Key questions you should ask when you’re new to the world of tech talent acquisition

The world of talent acquisition is a minefield, and in an increasingly competitive market with complex roles in high demand, tech talent acquisition is a beast in itself. Many talent acquisition managers are seasoned pros and have worked in the industry for years, recruiting the best talent to scale their organizations while refining employer brands and building pools of suitable talent. However, what about those that are new to talent acquisition? Or even those who have mastered the world of recruitment but have found themselves taking on a new role at a tech scaleup, where recruitment demand is high?

How do you make the most of your budget? How do you know who to hire and when? Is it acceptable to ask for outside help? There are many obstacles to overcome, and often for talent acquisition managers, not many people to ask for advice or confide in.

So, we’ve outlined some key questions that you should ask when you’re new to the world of tech talent acquisition to help you create an informed recruitment strategy:

What is my talent acquisition budget?

Tech recruitment doesn’t necessarily need a huge budget. If you’re strategic and forward-thinking, you can make great tech hires as well as pave the way for future ones on a limited budget. Therefore, if you’re new to a talent acquisition role, don’t always expect a six-figure budget to begin with. Most businesses, especially scaling tech businesses, can’t offer this. However, having an idea of what you’re allowed to spend per year and per quarter is the first place you should start when planning your talent acquisition strategy.

Knowing the budget you have to work with is vital to success. It will help you plan for the most crucial hires and see whether you can focus on improving elements like the candidate experience and your employer brand.

What are the business plans for the next few months/years, and what talent do I need to hire to achieve them?

If you’re new to a talent acquisition role at a company, it’s vital to get on board with their mission and vision for the future, particularly if it’s scaling at speed. As well as knowing the budget, you need to know what the business is planning for the next few months and even years. This way, you can map out a plan for future hires, working out which roles and departments will be crucial for each growth stage. This way, you can ensure every hire counts towards your business goals, and you aren’t left waiting for talent at any time. Being strategic means that you can pipeline talent and even map where these skilled candidates are located. That way, as soon as the time comes to expand a specific department or offering, you’re ready to hire.

Of course, there will be unforeseen circumstances. Employees will inevitably leave for various reasons, and their roles will need to be filled. However, by gaining a better understanding of the direction your scaling tech business is taking, you’ll be able to create a robust talent acquisition strategy, and any discrepancies won’t come as a huge stress.

Do I understand the employer brand and how tech candidates perceive the company?

If you’re going to be in charge of talent acquisition at your company, you must understand their employer brand and what it’s like to work for them. It’s not enough just to know about the company and the image it portrays to customers; you need to understand how candidates and employees perceive the brand too. If you’re trying to sell the workplace to potential candidates, you must paint an accurate picture, or new hires may leave quickly. However, you still need to ensure the workplace is desirable. Work with existing talent acquisition teams to understand the employer brand messaging they’re already trying to communicate and talk to your teams across all business areas. Through conversations, focus groups and surveys, you can discover what they like about working for your business, what makes it a great place to work, why it’s different from competitors but also areas for improvement. This will give you a good head start whether you’re working on improving your employer brand perceptions or are looking to recruit tech talent.

What are your retention and progression rates like?

Your talent is your most incredible resource, whether you’re a startup, scaleup or enterprise. Therefore when joining as a Talent Acquisition professional, you need to know about the talent you already have, their skills and their ambitions. Do employees stay with your company for a long time? If so, why? Understanding this and the opportunities for development and progression will help you to sell the organization to new candidates but will also help you to understand the existing skills in your current workforce. These skills may pave the way for internal recruitment opportunities and upskilling or reskilling, which could help you recruit technical talent more strategically in this competitive client and improve retention.

Is this company diverse in all aspects?

As a new addition to the company, you benefit from an alternative perspective; you’re almost an outsider looking in. This means you can cast your eye over the people employed by your business, from leadership teams to junior team members and identify any lack of diversity. Diversity is often considered to mean age, race, gender, religion, disability and sexuality, which is true. However, diversity can also relate to people from differing backgrounds with different experiences. If your company has previously only hired from the CEOs existing network, you can guarantee you’ll have a lack of viewpoints and perspectives. This means it’s time for you to re-evaluate hiring strategies.

What does your post-pandemic workplace look like?

The world of work is changing, and if you’re not thinking about what your future workplace will be like, then you should be. Many tech candidates are already expecting a remote work option, and they’ll turn down jobs if it’s not available. Before you start trying to recruit developers, engineers and other tech talent, you need to ensure that you know what your workplace will look like in the next few months, so you’re selling them an accurate vision. Otherwise, this could damage your employer brand, and you could see a high employee turnover. If these conversations haven’t already started, and let’s be honest, by now, they definitely should have, then it’s time to ask the question and start the conversation.

Should I outsource my tech recruitment?

You may think that outsourcing your recruitment as a talent acquisition professional is a bit of an easy way out like it’s almost giving away your responsibilities. However, in reality, it’s the opposite. Outsourcing doesn’t mean giving up but rather that you’re making a strategic decision to ask for expertise or to free up some time so that you can focus on specific aspects of your job. It may be that you’re new to tech recruitment and would benefit from enlisting an RPO agency that specializes in tech; they will know more about what to look for and how to attract the talent. Or it could be that you have many responsibilities in talent acquisition and could benefit from having external recruiters source and screen candidates. A tech RPO agency becomes an extension of you, and you work together. Therefore it’s not handing over your entire workload but forming a strategic partnership to help you make better decisions and offer support. Unlike contingent agencies, which you may turn to for support with hiring one or two specific roles, RPO providers can guide strategy and help with longer-term recruitment efforts. They can help with building talent pools, refining employer bands and even conducting industry-specific research.

Talent Works are an RPO provider specializing in tech recruitment for startups, scaleups and enterprise names. With offices in Manchester, Northampton and Boston, MA, we offer a global approach to tech RPO. Our in-house teams can manage all aspects of the recruitment process, from employer branding and candidate experience to sourcing executive hires and complex tech roles. With in-house research, creative, digital and sourcing teams, we’re uniquely positioned to offer a flexible and strategic approach to tech recruitment.

To find out how our flexible RPO could help you, contact us today.