How to Hire Tech Talent: 15 Expert Tips To Recruit Superstars

June 30, 2023

Take a look at any IT hiring manager’s to-do list and you’ll probably find ‘how to better hire tech talent’ right at the top. 

You might be the owner of one of these lists. In which case, you’ll know just how difficult it is to source tech talent these days, especially when it comes to high-volume hiring or tech executive searches. 

The much-talked-about tech labor shortage means software developers, programmers, and DevOps are prime examples of tech professionals who are like a dropped contact lens on a beach: impossible to find

According to Forbes, the tech unemployment rate of 1.8% in the US in December 2022, compared to the national figure of 3.5%, is one of the lowest of all time. 

It’s why tech jobs dominate Indeed’s list of ‘best jobs’ for workers in 2023: tech employees are at more of a premium than ever following the pandemic. 

The 8 ‘best jobs’ in the U.S.A (2023)

Source: Indeed

If that’s not enough, you may have come across competitors who make hiring great talent look easy. To them, finding great candidates that align with the company’s culture and expectations seems to be a breeze. 

But how do they know how to hire tech talent so efficiently?

Well, having assessed the tech hiring strategies used by top recruiters, we believe we’ve found the answer.

Read on to find out a comprehensive list of tips that all hiring managers should be using when recruiting tech talent.

Is sourcing top tech talent proving to be elusive for your team? Book a call with Remoti’s team today and find out how our embedded talent platform can connect you with the tech professionals that your next project deserves.

How to hire tech talent: 15 expert tips that can give you an edge over rivals

Sourcing tech talent is a broad, multi-layered process that takes time to implement successfully. 

Yet, most recruiting teams are on the road to a comprehensive talent program. Rather than overhauling their existing model, they just need a tweak or two to get it running at maximum efficiency.

If you’re one of them, here are 15 actions you can take to optimize your strategy and win the race to premium tech talent. 

1. Where to find tech talent? Search in alternate talent pools

It’s human nature to stick with what you know, but doing so puts you at a huge disadvantage in your hunt for quality tech workers. 

Many startups are now exploring emerging talent markets with big potential, like Latin America. In Colombia, for example, the government recently launched an initiative to train 100,000 new developers by 2022 opening up a rich seam of affordable talent. Many US-based companies are now recruiting in a country where salary studies have found that experienced software developers take home around 72% of what their US counterparts earn. 

Other LatAm countries are also experiencing an influx of tech workers. Companies recruiting in Brazil have access to almost half a million graduate tech workers a year, according to recruitment experts Coderslink, putting them on the fast track to quick tech workforce expansion.

Top Latin American sources of tech talent

Source: Coderslink

2.Reach out proactively to top candidates on LinkedIn

Remember, not all potential candidates are actively looking for work: according to LinkedIn, 70% of the global workforce is passive talent that isn’t job seeking. 

For tech roles, this is a potential gold mine and LinkedIn is a great place to start. On there, you can use the site’s built-in tools to source the candidates you’re looking for, including the following:

  • LinkedIn Recruiter offers advanced search capabilities and direct outreach to potential candidates, making it easier to find and connect with top tech talent.

  • LinkedIn Talent Insights provides valuable data-driven insights and analytics, allowing you to understand the talent market, identify top skills and trends, and make informed decisions when sourcing new hires.

  • LinkedIn Groups: Joining and participating in tech-focused groups allows you to engage with professionals in the industry, share job postings, and build relationships with potential tech candidates.

According to the site, 62% of talent teams find more candidates this way than via inbound applications, making it an extremely useful hiring tactic.

3. Make high visibility a priority

Diving into new pools of tech talent is one thing, but you’ll also need the bait that attracts the quality candidates you’re looking for. 

Optimization is the digital way of doing this. As well as making sure all your social media content is engaging and echoes your employer’s brand, aligning your website’s job pages with SEO requirements is also essential. 

Using relevant keywords and phrases to optimize job descriptions helps to reach a broader audience of tech professionals actively searching for opportunities.

Because of this wider exposure, you’ll then be in a position to cherry-pick the most relevant candidates for your project.

4. Invest in graduate recruitment

Graduate hiring can be an invaluable addition to your recruitment drive, bringing fresh ideas and energy to a project at a more affordable rate than senior employees.

Recruiters have found that going directly to universities is a great way to connect with the next generation of tech talent. Career fairs are a tried and tested route, but starting a university partnership through which you can offer internships and workshops is another great way of training graduates into fully-molded tech employees. 

When it comes to working out how to recruit tech talent, this kind of deal is a win-win: you get access to talented young tech workers, while graduates receive the experience they need to start a successful career.

5. Design a well-crafted interview process 

Interviews don’t just give companies an insight into job applicants, but vice versa. Candidates get their invaluable first impressions from these initial meetings, so it’s important to make sure interviews are aligned with the company’s values. 

This includes asking intelligent questions, gleaning the candidate’s opinion of the organization, and making sure that they are comfortable throughout. 

It also makes sense to involve current tech employees in the process. These can offer insights into the role that recruiters can’t and could be the difference between the candidate joining or not.

Also, if you’re still unsure about video interviews, then now’s the time to commit to them. 86% of organizations believe that they improve their hiring process thanks to time and cost savings for both parties.

6. Keep the recruiting process short and sweet

The tech industry is fast-moving. Candidates often receive multiple offers and can lose interest quickly. 

To reduce the chances of them jumping on board with rivals, make sure your technical hiring is swift and efficient. Keep interviews to a minimum and provide clear and timely feedback to keep applicants interested. 

Remember your interview process is like a window to your company, or the client you’re recruiting for. Research from Indeed shows that tech workers look for transparency, open-mindedness, and flexibility from their companies: having a clear and open interview process that values the candidate’s time is a great way of meeting those expectations.

 How to hire tech talent: the characteristics tech workers look for

Source: Indeed

7. Find the best candidates by challenging them

Tech talent may be in demand, but that doesn’t mean you should sell your company or client short with easy interviewing.

Only by putting candidates through their paces during interviews and assessments will you find the top tech talent suitable for your project. 

Asking thought-provoking questions or, better, setting challenging problems to solve will not only help you identify the cream of the crop, they’ll also appeal to highly skilled individuals who are motivated by meaningful projects. 

The interview and screening process will be the first opportunity for the candidate to see the company culture on offer. Showing one that fosters creativity and innovation is a great way to attract top talent eager to contribute to it.

8. Offer flexibility

Going beyond the interview process, offering flexible work has become a crucial hiring factor following the pandemic. 

Tech professionals value the ability to personally manage their work and personal responsibilities, and flexible work options give them the power to do that. 

Hybrid work models, those that combine office and remote work, should be at the core of your offer, along with adjustable policies for annual leave.  

The same Indeed research mentioned above shows that almost half of tech workers are even willing to take a pay cut for this type of flexibility.

 The race to hire tech talent: what workers are willing to take a pay cut for

Source: Indeed

Flexible work benefits the employer beyond attracting the best workers. It increases morale, boosts productivity, and prevents burnout further down the line: a win-win for everyone.

9. Make employee growth a realistic prospect

It’s human nature to want to make yourself the best you can be, and talented tech professionals are no different. 

Employers and recruiters must show that their tech roles go beyond simply providing a job and instead provide genuine opportunities for upskilling.

Young tech talent, in particular, seeks organizations that invest in their development and provide avenues for career progression. Mentoring programs, where tech companies can pair young talent with experienced professionals who can guide and support them in their professional journey, are a great instrument for this. On-the-job training initiatives, too, can further enhance their technical ability, soft skills, and knowledge. 

Some recruiters even offer educational technology (EdTech) courses that use online learning to develop candidates both pre- and post-hire. 

By demonstrating a clear pathway for growth and development, you’ll send a strong message that the organization values its employees and is invested in their long-term success. 

10. Never rule out rejected hires

Many recruiters make the mistake of drawing a line through rejected hires and forgetting about them. 

Big mistake. 

Often companies that keep a record of unsuccessful job hopefuls on an applicant tracking system (ATS) find that they have a source of ready-made candidates who have recently improved their skill set. 

According to Jeena Minhas, Senior Talent Acquisition Professional at Meta, these people could turn out to be just what you’re looking for. 

“With an ATS, there are a tonne of candidates who will be interested off the bat, will respond to the role, and will engage with the recruiter,” says Jeena. “This will, in turn, help you screen candidates faster and get on the fast track to qualified options.”

Talented workers quickly acquire the technical skills necessary to keep pace with the ever-changing tech scene. Ruling out all past applicants thus cuts off a potentially rich talent source.

11. Automate repetitive tasks all along the hiring process

Overseeing a tech recruitment drive means focussing on the key goal: finding the right tech talent.

Yet, repetitive but necessary tasks often muddy the waters, distracting you from this vital objective and using up valuable time and resources. 

Automated tools can now take up the mantle for you and your team. AI-powered tools can scan online platforms for suitable workers and then open up the initial stages of communication, including interview scheduling, sending out invitations, and issuing reminders. It can help out with evaluating skill assessments or coding challenges.

You can make onboarding smoother, too, with automated document processing and the issuing of training materials. This is invaluable for employers recruiting in foreign markets where paperwork represents a formidable barrier.

Research by Hubspot shows that 61% of recruiting professionals believe automation makes hiring easier, with sourcing being the most popular use case.

 The various uses of recruiting automation

Source: Hubspot

12. Trust your existing talent to find new talent

A modern recruiting strategy needs to make use of all possible talent sources and a built-in referral program is a valuable one.

Experienced tech recruiters almost always have access to ready-made existing talent that they’ve worked with in the past. If you’re one of them, it’s time to make use of it. After all, it takes a top talent professional to know one. 

Reach out to tech-savvy individuals you already know and offer them the chance to be part of your referral program. They may have access to tech resources like GitHub and Stack Overflow where software engineers and other tech pros collaborate and could be willing to put you in touch with these people. In exchange, you might offer them incentives and perks, like a commission or even just a positive LinkedIn reference. 

HubSpot put referrals right at the top of their tech recruiting tools, citing the fact that 80% of hirers rank them as an important sourcing method.

13. Put diversity at the top of your list

A diverse tech workforce is not as common as you may think. 

According to McKinsey research, black workers in the United States make up just 4.5% of software developers, despite representing 13% of the labor force, while women also continue to be underrepresented. 

Addressing this shortfall should be a priority for any business with serious technological ambitions, not least because those that do outperform competitors by maximizing their available talent pool.

Unconscious bias plays a huge role in this trend and this is something that recruiters from majority groups should be continuously working on. Yet, there are other practices that they can implement right away, including:

  • Integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the talent program
  • Using data to identify DEI issues in the recruiting strategy
  • Making the job descriptions relevant to diverse talent
  • Building an inclusive company culture. 

In your search for the best tech talent, you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned, especially when it comes to including talent from minority groups.

14. Don’t be afraid to outsource

Often recruiters trying to work out how to hire tech talent take on too much work for themselves and their team when outside help can save them a huge amount of time and money.

Outsourcing tech talent searches to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) or a Tech Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider reduces this burden by handing over important processes to external experts.

This typically includes all stages of the hiring process, from scouting talented job seekers to dealing with payroll management.

One of the many proponents of PEO programs is Forbes, which recently espoused their benefits, ranging from time and cost savings to ensuring compliance with employment laws in foreign labor markets.

15. Make metrics your friend

If you find that your recruiting process isn’t finding the candidates you need, even after employing some of the above techniques, then get analytical. 

Metric and analytical tools can be invaluable resources in gathering and analyzing data on various aspects of the hiring process, such as candidate sourcing, application rates, candidate engagement, and time-to-hire. 

When used correctly, these help you identify patterns, trends, and insights that help you improve your sourcing. They also help you track the performance and progress of candidates so that you can single out those with the highest potential.

If you’re struggling to get started with metrics, then one solution is using a digital recruitment platform. These often come with built-in metrics and give you an overview of your campaign’s performance. 

Backed up with the advice of expert talent professionals, this data input makes it easy for you to tweak future campaigns and open up a solid pipeline of top tech talent. 

Ready to plug into a tech talent pipeline? Book a call today with one of our experts who’ll show you how Remoti’s HR-as-a-service will open up a steady flow of top tech talent for your recruitment drive.