5 Biggest Mistakes When Hiring Tech Talent


Rachel McElroyChief Marketing Officer for Cranford Group

Monday, August 5, 2019

It’s one of the most exciting and fastest-growing sectors across the globe, but, as tech evolves at rapid pace, more organizations are finding it difficult to keep up.

Article 6 Minutes
5 Biggest Mistakes When Hiring Tech Talent

And, with that kind of pressure, come costly errors and knee-jerk reactions, which can ultimately set the business back and severely dent their growth ambitions.

In addition, those operating in the IT sector are finding it extremely difficult to navigate the complexities which currently face the industry – including the skills shortage which exists on a global scale. Therefore, companies can be forgiven for ‘feeling the heat’ when it comes to making the right appointments in quick-sharp time, and sometimes even falling at the first hurdle.

However, even with that vast array of obstacles to overcome, there are some simple steps that employers can adopt, in order to prevent themselves from bringing in the wrong personnel – whilst also ensuring they remain relevant, and have the best people in place to help push forwards in a challenging, digitally-led landscape. But what should they avoid?

1. Misunderstanding the role

When a company identifies a position that it needs to fill with top-level tech talent, although it’s important for a candidate to live and breathe the job they’re applying for, it’s also the duty of the organization to know exactly what it needs from the person it hires.

Without that prior knowledge, a recruit’s interest can soon decrease, because they no longer see the point of joining a business that doesn’t share the same values as them – or fully understand the importance of what they can bring to the table, and why they need to.

To achieve this, a firm needs to incorporate the right language throughout their job advert and other communications – which can be managed effectively by a strong recruitment partner. These are the trusted relationships who will take the time to conduct the key research needed, in order to help a role stand out, with the right messaging and expectations in place.

Many brands who fail to focus on the crucial elements of what attracts the savviest tech talent – whether it’s career development or project-based positions, for example – can often fail at the earliest stage. In addition, this could be the difference between securing the best person for the job, and seeing a strong candidate opt for a competitor.

2. Not having an inspiring culture

Of course, it’s important to have tech skills to fill a complex cloud architecture role, but soft skills matter just as much as IT-heavy qualifications – and more so, in some cases. It’s no good for a department to hold every single certificate available but struggle to work together as a team, purely because the blend and atmosphere isn’t there.

Within the IT sector, staff need to collaborate as they often work in small groups – and to tight deadlines – with little, to no, room for error. Therefore, a team needs to have passion and an urgency to embrace a close-knit culture, and that comes with having a diverse mix of people – from skill levels through to age and experience. This will ultimately lead to better outcomes as a mixed team will bring a range of opinions and skills to the project.

It might take time to truly assess personalities – to ensure they are the best fit for a business – but it’s so worthwhile, and a task that a resourcing specialist can manage as part of an efficient hiring strategy.

Taking those crucial hours to fully research what qualities a new recruit must possess in order to be a success can ultimately make for a much more pleasant – and profitable – experience for all concerned.

3. Failing to keep up with industry developments

If an organization operates in technology, there has to be a commitment to keep up with the latest trends and news affecting the sector. Without that knowledge – given the unrivalled speed at which IT now evolves – firms will most certainly suffer, and may get left behind.

Companies that are hiring – or appointing an agency to help resource key talent – must be determined to attend relevant events and speak to C-level leaders about tech developments. However, it’s the responsibility of the candidate to keep abreast with the latest news, in addition to the company who’s also expected to embrace change.

4. Having an inefficient hiring strategy

Firms that don’t streamline this process from the get-go will find themselves in the middle of an overwhelming amount of complexities that could have been avoided, had a clear plan been implemented.

Once an organization identifies the talent they require, failing to assess a prospect’s skills, personality and progression aspirations – in order to pull together the perfect blend of characters for their IT departments – can be detrimental to the entire process.

Effective communication can avoid this and help to ensure a smooth transition of the recruiting model – from placing the initial job advert, to interviewing the applicants and setting on a new starter.

Businesses without an efficient hiring strategy in place can not only cost themselves time, but money too – something a resourcing partner can work with them to avoid.

5. Reluctance to embrace modern-day employee needs

With the gig economy in full flow, more bosses are recognizing the once ‘9-5’ career has now evolved – and what modern employees now expect from their job roles is very different.

Employers who do embrace a new way of working can often see a dramatic improvement in company culture and productivity, because their employees are getting everything they need from their careers.

And, especially in the IT sector, firms that are restrictive in the workplace risk seeing some of the best tech talent leave for competitors. Key roles – such as front-end developers, DevOps or AI specialists – often come with heavy project-based or contracted job requirements, because they want the flexibility to make a strong impact, in a short space of time.

That doesn’t mean short-term appointments are any less committed, but organizations should be keen to look into more flexible resourcing models, in order to motivate a modern-day workforce away from the ‘traditional norm’ of a 9-5 office-based role.

Hiring isn’t an easy or swift process, nor should it be something overlooked and without strategy. Having trusted partners on hand to help appointments transition into their new roles as smoothly as possible, enables employers to not only bring in – and develop – the tech generation of talent, but also spend crucial time ensuring the company culture and growth aspirations are in place, in order to inspire business success.

Rachel McElroy

Chief Marketing Officer for Cranford Group

Passionate about a variety of tech topics including digital disruption, tech skills development, agile working, remote working, women in tech, talent on demand, DevOps, Rachel is responsible for the execution of business development and growth strategies. An eloquent and well-respected industry commentator, Rachel has a keen eye on the future of tech and has spoken at several industry events including Cloud Expo Europe


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