Are tech recruitment surges creating a trust issue?

Scaling tech businesses, in particular, have seen a huge rise in demand over the last few years as our reliance on technology grew significantly. Take the likes of Zoom, for example, its sales were up 370% in 2020 compared to the previous year, and it expects sales to rise by more than 40% in 2021. In the last few years, many tech businesses have become household names, with more users than ever and more pressure for their products to perform. Therefore, it’s no surprise that these businesses need to hire talent to keep up with growth plans.

Hiring at volume is not a new concept, but it is something that many companies have to adopt right now, potentially for the first time. Established enterprises may be used to hiring surges as the business expands, but startups and scaleups may have never experienced hiring on this scale before.

Large volume hiring, when it’s not done well, can cause problems for many businesses. For example, if the recruitment process is rushed, it can mean that hires don’t work out. These people may not be a cultural fit for the business, or the role may not meet expectations if recruiters haven’t taken the time to speak to them properly about their motivations and passions. It could also be that to speed up the recruitment process, we’ve developed a reliance on hiring technologies that talent teams don’t understand or know how to work. This could also result in a poorer hire quality as it can adjust the screening process or alter the candidate experience.

Talent teams are under a considerable amount of pressure as the market for tech recruitment remains highly competitive. Recruiters are even harder to hire, so talent teams are stretched to the limit. This leads to rushed processes, the adoption of AI and machine learning tools, and hiring in the name of speed rather than quality. It’s no surprise, really. If you have a lot of roles to fill and little time to do so, shortcuts will inevitably be taken. Plus, remote hiring is putting strains on teams, it’s harder to get a feel for the candidate’s personality over a video call, and it’s much harder to differentiate between candidates with similar skillsets to determine the best fit.

However, is this creating a trust issue in tech recruitment? And if so, how do we solve it?

Research by Thomas International claims that recruitment is broken. Businesses that don’t try to fix their recruitment processes as they accelerate hiring in the next few years will face significant challenges when building and reshaping teams. They claim that over half of all hires aren’t working out for businesses, creating trust issues.

Think about it. High attrition, especially from new hires, is a warning sign and a big red flag for many people. Poor quality hires lead to a lack of trust from the c-suite, current employees, and candidates.

If leadership teams see people leaving so soon after joining, they’ll lose faith in the abilities of their talent teams. It suggests that talent teams cannot find people who are the right fit for your organisation and perhaps aren’t selling you in the way they should be. It doesn’t look good for talent teams if hires keep failing.

Similarly, candidates looking into your company may see a high turnover rate if websites like Glassdoor are anything to go by. Attrition directly impacts your employer brand perceptions. If candidates notice a lot of people leaving quickly, they may be deterred from joining you. High attrition signals a problem, even in a market where it’s so commonplace. It could suggest a problematic culture, unhappy workers or simply a lack of care in the recruitment process. No one wants to see failed hires in droves. How can candidates trust that what you’re selling them is an authentic picture of what it’s like to work there if your recent hires have all moved on?

Finally, if current employees see so many new hires jumping ship, it may make them wonder why and raise questions as to whether they deserve better too. Seeing colleagues leave is often a huge motivation for employees to look elsewhere, and if new hires don’t want to stay, there must be a reason. Is there something they don’t know? Should they doubt their future with you too?

High volume hiring is often a delicate subject for existing teams. Even though growth is stimulating and employees at scaling tech businesses are often proud to be a part of something bigger, mass hiring signifies change. Many new faces can lead to a shift in company culture, structure and overall employee experience. Change is exciting but also scary. Change on a vast scale-like with high volume hiring, could raise trust issues too. For example, can your teams trust that they’ll be treated the same as new hires? Will it still feel like they work for the same organisation just on a larger scale?

Honesty is the best policy

If you have growth targets to meet, you cannot stop hiring at volume. Otherwise, you won’t meet demand, which spells business disaster for any tech scaleup. However, what you can do is resolve the lack of trust, and this comes with honesty.

Take a deep dive into your recruitment strategy and processes to see if you can work out what isn’t working. Talk to employees who are leaving to find out their motivations and how to solve them, and then be honest about the situation. If your company culture needs to adapt, your employer brand isn’t authentic enough, or your screening processes are filtering out skilled candidates, your teams need to own up to these mistakes if they hope to fix them. Over the past few years, a lot has changed in recruitment, so it’s better to openly acknowledge where you’ve failed to adapt.

 Talent professionals should admit they know what isn’t working rather than keep hiring the wrong people based on broken processes. Poor hires will create a trust issue throughout the business, but showing you’re ready to address it will reinstate leadership teams’ trust and employees’ past and present.

Slow down and strategise

Hiring many roles in a short period may be essential for business growth, but if those hires aren’t working out and people are losing trust in you as an employer or a recruiter, is it worth it? Of course, slowing down your growth plans is a risk, but it could be worth it. Take the time to look in-depth at your strategies and establish what’s working as well as what isn’t. This will help you find the flaws in your recruitment strategy and fix them so that future hires don’t have a high attrition rate.

 It will also give you time to rebuild trust with current teams. Hiring quickly for the sake of hiring is not a strategy that works. Instead, you need to be clear on your current culture and find people who will match up and have the skills you need.

Is outsourcing recruitment the solution?

If talent teams are stretched, and it’s resulting in poorer quality hires, outsourcing some recruitment support could be beneficial. It’s not an admission that teams aren’t capable. It’s just some extra help from people who know what they’re doing instead of systems and software. Outsourcing your tech recruitment to a specialist RPO provider means that they can support with some of the high-volume hiring, giving your talent teams time to search for perfect candidates rather than the first available talent. In addition, recruiters with an RPO provider can help with screening candidates and do a lot of the leg work so that existing teams feel less pressure to hire and can focus on making the right decision for the future of the business.

Talent Works has a unique, flexible approach to RPO which means our teams can embed themselves into your business as and when you need us. We know large-scale, high-volume hiring doesn’t last forever; it often comes in waves during periods of growth. That’s why we created an agile RPO model, that matches the changing nature of scaling businesses.

Our sourcing team get to know the ins and outs of your organisation and company culture so that they can find candidates who are both a match in skills and a cultural fit. We also have employer branding experts on hand to help you refine your messaging and standpoints through research and creative development.

Contact us to learn more about our flexible approach to RPO and how it could solve your tech recruitment challenges.