Recruitment is the process of finding the best candidate to fill an open position in your organization. The candidate can be sourced internally or externally. Either way, recruiting new members to the team is a delicate and lengthy task.
It involves the management or HR team sifting through many resumes to determine who will make the cut. When the role is technical, like in the case of IT recruitment, finding qualified applicants might take even longer. What’s more: this is only one stage of the process. If it’s too time-consuming, it can reduce an organization’s productivity.
Nevertheless, finding and hiring the best possible candidates is absolutely crucial to any organization’s success. Having competent and driven individuals in your team is the difference between whether you hit your business goals or not. That being said, how your HR team approaches the task plays a central role.
In this article, we’ll discuss the stages of recruitment with a focus on the IT field and the best practices.
What Is IT Recruitment?
First things first: what is IT recruitment and is finding new talents practiced differently in other fields? The answer to the latter is both yes and no.
IT recruitment is a niche that specializes in connecting hiring managers with top talents in the IT field. Since it’s a broad field, recruiters often narrow themselves down to a particular role. So, for example, one might be skilled at identifying cybersecurity experts, but not mobile app developers.
No matter what field they work in, however, recruiters share several qualities. These skills include:
- strong communication;
- subject matter expertise.
These qualities hold up for a professional looking to deal with IT recruitment.
What Are the 5 Stages of Recruitment?
Contrary to a popular belief, finding new employees is not synonymous with posting a job ad. The entire process has 5 stages. It starts with planning and ends with an evaluation.
Before advertising an open position, the hiring team must go through a few preparations.
The first thing the hiring team needs to ask themselves is, “Who is the ideal candidate for this position?” To do this, create a profile for the type of person who’d fit the role. What are their professional achievements, their educational background, what additional skills do they possess that would be an asset to the company? Having a profile accomplishes two goals:
- It attracts suitable applicants.
- It makes it easier to spot applicants who do not fit.
As a bonus, knowing what your ideal candidate looks like will provide you with insight on where to find them. For example, if you want to recruit IT professionals, you’ll know to advertise within the groups and forums they frequent.
The planning stage also allows HR to evaluate how many additions the company needs. For example, perhaps the company had been operating with only one position in that field. However, as it grows, it may need to increase the number of positions or even open a new department.
This stage, therefore, is all about identifying your needs and how you can best meet them.
How you go about this stage determines how many people will see your ad. Yet, more importantly, it determines whether you will reach your target audience. According to a report by Lever, 52% of candidates are underqualified for the position they apply for. Furthermore, only 36% of the workforce is actively looking for employment opportunities.
Subsequently, candidate sourcing is a proactive activity. It’s up to the recruiter to put the job ad in strategic places, both online and offline. Traditionally, sourcing can be done on LinkedIn, billboards, and job fairs. However, for a wider pool, it’s worth using non-traditional avenues. To recruit IT professionals, try sourcing on GitHub or tech-centered subreddits.
If your sourcing stage was successful, by now, you have more resumes than you know what to do with. The challenge you now face is whittling them down by weeding out unsuccessful applicants. The easiest way to do this would be to invest in a good Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that will scan every CV for potential matches to the job description.
Admittedly, ATSs have a bad reputation for being inaccurate. They only scan the keywords mentioned in the job description. This leaves out several skilled applicants who haven’t made their resumes ATS-compliant. It also lets in the few who may have keyword-stuffed their resumes for better results.
Moreover, an ATS isn’t designed to analyze skill level. Thus, the screening process still requires human supervision. Still, most times, a hiring manager with a good eye can skim a resume within a few seconds and get the gist.
Once an ideal applicant has been selected, the next part of the screening begins. The manager in charge of the hiring process will reach out via phone for a short interview. If it goes well, a follow-up email will be sent to invite the applicant for a second interview. This will most likely be in person and in front of a panel.
As the last step in this stage, the most viable applicants will be shortlisted for the hiring manager.
Hiring and Onboarding
Sometimes, the hiring process goes smoothly and both parties are satisfied. The management has successfully conducted a background check and communicated their expectations while the new employee has accepted the terms offered to them.
However, there are situations where the two parties disagree on one or more aspects of the contract, the most common one being salary and benefits. This is a situation to handle delicately. After all, losing the best candidate could mean settling for someone less qualified at best or giving your competition an opportunity to scoop them up at worst.
Negotiating doesn’t mean that one party will lose. It also doesn’t mean that you’ll have to strain the company budget by raising the salary. Instead, talk to the prospective employee and figure out what they really want. Perhaps they’d be happier with more vacation days or free childcare. Ask them directly and be professionally persistent.
Lastly, take time to evaluate the recruitment process. This is especially important if you’re a part of a small business. Figure out what works for your company and what doesn’t. For example, was the screening process too expensive? What could you have done to find better prospects in the sourcing stage?
Refining your practices will help the process run more smoothly next time.
Here are some of the best practices to follow:
- Prioritize time-management.
- Encourage candidates to make referrals.
- Create candidate pools.
- Build relationships with your pools.
Whether or not an organization fulfills its mandate is partially dependent on the excellence of its employees. This is why it’s crucial to take recruitment seriously. This article detailed 5 main steps in the recruitment process, from planning to evaluation.
The process of finding new talents can be tedious, especially when trying to recruit IT professionals and people in other technical roles. However, hiring a professional recruitment service to take the planning off your hands will lighten the load.