For hiring managers, recruiters, tech leaders

Recruiting Tech Talent: What You Need to Know

Dive into the state of recruiting tech talent now, best practices, and more.

Recruiting Tech Talent: What You Need to Know

These days, we’re seeing an increased focus on recruiting tech talent to stay ahead of a dynamic business landscape. Businesses are now more than ever, chomping at the bit to get tech-savvy individuals who innovate and propel the company’s growth trajectory. As technology becomes embedded in every sector, recruiting tech talent is more necessary than ever before. 

The tech talent scene

Tech talent refers to professionals who have a variety of technological skills. Skilled tech talent in North America alone totals over 6 million people across more than 20 roles.

They’re usually sourced from sectors including IT, software engineering, data processing, and other digital areas. Their expansive skill set is typically concentrated on driving automation, boosting efficiency, and streamlining business processes via modern digital solutions.

From coding and programming to expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning, technical skills come in a wide range. They include knowledge in data visualization, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and project management. Essentially, these professionals have a broad yet detailed grasp of their field, making them capable of unraveling complex technological challenges.

As more and more people acquire technical expertise, hiring managers are increasingly seeking those who possess soft skills too. Tech workers need to know the technology, of course. But they also must be able to adapt, communicate, and collaborate to be the best fit in a company. 

Recruiting tech talent is invaluable because these professionals apply their technical skills and expertise to:

  • streamline processes
  • improve existing systems
  • cultivate new, innovative strategies

The state of tech talent hiring

The past few years made for a turbulent hiring market. From the COVID-19 pandemic to The Great Resignation, the tech industry has been no stranger to change. For much of the past year, organizations and workers grappled with rapid transformations and uncertainty.

Related: Layoffs created an influx of applicants for employers in 2023, stretching hiring managers and TA teams even thinner. Combat this with Too Many Inbound Job Applicants But Not Enough Qualified Ones? 8 Tactics to Solve It. 

We’re now seeing a significant shift toward remote work, a focus on specialized skills like AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity, and an increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Regardless of the challenges or changes, tech is here to stay. The demand for skilled talent will remain high as companies adopt new technologies. Keeping an eye on trends and market changes (such as the following) will help you maximize your hiring efforts:

  • Current skills shortages and in-demand skills
  • Popular technologies, tools, and software in use 
  • Industry-specific issues like employee turnover and retention
  • What employers are doing to meet candidate needs and demands 
  • How your competitors attract and retain their talent
  • Where to look for tech candidates
  • Trends in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Related: Hiring Tech Talent is Tough. Here’s Why (and What to Do About it)

Tech talent strategy

A concrete tech talent strategy means being proactive about identifying, recruiting, and nurturing top-notch tech pros. This strategy should be multi-faceted, focusing on:

  • Identifying Key Skills: Understanding the specific technical skills and experience your organization needs is the first step. This could range from software development and data science to cloud computing expertise.
  • Building an Employer Brand: A strong employer brand that highlights your company’s culture, values, and technological innovation can attract top talent. This includes showcasing exciting projects, career growth opportunities, and a positive work environment.
  • Fostering Partnerships: Establishing connections with educational institutions, tech bootcamps, and industry events can provide a pipeline of fresh talent.

In a past Hired webinar, CEO and Co-Founder of SheTO, Nidhi Gupta explained, “From a job req standpoint, you need to highlight the skills. Talk about the skills of the job outliers as opposed to the degree. I encourage you to not write ‘CS degree preferred.’ That’s because women typically look at ten out of ten requirements fulfillment before they apply for a job versus men. You automatically eliminate a plethora of talent.”

As more people join the tech workforce, the need to embrace DEI practices and appeal to a diverse range of talent is crucial for company success and innovation. 

Related: Get the data in our annual deep dive into tech hiring and salaries in The Tech Hiring Tightrope; 2023 State of Tech Salaries.

Tech talent recruitment

Tech talent recruitment requires a tailored approach:

  • Use the Right Platforms: Hired offers a curated pool of experienced tech talent, seeking their next role. Filter by thousands of skills to find experienced, vetted talent that meet your needs. 
  • Implement an Efficient Screening Process: Using tools like coding challenges and technical assessments helps in evaluating the candidate’s skills effectively.
  • Interviewing Techniques: Focus on behavioral and technical interviews to assess both cultural fit and technical expertise.

How to hire the best tech talent

Understanding how to hire the best tech talent goes beyond screening their resumes and coding skills. It’s about attracting the right fit for your organization, someone who can not only do the job but can also contribute value to your team. The challenge for organizations is not just attracting but also retaining this talent pool.

Hiring the best tech talent begins with understanding the current tech landscape. Ensuring your organization is at par with the most recent tech trends and utilizing cutting-edge technologies to drive business operations and solve problems will make your company more attractive to potential employees. Offering competitive salaries and benefits packages, exciting projects and challenges, and opportunities for growth and learning can draw in top-notch candidates.

Attracting AI talent requires a deeper understanding of what motivates them. AI specialists often seek opportunities that allow them to apply and further their skills. Thus, an environment dedicated to innovation, continued learning, and growth are key factors in attracting AI talent. Incorporating AI applications in the company’s key operations and having an enlightened approach toward emerging technologies can also make your company appealing to AI professionals.

How to attract the best tech talent

Competitive salaries are just the tip of the iceberg. Nidhi Gupta explains, “Candidates at different stages of their careers have different needs and wants. In the early stages, their focus may be on growth. In the middle stages, it may be on career acceleration, title, and cash compensation. At later stages, it may be on challenges.

That is the aspect you need to appeal to when you’re talking to candidates. Encourage your candidates to look at everything together to figure out how to make the candidate a whole. 

For example, culture is very important, especially if you’re looking to diversify your organization. You need to speak authentically to your culture. If you have pay equity in your organization, talk about it. Women had to work two and a half months extra to get the same wages as their counterparts last year. 

If you’ve eliminated the wage gap within your organization, you should be shouting about it from your rooftops. If you have initiatives working toward that, authentically talk about it. That is what’s going to appeal to candidates. 

Create a safe space for your employees via ERGs or partnerships with organizations. Essentially, think about candidates at different stages of their career and craft a total compensation package that appeals to them at various career stages.”

To secure the best tech talent, consider these practices:

  • Emphasize Continuous Learning: Tech professionals value opportunities for upskilling and professional development. Offering training programs and learning resources can be a significant draw.
  • Create an Inclusive Work Environment: A culture that values diversity and inclusion can be a key differentiator in attracting and retaining talent.
  • Remote and Flexible Work Options: Given the shift towards remote work, offering flexibility can make your organization more appealing to tech professionals.
  • Engage in a Candidate-Centric Approach: Ensure a positive candidate experience throughout the hiring process, from initial contact to onboarding.

Driving tech talent recruiting forward

Recruiting tech talent in today’s market requires a strategic, nuanced approach. By understanding the current state of tech hiring, developing a comprehensive recruitment strategy, and focusing on candidate experience and company culture, organizations can successfully attract and retain the tech professionals they need to thrive in the digital age.

Need to hire tech candidates including software engineers, engineering managers, devops, product managers, data analysts, or UX designers?

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