Jobs within the various technical sectors obviously necessitate the people undertaking them to have specific and unique skills. This can present potential difficulties during the recruitment process, as the person (or persons) doing the recruiting may, for instance, not have the requisite skills and experience themselves to know when the right candidate comes along. If this is you, here are some tips to consider that should help navigate this problem.
Clearly outline the role AND your company
When trying to attract the right candidate for a role, it’s important to articulate and detail the position (and the organisation) as best you can in order to convince potential applicants that this is the job – and company – for them. Remember: you’re trying to impress them as much as they will be trying to impress you.
Cast your net far and wide – but not indiscriminately
With typically more vacancies than there is skilled personnel to film them in technical industries, it’s important to draw from as large a pool of potential candidates as possible. For the first round of pooling candidates, exploit all networks at your disposal – networks that should be methodically cultivated and grown over time. Look to develop tried and tested methods and processes to carry out expedient but thorough assessments of candidates, even in the early rounds. This will ensure that by the time you get to a long and then shortlist, you will have a terrific pool of talent from which to fill your position from.
Screen and dig deep
Don’t be surprised if more than one incredibly promising candidates don’t make it through even the initial cut. If you have the right processes in place, you will inevitably find that some applicants, though seemingly near perfect on paper, have something else on the non-CV record that raises a red (or at least amber) flag and causes pause for thought. This could be anything from problematic political affiliations to egregious posts on social media platforms. In short, don’t rely on what they say about themselves and what’s logged in LinkedIn. Always dig a little deeper.
Depending on the role and your area/s of expertise, it could be the case that you are not suitable to or capable of posing the right technical questions (or indeed knowing what the right answers are!). If at all possible, specialists need to be technically assessed for suitability for the role by similarly experienced technical specialists. So if you do not have one available at the organisation you are hiring in to (or at your agency, if they are not a technical recruitment specialist), then drafting someone in to consult, or ideally be present in the interview, will help you with the process immensely.
Interviewing format and technique
As mentioned above, ideally you want someone who can pose the right technical questions to candidates in an interview setting. At the very least (and this is probably prudent even if you do have someone in this regard) it is worth knowing enough relevant technical jargon to give the right impression to the candidate i.e. that you know (to a sufficient degree) what the role entails as well as what will be expected of them. But you also need to articulate what they can expect of the job and the organization more widely.
Remember: when it gets down to the shortlist of candidates, you will likely have some very in-demand talent in front of you. This means that they are interviewing you (and the company) almost as much as you are them, so it’s crucial to paint the organization, company culture, and any benefits that come with the position, in as great a light as possible. You will have gone into this to a degree in your initial outreach, but now is the time to really sell it.