A Complete Guide on How to Hire Tech Talent
by YOSS Community Writer, on January 6, 2020 at 2:01 PM
Regardless of the focus of your business, you probably need at least some tech talent. These days, it may be all that you need. Finding great tech talent isn't easy, however, and the best of them have a lot of options.
You can certainly send out notice that you are hiring but this is likely to lead to a lot of inappropriate prospects. In this article, we’ll discuss the best way to approach vetting and recruiting the tech talent that your business needs.
Determine Your Needs
Before you start looking for workers, you must determine what your business needs. This means more than just finding what positions you need filled. You also need to narrow down the best ways they should be filled.
You can start by figuring out what your business' needs are right now, and also what they may be in the future. This process is best done with an organizational chart and the help of other managers in your firm.
Different Kinds of Workers
Increasingly, business workforces are made up of different kinds of employees. This approach provides more flexibility and efficiency, and can often lead to reduced costs. Here are the main types of workers that you can choose from to meet your staffing needs.
- Employees: While they once made up the vast majority of workers, full-time and part-time employees are becoming less important. However, for a company's day-to-day work, they are still vital.
- Contractors and freelancers: Usually brought on for special projects, contractors are typically self-employed and provide expertise that their clients don't have a full-time or long-term need for.
- Temporary workers: These workers are generally employed through an agency and they often fill basic needs, such as to fill-in for missing workers or to augment the workforce as part of a project.
The needs of your business will determine what approach you take to hiring. You can take an ad hoc approach if your needs are fairly constant. If you need lots of different kinds of tech talent, you’re probably better off creating a talent pool. Despite their differences, the hiring process for each approach is the same.
Once you've determined your overall priorities, you will need to create job descriptions for each position. Don't skimp on this. Not only is a job description essential for attracting good tech talent, it is enormously helpful in determining your business' needs. The process of writing one will force you to be clear about exactly what you’re looking for.
Everyone has their own idea of what a job description is and there is a wide variety in their content. However, these two parts are always present:
- Skills: What the candidate needs to know how to do.
- Responsibilities: What the candidate will do for your company.
Employees vs Contractors
It is arguably easier to write a job description for a freelancer or independent contractor than for an employee because they are hired for specific projects. In fact, part of the process for developing a project is to create a statement of work, which effectively has a job description embedded within it.
It’s crucial that you avoid the common pitfall of writing job descriptions—making it too generic. A job description for an employee should be every bit as specific as it is for a freelancer. You can't afford to fall into the trap of figuring that you need an employee and will then figure out what to do with them once they are onboard. This can lead to reduced productivity and, as a result, higher costs.
Finding Tech Talent
There are many generic employment websites where you can find people in every field imaginable, but this approach is ideal for finding tech talent. Posting jobs on these all-encompassing sites are likely to result in an overwhelming response with no real quality control. Sorting through them to find qualified candidates takes an enormous amount of time.
If you only need workers in a particular field, it isn't that difficult to find them. For example, if you are looking for Python programmers for web development, there are forums dedicated to it that also post jobs. These sources are less prone to creating a deluge of responses, but you are still likely to get a lot of inappropriate candidates.
Sites like these aren't helpful if you need to hire for a diverse collection of positions. In this case, you are better off working with a staffing agency, particularly one that focuses on only the best tech talent like YOSS.
Evaluating Your Response
If you've followed the guidelines we've suggested above, you should be left with a good selection of quality candidates who are appropriate for your needs. If you get too many or too few applicants, you should rework your process. Ask yourself:
- Are you clear on your overall needs?
- Is your job description specific and compelling?
- Are you using the right resources to find talent?
If not, you should go back and fix the problems. This is better for you and for any applicants, and it's better to cut your losses earlier than later.
Screening Tech Talent
At this point, you should have a solid number of resumes to review. Go through them to get an overall understanding of the applicants and to remove any who, for whatever reason, are clearly not right for the position.
Now you can take a second, deeper look at the resumes. This time, you want to compare skills and backgrounds with an eye for the specific needs for this position as defined by your job description.
Another aspect to look at is the applicant's career path. This applies more to employees than contractors. Does the position you are hiring for seem like a logical step for them? Are they going to be happy with your business in the long term? In other words: are they a good fit?
Picking the Best Candidate
Based on the above, you should be able to narrow your search to a handful of candidates you can vet more rigorously.
Interviews are a tried-and-true way to gain insight into applicants. Sometimes (especially for contractors), they are simply a spot check to see that nothing is amiss, but most of the time, they’re used for much more.
In the tech world, interviews usually involve many stakeholders in the company, with each testing different aspects of the applicant. For example, managers usually probe behavioral aspects of the candidate to see what they will be like to work with. Technical people determine how well the candidate knows their field of expertise.
Potential hires can complete a test project, which will provide insight into their skills, time management, creativity, and more. These are often done by the candidate at home during the lead-up to an interview.
A project works well for some kinds of positions (e.g., software developer) but they don't for others (e.g., social media marketers). Case interviews give applicants business hypotheticals to test how they approach specific and typical problems in their field.
Using one or more of these tools, you should be able to find the best candidate for your company.
There is no mystery to hiring tech talent. It's often a simple step-by-step process like the one we've discussed above. The most difficult part is finding the truly great prospects. YOSS can help you with that. We only work with the very best tech talent like data scientists, CRM specialists, cybersecurity experts, software development, analysts, and more.
At YOSS, we represent the very best pre-vetted talent in the world. We only engage with the top 1 percent of talent. So whether you are looking to fill a particular position or to shore up your talent pool, we can help.
Our mission is to make agile staffing easy for companies like yours so see how YOSS can help you manage or add to your workforce below with YOSS Talent Pools.