It’s the time of year when we all start thinking of new year’s resolutions, promises that we make to ourselves and try our hardest to keep. Although they’re usually personal goals, there’s no reason that businesses can’t adopt the same approach. A new year is a great time to establish new goals, reassess strategies, and change priorities. This includes within your recruitment strategy.
Startups and scaleup leaders are often learning as they go, and many are new to recruitment or at least to recruiting at scale. Scaling businesses need talent to grow, so waiting around for the right person isn’t always a feasible option. Therefore, it’s easy to pick up bad habits or take shortcuts, especially with the tech recruitment market as competitive as it is. Scaleups need people to hire, but with the wrong recruitment strategies in place and bad habits, it could mean that the quality of hire is impacted. Every hire in a scaleup is essential to growth, and therefore, poor quality hires that leave quickly or don’t fit your culture could severely impact your success in 2022. Scaling businesses must surround themselves with the best people and have hiring processes in place that enable this to run smoothly, lowering attrition rates and ensuring talent can grow with them.
So, we’re outlining some key resolutions that scaleups should make in order to refine their tech recruitment process in the new year.
Create an Agile EVP
If the last two years have taught us anything about employer branding, it’s that it should never remain static, or you risk being stuck in the past. The truth is, no company is one thing, and it doesn’t stay the same forever. Attitudes change, priorities change and ways of working change. As a growing business, you’re likely to face even more drastic adjustments to your culture and ways of working. Therefore, your EVP shouldn’t be as simple as creating an idea of who you are as an employer and sticking with it for the next ten years. Instead, you should constantly look at how it evolves, listen to your people and adjust your EVP to remain relevant to who you are and what you provide. The contract between employer and employee is constantly being re-written. Employers that can be agile in their EVPs while holding their core values will be the ones who come out on top in the race for talent.
Talk to Your Teams
Want to get on top of talent acquisition in 2022? The first thing to do is to check in with teams regularly. When you’re a scaling business, every hire is crucial, so they must work well with the rest of your team. However, resolving to check-in and talk to your teams regularly can have other advantages. For example, if you’re hiring at scale, it’s a good idea to check in with new hires and their managers to better understand the quality of hire you’re bringing into your organisation. Otherwise, you’re at risk of making the same hiring mistakes.
The same comes with your EVP and employer brand communications. Talking to your teams can ensure that you’re on the right path and your messaging is accurate. You need to create an authentic image of your workplace, or you risk higher attrition rates, damaging your employer brand. Making a conscious effort to talk to the people at the forefront of your business and those who work for you day in and day out will help you do this. Plus, they’ll feel included, which will boost brand loyalty and internal employer brand perceptions.
Know Who You’re Looking For
Going into the recruitment process without a clear plan is not good, yet many startups and scaling tech businesses tend to dive in headfirst as soon as they think they need a role. The tech recruitment landscape in 2022 is set to be more competitive than ever, and therefore, a great new year resolves to plan your hiring strategy and be more strategic. This means knowing the skills and roles crucial to your growth plans in 2022. Think about the skills in demand and use research to establish what your biggest competitors in the industry are doing, as this will help you to plan the roles you’ll need in the next 12 to 18 months. Once this is established, you can plan for future hiring. In the current market, specific roles and skills like dev ops or data scientists will take far longer to hire than others, purely because of demand.
It’s also a good idea to know the personalities and people who will add value to your company culture and work well with the team. By having an idea of characteristics, skills and personality traits going into the interview process, you won’t be blindsided by impressive experience or universities. There’s no point in hiring a skilled person if they don’t have the passion and fit for your organisation, or they’ll leave when a better offer comes along.
Build a Ready-to-Hire Talent Pool
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from building a talent pool. It means that when you’re ready to hire, you can reach out to already engaged candidates who have expressed interest in wanting to work for you. As you can imagine, this reduces hiring costs and speeds up the entire recruitment process. Therefore, with the tech talent market set to remain competitive, scaling businesses should vow to build a talent pool to help them get ahead with talent acquisition in 2022.
But how do you do this? There are many ways to build a talent pool, from nurturing unsuccessful candidates to reaching out to educational institutions or groups. However, one very effective method is running employer brand awareness social media campaigns. These campaigns will promote what’s great about your business and why you’re a brilliant place for tech talent to thrive and will provide the opportunity for them to register their details with you. This way, you can keep in touch and contact interested candidates when opportunities become available. With social media targeting, your digital attraction campaigns will only reach relevant and skilled people to ensure that your talent pool is appropriate. The more targeted your campaign, the better your talent pool will be. Plus, social media can help you to diversify, ensuring your adverts reach people from outside of your existing network.
Treat Applicants Well
Whether an applicant is successful or not, businesses must treat them with respect in 2022. While candidates hold the power in the world of recruitment, companies cannot afford to put a foot wrong when it comes to the candidate experience. This means contacting them if they’re unsuccessful and providing informative feedback. It also means making candidate experiences as smooth as possible, with contact points along the way. The candidate experience directly influences your employer brand, after all, and will impact what future candidates think of you. In a candidate-driven market, you can’t afford to lose applications because your candidate experience isn’t up to scratch. Ignoring and neglecting candidates will prevent them from applying in the future, which could mean you lose out on talent. In 2022, scaling tech businesses need to put the candidate first and treat applicants with respect, communicating at every stage of the candidate experience even if you use automated technologies to assist with this.
Use recruitment Data Strategically
Recruitment data and people analytics can revolutionise the way we recruit, and as it becomes more accessible, 2022 should be the year more businesses adopt a data-driven approach to recruitment. You can use insights to support your hiring efforts, knowing which campaigns and methods have been the most successful as well as analysing the quality of hire across your business. Just like with marketing data, recruitment marketing can provide great insights, and your people analytics can be used alongside this to create a more robust and streamlined recruitment process. If scaling businesses look for ways to use this information to their advantage now, they’ll be ahead of the curve.
Hire for Attitude
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, skills can be learnt, but attitude cannot. Therefore, when hiring in 2022, think about whether you can give candidates the chance to develop and grow with you. If you find a candidate who is exactly the right fit for you culturally but may need a bit more training and development, it may be an excellent option to take a chance on them. Hires who fit culturally and align with your EVP are more likely to stay with you long term and can prove to be a better quality of hire in the long run. Also, helping people develop skills builds loyalty and enhances your employer brand.
Of course, some skills like knowledge of C++ are more challenging to gain than others, and you may need these skills instantly. However, where there is room for growth, hiring for attitude over experience in the new year may help give you a competitive edge when recruiting tech talent. In addition, helping people develop skills builds loyalty and enhances your employer brand.
Reach Passive Candidates Outside of Your Network
This year our survey found that many tech founders in the US like to hire from their existing network, whether it’s from their previous university or reconnecting with colleagues from previous jobs. This tactic may save recruitment costs, and you may trust the quality of hire, but it’s detrimental to diversity efforts and could cause more problems in a competitive recruitment market. Everyone is fighting for the same talent right now, and that’s people from top universities or who have worked at tech giants. Your tech scaleup may not be able to compete for this talent, who are likely to follow reputation and salary. Therefore, scaling tech businesses need to rethink their strategy in 2022, which means looking to reach passive candidates and expand their search beyond their traditional network. Digital attraction and outsourcing tech recruitment to an RPO provider can help with this. These tactics can enable you to reach a broader range of candidates and those who aren’t necessarily looking for employment right now.
Contact us to learn more about how Talent Works can help your scaling tech business, whether it’s EVP development, direct sourcing, or digital talent attraction.
Our experts are on hand to help streamline your talent acquisition strategies in 2022. You can view some examples of our recent work here.