Recruiters know all too well that technology positions such as engineers and developers are always in demand. Talent42, which was in Seattle from June 11–12, was a conference dedicated specifically to recruiting in technology.
Talent42 had an energetic start with a mock game show moderated by Chris Hoyt, president and co-owner of CareerXroads. The game had engineers and recruiters face off. Talent42 surveyed their attendees and contacts about the recruiting scene in technology, and then had competitors try to line up their answers with the survey’s answers. Though it was a lot of fun, it also offered valuable insights into why engineers aren’t responding to recruiters and what they’re looking for in new roles.
Robert Coombs, Head of Operations at CredSimple, gave a lively presentation about how recruiting is like online dating; you start off with a broad selection, then do your best to narrow people down. That said, Coombs explained that recruiting isn’t always the typical funnel—sometimes recruiters bring in more candidates at different phases of the hiring process. He also talked about how we should treat candidates like dates by being honest, staying mindful of candidates’ time, and rejecting people kindly.
One of the most valuable things about Talent42 was the fact that recruiters were able to talk directly to the types of engineers they’re working to hire. Lee Robinson, Senior Software Engineer for E-Commerce at Hy-Vee, talked about his experience as an engineer, and how he and his peers feel about current recruiting strategies. He talked about how companies in small towns will trade engineers like baseball cards, and that engineers often move to new locations for better jobs. This makes things difficult for recruiters, but Lee also explained what frustrates engineers about recruiters: they get too many messages on LinkedIn, they receive messages that are blatant templates, and they get messages that are incorrectly targeted.
Wendy Bloechle with DHI Insights - the parent company of event Platinum sponsor Dice - talked about her company’s most recent research into the trends of tech recruiting, including where the most tech jobs are (32% of tech jobs are in California, Texas, New York and Florida), what the highest paying tech jobs and skills are (which are in programming, big data and cloud technology), as well as best practices based on these trends and their other insights.
Sara Chipps, Director of Community at Stack Overflow, closed the conference with a great session on how to hire senior engineers. She explained that senior engineers are particularly in demand, which means they’re more difficult to recruit. However, if you know what defines senior engineers and what they want in a job, you can find them more easily. For example, she talked about how 41 percent of engineers have less than five years of experience. However, 53 percent of them have been coding for 5-14 years, and an incredible 71 percent of them code as a hobby outside of work. That’s a wealth of experience that, at the right company, could make strong senior engineers. They’re also less interested in perks like pool tables and company parties—41 percent of senior engineers have children, so they’re looking for flexibility and insurance benefits instead of a fun work culture.
As recruiting and technology continue to interact, it’s more important than ever to use technology to help you find the best candidates, no matter what your industry. With a strong background screening provider, you can screen your candidates without increasing your time to hire.