? Is it elegant? (And how will you know?) pg recruitingdivision.com

3 What s the best way to engage the top candidates clients want when they may have a long list of employment solicitations for high-paying positions with great companies? How can we find the top candidates faster than the competition? ARE THEY REALLY SKILLED AT EVERYTHING IN THE RESUME? IT recruiters see a LOT of resumes with a LOT of technical terms. Linux, PL/SQL, C++, Hibernate, and the list goes on. The problem with an overload of technical terms, especially in the technical summary, is that anything in the resume is fair game for the hiring manager to ask about in an interview. Think that your hiring manager will simply ignore the extraneous technical terms listed on the resume and only ask questions related to the skills that are required for the position at hand? Think again. The truth is that hiring managers get irritated when an IT candidate s resume has upwards of 200 technical keywords that they claim to know. So, many hiring managers put aside the pre-planned interview agenda and instead call the candidate to the carpet on those trumped up skills, even though they may not be pertinent to the position. Many a candidate has failed an interview before even getting to the technical questions that they expected would be asked. That s a shame, because many candidates are eliminated in this manner even though they may truly be a great match for the position. Forewarned is forearmed - IT recruiters have to be careful not to present candidates with resumes overloaded with technical terms that are merely resume window dressing. They must go through the candidate s resume line by line and assess what the candidate s exact experience is with each technical term on the resume. Ask probing questions. If, for example, the skill is Java, then ask questions such as: pg 3 On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your overall skill with Java? On which projects did you use Java? How long was the duration that you used Java for on each project? What were your exact responsibilities with Java? How many Java projects have you been on full lifecycle from inception through implementation? What was your role on those projects? Were you responsible for architecture or design, or just coding? What unique programming challenges have you solved with Java? What innovative, creative out-of-the box things have you done using Java? Have you ever served as a Java Project Lead? Have you ever mentored other Java developers? How many others besides yourself were involved with Java on each project? recruitingdivision.com

4 Then, have the candidate pare down their resume to the skills for which they are proficient and have meaningful experience. Only then should you send the resume, along with your notes, to your hiring manager. CAN THESE CANDIDATES PASS A TECHNICAL INTERVIEW? It s a big disappointment to hear from the hiring manager that the candidate couldn t explain basic software engineering principles, let alone answer questions about a specific programming language. Three areas where IT recruiters have problems with candidates include: 1. Assessing a candidate s understanding of foundational software engineering principles. 2. Assessing a candidate s ability to answer questions about their chosen programming language. 3. Assessing candidate s ability to write elegant code. IT recruiters can t always easily discern candidates abilities in these areas from the resume and interview, and should therefore do a technical pre-screen before sending an IT candidate to interview with a hiring manager. There are two ways for IT recruiters to evaluate candidates technical skills: Do a technical pre-screen using questions developed with input from hiring managers about what they are looking for in candidates. The questions must be simple enough for recruiters to understand but not too simple that all candidates know the answers. Have you hiring manager help you to compile five to ten questions, and then ask them verbally to your candidates. If you have limited access to the hiring manager, then do a search on the internet for relevant questions and do your best to compile them yourself. If you doubt your ability to technically pre-screen candidates, consider using an outside service. Prove it! and Brainbench offer multiple choice tests that candidates take online. Services like Codility and Interview Street take online interviewing one step further by asking the candidates to write actual code, and that code is then evaluated and graded by a live, expert software developer. HOW CAN YOU FIND TOP CANDIDATES FASTER THAN YOUR COMPETITION? It s a challenge for recruiters to get in front of busy IT professionals with the right skills and characteristics. Get there first with Social Media, Social Aggregation Tools, and Networking. pg recruitingdivision.com

5 Social Media IT candidates are on social media, so IT recruiters need to use social media to find them, connect, and get build relationships. The best social media platforms for IT recruiting include LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +. LinkedIn A Picture s Worth a Thousand Words LinkedIn is for connecting, and nothing connects more easily than your own image, compliments of a good photo. One ingredient in the LinkedIn secret sauce for recruiting is the professional headshot. You want the top candidates looking for IT recruiters to see you in your best light, and be able to put a friendly, professional, trustworthy face to your name and profile information. Work the Headline Go beyond your job title and be creative and descriptive in your LinkedIn headline. Use compelling phrases such as Seeking Passionate Professionals or I want to talk to finance industry professionals today. That old adage You never get a second chance to make a first impression applies to your LinkedIn headline, so be creative and engaging. Make it count, along with your profile photo, to get attention, engage visitors to your profile, and make it much more effective than a profile with no picture (or worse, a bad picture) and a weak headline. Get with Your Groups Join some groups in LinkedIn and participate in them to get and give advice and find resources quickly. Help someone in your industry in discussions in groups or ask for help with a problem or concern you have. Help someone Connect with members active in the group you join. Choose a few groups related to your industry and participate in them regularly, asking questions, adding to discussions, and sharing interesting and valuable news and information. Check out groups before you join to get an idea of how members contribute, how big or small the group is, how active the group is, and why people join the group. You can get most of this information by clicking View Group Statistics. pg recruitingdivision.com

6 Twitter You may think you re too busy to add any more recruiting activities to your schedule, but Twitter is almost a necessity, and there are apps to make it easier for recruiters to add Twitter to their recruiting process. Check out these Twitter apps for recruiters: TwitJobSearch - TwitJobSearch is a really simple app to use for recruiting and it s free. It s a search engine for jobs. Use it to add your jobs to their search engine for candidates to find, get an XML file of tweeted jobs, or tweet your job. TweetMyJobs TweetMyJobs has a free option and an enterprise option. Post up to 25 jobs per year for free, sending them out to Facebook and Twitter. Get your own branded Twitter channel with the enterprise option if you know you ll have more than 25 jobs. Bullhorn Reach - Use Bullhorn Reach to send job posts out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, SimplyHired and other leading job boards. Automatically re-post as long as you want. Bullhorn Reach sends you matches for your openings and can alert you when connections in your network look for jobs. Use Bullhorn for marketing too, by posting your best content. YouTube Google (who owns YouTube) has received over 2.2 million views of their career YouTube channel, Life At Google. Wouldn t you like to get 2.2 million eyeballs on your job openings, employer brand, and work environment infomercials? You can look forward to the following when you use YouTube: You can link all of your social media pages to YouTube channel and vice versa. You get additional content for your regular career page on your company website or on any other job board where you have a presence. When cold calling candidates, you can send a potential lead to your YouTube channel to learn more about your company. You get to showcase any aspect of your company, your products, your employees or your company culture that YOU wish to project. Google Hangouts Google Hangouts is a versatile new tool for recruiters to reach passive candidates easily and cost effectively. Part of Google+, Google Hangouts works well for an almost limitless variety of recruiting pg recruitingdivision.com

7 scenarios, like sourcing interns on campus, interviewing top candidates, and enhancing employer brand with information sessions for candidates to introduce the work and company culture. Job and intern seekers are using it to create job search clubs, and to connect with employees and recruiters to explore companies and career options. Hangouts to Highlight Job Openings Hold monthly hangouts highlighting your job openings and invite hiring managers to come and discuss the work and company culture. Focus on one job or multiple jobs, but having a regular monthly hangout for openings you are recruiting for, coordinated with people from the companies with the openings, will attract active and passive job seekers and students looking for internships. Get even more return on your time and effort investment by posting the recorded Hangout to your (or the employer s) blog, website, or social media platforms for viewing. Hangout On-Campus (without leaving your desk) If you recruit for new graduates and college interns, you can use Google Hangouts to go oncampus without spending a dime on travel and accommodations. Get face time with top students from colleges with the programs for the positions you are filling. Contact advisors and professors in academic programs related to the positions and companies you are recruiting for and ask about speaking to students through Hangouts. Offer to discuss the positions, the employers, and the work expected of new hires. If the company with the opening has any alumni on staff, ask them to join the Hangout and discuss the company culture and why they chose to work there. Hangouts for Interviews Use Google Hangouts for screening interviews and pre-interviews to save time and money in the selection process. Invite candidates to discuss their skills and experience and invite the hiring manager and several key personnel at the company with the opening to discuss the work and the culture. pg recruitingdivision.com

8 Use Hangouts to conference with candidates sourced from LinkedIn, Facebook, forums, and other areas. Private Hangouts with the recruiter and the candidate, the hiring manager and the candidate, or an interview panel and the candidate are just some of the ways to use Google Hangouts for video interviews. You can use Google Hangouts like an online private conference room, with the advantage of flexibility and cost-effectiveness that just aren t there with face-to-face interviews for candidates and employers in different geographic locations. Social Aggregation Tools With social aggregation tools, IT recruiters can shorten search time dramatically with aggregated results in the areas they need for candidate search. Instead of an exhaustive Boolean search with Google and follow up with phone calls and s, IT recruiters using social aggregators can get graded and ranked profiles of candidates meeting specific skill sets, showing how they are active in social media and technical forums, or reports back about candidates coding abilities. Hiring Solved When finding the right IT candidates quickly without days of manual search is a priority, HiringSolved s comprehensive search function automates your searches. HiringSolved searches the social media environment for the types of candidates you specify and delivers rich candidate profiles from web and social media activities so recruiters see at a glance candidate s skills, abilities, passions, creativity, and level of participation. IT candidates get a range of benefits from HiringSolved: Rich ranked profiles delivered without the need for manual search Candidate contact information Real time saved on search and match Gild How do you determine if the developer candidates you talk to have the skills hiring managers need? Do you get enough information from the hiring managers to know if the candidates will pass a technical interview? Can you tell what quality of code they write? Gild is a candidate sourcing tool that enables IT recruiters to identify the best developers evaluated for their code and social media participation. The information on developer candidates is available in Gild s database of more than 6 million pg recruitingdivision.com

9 developers worldwide, which has candidates scored by their skill level so their evaluated experience is easily available for IT recruiters to search, as well as developer profile rankings comparing them to all other developers in Gild s database. If searching for developers and trying to verify candidate skills is a big part of your recruiting work week, and you ve had problems with candidates you thought could write the code your hiring managers wanted, Gild eliminates a lot of guesswork. TalentHook TalentHook s advanced and automated sourcing and recruiting process solutions cut time and tedium from IT recruiters search with web crawling technology. The TalentHook search agent scours job boards, the open web, colleges, flip search and social networks with one tool. TalentHook enables IT recruiters to set up automated search agents, eliminates resume duplicates, and includes advanced search techniques to find hidden and obscure resume content. TalentHook Cloud gives IT recruiters a way to easily set up effective and ongoing contacts and campaigns with automated processes, templates, reminders, and other effective features. TalentHook s candidate management features include automated search and filtering tools to eliminate manual search tasks and duplication. IT recruiters benefit from TalentHook s drip marketing campaign feature to drive candidates to company websites and manage candidate communications. Candidate sourcing tools like HiringSolved, Gild, and TalentHook enable IT recruiters to more quickly and efficiently find hidden candidates with the skills and interests they need and get to know candidates even before making contact. Networking Networking will always remain an important part of IT recruiting that solves the another recruiter problem of candidates turned off by cold calls and spam from recruiters they don t know. To avoid becoming another recruiter to be avoided, go out and see and be seen where the candidates are so you re not anonymous or unknown. Participate in IT Industry Events Promote yourself, your company, and your job openings at IT industry events and conferences. Introduce yourself and talk about the types of openings you have. Collect business cards, give pg recruitingdivision.com

10 presentations on what employers want or how to interview well, and distribute your marketing materials. Develop Recruiting Channels Develop recruiting channels with participation and activity in areas and events you know will be good sources of IT candidates. Attend industry associations, technical conferences, charity events in the technical community, and recruiting events at technical colleges and university programs. Local community events such as chamber of commerce events may be a good channel to ask for referrals, and a company website page for referrals is a channel that is always available. Use recruiting channels to not only ask for referrals, but to get to know the people in those channels and let them get to know you. Test different areas and return to those that produce the best results. CONCLUSION Be creative but consistent with your IT recruiting strategy and focus on the areas that solve your recruiting challenges and produce the best results. Develop a competitive advantage using a variety of tools and methods, including technical pre-screening, social aggregation tools, social media, and networking. pg recruitingdivision.com

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