It’s no surprise to hear we’re currently experiencing a candidate-led job market in Technology, Transformation and Digital. Not only are available jobs outstripping the number of qualified job seekers, but there’s more pressure than ever to lock in preferred candidates as quickly as possible.
We have been advising our clients one of the best ways to adapt to the current talent acquisition challenge is to review and revise their hiring processes.
According to ELMO’s HR Industry Benchmark Survey 2021, the average time to hire in New Zealand is currently 50.3 days with the longest time reported as 86 days. Believe it or not, this is actually longer than pre-COVID times and organisations are now risking losing top candidates to a competitor offering a more streamlined process.
In this blog, we offer insights about changes we’re seeing in the marketplace and advice for how you can make your tech hiring process more efficient.
1. Shorten Your Interview Process
Moving quickly in today’s job market is a great way of ensuring you secure top talent – after all, time kills all deals. Having an efficient process can save Hiring Managers both time and money, but most importantly, it can attract the best talent.
We have seen first-hand situations where candidates have multiple opportunities on the go. This is particularly common with highly-specialised roles such as Change Analysts or emerging roles like Azure Developers where the talent pool is limited. If another role is already at the offer stage and you’re only partway through your interview process, you’re likely to miss out.
The main way to simplify your hiring process is to review how many interview stages are really required. It may have been standard practice in the past to have up to five steps, but a process like that will likely lose you the best candidates.
Have a think about the purpose of each stage – is it to truly assess aptitude and cultural fit? Or is it more of a box-checking exercise where the candidate must meet a number of different stakeholders? Is there a way to organise alternative setups such as panel interviews rather than one-to-ones or have the job seekers undertake technical tests remotely, for example, a Java or Python coding test?
It may sound risky, but we’ve seen great success in this approach with some of our clients dropping down to two or even one-step interview processes. And they’ve all been able to secure their preferred candidates while still maintaining an appropriate level of due diligence.
2. Make the Most of Reference Checks
Reference checks can sometimes feel like an arbitrary step in your hiring process, but they can actually provide much more than a record of when a candidate worked with a previous employer.
Instead of scheduling another interview with the candidate, why not utilise the reference process to gain additional insights into their skills and experience? By updating your reference check template and tailoring it to the role you’re recruiting for, you have an opportunity to validate your preferred candidates’ resume and clarify any areas you’re not sure about.
Some referees have been cautious in the past about providing too much information about previous employees and crossing legal boundaries. It’s your job to reassure them that any discussion will be held with the utmost discretion, and that you’re purely looking to assess their suitability for the role.
3. Strengthen Your Position as Preferred Employer
An efficient hiring process not only benefits the employer, but is also a major factor when assessing a positive candidate experience. We’ve had candidates tell us recently how enjoyable and stress-free some interview processes have been. Conversely, with onerous hiring processes, some candidates can lose steam and favour other opportunities that turn around faster and make it ‘easy’ for them.
Don’t forget that the recruitment process is the first interaction a prospective employee has with your business. If you conduct an efficient, clear and straightforward recruitment process, you will be contributing to a strong employee value proposition. The employee will leave the interview feeling your business values align with their own, and reinforce their desire to work with you.
It’s safe to say that the tables have turned in the world of talent attraction, and it’s now up to Hiring Managers to look for ways to improve and simplify their recruitment practices. Small changes can reap major rewards, both in terms of saving you time and money as well as securing the best candidates.
If you’re an Employer looking to hire your next fantastic Technology, Transformation or Digital team member, we are more than happy to provide you with an up-to-the minute market update and advice. Our Beyond technology national leadership team are on hand to provide you with insights - get in touch with them here.