hiring tech talent

Hiring Tech Talent: Why Moving Slow is Like Letting Them Go

Imagine you’re buying a house. On your first visit, a realtor shows you a spacious place with amazing features in a great neighborhood. You love it! Do you continue your search, trying to prove without a doubt that it’s the best option? Or do you make an offer immediately, trying to hide your excitement behind your best poker face? If you keep searching, you lose the house (the Joneses thank you). And basically, I see the same situation when companies go about hiring tech talent.

If you find an IT professional with in-demand skills looking for a new opportunity, waiting to pull the trigger is like letting your competitors take a quick and thought-out free throw. Why’s that? The answer boils down to a shift in the mindset of top technology professionals, one that companies have been slow to consider at their own risk.

Tech Professionals Know Their Worth

Today’s IT talent know more about their market worth than ever before. They use resources like PayScale, Salary.com, and LinkedIn Salary that paint a picture of their compensation based on their skills, metro area, and experience. And top talent are likely in touch with four or five recruiters, so they already know what companies have been offering in the local market. That awareness has been a game-changer for negotiations – putting influence into the hands of candidates.

Companies that like a candidate but hope to find a more economical choice are going to be disappointed. Unlike your favorite box of Kellogg’s Cereal, top tech talent won’t be going on sale in a few weeks’ time. In fact, waiting might lead prospects for a specific position to disappear for a time. When businesses aren’t urgent, the .Net Developers, Cybersecurity Specialists, and other high-demand candidates get snapped up by competitors.

Candidates Receive Mixed Messages

Not long ago, I was working with a client in their search for a Software Engineer. We knew the requirements, knew their culture, and found an exceptional candidate through our very thorough screening and vetting process. After the interview, the client said they really liked this Software Engineer, but they need to do some comparison shopping first.

As they did so, the candidate started asking questions like “Is this a place that I want to work? Can they not make up their mind?” We knew the candidate really wanted this position from the beginning, so we kept reminding her what she liked about the challenges and company culture (we’d never push her into a job she didn’t want). That steadied her for long enough for the client to come back with an offer. However, if she had been on the fence, the chances of her sticking around would have been extremely low.

In thousands of situations like this one, waiting too long to make the offer rubbed the candidate the wrong way. Some question whether or not the company is serious about hiring tech talent. Others wonder if the culture is compatible with their values. Regardless, a slow hiring process creates doubt. Where there’s doubt, there’s an opportunity for faster companies to intervene and make an offer.

What Successfully Hiring Tech Talent Takes

To say that companies should hire faster misses the point. Successful companies are definitely making decisions before their competitors, but it’s because they are working smarter. They research the market upfront to grasp the full demand and recognize standout candidates when they see them. They hold all their interviews on one day or partner with staffing firms to improve their quality of candidate. And they have decision makers ready to approve candidates once an exceptional fit is found. That takes lots of preparation and insight into the best practices for recruiting tech talent.

Want to learn how to catch top technical talent? We’ve put together a guide to help companies innovate their candidate search to increase their ability to find the right fit. Get your copy today!


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