Tech talent is currently in short supply. With every business and industry needing technical skills to survive, data scientists, developers and engineers are becoming highly sought after. However, with only a limited number of people working in these roles and a small number of graduates leaving university each year, the competition to attract these individuals is on. This also means that tech talent is on the move. Employees are searching for a better offer within the hundreds of jobs that are being posted daily. It’s causing problems for large scale enterprises and startups; we’re officially in a tech talent shortage as supply cannot match up to demand.
When demand for talent is high like it is right now, it’s hard to recruit for one or two positions, never mind engage in high volume hiring. However, for a business that is experiencing unexpected growth, it’s often the case that you need to hire a lot of people in a concise space of time. When demand suddenly increases, you cannot afford to wait around for talent. You have to be agile and move quickly. Therefore, the current state of the talent market is posing a challenge for many scaling tech businesses across the world; when tech talent is hard to come by, how can you hire at scale and grow your business?
Right now, organisations worldwide are spending vast amounts of money on talent acquisition to help them get ahead in the race for talent. However, when you’re a startup trying to scale, these high budgets aren’t always achievable. The good news is, they’re also not always necessary. With the right talent acquisition strategy, you could accelerate your hiring efforts without needing to spend an earth-shattering amount of money. Using data, research, and creativity to inform your recruitment tactics could help you stand out from the crowd and attract many candidates to your organisation.
Here are five tips for high-volume recruiting during a talent shortage:
Research and experiment to gain better insights
The world of talent attraction can be much more successful if you base your strategies on data rather than sitting and waiting for candidates to come to you. By talent mapping and conducting market research, you can gain strategic insights into the market and where relevant candidates are currently working or located, which will inform your targeting. This ensures you aren’t wasting time searching for the right talent or waiting around for applications to land in your inbox.
You can also experiment with different advertising techniques, tone of voice from recruiters, and platforms to better understand what works and what does not. Although the instinct with recruitment is to try failsafe techniques and recruit as quickly as possible, experimentation can help you reach new audiences, stand out to candidates, and gather crucial data. In a competitive market, it’s essential to connect with candidates in as many ways as possible, which involves trying new tactics.
Increase the reach of your job ads through digital attraction
To try and get more applications, you first need to ensure more people see your job ads. If qualified individuals don’t know that you’re hiring and don’t know about the available opportunities, how can you expect them to apply? Luckily, there are now plenty of cost-effective ways to spread the word about your recruitment efforts. With digital advertising platforms like social media advertising and Google Search ads, you can ensure your job adverts are seen by engaged and qualified talent while simultaneously raising employer brand awareness. In addition, using programmatic campaigns to target relevant audiences rather than only posting on job boards means your opportunities are being put in front of talent who may not have necessarily been looking, otherwise known as the passive market. They may not know they want to move, but with the proper messaging and employer brand promotions, you may be able to inspire them to learn more.
Refine the candidate experience to accelerate candidates through the process
If you’re trying to hire at scale, especially in a competitive market, you cannot afford to have a lengthy candidate experience. Firstly, the longer you make the application process and candidate experience, the more likely candidates are to drop off. According to Glassdoor, the typical drop-off rate for modern-day applicants is 80%, and when you’re trying to hire at scale, you cannot afford to lose out on so many candidates. In a candidate-driven market, it’s easier for applicants to drop off and apply for the next thing that comes their way. They are in no way short of opportunities. Therefore, refining the candidate experience to avoid clunky applications, optimising for mobile or reducing slow loading times could really help your recruitment efforts.
Then there’s also the issue that a long candidate experience can delay your hiring process. If you require candidates to complete three interviews, for example, this will take up a lot of your senior team’s time. While when hiring one senior hire, it may be necessary, but if you’re trying to hire at scale quickly, consider whether extra interviews or skills tests are 100% necessary. If they’re going to add an additional burden for your already stretched leadership teams or if they’re going to increase the risk of candidate drop off, it may not be worthwhile. Attracting talent is hard enough in today’s market, and so you should act quickly if you think they’re the right candidate for you; this means ensuring that you move swiftly from application to interview.
Prioritise your people strategy and retention
If you’re trying to recruit at scale, it’s easy to let your people strategy and retention slip through the net. Employers can be so focused on attracting new talent to the organisation that they can forget about their existing team. However, it’s another thing you cannot afford to happen. Think about it. If you’re hiring at scale and existing team members leave, you’re opening yourself up to higher recruitment costs and more work for your talent acquisition teams. Of course, you cannot prevent existing team members from leaving, especially in a candidate-driven market where new opportunities appear every day, but you can try to avoid it. Talk to your existing team about your growth plans, but also ask them for their opinions on your workplace so that you can work on refining your EVP and ensure both new and existing employees are happy. You cannot just make your workplace desirable for new hires. You must also ensure that your current team feel just as comfortable and confident in their future with you.
Outsource your recruitment to an RPO provider
In a scaling business, it’s very likely that your team are already stretched, so if you need to engage in high-volume hiring, it may be more strategic to outsource recruitment to some tech hiring experts. Instead of putting excess pressure on your team to find talent in a very competitive market, outsourcing means experts will use their tried and tested strategies to help you. They may already be experts in digital attraction campaigns or be able to use their direct sourcing capabilities to reach out to candidates on a personal level. Either way, they’re a great resource to use, especially when you’re hiring at scale. An RPO provider works as a strategic talent partner, advising on campaigns and actions to improve your recruitment efforts. Not only will you benefit from the extra hands and capabilities, but the expertise that these external recruitment experts can provide. With a flexible approach to RPO, outsourcing is now a realistic possibility for businesses of all sizes, meaning you can compete with the big players in the fight for talent.
Talent Works are an RPO provider with offices in Manchester and Northampton, UK and Boston, US. We specialise in building employer brands, directly sourcing candidates and building captivating, insight-driven digital attraction campaigns. Our mission is to help techs startups and scaleups grow by helping them find the right talent.
Uniquely tailored to startups, our flexible approach to RPO allows growing businesses to benefit from a strategic recruitment partner but on a risk-free basis. In addition, our services can be scaled back when necessary so that you’re not tied into a costly contract if hiring demand dies down.
For more information about our agile RPO, contact us.