Tech recruiting is challenging; there’s no way around it. The best talent is often gainfully employed, and even if you’re flipping through resumes of active job seekers, it’s difficult to find the right person for a tech role. If you’re reading this blog, you, like so many other recruiters, are hoping to simplify the hiring process by using technical recruiting tools.
Sure, there’s an exhaustive list of technologies that can aid a recruiter: talent acquisition software, search tools, job aggregator sourcing platforms, calendar and email integrations, referral platforms, applicant tracking recruitment software, and a proper CRM solution, just to name a few. Unfortunately, you’ll find there are no “best” tools for technical recruiting. (We’re not alone in arguing this point: it’s a commonly held belief in the industry). It’s not the tool that makes the recruiter successful, but rather their traits and approach to finding top tech talent. That being said, let’s look at a few helpful tools, programs, platforms, and apps that are available to technical recruiters, before diving into the reasons behind our hesitation to overstate their utility.
Let’s break the technical recruitment process into four manageable parts: sourcing, tracking, screening, and onboarding. Each element of the hiring journey can benefit from various tools.
Job aggregators like LinkedIn, Monster.com, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Google Jobs are useful because they distribute your job posting to an infinitely larger audience than what your company website alone could attract. On LinkedIn, for example, 77 job applications are submitted each second. As for Indeed, their tool is responsible for 47 percent of all hires in the U.S. in 2020. These platforms are visited by active job seekers, so by utilizing these sources, you’re sure to get a large pool of applicants. However, while you’re sure to source more candidates, these tools will require you to perform more assessments and screening to find qualified applicants.
Pro tip: One way in which to fast-track this part of the recruitment process is to find a tech-specific talent network from which to source candidates. IT talent networks provide recruiters and hiring teams with instant access to large communities of digital professionals, and, depending upon the network, access to pre-screened candidates who have already proven their skills.
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) like Breezy, Monday.com, Greenhouse, and Workable provide recruiters with tailored client and candidate experiences throughout the hiring process. With these tools, tech recruiters can track applicants and manage alerts and tasks. Automations such as email notifications, offer approvals, and stakeholder reporting save time and add considerable value.
A Capterra study recently found that 75 percent of recruiters and hiring professionals use an ATS tool, but not without controversy. Many feel pressured to adopt new software tools to remain competitive, but the use of enterprise tracking systems in place of more traditional upkeep has led to pushback from job seekers. Capterra, the famous software vendor review marketplace, has coined the term “ATShole,” saying “[companies using ATS are] frustrating job applicants, scaring away new hires, and giving you a reputation as a company that doesn’t care about the candidate experience.” This is a prime example of how a tool, even one as useful as a standalone applicant tracking system, can offer fantastic features and still fall short of actually improving the recruitment process.
After sourcing candidates, all good technical recruiters will need to pare down the applicant pool. Candidate screening, especially evaluating technical skills, is a critical step in determining the best person for a job. There are several online skill tests and coding assessments, the recommendations for which are dependent upon the position for which you’re hiring. Regardless, there are plenty of options for assessing your applicants: HackerRank, Coderbyte, Hired Assessments, Devskiller, Qualified, etc. Many technical recruiters find this step in the hiring process to be particularly time- and resource-intensive, which explains the emergence of screening-as-a-service (more on that later).
The best ATS solutions build onboarding into their system. Other options include Zenefits, TypeForm, Lessonly, and BambooHR. These tools help lessen the stress of paperwork, logins, and set-ups so new hires can focus on introductions to colleagues and projects, instead. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. A Glassdoor study looking at the true cost of new employees found that “organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent.”
Even if you have top-of-the-line recruitment tools, when it comes to hiring for technical roles, it comes down to the human element. This concept gets lost in our world of AI-driven candidate sourcing, screening, and assessment solutions. Even interviews, once the most humanizing part of the hiring process, have been digitized: just look at AI-powered video interviewing software.
Don’t get us wrong — here at Esteemed, we love technology. We’re a community of developers, engineers, designers, coding enthusiasts, and self-described techies. We love the possibilities that we as humans can realize as a result of AI and machine learning.
Our team prefers the type of recruiting that maintains a healthy balance of tech-driven screening and people-powered candidate assessments. Sometimes tech recruiting tools complicate things, even as they simplify others. We see it all the time: either recruitment tools don’t narrow down a recruiter’s applicant pool enough or they invariably weed out candidates who deserve a closer look.
For those of you who agree with this, we do have a pseudo-technical recruiting tool that you ought to consider. It’s actually more of a service than a tool: recruiters or hiring managers can either connect with a pre-screened tech talent network or submit their pool of applicants, and have their skills evaluated by a living, breathing technical lead. That way, whether a company has zero candidates or hundreds, they can find the best person for their tech role and not have talented candidates lost to algorithms or impersonal assessments.