Six Steps to Sourcing Top-Tier Tech Talent

Male business professional holding iPad and looking at drawing plans.

As the roles of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, big data, mobile and social expand, demand for the most desirable tech talent will continue to grow as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in the 10 years from 2014-2024, employment in tech occupations will grow 12 percent — far above the seven percent average for all U.S. occupations.

However, supply remains stubbornly limited. By 2018, according to an InformationWeek report, the country will face a shortage of about 224,000 high tech workers. In other words, competition for top performers is hot and getting hotter. How do you find the best tech talent to help you meet your organization’s business needs?

1. Go where the candidates are

Hiring managers need to be extremely resourceful and proactive to find the best engineers in this talent landscape, according to Bethany Jordan, Aerotek senior recruiter. She recommends that their search strategies target passive as well as active job-seekers, and seek out opportunities to build relationships that deepen the long-term pipeline. In addition to LinkedIn and job search sites like CareerBuilder, Jordan notes that industry blogs and career resources at universities that specialize in engineering and technology programs are a good place to start. And she also recommends networking in person as well as online — going to meetups regularly increases your chances of meeting tech talent.

2. Use your internal resources

In 2015, the McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey of human resources managers noted that most tech companies see the best results from employee referrals. Bret Givens, strategic account manager for Aerotek, agrees. “The way we see it, we’re building a relationship from day one, and it doesn’t stop when a candidate gets hired. We maintain contact throughout the onboarding process and even after that. At the end of the day, every relationship can be another source of referrals,” he says.

3. Streamline the process

The best tech candidates get hired fast, notes Givens. “Speed is crucial,” he says. “Qualified engineers and other tech workers who are open to new employment may receive multiple calls a week from your competitors.” So make sure your hiring process shows value for the candidate at every step and don’t introduce unnecessary delays.  While it’s important to thoroughly vet new candidates, the faster you get to the job offer, the more likely you are to secure your top choice for any open position.

4. Prioritize candidate satisfaction

Make sure you’re placing a high priority on creating a clear and complete job description. Candidate satisfaction increases an average of 48 percent when job descriptions include full information on technical requirements and company culture, according to a 2016 Allegis Group survey of more than 13,000 job candidates. For jobs that are highly technical, requiring very specific skill sets, this is even more important.

5. Measure your results

Make sure you’re measuring the success of your recruitment campaigns across social channels and all promotional content, as well as the job posting itself. Especially if you’re sourcing candidates for multiple positions at once, it will be useful to know which methods are best at getting you the most qualified candidates.

6. Bring in reinforcements
Hiring managers who want an advantage in recruiting tech talent should leverage partnerships wherever possible. While they have expertise in sourcing and recruiting, they may not have the deep understanding of the hard skills necessary, nor the access to organizations and groups that tech workers often belong to. At Aerotek, Jordan notes that the best recruiters and hiring managers have a good grasp of the skill sets and company needs so they can have an educated conversation with tech candidates. Don’t expect your online job postings to do all the heavy lifting, recruiting needs a personal touch even when the people you’re recruiting design robots for a living.