How to Recruit Developers & Tech Talent

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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment across all IT jobs is expected to grow by 22% through 2020. Despite this steady increase of openings in the technology industry, competition for talented individuals in the tech industry is at unprecedented levels, which raises the question- how does a company successful recruit the best developers and tech talent as competition continues to grow? Here are 10 key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep an ongoing relationship with potential hires. Even if there is not an open position for them at the time, it is well worth establishing a relationship with talented individuals for future open positions. You want to make sure you are pursuing the person, not the slot you want to fill
  2. Be sure to ease into a relationship. There’s a lot of middle ground between no relationship and a full-time salaried hire. People are freelancing more and more, so be open to arrangements that let you both test the waters to see if you’re compatible — sometimes you need to date before you marry. Conversely, don’t drag things on forever. If you’re in a part-time/contractor relationship with someone that is clearly looking for a full-time gig, and you have any hesitation, don’t string them along.
  3. Be honest and transparent. Try to avoid wasting time by promising decisions or deadlines for hires if you’re not ready to commit. Pull the trigger or move on.
  4. Avoid sounding like a recruiter. When you’re looking for new hires in the tech industry, be sure to avoid sounding like a recruiter in any correspondences (people hate recruiters).
  5. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Do your best to avoid waiting until you are in dire need of a certain role or position to begin looking – this may lead you to have to make unideal hiring decisions and settle for someone who is not a perfect fit within your business.
  6. Hit up user groups and meetups. Tech events such as user groups and meetups can be a great place to meet and establish relationships with talented tech individuals. They also can be an ideal place to see and converse with other industry professionals who may have a great reference for a potential hire.
  7. If you’re not technical, don’t try to be. Nothing is a quicker turn off than someone trying to fake expertise. If you’re not technical, focus on what you do know and why you’re recruiting that person.
  8. Cast a wide net and you’ll catch a lot of fish … crappy fish. Trolling for keyword matches and bulk e-mailing will waste the time of everyone involved (including your own). Long gone are the days of resume databases and keyword indexing. The best hires come from networking and reputation.
  9. Respect preferred modes of communication. Potential hires probably aren’t going to want to field a phone right off the bat, be sure to pay attention to utilizing preferred means of communicating to make the hiring process as seamless and comfortable as possible.
  10. Know the market — skills have increasingly diversified and stratified. Long gone are the days when you can go out and simply hire a “web developer” (pour one out for the webmasters of the world). Do you want a frontend programmer? UX? Backend? Rails? .NET? Are you looking for a DBA? devops? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you’re not ready to recruit.

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