The old saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar is a good hiring mantra. Yet at times, it still seems like sweetening the deal with benchmark salaries and one-of-a-kind perks isn’t enough to keep IT professionals hooked for the full hiring process. The frustrating fact is that we’re in a bit of a benefits arms race, and competitive compensation will only take prospects so far. Top tech talent need encouragement to stay, and businesses do it with more than just sweet perks. That’s why attracting IT candidates in this market requires your HR team or an IT staffing company partner to engage candidates from application through onboarding. Here’s why:
Engagement Builds Trust
Taking a new permanent or IT consultant contract role is a big move for consultants. Tech unemployment is at a low point, and there is less urgency for IT professionals to go out and find a new job. The current crop of passive candidates are only going to consider offers from companies or people they trust to serve their best interests and career goals. And engagement is essential to building that trust long before the job offer is made.
Take our recruiters as an example. From the first impression, they make a point of addressing the candidate’s short and long-term goals in their communications. Regular, positive interactions reinforce the idea that our team understands tech professionals’ objectives and challenges. When candidates feel engaged in interactions, whether we are providing insight to advance their career goals or opportunities with one of our clients, they trust our intentions. In the hiring process, trust can offer a magnetic hold that is hard for the competition to break.
Engagement Diminishes Fall-Off
Highly skilled professionals don’t have to wait around for an offer. Since the average time-to-hire for IT positions is 22.2 days, most companies have had to deal with candidate fall-off. The competition sees their opportunity and seizes it fast. Yet companies that engage prospects during the application, interview, and decision-making process are less likely to lose them. Here’s how to do it:
- Make your company worth knowing – Engaging technical candidates starts with the right pitch. What can candidates gain from working for you? What sells your culture? What differentiates your business? Include all those details into an enticing and concise job ad or InMail to funnel top talent to you.
- Reinforce your message – When candidates apply, the relationship they have to your company is still pretty shallow. You can’t rely on candidates feeling any sunken costs for their efforts, and their commitment to your opportunity will only be as strong as freshly applied glue. That’s why you should use technical recruiters to not only prepare your candidates for the interview, but keep them excited about the culture they’ll join and work they’ll do.
- Brief candidates on updates – Hard truth: candidates will only be patient after the interview for a brief period. Even a few days without any word back will make them susceptible to the appeal of a faster offer. Pulling back the curtains and informing candidates of the hiring process (in addition to speeding up that process) does a better job of keeping them around long enough to accept an offer.
- Engage candidates from onboarding onward – You’re not out of the woods once the offer is accepted. Candidates that are dissatisfied or disengaged early are very likely to leave. Ongoing engagement lowers that possibility. For example, our engagement management program prepares consultants for their assignments, keeps communication open and honest between companies and candidates, and helps to address issues before they lead to candidate fall-off.
Engagement Keeps the Best Talent in Reach
When your company builds trust and a strong relationship while attracting IT candidates, it’s easier to prevent fall-off at any stage. Our own engagement tactics (which also include our employee stock ownership plan) create a sense of satisfaction at work and play, keeping top IT consultants part of the IDR team.
In fact, the higher levels of satisfaction those tactics bring are proven to work as seen by our recognition through ClearlyRated’s 2018 Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Diamond Awards. Engaging IT candidates doesn’t end when a contract is over. There are always more opportunities to leverage top talent in the future, if you are prepared to build a relationship that will last for the long haul.
Want to improve your success in attracting IT candidates for your open positions? Contact us today for help with your engagement strategies.