Tech Recruiting 2.0: The Talent Shortage is Forcing Positive Change in the Hiring Process

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Demand for emerging tech skills continues to grow as U.S. employers across industries realize the need for technical strategies and skills. Over the past five years, tech job posting volume surged 190% as employers sought skills and expanded job roles in emerging infrastructure, hardware, artificial intelligence, data, and cybersecurity.

But finding workers in the labor market to fill these roles is proving challenging, resulting in many tech recruiters turning to non-traditional methods and places for candidates. While tech recruiters won’t likely turn to speed hiring events or the spot job offers like retailers and others are doing to combat the talent shortage, they are turning to new approaches. 

Demand for Technical Talent Continues to Surge

Finding qualified candidates remains the number one challenge for recruiters, with nearly half (47%) struggling to fill technical roles. “Identifying potential even if candidates don’t have the perfect matching skill set” has leaped from eighth place to the second most common struggle for recruiters, necessitating hiring methods that can glean a candidate’s raw skill rather than placing weight on experience or degrees. Recruiters cited “standing out from other companies to attract talent” as the third most significant challenge.

Recruiting Trends to Widen the Talent Pool

CoderPad and CodinGame’s recent Tech Hiring Survey found that tech recruiters are evolving their hiring practices and requirements to open the door to more candidates. The percentage of recruiters hiring developers from non-academic backgrounds has almost doubled in one year, from 23% to 39%.

Instead of focusing on logos on a resume, recruiters rely on technical assessment results and live interviews as better indicators of skill and ability during the interview process. This trend will continue to broaden the talent pool, as 40% of developer respondents didn’t learn to code at engineering school or university. In addition to reducing education requirements, recruiters are adapting to the shift of remote work and expanding their searches to reach global candidates, with 40% of recruiters hiring internationally for roles in other countries.

Additionally, 57% of recruiters are open to removing the CV from the recruitment process. Evaluating candidates based on education or previous job titles is not indicative of whether they will succeed at a role or have the skills necessary to succeed. Practical technical assessments and live coding interviews are better tools to identify strong talent accurately. Skills-based assessments also bring more transparency and fairness to the hiring process, with 42% of recruiters using them as their number one measure to improve diversity.

Skills-Based Hiring Has a Positive Impact on Diversity

Recruiters who focus on skills-based hiring will be ahead of the game, and developers will benefit from being hired on criteria outside of the traditional resume. This will bring a new layer of fairness to the tech industry, which has long had a problem with diversity, with 65% of recruiters believing there is bias in technical recruitment, according to the survey mentioned above.

This widespread recognition of bias couples a desire to turn towards more objective and fairer hiring methods, such as practical technical assessments and live coding interviews. By evolving hiring practices to be more inclusive and equitable and limiting techniques such as whiteboard interviews that have been proven to hurt candidates, including women, people of color, and under-represented, companies will be more representative of the audiences and communities they serve. Companies should seek candidates with different perspectives and more differences than similarities in their lives.

Consider More than Compensation

In this labor market, there’s no denying the importance of your compensation package to attract talent. But with demand for technical skills significantly outpacing the number of developers available, money is not necessarily the deciding factor for candidates with multiple offers.

Find candidates whose overall goals match what you can offer. Is your company mission-driven and beneficial to the world’s greater good? Look for candidates who are passionate about your cause and want to work somewhere they know they can make a difference.

Do you have a small but mighty engineering team where individual contributions move the needle? Look for candidates who want to impact more than be dropped into a hundreds-deep engineering team. Can you offer more diversity, work-life balance, or experimentation than others in your industry? Those selling points can make the company more attractive to candidates.

The Future of Hiring

In short, it’s time to rethink the outdated standards for technical recruiting and usher in a new era of hiring that will allow companies to find the most vital talent for the role, which is not necessarily the best candidate “on paper.”

Removing barriers such as education requirements and stress testing that limit the candidate pool and further bias and prioritizing accurate assessments of candidates’ skills will better the candidate experience and strengthen the talent pool for recruiters.

 

Amanda Richardson is the CEO of CoderPad

 

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Amanda Richardson is CEO of CoderPad, the leading software platform for evaluating technical talent. She is a chief executive with extensive experience in product management and strategy, having helped to scale multiple technology startups to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.