As a recruiter, you know that finding the right candidates isn’t always easy. That’s especially true when it comes to sourcing candidates for technical fields. Technical positions require certain skills, so your candidate pool is often limited. Learn how technical sourcing can help you find more qualified candidates.
What is a technical recruiter?
A technical recruiter sources candidates for highly specialized jobs. Usually, they are math and science positions that require education, training, and experience.
Finding technical candidates who meet job requirements and fit in the work culture can be difficult. In fact, Top Echelon’s 2016-2017 State of the Industry Report surveyed its customer base of over 5,000 recruiters to reveal recruiting trends indicating that technical fields are the most challenging industries to make placements in. The top three hardest industries were the following:
- Information technology (18.3%)
- Engineering (11.4%)
- Healthcare (11%)
Math and science fields are the most difficult job orders to fill. But, why do recruiters have trouble placing these candidates?
The report says the number one reason recruiters struggle to make placements is a lack of qualified candidates. Job seekers in specialized industries are scarce.
Technical sourcing tips
Recruiters have their work cut out for them when it comes to technical job orders. For sourcing talent in specialized fields, try the following recruiting best practices.
Connect with candidates
You need to find qualified candidates who are interested in your job orders. To gain the trust and attention of skilled job seekers, you need to become a part of their community.
Technical candidates spend a long time learning their trade. They are passionate about their work and enjoy talking about what’s happening in their field.
If you can’t talk the talk, chances are technical candidates won’t trust you with their careers. As a recruiter, you need to understand the language of the industry you’re sourcing in. Connect with candidates by having thought-provoking conversations about their niches.
Do some research on where your potential candidates hang out, both online and in person. Look for online forums, portfolio sharing websites, and social media groups. Also, join meetups and community groups.
As you participate in technical communities, avoid becoming a fly on the wall. You won’t be a part of the community if you fade into the background.
Instead, be a part of the conversation. Enter the candidates’ world to a.) understand what appeals to technical candidates b.) earn the trust of job seekers c.) screen candidates through their online profiles, portfolios, and participation.
Fine tune your job postings
Crafting a great job description is key to finding qualified technical candidates. The job description needs to characterize the ideal candidate and entice job seekers.
Use a specific job title. For example, is the position entry or senior level? Does the role answer to a supervisor or is it a manager position? Are there certain skills or training required? These details indicate things like experience needed, level of responsibility, and salary range.
Include all the necessary information when writing a job description. The summary should focus on what is unique about the opportunity. Also, include the location and whether flextime or remote work options are available.
List the required and preferred qualities, including education, experience, and licenses. Note the job duties in three sections: main responsibilities, daily activities, and the big picture (how the role fits into the organization). Have realistic expectations for your ideal candidate.
Once you write the job description, make it easy to find. Use recruiting metrics to measure which channels are most successful for technical candidates. Use specific keywords and hashtags that lead candidates to the posting.
Show off your client’s culture
Right now, it’s a candidates’ market. That means there are more open jobs than people to fill them. Candidates have more options, so they can be picky about where they work. Often, you have to compete against other hiring professionals to win over top talent.
For today’s technical candidates, accepting a job isn’t just about who offers the highest salary. Nearly 80% of millennials look for people and culture fit with employers (Glassdoor’s Top HR Statistics). Candidates want the full package, including a work environment that matches their values.
As a technical recruiter, you have to be a matchmaker of sorts. It’s your job to figure out which people are most compatible with your clients, and vice versa. By finding candidates who fit in the culture, you have a better chance of making a long-term placement. You can really hone in on cultural compatibility by having the candidate take a job-fit test.
Show off your client’s work culture by demonstrating what makes them unique. Technical candidates like to know the next big thing that is happening in their industry. They want a workplace that challenges them and encourages professional growth. Show that your client favors innovation and mention any interesting tools used.
Flexibility is another important part of work culture. Mention any perks such as flexible hours or remote work options. Also, talk about the benefits available, recognition programs, and opportunities for advancement.
Recruiters have a lot of technology at their disposal. Even so, one of the biggest sources of talent is recruiting referrals. The Top Echelon report showed that recruiters found the most quality candidates with referrals (43.6%).
Surprised by this statistic? You might not be getting many referrals because you’re not asking for them. You need to ask your network for recommendations.
Getting recruiting referrals doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, we request referrals all of the time. Whether we’re asking about a doctor’s office or restaurant, we gather opinions in our daily lives. Approach referrals the same way.
Encourage technical candidates to leverage their networks. When asking for referrals, acknowledge the value of the relationship. Then, ask if they know anyone who would appreciate the same type of relationship. For example, a candidate might know someone with a specific job title from their last position. Have your candidate reach out to the referral first to establish trust.
People naturally like to help others, and it feels good to be able to solve a problem. If someone knows about a job opening that’s a perfect fit for a friend or family member, they’re likely to refer them.