How to Streamline Your IT Engineering Recruitment Process24 Nov, 20238 minutes
The quest for exceptional IT engineering talent has intensified in today's competitive tech ...
The quest for exceptional IT engineering talent has intensified in today's competitive tech industry. With a staggering 70% of tech employers in the UK reporting skills shortages, the challenge of finding and securing the right candidates has reached a fever pitch.
In this climate, a streamlined and effective IT engineering recruitment process isn't just a luxury; it's a must. The consequences of not optimising your recruitment process are clear: you risk missing out on the best talent in the market.
That’s where we come in. In the upcoming sections, we’ll break down a few basic, topline approaches you can apply to not only help you attract the best talent but also secure them before your competitors can make an offer.
Why is a Streamlined IT Engineering Recruitment Process Vital?
The existence of a significant tech talent shortage in the UK is not a secret. A quick look at LinkedIn will reveal people keen to start a career in tech expressing their frustration about unclear pathways whilst experienced job hunters bemoan the unnecessary hoops application employees have to jump through before accepting a role. Moreover, research conducted by Youthsight reveals that only 18% of young people believe they have the advanced tech skills necessary to even take on a tech role.
Also, adding to why it is so important, a bad recruitment process equals a bad hire, which can be a dire financial blow and result in an employee leaving, dropping out during the hiring process or (perhaps even worse) not being the right cultural fit. The financial repercussions of a bad hire can be substantial, estimated at three times higher than the employee's yearly wage.
All of this underscores the need for streamlining the process. Removing barriers and simplifying the application process improves the candidate experience across all seniorities, making it more likely for candidates to complete an application, apply in the first place and see the whole thing through.
So, how do we go about this?
How to Streamline Your IT Engineering Recruitment Process
1. Take Advantage of AI and Recruitment Automation Tools
In recent years, the evolution of AI and automation has paved the way for a range of tools designed to enhance the IT engineering recruitment process. These tools encompass applicant tracking systems, resume screening tools, and chatbots tailored for candidate engagement.
AI applications offer substantial benefits across many areas of the IT engineering recruitment process. For instance, using AI-driven resume screening tools, such as SkillPool, CVViZ, and Manatal, can expedite the identification of the most qualified candidates among a vast applicant pool. This, in turn, minimises the time spent on reviewing resumes.
Additionally, AI finds extensive use in candidate engagement chatbots, such as Olivia, Eightfold, and MeBeBot, which automate tasks such as interview scheduling and addressing frequently asked questions. By automating these routine functions, recruiters can redirect their efforts towards more strategic and high-value activities in the recruitment process.
However, while AI is a valuable tool, it's crucial to avoid relying on it excessively. With the progress in technology, it can be tempting to overuse the tech and lose sight of what makes an effective recruitment process. At MRJ, we strongly advocate maintaining the human element in the candidate experience and believe that there is genuine value in preserving the personal aspect of recruitment. Use AI to automate time-consuming tasks you may not enjoy but ensure that human communication remains at the core of the process.
2. Are all the stages of your process necessary?
It's quite common and understandable that more technical job roles often involve a multi-stage interview process. Specifically in the field of engineering, it's not unusual to introduce technical tasks during the second stage, following the initial introduction, where general information about the candidate, the role, and their experience is discussed. Progressing further, a third or fourth stage might involve senior members of the organisation, for example, who are constrained by time and may not be essential during the earlier stages.
It’s not out of the ordinary, and we would never advise you to simplify your process to the extent that you skip oversteps that could assist you in pinpointing the type of talent you're seeking. However, in optimising your process, it’s always worth asking, are there any ways we can simplify this approach?
Whether it’s just a case of removing a stage or combining two together, simplifying the interview process as much as possible and making it as seamless will ensure that candidates are less likely to drop out or receive counteroffers.
3. Ensure your Job Descriptions are Accurate
Accurate job descriptions play a pivotal role in attracting suitable IT engineering candidates. Vague or misleading job descriptions can inundate your recruitment process with unqualified applicants, causing inefficiencies.
To rise above this challenge, create job descriptions that are crystal clear and faithfully represent the necessary skills, experience, and qualifications demanded by the position. Include both essential and desirable qualifications and provide a transparent breakdown of job responsibilities and career development opportunities.
The objective is to help potential applicants swiftly assess their suitability for the role, resulting in more qualified candidates applying and streamlining the screening process.
However, you do need to be careful! While precise, detailed job descriptions are vital, overly narrow and restrictive descriptions can discourage suitable candidates, particularly those from diverse backgrounds who could bring valuable contributions to the organisation. Thus, creating comprehensive job descriptions tailored to the role's requirements is crucial.
4. Embrace Employee Referrals
In the competitive environment of hiring IT engineers, you certainly aren’t going to turn down ‘shortcuts’ in the recruitment process. One of these ‘shortcuts’ is employee referrals, which businesses should take full advantage of.
From a candidate's viewpoint, a referral holds a significant trust factor. Traditional job listings and corporate websites offer limited insights into the inner workings of a company. Being personally invited by someone with first-hand experience can forge a vital connection between the potential employee and the organisation. It's akin to choosing one hotel over another based on positive reviews; candidates are inclined to gravitate towards opportunities where they perceive a greater chance of success.
For employers, a referral signifies that a candidate arrives somewhat pre-qualified. When a candidate is referred by someone familiar with the company's culture and demands, it can substantially enhance the calibre of the hire. In essence, internal candidates referred through employee referral programs are vetted by more than just the HR and talent acquisitions teams.
Here are some key tips on how to encourage employee referrals:
- Make the process easy and open - If the process is too hard to follow for both the candidate and employee, neither will think highly of your business. Ensure that referred candidates are at least contacted and, if suitable, offered an interview. If the candidate falls through the cracks and is not contacted, employees won’t want to waste time trying to support you again.
- Provide incentives for hires - Many businesses offer incentives for successful hires for referrals, including bonuses, gift cards, gym memberships, etc. You can offer this immediately after hiring or when the candidate has passed their probation period. This will give employees much more drive to find suitable potential future employees.
- Ensure employees know about vacancies - Current employees aren’t going to be checking the company jobs board every day waiting for you to put vacancies up. If there are key positions you need support with, share them on your social media platforms and central employee hubs, send emails out, bring up to 121 reviews, etc. There are loads of ways you can let your workforce know you are looking for talent.
This benefits both candidates and hiring teams, evident in the notably higher job-offer acceptance rate for referrals compared to standard applicants. According to Glassdoor, employee referrals boost the chance of a successful hire by between 2.6% and 6.6%. This, in the highly competitive tech jobs market, can provide significant.
5. Encourage Candidate Feedback
Candidate feedback plays a significant part in elevating the candidate experience and helps streamline and improve the recruitment process.
But how do businesses approach asking for feedback? Examples are to ask the candidate to fill out a candidate engagement survey or if they mind answering a few questions over the phone. This can be applied to both successful and unsuccessful candidates. The survey and questions would ask what the candidate enjoyed about the experience and what they felt could be improved. Examples of questions include:
- Overall, how did you find our recruitment process?
- What are the top three areas we could improve on in our recruitment process?
- Would you recommend others to apply for a vacancy at our business?
- How likely are you to apply again if a vacancy comes up in the future?
For businesses, gathering this crucial information is critical to enhancing future recruitment processes to ensure you can build on positive areas and improve on any negative points raised. It would also make candidates feel appreciated and listened to and, therefore, have a positive view of the company. This could be highly favourable when the candidate is decided on the role, especially if they have received multiple offers, which is not uncommon in tech.
6. Use an IT Engineering Recruitment Agency
With the attraction of top talent so difficult in the tech industry, it is little wonder that many tech companies call upon the support of an IT engineering recruitment agency to help streamline their recruitment process.
If you plan to use an IT engineering recruitment agency, it is important to ensure they clearly understand your business’s recruitment needs and goals. This includes the skills, experience, and qualifications needed for the role and the company’s values and culture. This will support the IT engineering recruitment agency in finding a top-of-the-range IT engineer for your business.
Here are the key benefits of using an IT engineering recruitment agency:
Vast Talent Network
Tech recruitment agencies provide access to both active and passive tech talent. They offer specialised advice, saving candidates time. Agencies tap into the untapped pool of passive talent, using social media and events to connect with them. They can effectively sell your brand and role to these potential hires.
Efficient Recruitment Process
Agencies understand your culture and hiring needs. They match pre-screened candidates to your criteria, saving time and effort. They also handle interview arrangements and provide consultancy on job advertisements and interview structure. Agencies offer feedback to candidates on your behalf.
Legal Compliance Assistance
Tech recruitment involves legal obligations, especially for smaller businesses and those operating in multiple locations. Agencies get to know your business and assess your compliance status. They help you stay updated on legal requirements, ensuring adherence to regulations and protecting your reputation.
Experience and Expertise
IT engineering recruitment consultants are constantly dealing with the latest roles, so they possess high levels of knowledge about the qualifications and skills a candidate needs to be highly beneficial in the role. Therefore, you will be safe in knowing that the candidates offered to you for a role possess the attributes needed to thrive in the role and drive the success of your business. This could include spotting transferable skills that would be suitable that your internal teams may miss.
They will also deeply understand the current candidate expectations in the market, including salary rates, development expectations, and popular benefit demands such as flexible working and bonus schemes. These insights enable you to remain competitive when attracting outstanding IT engineers.
If you’d like a real-life example of how IT engineering recruitment agencies can support growing your brand and attracting the talent it needs to drive this growth, check out our partnership with N Brown, where we successfully filled over 23 hires within 12 to 18 months.
Final Thoughts on Streamlining Your Recruitment Process
In a landscape where tech talent is at a premium, these strategies can make all the difference in securing the IT engineers your business needs to thrive. By implementing these recommendations, you can stay ahead of the competition, build a stronger workforce, and ultimately position your organisation for long-term success in the ever-evolving tech industry.
We are open to discussing this directly with anyone feeling overwhelmed by the idea of changing their recruitment process. While it might seem daunting, we've been implementing these practices since our inception for major businesses such as Moonpig and Awaze. Whilst our guide has given you many thought-provoking ideas, we are happy to continue this discussion to provide more tailored and in-depth insights to support your business.
So, take our advice, implement the necessary changes, revolutionise your recruitment process, and get ready to build a team of go-getting IT engineers. You’ll thank us later!
Want the Support of an Unorthodox Tech Recruitment Agency?
If you’re seeking to power your brand’s future with the support of the leading IT engineering recruitment agency on the market, give MRJ a call. Our IT engineering recruitment team are primed and ready to connect you with the best IT engineers on the market.
As your tech recruitment partner, we take an unapologetically unconventional approach to help you overcome your challenges and shape your business's future. Contact us today and find out how this approach can support you.