How to effectively recruit IT professionals? 5 key principles
Even faster, and more precise, with candidates dealing the cards – this is the simplest way to summarise the changes within the recruitment process in the last year. On-line? No one even asks about that, anymore. Competition among employers is greater than ever. A good candidate finds a job within a few days. Without a professional recruitment process, you lose out in the run-up.
First come, first served
Companies are currently looking for candidates ‘on the spot’. Most processes have shortened to 1-2 interviews, along with fewer decision-makers. Processes for a ‚full-time’ position usually take around 2-3 weeks, and for a contract, 3-10 days. When it comes to speed, consulting and technology companies are leading the way. Employers do not wait for a certain number of CVs, they analyse each candidate, as soon as they apply. Increasingly, one good applicant is enough. However, there are still processes that last 1.5-2 months, with 3 stages and a long decision path. Candidates, unfortunately, do not have that much patience.
Karolina Struzik, Managing Consultant – SAP Recruitment at Awareson, Recently our client, a strong and well-known brand, waited 1.5 months before inviting a candidate to the second stage. Although the SAP FICO specialist concerned, was very interested in working together, in the meantime, he accepted an offer from a competitor. The message? Companies need to be aware that a process conducted in this way is a waste of their time and money. It also negatively impacts on their image as an employer. We also have reverse examples. A different client made an offer to a candidate, 5 minutes after the first meeting. This was the only candidate in the process, well known to us beforehand, and obviously armed with commendable references.
Who is choosing whom here?
“Where does your company see itself in 5 years’ time?’’… This is no joke, the role reversal is a fact. It is the employer who has to present himself/herself to the candidate, not the other way around. IT professionals expect the offer to be transparent, the salary – including bonuses, premiums, and benefits – to be clearly defined. They care about getting to know the direct boss, and are looking for well-managed firms, providing a sense of security. The technical interview is important – from the client’s point of view, it is necessary to verify the candidate’s skills, and for the candidate, it is required information to confirm whether the company knows who it wants to hire, and how it is managed. Many multinationals do this, masterfully. However, all-too-often, little attention is paid to the atmosphere of the meeting. A professional who feels good during an interview, assumes that this will also be the case in the day-to-day work. It is worth remembering that atmosphere and company values are, after money, the 2nd most common reason why candidates want to stay with a company for the long-term.
Aleksandra Figarska, Team Leader – IT Recruitment 180 at Awareson, A few years ago, there was a widespread under-estimation of IT professionals. Offers from foreign companies were able to exceed their expectations by two to three times. The boom in the market and the availability of market analyses, have completely changed this. Professionals began to compare their rates, with those of their colleagues in Poland and abroad. However, the final offers still manage to surprise them on the plus side. A sizeable group of employees has also emerged, especially juniors and less experienced minds, who notably price themselves at the level of seniors or even higher.
Negotiations? None of that!
Candidates demand that the salary is already stated at the advertising stage, and attempts to convince them that this does not always serve their interests, usually fail. This filter limits the number of applicants, and virtually nullifies negotiation. Candidates are pricing their work quite precisely and, it has to be said, increasingly accurately.Once they are in the process, they are not willing to negotiate down. There are still cases of under-estimating or significantly over-estimating the value of competences, but they are rare.
Aleksandra Ptaszyńska, Business Analyst, Awareson, A poor recruitment interview can derail even the best company in the eyes of the candidate: this is especially true of the technical interview. I know from experience that companies choose people from the so-called „crowd” to conduct such an interview – I have been asked for it myself, even though the topic of the meeting did not directly relate to my specialisation. Such ‘experts’ are not prepared to conduct a recruitment interview, they do not know what to ask, what to check, what is not worth talking about. A good technical interview is a huge incentive to work for an organisation.
The recruitment task? No way.
Candidates put it bluntly – it’s not school, so no homework. They refuse to do recruitment tasks, without hesitation. To a certain extent, it’s a penury that some companies have abused assignments, and used candidates’ work for their immediate needs. However, that’s just an excuse, and it’s about more than that; candidates expect the company to present itself to them, and care about them.
So, how do you vet a candidate? A precise 45-minute technical meeting allows for an accurate assessment of skills, and is an increasingly common solution. For applicants, it is a signal that the company is well organized and knows who it is looking for. It all boils down to a candidate’s competence being verified, solely, on the basis of reliable references.
Flexible as an employer?
On the one hand, companies are taking care to maintain the standards that are important to them, whilst on the other, they are showing impressive flexibility. If a good candidate wants to carry out tasks in the form of a specific contract, instead of an employment contract, they increasingly agree to change their assumptions. Not all of them, of course – where company values and building relationships with the employee are key, that’s where tenure still reigns supreme. In the case of specialists with rare competences, companies agree to let them work on a few projects, or on a part-time basis. Employers are also becoming increasingly precise in defining the requirements for candidates, minimizing what is actually necessary. This flexibility and precision makes it significantly easier for them to find the right talent. At the same time, more and more foreign organisations are declaring that they will only hire for hybrid or office-based work. This is starting to become an important negotiating point.
Magdalena Auguścik, Team Leader – IT Recruitment 360 at Awareson, Over the last few months, the reality of not only the recruitment process has changed, but more importantly, we have matured, and can now assess different working models in an innovative and flexible way. I am very pleased that companies are offering a multitude of solutions, opening up to new trends, and listening to the needs of employees. The better facilities an employer offers, the greater the interest of employees – both potential employees, and those already in the organisation. At the same time, it is imperative to note the importance of other aspects of organisational culture.
Key trends in the recruitment process:
- Speed and precision – processes are limited to a few days.
- Candidates choose from several offers – the quality of the process is, sometimes, decisive.
- Little room for financial negotiation during the process.
- Technical interview or references, instead of an assignment.
- Flexible approach to requirements, is a big advantage for the employer.
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