Do you also find it fascinating how every little thing that was ‘low tech’ has sub-consciously become ‘hi-tech’ over the years? Old CRT TVs became flatscreen HDTVs, smartphones took over analog handsets, stick shift got replaced by automatic transmission and similarly traditional IT jobs became ‘new IT’ roles. Slowly but surely, technology inveigled itself into our lives and became indispensable to us. Even though most of us wouldn’t know how any technology is developed on the back-end, there is a whole tribe of ‘IT geeks and nerds’ who create technically advanced products that run on complex code and language protocols, but are ridiculously easy to use.
The last 10 years have probably seen more changes in the workplace than the previous three decades put together, because that is the speed at which Information Technology has evolved. Many existing jobs went redundant, and because every new technology required equally new skills, many other jobs kept getting invented, such as Data Visualization Engineer, Cloud Architect, UI/UX Designer etc. According to the projections of a recent Nasscom study, revenue from new IT is going to more than double in the next 7 years. The expected explosion of new IT jobs has already amplified the need for hiring niche tech talent, and is not proving to be an easy task at all. Some of the biggest challenges faced by Talent acquisition teams to hire this kind of talent are:
- Scarcity of skilled talent
- Cost, Time and Effort spent in hiring
- Candidate Engagement
It is important to understand that tech talent has a very different set of expectations towards technology as compared to people not born into a tech-heavy habitat. As stated in a study carried out by the Catalyst not-for-profit group, Millennials (those born in or after 1981) currently represent 35% of the workforce. However, in the next 5 years, a whopping 75% of workforce will comprise of Millennials and Gen Z (born in or after 1995). Not surprisingly, new tech therefore calls for new ways of talent engagement and assessment. People from Generation Z are even bigger ‘technoholics’. This particular group is what is currently enabling ‘gig economy’ because they prefer to make a career out of multi-tasking. As a huge part of the floating talent pool, they want to be constantly aware of what is happening, and they want everything ‘NOW’.
We’ve been able to decipher this interesting group of potential employees to a large extent and so we understand what it takes to attract them. Here are our top 3 talent engagement strategies to hire & engage the best programmers, software engineers, coders, testers etc.:
- Adopt advanced talent evaluation solutions
Affordable smartphones and video enabled apps mean there are now a million different ways to reach the maximum number of relevant candidates. Nearly all applicants know how video interviewing works thus are very confident going for an in-camera interview process. For a pre-employment skills assessment test, mobile-based video interviews are very popular. Recruiters are able to conduct both live or pre-recorded online video interviews for any required profile, be it sales, software engineer, tester, customer experience representative etc. It’s no wonder then that evaluation capabilities such as these allow for a win-win situation for both the candidate as well as the recruiter. Even those applicants seeking lateral placements can schedule an interaction as per their convenience without getting into logistical hassles.
With products like Autoview,- which do not require a live interviewer to be present for the interview evaluations backed by AI technology and can be used to administer tests that assess job skills e.g. programming skills test, coding assessment test etc. What’s more, these tests can accurately evaluate communication skills and reliably assess workplace skills like competencies, planning & organization, decision-making skills, learning attitude, social skills etc. Wouldn't you agree that a progressive firm which nurtures a technology-friendly environment will not only create a better employer brand but also attract similar-minded candidates who themselves are tech-savvy? Our own experience with clients shows that deploying video assessment tools brought down their attrition rate by 50%. Not just that, the actual reach to the relevant talent pool got enhanced by almost 40%.
Another way to create a strong presence and to evaluate a large group is with hackathons, testathons and ideathons. A lot of companies have used it very successfully for campus hiring as they create a fantastic opportunity to engage people, have them show off their technical prowess on a public platform as well as allow the candidates to get a tremendous sense of achievement.
- Prioritize Candidate engagement
Proactive engagement with prospective employees should be a huge part of contemporary candidate management. And this is where TA managers need to be proactive. While sourcing, expand your candidate search and engage with them across multiple platforms. Especially for niche jobs, use an outside-in approach instead of inside out; employ specialist search firms, explore ‘alternate’ profiles, revisit old resumes, advertise on platforms like LinkedIn, GitHub and Slack, create posts on your own website etc. Go for a global reach if that’s what it takes. maximize digital channels of communication wherever you can. Millennials don't get overwhelmed with technology, they actually thrive in it. They are more than happy to tinker and experiment with anything that runs on smart-tech, and that is something that TA managers must capitalize on.
- Don’t make your candidates wait forever.
Take advantage of the fact that they already have technology at their disposal to take an assessment. Flexibility across devices is fast becoming the bedrock of all talent evaluation solutions. For Millennials and Gen Z, it makes more sense to be able to demonstrate their skills real-time and go through quick selection rounds rather than spending hours at a recruiter’s office, writing a pen-paper test and waiting for their turn to get interviewed.
Future thinking organizations today are implementing automated candidate assessment tools like pre-employment tests, which can significantly reduce candidate-screening time, improve the quality of hires and expand candidate reach. Here’s an example of how investing in such a technology reaped benefits for a client. Since they were looking for volume campus hiring for technical positions, we recommended running a team-based coding challenge. It turned out to be a big hit where almost 35000 students registered for the event, of which more than 20,000 actively participated. Running this automated recruitment system real time immediately created the capability to engage with hundreds of candidates at multiple locations for various roles all within the same time frame. The end result was that the company recorded an impressive 60% reduction in time taken to hire.
The more you look, the more examples you will see of companies of all shapes and sizes that are greatly benefiting from using intelligent HR assessment solutions as the via media for their talent engagement strategy. As on date, there is a burgeoning industry of tech startups and global companies constantly innovating and needing new age IT warriors like Data Scientists, NLP Engineers, IoT Architects etc. Consequently, there is this war for finding the right people to man these jobs. Hiring the perfect tech talent doesn't require rocket science. But it does need the right strategy and smart solutions to help you find it. Explore the various assessments and interview solutions at Aspiring Minds because the perfect candidates may be closer than you think.