With IT professionals being in such high demand across Auckland right now, attracting top talent is getting more and more challenging.
The balance of power has shifted in the Auckland technology recruitment world, making it more of a candidate driven market. With talent often having the pick of several roles, clients are finding that they not only have to make sure they provide what candidates want, but they also have to sell it to them.
The feedback I’ve had from candidates recently is that Auckland companies, especially small businesses and start-ups, could do a better job at selling themselves during the interview process. This makes the interview stage much more crucial, as it’s the organisation’s best opportunity to make a good impression and showcase the role, and their company, to the candidate.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Make the First Conversation Count
Often companies will have to go through multiple interviews with candidates, whether that’s one phone conversation and one face-to-face, or a number of meetings over the course of a couple of weeks. We’ll touch more on this later, but the one that sets the tone for all of this is the first encounter. Whether it’s on the phone or in person, using the first conversation to learn about the candidate and find out about their wants and motivators will give you an idea of whether your organisation is the right fit, and how you might be able to help them fulfil their goals.
Some common things IT candidates say they are looking for include learning and development, training and certifications, impact and influence on the company and/or product, working with the latest technologies, career progression, remote working, flexible hours and variety in the role. While salary is always a factor, it’s rarely the most important one. However, it’s always good to have this in mind and be prepared, so ensure your information is up to date with the latest in the market. The RWA 2017 Auckland IT Salaries Report is a great resource that covers salaries across a range of roles, as well as a variety of other trends and statistics.
Remember that you can’t be everything to everyone, so if the candidate is looking to work for a company that is very different to yours, then it’s best not to go forward. When they have the right skills, this is a hard call to make, but it’s better to stop now than to go further and risk having an unhappy employee on your hands.
Interviewing an IT Candidate
Interviews are a two-way process. These days, the candidate is interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them. As a company, you might not think much about what your elevator pitch is, but as making a good first impression is so critical, the first priority is to give candidates an idea of what makes the role different and what your unique selling points are as a company. This is especially important to smaller companies, as you may not have benefits packages like big enterprises, so you really need to define your unique selling point and front foot with that.
Play to your strengths and highlight the aspects of the role that align with their motivators. For example, while you might not be able to pay higher salaries, you could potentially offer a level of flexibility that other organisations cannot. You should also make your requirement for their skills clear.
Employees want to feel valued and showing them how they’ll be contributing, is a great way to clear up any ambiguity in a candidate’s mind about why an employee wants to hire them. During the interview, if things are going well, show them around the office and introduce them to the team. It’s a good idea to get them to specifically meet and chat with people they will be working with, people in similar roles and those who had similar motivations as the candidate.
It’s hard to do it all, but here are some ideas that can help you sell the role:
Be an Agile Interviewer
You can never be too sure when you’re hiring someone, which can tempt you to conduct multiple interviews and technical tests. However, it’s important to respect that a candidate may already be employed, so only has a limited amount of time to engage in the hiring process. Endless assessments are only going to leave a bad impression, as well as put pressure on a candidate. We’ve written about the importance of this in our time-to-fill whitepaper, but the fact is that applicants almost always see a slow hiring process as a negative.
The way you conduct your hiring process is just another aspect of selling your company. Having a short and hassle-free hiring process will make thing easier for everyone involved, as well as setting the tone for you and your candidate’s future relationship. If you’re efficient when it comes to hiring, then it reinforces the idea that you’re efficient across the board. In such a competitive market, it’s important that you’re putting your best foot forward. If you’re looking for more advice on how you can adapt your interview process to secure top talent, don’t hesitate to get in touch.