Nothing beats the relief of finding your unicorn candidate and swiftly moving them through your hiring process. However, even if a candidate passes your interview with flying colors, there’s still one more question to ask: did you pass their interview?
With an estimated one million more computing jobs than candidates to fill them by 2020, it’s safe to say today’s tech talent has options. To avoid losing out to competitors, your organization needs to understand that screening is a two-way street and be prepared to sell your organization and the position. While most companies are hyper-focused on attracting candidates into the funnel, the real challenge lies in knowing how to win them over and close the deal. We’ve pinpointed three tips for landing top tech talent:
Sell Your Culture
Your company’s website, social media profiles, and employee review pages likely played a role in initially attracting candidates to your open positions. Through these platforms, potential candidates were given a sneak peek into your unique culture and what type of employee or consultant experience you provide. The late stages of your tech hiring process, however, require a more personal touch.
While it can be easy to think of “company culture” as a buzzword that tech talent regards as an added bonus, it’s actually a big factor in their on-the-job satisfaction. In fact, a survey of tech professionals found that 36% of respondents have left positions because a company’s working environment and culture didn’t measure up. During interviews, be sure to ask your candidates what they’re looking for in an employer and what type of environments they thrive in. For many tech candidates, this is more than just the hyped-up idea of arcade machines in the break room and an in-house barista. Sure, these are cool perks (who doesn’t want an in-house barista?), but top tech talent won’t be won over by novelties. Your company should be prepared to deliver a convincing argument as to how your culture outshines competitors.
Finally, be prepared to flex with your candidates’ unique wants and needs. If they say they thrive in a flexible work environment, allow them to work from home for half of the week, even if a position was intended to be a strictly in-office role. If you hold out, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll connect with another company who’s prepared to offer the flexibility they’re looking for.
Fight for the Right Candidate
For every standout candidate your company is moving along the hiring process, it’s safe to assume they’re also speaking with recruiters from other companies. While this can be nerve-racking, it’s the name of the tech hiring game. The company with the best overall offer will win the candidate over – that is, they will if you don’t fight for them.
If someone rejects your job offer in today’s tight IT talent market, hanging your head and going back to square one isn’t your only option. If you’re really invested in a candidate who decided to go in a different direction, you should ask them why. If it was salary based, counteroffer with a worthwhile amount. Or, if your candidate has a defined idea of what they want from an employer – flexible hours, telecommuting, etc. – and your competitor is ready to make it happen, you need to be prepared to make it happen too.
As a side note, while successful counteroffering is often strictly equated to more dollar signs, that’s not always the case. For example, a long-time client of ours was very interested in a candidate we presented who was already employed. His employer tried to prevent his departure by offering him a whopping $38,000 salary increase. Rather than lose him, our client managed to raise their original offer by $30,000. Even though our client was offering slightly less, the candidate accepted their job offer (it also didn’t hurt that they moved fast and made the offer in a day). Why? Because everything that the candidate had learned in the client’s hiring process won him over, and he couldn’t wait to be part of the team.
As an employer, it’s important to remember that every candidate you interact with is navigating through many uncertainties. You may need them to fill your open position, but they’re depending on you to be a permanent part of their career path. Even consultants need to trust that the projects they’re assigned to are going to develop their skills and build their portfolio. And, ultimately, all tech pros want to feel inspired.
Ideally, every working day would be a reminder about why they spent years of sleepless nights learning how to code, build systems and understand the ins and outs of technology. Do you have a mission they can get excited about? Is your company filled with like-minded go-getters who encourage each other to reach their full potential? Does your talent have access to cutting-edge technology and projects that just might redefine the future? You don’t need to answer yes to all of these – if you can inspire tech talent, get their wheels turning, and ignite that little spark of genius, then you just might officially have a new hire.
Winning top talent over is a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone. Consultis is equipped with decades of expert experience in building recruitment funnels, “selling” companies to candidates, and helping them land their unicorn tech pro.
We’ve compiled more expert insights in our “Guide for Catching Top Technical Talent”. Check it out, then let’s talk talent.