Today, more companies than ever are looking to hire programmers, software engineers, data scientists, etc. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 the US alone will have over one million computer science-based jobs without qualified college graduates to fill them.
According to an Indeed study, eighty-six percent of employers say they find it difficult to find and hire technical talent. While Boise is rapidly expanding into a tech hub, finding the right talent to fill those types of roles continues to pose a struggle in the Treasure Valley.
While we’d love to wave our magical recruiter wands and say we have all the answers, the solution is a bit more complex. That being said, roughly sixty percent of the roles we filled over the last year have been tech related. So, we’ve picked up a few tricks along the way on what it takes to fill these types of positions.
Here’s what we’ve learned:
We can’t stress our love of Idaho enough, and of course, Boise has our hearts. When it comes to competitive salaries, though? Idaho has some work to do.
The good news? IT talent typically isn’t solely in it for the money. They tend to be truly passionate about companies that allow them to work on interesting projects, building cool things that function well.
While a passion project may lure this talent in, they still have families to feed and can easily expand their search to surrounding major cities (Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area) where salaries are significantly higher. With tech talent shortages on the rise, it’s vital to stay competitive with salaries and benefit packages. Not sure how you stack up? We can help with that.
No matter his/her skill set, we are all human
No matter someone’s technical ability, don’t forget that all talent is fundamentally, well, Human. Just as with any other candidate, tech talent still values company culture, human relationships, and personal connection. While it can be easy to get lost in a sea of complicated technology and someone’s ability to build/improve/troubleshoot your application(s), try not to let things get so impersonal that you fail to treat them as you would any other candidate.
More specifically, don’t immediately bombard them with skills tests and programming trials. Ease them into the process; have a conversation first. Invite him/her to coffee or have the candidate visit your office. Don’t forget to sell them on the opportunity as you would with anyone else.
Less about the diploma, more about the skills
Maybe in an ideal world, every candidate would attend an Ivy League and walk away with a flashy degree. In the real world, we know that’s not always the case.
(Buckle up, we’re about to jump on our underdog bandwagon for the gazillionth time.)
More and more candidates are opting for less traditional educational avenues. Opting instead to attend technical schools specializing in coding and software engineering. Coding bootcamps, such as the one offered locally by Boise CodeWorks offer immersive, accelerated programs, which help students gain skills to become developers. Certainly, there’s still a need for four-year degrees and it may be that you need someone with a full CS degree, but if you’re having trouble, perhaps consider someone that took a different path.
That being said….skills can be learned, personality cannot
If you meet with a candidate who doesn’t necessarily check all of your boxes on the experience or skill side, pay attention to their soft skills. Do they have passion, curiosity, and a drive to learn? Taking a holistic approach to searching for tech talent means taking into consideration factors beyond education and work experience.
Looking at the candidate as a whole and considering how they would be able to communicate, collaborate, and engage with your team is a vital step to finding the perfect fit for your company. Don’t just focus on what’s on their resume and the litany of technical terms they’ve listed. His or her ability and willingness to learn is something we’re always focused on uncovering!
Keep it casual
While Armani suits and formal work environments may appeal to some, they aren’t usually an IT candidate’s ideal vibe. While your industry may be more traditionally conservative, adapting to a more relaxed culture when it comes to recruiting your tech crew may be wise. Offering an adaptable work environment, casual dress, as well as a more relaxed work environment, will help IT professionals feel more comfortable.
Furthermore, if you haven’t already, take a look at your “work-from-home” policy. If it doesn’t exist, now is the time to re-evaluate. We can’t tell you how many technical candidates we talk to that are no longer willing to entertain opportunities that don’t include an option for at least part-time work from home. Bottom-line, working from home is a huge appeal to most engineers and will open doors in terms of the talent you can attract.
Start early (and then start earlier than that) + don’t drag your feet
Understand that tech candidates are in high demand, which means they typically have multiple offers/opportunities at a given time. Even if they love you and your company, if you drag your feet throughout the process, you risk losing them. You wouldn’t wait multiple weeks to call a date back (unless you’d prefer to remain single). Typically, if a tech candidate hasn’t heard back from the company within two weeks of an interview, they will have moved onto another opportunity. The best programmers are getting hired fast. If your hiring process has too many lengthy steps or you’re not keeping your candidates engaged, it may discourage qualified candidates from continuing through the process.
Ready to get serious about Recruiting?
Reducing time-to-hire can mean the difference between hooking your ideal candidate or losing them to a competitor…
Feel your company could benefit from a hiring process “facelift”? We are passionate about helping companies streamline their recruitment process. Reducing time-to-hire can mean the difference between hooking your ideal candidate or losing them to a competitor, and RNG has a team of experts dedicated to helping Idaho companies connect with exceptional talent. Over the years, we’ve built a robust network of technical (and non-technical) talent and we’d love to help you #FindYourRoute to filling technical roles.