As the economy grows, so does the number of companies at the leading edge of innovation. Every entrepreneur, executive and hiring manager knows that today’s biggest challenge to building a high-performing team is finding tech experts who can deliver results consistently, without costly errors or setbacks.
An economic trends report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) revealed last March that 45 percent of hiring managers surveyed reported finding a shortage of qualified candidates in their talent searches. The cause, of course, is the steady economic growth in the tech sector: It’s driven higher demand for new IT functions and resulted in a talent gap that can be closed only as more people pursue a technical education.
Nathan Doctor, CEO of Qualified, addressed this issue during a recent call for my podcast. The executive, whose company is a coding assessment provider, pointed out that, “Engineering candidates are extremely in demand, presenting hiring managers with a list of challenges, from finding quality candidates to convincing top performers to join.
“It’s important,” Doctor continued, “that hiring managers can effectively identify top performers quickly so they can focus their energy on making the hire. This includes moving [candidates] through the hiring process and winning competitive scenarios with other employers.”
Turning to cloud-hiring solutions
Gartner’s Market Guide for Human Capital reported that companies are trading outdated legacy hiring systems for externally provided cloud solutions. Gartner predicted that these cloud solutions would account for 50 percent or more of spending in this category by the end of 2017.
This should come as no surprise to any executive familiar with the costs associated with developing in-house systems. Not to mention that significant time can be saved by bringing on innovative cloud providers for the recruiting process.
Solving for sourcing
Most entrepreneurs and human resources professionals are all too familiar with recruiters’ tendencies to recommend candidates who match on paper but aren’t a practical fit for the organization. Fortunately, there are quite a few cloud providers that can supplement and improve your recruiting efforts at a fraction of the cost.
Platforms like Hired and Sourcing.io are helping companies identify potential candidates digitally, reducing the amount of time it takes to achieve an applicant flow, and accomplishing a preliminary screening based on key job duties. By performing these tasks, these platforms empower in-house recruiters and tech teams to work together to streamline the sourcing process without resorting to recruiting firms.
I’ve personally used Indeed.com a handful of times, and was happy with my candidate options every time I posted a job offer.
Solving for hiring
Doctor further noted another reason why the hiring process for IT professionals is so complex: tesing. “There is a range of approaches to testing technical skills,” he pointed out. “You have your heuristics: resumes, past experience, former employers, college. Then you have skills assessments: coding assessments, quizzes, technical tests and take-home assignments.
“And there are interviews: verbal phone screens, pair-programming, on-sites and white-boarding.”
“Because you have to deal with so many different aspects in the selection process, you can easily get bogged down in the wrong kind of information,” Doctor continued, noting that the most effective measures are those that test candidates on their real-world abilities — how they will actually perform on the job.
In this context, companies often turn to coding assessments to eliminate having their engineers waste time assessing unsuitable candidates via phone screens and on-site interviews. Such assessments are increasingly relevant: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, reported that 20 percent of current IT jobs it looked at were in software development.
In the testing context, I’ve found CoderPad to be an amazing resource. I also personally developed an app that helps with this process, called CipherHacks.
Keeping up with demand
In an article in InformationWeek, IT hiring expert Bob Miano shared, that, “Organizations are still in catch-up mode as the amount of data captured and positioned for analysis grows exponentially.” Miano added: “The demand for actionable data is huge right now. Technology innovation is creating more data, which now needs to be analyzed and transformed and made actionable.”
One of the things that data reveals is exactly what executives are looking for: In fact, a NetworkWorld report detailed that over 40 of executives surveyed were looking for skills in database management, cybersecurity, blockchain development, desktop support and network administration. That’s why applicants are wise to consider how their skills translate into these arenas, tailor their resumes’ SEO potential to improve their chances of landing the position they want and continually update their LinkedIn profiles to add new and relevant skills.
Knowing what other industry leaders are doing to attract top talent is vital to success in an increasingly competitive employment market. Given today’s glut of open positions and a shortage of qualified candidates, executives need to have the best solutions and methods to help them secure the ideal candidate in a fraction of the usual time. And, yes, tech leaders should use tech.