Snagging tech talent has always been a fierce competition for recruiters, and while the coronavirus pandemic has drastically reshaped the economy and the talent market, tech professionals remain in hot demand.
If you’re trying to woo tech superstars, you need a strategic game plan — especially right now. It may be an employer’s market, but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait for top tech talent to come to you. You need to leverage the right recruiting tools and tactics if you hope to land the best candidates on the market today.
To help you do just that, I offer the following list of tools to attract engage, and hire leading tech candidates in the age of COVID-19:
1. Tech to Catch Your Unconscious Bias
The language we use in job ads can dissuade some candidates from applying — even if that language doesn’t seem discriminatory on the surface. However, the fact is that certain words and phrases have connotations that can make women and people of color feel uncomfortable about applying. For example, a word as seemingly neutral as “dominate” is often perceived, subconsciously, as calling for “masculine” candidates.
Because so much of the bias in job descriptions is unconscious, identifying problematic words or phrases can be difficult. Luckily, tools like TapRecruit and Textio evaluate job ads and flag possibly biased language, helping you craft ads that speak to a broader, more diverse pool of potential employees.
2. Niche Job Boards
You don’t have to use the biggest names in job advertising sites to grab incredible tech workers. In fact, you may not even want to: High unemployment rates mean ads posted on these sites are often flooded with resumes from unqualified talent.
Instead, leverage niche job boards that serve a tailored audience that is more likely to contain the people you’re looking for. Some prominent players in this arena include WFH but Hiring and Layoff List, the latter of which gives employers real-time updates on layoffs so they can snap up top talent as soon as it’s on the market. With its publisher-meets-social-media-meets-job-board vibe, Built In is another source worth considering.
3. Employer Branding Portals
While you can’t just expect leading tech employees to come knocking on your door, you can give them a pull in your direction by crafting a strong employer brand and building buzz around it.
Build an employer branding portal on your site, and then draw candidates in by staying active on social media and pushing out relevant content. Look for opportunities to showcase your organization’s thought leadership through publications like DEV to increase your reach further.
4. Technical Assessment Platforms
In a market saturated with talent, you’re bound to receive way more applications than you need — but what if you could eliminate the hours it takes to weed through resumes and filter out unqualified candidates? Platforms like Coderbyte and HackerRank enable you to leverage technical skills assessments to quickly screen candidates and make sure only the truly qualified advance to the next round.
Assessments also have the added benefit of eliminating a lot of human error. With quantifiable data on each candidate’s skills, you can more objectively compare applicants to one another and make more informed hiring decisions. That’s critical at a time when fairness and inclusivity in hiring are key priorities for employers and employees alike.
5. Remote Collaboration Tech
Chances are strong you don’t stick to a strict set of questions when interviewing for open positions. However, consistent structured interviews tend to yield the most objective insights about candidate performance.
But how can you get everyone on the hiring team on board with a structured process when we’re all working remotely? It’s simple: Leverage collaboration tech like Miro. On a similar note, you can offer candidates tools like CoderPad, which allow them to work out sample programming problems in a digital environment, thereby showcasing their skills and giving you greater insight into their performance.
6. Digital Document Solutions
No one likes to plod through hiring paperwork — especially not when we’re all working remotely. Forget about sending your new hires nine different emails crammed with PDFs and JPGs. Instead, use remote onboarding tools like WorkBright or Welcome to digitally manage all the new-hire paperwork. New hires will appreciate just how streamlined your onboarding process is — and they’ll be impressed that your company invests in new tools for all aspects of the tech stack.
You always want the best of the best working for your company, but in the midst of a lingering pandemic, that can be more of a challenge than usual. To connect with the brightest tech talent in a saturated market, your best bet is to leverage the right tools to cut through all the noise and zero in on those candidates who are really right for your team.
Sofia Hernandez has been a senior HR executive at multiple Fortune 500 companies.