Closing technical position may resemble a debilitating marathon. Or sprint, when the maximum energy is laid out for a minimum of time. And when you need to hire the whole technical team, the task becomes more complicated at times. Especially if it is a startup, and its name does not work on the project yet. How to increase the chances of success?
1. Details matter
Before the “race”, learn everything about the project that you can. From the start, it will help to create the text for all the vacancies that will differ from dozens of other proposals. Among the faceless messages of “dynamically developing companies”, it is of particular interest that will coincide with the candidates’ expectations.
Check out the conditions that are offered to the team. It will be easier to conduct a dialogue with the candidates. Pay attention to everything, starting from the trial period, the size and structure of payment, processing, prospects for business trips and relocation, the possibility to work remotely, the duration of the project, the stages of selection, test task, etc.
Set the rules. Each team of recruiters has its own approach to task distribution. If vacancies are closed by a recruitment agency, tasks are usually divided the way that each recruiter works with vacancies of a similar profile (this allows you to make the search field as narrow as possible). In addition, it is useful to agree on the dates. For example, how much time is needed to organize an interview with the candidates, how much time will feedback take. Of course, timing is important to agree with the customer.
2. A team of stars or a star team
It is important to decide which specialists are needed according to the project description. For example, this is a project manager, back-end developer, front-end developer, designer, tester, etc. The team may change, but for the start, it is usually required to close some of the most critical positions.
Create detailed “models” of the necessary specialists. What tasks they have to solve, what experience is required for a particular position, what knowledge and skills are required, and which skills could be an advantage. Specify the requirements for English proficiency, as well as personal qualities that will help the team to get along. This is important for productive teamwork and it reduces the risk that a key specialist, or even a few of them, will leave the team simply because they did not agree on the characters.
The same with motivation and culture. Qualification is the cornerstone, but the interest of people in this project is also important. Even with initially high involvement, its level is likely to decrease or rise again.
The technical teams can hire specialists of different levels, including junior. The main thing is to keep a reasonable proportion, so that the “junior” has someone to teach, and that these people are ready to invest their time. Terms are also significant. If they are limited, there may simply not be free time for training.
3. Flexible approach
Hiring a technical team is a complex project that can be divided into “sub-projects” (work on closing individual positions). Agile approaches have been successfully used in non-technical teams for a long time. The same with IT-specialists selection, priorities, and goals in the process may be changed, and you need to adapt to changes. For example, Indigo calls itself the Agile-oriented IT recruiting agency.
It is not necessary to immediately apply complex methodologies that require the involvement of masters. From the start, you can use exactly those elements that suit you. At least the dividing tasks into categories “To Do”, “Doing”, “Done”. And the board with stickers. It is more convenient to visualize tasks and track their status.
4. Around all fronts
Successful technical specialists often have work, and with the first contact with you, they still do not know that they will want to accept your offer. In this case, most likely, there is something that they don’t like at their current work. For example, not enough professional development or remuneration. Anyway, when it comes to finding technical specialists, you should not count on the candidate being active. Don’t think that you just post a job and wait. Among the responses, there may be only little relevance. It’s better to connect all active search channels right away, including social networks, events (conferences, hackathons, contests), personal contacts and, of course, recommendations. Moreover, with each closed vacancy, the possibility that future employees will “pull” one of their acquaintances to the project is increasing.
5. An effective tandem
It is important for IT recruiters to talk the same language with candidates, that is why you need to know technologies at least at a basic level. Fortunately, guides “for dummies” in any format, online and offline, is enough. For example, the accelerated-progressive online course of IT-recruiting by Indigo.
You can and should refer to the familiar “techies” with a question to educate you a little. But, even understanding the topic, IT-recruiter is rarely able to conduct the entire cycle of evaluation of a candidate independently. Most often, a recruiter assesses basic skills and personal qualities, a match at the cultural level. As for technical interviews, they involve other technical specialists (customer representatives or future team leaders, for example).
6. From the first word
Even if you need to hire a whole team, mass tools will not work in IT recruitment. It is important for an IT recruiter to write letters instead of mailings, and those letters should be those ones that candidates will respond, even if the proposal is irrelevant. Evaluate by profile, as far as the proposal is generally relevant for a particular person. To conduct an interview in the format of a dialogue, not a pitching or interrogation, which the candidate would happily remove from his memory as spam. Give feedback if the candidate is rejected by the customer, etc.
A candidate’s refusal, if the communication is correctly built, is not yet the end. It’s likely that he will write the next letter when his interests or circumstances will have changed.
It is also important to know and follow reasonable rules of communication because the reputation of a new project directly depends on the people who work on it, and recruiters are not the exception. Adequate and professional behavior is a brick in the basement of the employer and/or an individual project image.