Best Tech Recruitment Tips for Non-techies From a Recruitment Agency

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Hiring technical staff, if you’re not technical yourself, can be difficult. The truth is that there are a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) differences between developers that might pass a non-techie by; for example, you might think that Java and Javascript are pretty much the same thing but tell that to a developer and wait for the eyes to start rolling. So how do you track down great technical talent if you’re not that way inclined? By following our best tech recruitment tips!

Tip #1 Understanding Tech Recruiting

If this is your first experience as a tech recruiter, it might be helpful to have an understanding of what makes hiring developers, analysts, and other tech staff different. That’s things like:

The Technology

IT roles tend to require quite a specific skill set. If you’re looking for a database developer, for example, you can’t just approach any database dev you find on LinkedIn and expect them to be able to slot into your company. Roles vary tremendously between companies; IT staff from smaller companies probably have an overview of the whole system from end to end, whereas devs from a bigger company might work on a really specific aspect of design or implementation.

Simply put, if you’re not technical yourself, then you will need help from someone who is to make sure that you’re looking for the right skills and experience in your candidates. Calling in help from the team manager, or one of the new hire’s potential colleagues should help you get the right keywords on your job description.

The Market

One thing any good tech recruiter knows is that it’s definitely a seller’s market. Way back in 2012, the US Burea of Labor Statistics was forecasting that there would be more than a million IT roles with no Computer Science graduates to fill them by 2020. In the UK, 90% of companies were agreeing with them. They were right; developers are in high demand, and their current employers will be doing all they can to retain them; probably why almost 75% of developers say they’re satisfied with their career choice.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that 90% of technical staff are male, so if you are looking to increase the percentage of female developers you employ you’ll need to think carefully about your tech recruitment strategy to find and attract them.

How to Motivate a Techie

Stack Overflow published a survey last year, in which they asked technical staff to list what the most important factors about their jobs were. If you were expecting them to say money, you might be in for a surprise – here are the five most popular responses:

  1. Languages, frameworks, & other technologies I’d be working with.
  2. Office environment & company culture
  3. Flextime or flexible schedule
  4. Opportunities for professional development
  5. Remote work options

This is another reason to make sure that the job description is accurate when it comes to the technical details; that might just be what persuades your new hire to make the call.

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Tip #2 Finding Tech Candidates

Because of all of the above, there aren’t too many developers actively looking for work. It’s worth brushing up on tips on recruitment for passive candidates; those who are already happily in a role. This doesn’t necessarily mean headhunting, although that is one approach. It may just mean that you ensure that your job advertisement and job description stand out from the crowd and gain the attention of the type of candidate you’re looking for.

One of the most interactive IT recruiting tips is to engage with developers by issuing a challenge. One example of this is ‘Code on the Road’ an in-app development by Uber that gives users three coding challenges with 60 second time limits for each. If you pass, they ask if they can send you recruitment information. Coding challenges or hackathons are becoming increasingly popular as ways to identify the best IT talent.

It’s also advisable to use the services of a tech recruitment agency. OK, we admit we might be a little bit biased on this one, but we honestly believe that one of the most effective tips for IT recruitment is to use a specialist agency. As we’ve outlined above, tech roles are different not only in terms of the job description and specific requirements but also in the culture. It’s a lot easier for someone who is connected with that culture to find the right person for you, than an outsider who is more used to interviewing admin or call center staff. All tea, no shade.

Consider Remote Work

While the world is in the middle of the biggest ever remote work experiment (or a global pandemic if you prefer) what was already a rapidly expanding sector of employment has gone into overdrive. We’re confident that more companies will follow the likes of Twitter, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon embracing remote working as a permanent change, we’re confident that remote and international hiring is going to be the new normal.

Which is where we come in, because not only are we technical specialists, we’re remote technical specialists. Our business is all about taking opportunities like yours and finding the perfect techie, no matter where they might be located. We’ll locate and pre-vet candidates for you and send you a shortlist of those who match technical ability, company culture, and ability to work well, remotely. You could even be onboarding your new hire in under two weeks.

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Sarah Dixon

Sarah Dixon

Sarah Dixon is a remote work advocate and thought leader and a specialist in persuasive writing. She has an MA in Creative Fiction, is a children's author, and a writer of award-winning short stories.