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4 ways your tech hiring process works against you

If your company is struggling to find and hire great tech talent, you’re not alone. Even in today’s economic climate, competition for experienced tech talent is fierce—and inefficiencies in your hiring process can keep your company from meeting your hiring goals. In this blog post, we’ll discuss four ways that your tech hiring process might be hurting your company’s ability to make the technical hires you need, when you need them. From the high cost of a slow hiring process to the downsides of resume review, we’ll cover everything you need to know to streamline your tech hiring process. 

1. Downsides of resume review in the hiring process

Recruiting is one of the most important aspects of running a successful company, but it can also be one of the most difficult and time-consuming. When it comes to finding top software engineering and other technical talent, the process can be even more challenging. 

One of the biggest problems with the tech hiring process is that it often relies on resume reviews to identify qualified candidates early on. This can be a highly subjective process, as it often relies on proxies like the prestige of a candidate’s previous employers or where they went to school to identify “top” talent quickly. This results in a less diverse candidate pipeline, and my lead to recruiters passing over qualified talent from nontraditional backgrounds.

2. The high cost of a slow hiring process

A slow hiring process is costly for many reasons. First, when positions are left unfilled, it results in a loss of productivity for your technical teams. Second, a slow and drawn-out hiring process may result in a high candidate drop-off rate. And finally, engineering time is often wasted interviewing unqualified candidates.

The cost of a slow hiring process can be significant. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that the average cost-per-hire for a tech position is $4,129. That number jumps to $7,102 when you factor in the opportunity cost of an open position (the revenue that could have been generated had the position been filled).

A common approach for companies recruiting tech talent is to conduct an engineering-led technical phone screen with candidates who pass the initial screening. This approach requires one or more engineers (often the most valuable, senior-level engineers) to conduct an hour-long interview with each candidate who makes it to this stage. It also requires up to an hour of prep time for engineers to develop onsite interview questions and calibrate scoring across interviewers.

A better process is to partner with a vendor that ​​offers an effective alternative to traditional technical phone screens—for example, by providing this service themselves using research-backed evaluations with unbiased scoring. This will free up time for your company’s engineers to focus on building the product and solving technical problems.

3. Drawbacks of inconsistency in your tech hiring process

Consistency is key when conducting a tech hiring process—without it, the process can quickly become biased and unfair. To ensure consistency in your process, start by defining what job-relevant skills you’re looking for in candidates for a specific role. It can help to conduct a job analysis, if you have access to IO Psychologists at your company or through your assessment vendor. 

It’s also important to train your team on best practices in the hiring process. Make sure that each interviewer knows what questions they will ask before they jump into a panel or onsite interview, and that they provide the same guidance to each candidate. After the interview, interviewers should use a consistent set of criteria—ideally a numerical rubric—to assess each candidate’s job-relevant skills. This will help to ensure that each candidate is evaluated fairly.

4. Balancing speed and accuracy in recruiting engineers

A final area that tech recruiting processes can go awry is when they simply take too long. This is painful for both candidates and companies. A drawn-out recruiting process can result in higher candidate drop-off rates, as qualified candidates may accept offers from other companies that come in sooner. Long recruiting processes also hinder recruiting teams’ ability to meet their headcount goals (which often include time-to-hire), and engineering teams suffer from reduced productivity by having long-unfilled roles on their team.

The key to securing top engineering talent is to optimize your hiring process so you can make the right hires faster. This means balancing speed and accuracy at each stage of the process, from screening resumes to conducting interviews. By avoiding the four common tech hiring process pitfalls described above, you can hire the engineers you need for your company to thrive—faster and with fewer resources. 

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Want to see what top companies are doing to optimize their tech hiring processes? Register for our April 5th webinarHow to optimize your tech hiring process with the resources you’ve got.