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3 Proven Approaches for Recruiting Your Future Tech Leaders

Raise the bar on tech talent recruitment by broadening your talent pool, differentiating your brand, and using data-driven insight.

COVID-19 has been, by far, the biggest catalyst in making ‘digital transformation’ the keystone of all organizational strategies across the globe. Consequently, digital skills have become the crux of this evolution. The latest report on Tech Talent Recruitment from Gartner states that 65% percent of Heads of Recruiting agreed that the digital/tech talent market is far more competitive than other talent markets.
The good thing is, irrespective of the current supply of qualified candidates, there are large catchments of untapped, ready-to-be-polished technical talent that can cater to this massive demand for skills.

What really needs answering is this: Given the current crisis that has mandated remote working and social distancing, how can organizations attract the right candidates to build highly capable tech teams?

As an HR technology partner to many industry leaders and innovative organizations, we have had the opportunity to witness many interesting, and effective approaches recently deployed by companies to hire the best tech talent and for gaining a tactical advantage. Here’s what you need to do to stay at the top of the game.

#1—Broaden Your Talent Pool By Looking At Alternate Sources

When it comes to technical skills, demand outstrips supply. The hysteria over high-quality candidates means that some companies are even willing to out-pay them off the market if their profiles tick all the right boxes. Recruiters unfortunately tend to lean more towards candidates who hold specific educational qualifications in technology or possess the relevant experience required for tech roles. The 2019 Gartner Report on Tech Recruitment notes that most recruiters (72%) agree that they often screen out otherwise qualified candidates because of hiring managers’ high standards for technical expertise.

Don’t fall in a hiring rut. Cast your net wider. Look for alternate sources to get good candidates that are not a typical fit for the role but possess the right technical qualifications or the experience for the job.

According to Gartner’s 2019 report on ‘Recruiting for Tech Talent’, Microsoft’s LEAP program is an excellent example of how an organization nurtures unconventional talent. Launched in 2015, this immersive 16-week apprenticeship program is an alternative approach to talent sourcing that aims to develop software engineers and technical program managers for Microsoft’s own core engineering groups.

To be able to evaluate these unconventional profiles, however, you will require new ways and approaches to evaluate talent that focus more on skills rather than qualifications.

Hackathons and coding challenges work well to attract the right candidates and allow you to evaluate them upfront. Recruiters can also consider looking at IT professionals who may have moved out of or had been laid off in the technology field but are otherwise perfectly qualified for your role. Another way to ensure a good pipeline is to start building it right at the grassroots level. Some companies have started collaborating with educational institutes to create up-skilling or accelerator programs for interested and capable students to learn critical technical skills that will be in high demand in the immediate future.

Some companies have started collaborating with educational institutes to create up-skilling or accelerator programs for interested and capable students to learn critical technical skills.

#2—Differentiate Your Brand And Delight Your Candidates

Focus on building a differentiated brand right from the start. Make it easy for candidates to learn about you. Create a precise message for targeted sourcing. Include photos/videos in the assessment process to share your culture, testimonials of previous tech recruits with your company, etc. to give candidates a better perspective.

Job descriptions should identify not just the key deliverables and responsibilities but also the ideal personality traits and your expectations from them. Use a combination of intelligent tech solutions and a structured interaction process to “Wow” the candidates and make them excited about joining your organization.

The bigger draw for the candidates is knowing how your company will enrich their career. In what ways will you invest in their future with your company? What kind of opportunities will they get to learn and grow so they can become enablers of Digital Transformation?

When Adidas kicked off a campaign targeted specifically at attracting female IT professionals, they reworked job descriptions, highlighted female-focused benefits, and emphasized the potential for growth and change within the organization. Gartner’s 2019 report mentions that the company saw female representation in IT grow by 48% in less than a year and a half.

Showcasing a rich, learning environment can become the game-changer for some candidates who consciously choose to accept your company’s offer rather than that of your competitor.

Use a combination of intelligent tech solutions and a structured interaction process to “Wow” the candidates and make them excited about joining your organization.

#3—Use Data-Driven Insights To Build A Diverse Workforce Faster

The best way to bring about homogeneity in assessing conventional, as well as alternate profiles, is to automate your tech hiring process with AI-powered solutions for interviewing and assessment. Brendan Browne, Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn states, “The recruiting organization that figures out how to extract the value of data will define the future of talent acquisition.” LinkedIn studies indicate Talent Acquisition teams with mature analytics are twice more likely to improve their recruiting efforts and three times more likely to realize cost reductions and efficiency gains.

Tools like SHL’s Coding Simulations and Coding Interview provide detailed candidate profiling to minimize the influence of recruiter bias on the initial-screening process. that the decision-making process is free from recruiter bias. Using artificial intelligence, these tools provide rich, data-driven insights to make faster hiring decisions by quickly generating a shortlist of highly qualified candidates. With this output, your recruiters and technical hiring managers can invest quality time interviewing only the good candidates, instead of wading through all applications.

In this era of remote working, the proliferation of digital tools to engage with and hire the perfect tech talent is what has helped a lot of companies stay aligned with their people strategy. Using cutting edge technology for assessments is just one way to speed up the digitization wave that was permeating the entire hiring ecosystem very soon. Raise the bar on your technical hiring now, so you can stand assured tomorrow about the talent you brought on board during the lockdown of 2020.

Learn more about SHL’s Tech Hiring Solution.


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SHL Editor

Members of SHL staff from across the organization collaborated to research and write this article.

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