When building a recruiting team, it’s a crucial idea to pay attention to the competency breakdown and soft skills of the individuals.
In fact, soft skills and enthusiasm for work should be a priority, as the first conversation with a candidate, which usually takes place over the phone, lays the foundation for the company’s image in the candidate’s mind.
The employee market has this to itself that such things must be paid attention to, especially when recruiting programmers in IT. I would not be wrong if I said that there is a real fight for programmers, and the list of “benefits” that a company offers is often longer than the list of requirements for the candidate.
Therefore, the recruitment process should be well organized and the roles should be divided according to the experience and soft skills of employees. It is worth noting that many recruiters already have their own databases of candidates, which is a great advantage. Thanks to this they are able to recruit faster and more effectively than those who do not have such a network
Process control and candidate status
The basis will certainly be a good ATS (Applicant Tracking System). It doesn’t have to be dedicated, in fact most sales CRMs (e.g. Salesforce or HubSpot) or even such a simple platform as Trello can be adapted to recruitment. Then we know who is in our database, the date of the last contact, the current status of recruitment or who deals with a given candidate.
It is worth mentioning that the ATS is like exercising – some people buy a pass to the best gym and use it a few times at the very beginning, while others exercise every day at home.
The most important thing is to keep the information about each candidate’s process up to date and the candidate moved to the appropriate column to inform about the status of their recruitment. You don’t need anything more than a simple dashboard with columns to do this, but for example, sms notifications or sending emails from within the ATS certainly makes the task easier and saves those few minutes per candidate.
It also often happens that a candidate gets lost in his recruiting and (unintentionally) loses yours somewhere – so it’s worth responding within 24 hours if, for example, he was supposed to schedule an interview with a client via Calendly, but hasn’t done it yet.
The flow of information is incredibly important for all actions to go smoothly and be effective and simply not to lose candidates.
Divide team roles and their responsibilities
To determine how the division of roles should look like, you would need to know the number of people in the team and their competencies. At RemoDevs, each person is responsible for a specific project and recruits for it, as well as having direct contact with the person responsible for recruitment on the client’s side.
Thanks to this communication is smooth and we can constantly mediate in contact between the two parties, quickly arrange interviews and most importantly, our recruiter knows all the details about the project and the company and can well present them to the candidate during the first verification interview.
The relationship with the candidate is also important – a recruiter can be a kind of “guardian” of the programmer, which firstly pays off in the future (programmers come back to you) and secondly, significantly increases the effectiveness.
The solution of “360* recruiter” who is responsible for all contact with the recruiter has also another, less related to the recruitment itself, advantage – the possibility of fair bonuses for employees for effective recruitment.
So let’s focus on this first contact and what the candidate expects from it:
(a) A friendly tone and good call quality.
I won’t go into how such conversations should be conducted here (speaking calmly and clearly, outlining the topic, how long the conversation should last, and the agenda for it), but it is very important at the outset that the connection is good. Unfortunately, sometimes the recruiter’s voice sounds as if it came from another dimension, everything is unclear and the first impression, unfortunately, not very favorable. As for the tone of voice – the enthusiasm that can be conveyed over the phone plays a big role in the first conversation and, if authentic, conveys the message “this is a company/project where there are nice people and they want to work there”, which is another brick in building good relations with the candidate.
b) Concrete information.
In 2021 most of the companies finally started to give salary ranges with offers, which in itself is a big step forward and undoubtedly something making a good impression on the candidates. However, this alone is not enough – you also need to know what project you are recruiting for and be able to answer basic questions about the company and the project.
I myself very often meet with an inquiry from a client where 90% of the content of the ad is requirements and, if the winds are right, a description of the technology, and there are no specifics about the project itself. Unfortunately, this does not give good arguments to get the candidate interested in the project and the company.
Too long a response time
It works the same way for recruiting as it does for handling sales leads – you have to act very quickly.
As soon as the candidate sends his/her CV, we immediately add him/her to our ATS and call him/her to establish a relationship and present the client and the project. Of course we also check other parameters required by the client – experience, soft skills, English language level, general fit with the requirements. Some candidates we are forced to refuse, others can be arranged for an interview with the client.
Similarly, the interview with the client should be scheduled on the same day. Then the motivation of the candidate is the highest and we minimize the chance that he/she will accept the offer from the competition.
Too often I observe how companies wait with a phone call for the right day, then it takes another few days before they send the task, or arrange an interview with the candidate.
In the end, something that could take a few hours, is stretched over a few days (or weeks) and by the time it comes to the actual conversation, the candidate is already gone.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the appointment scheduling – some companies continue to provide single slots (or worse, send them via email and wait for the same response) to schedule an interview with their technical recruiters, instead of streamlining the process using, for example, Calendly.com – or a tool identical to it.
An inadequate way to vet a candidate
I write “inappropriate”, although in truth there is no suitable one, because every Candidate prefers something different.
The most popular way, especially as the first stage, is sending a short recruitment test of Codility type.
This has its advantages – it checks the motivation to take part in the recruitment, initially verifies the skills – but not every programmer likes this way. Some of them simply did so many of these tasks that each new one tires them or even irritates, and spending two hours to do the same thing for the hundredth time can be discouraging.
Most companies respond to such reluctance by rejecting the candidate because of “lack of motivation to take part in the recruitment”, but often it is just a generalization and may end up in giving up the right person.
In this case, it’s a good idea to elaborate on why he or she doesn’t want to take the task and offer an alternative solution – e.g. another task, a code sample from the repository. If the candidate is not willing to compromise, he or she may not be the right person for the position. However, it may be that in the end he/she will do this (or other) task and just needed a little “encouragement”.
Some candidates, on the other hand, like recruitment tasks – just a few hours ago, when I sent a candidate a short task (creating API), I heard that “this is what the recruitment process should look like” – a task and then discussing it.
An effective method of verifying a candidate’s skills
From conversations I’ve had with programmers but also with companies, among the methods of verifying technical skills, pair programming has the best reputation.
Why? Because before this 1-1.5 hour your tech lead can:
Get to know the candidate, see in practice how to work with him/her
Get to know the candidate’s mindset and skills
Establish a relationship with the candidate – simply get to know him/her
The above three points are valuable in themselves, plus it only takes an hour/an hour and a half at a time and after that time you can fairly accurately assess both the soft and technical skills of the recruit.
Recruiter compensation systems
If you think that your recruiters are ineffective, their effectiveness is decreasing or you simply believe that they “can do better”, it is worth taking a look at their remuneration system.
And here it would be good to play psychologist, because people are very different and for each person something else matters.
One person will perfectly work in a system based mainly on bonuses, and knowing that for each successful recruitment he will get a few thousand bonus, will close several recruitments a month. The same person, however, being on a fixed salary without bonuses, will work only at a fraction of his/her potential.
If you are a recruiter yourself, consider what kind of compensation system suits you best and which will make you the most effective. This will be good for both you and the employer – after all, you are both playing for the same goal.
As you can see, the recruitment process consists of a number of factors and each of them is worth a longer look. What is certain is that it is worth measuring the relevant statistics and KPIs in order to be able to correct and improve the process on an ongoing basis.
We will also be happy to help you analyze your process, find errors and fix them – as always, feel free to contact us *here*, as well as on our other blogs where we share our practical knowledge.