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Post by Rich Moy on Sep 20, 2017 12:00:00 PM

For a long time, tech recruiters measured their success solely by the number of developers they hired. But technical recruiting has become incredibly sophisticated. Today, recruiters have more insights to understand their target developer audiences, measure engagement at each stage of the hiring process, and retain top talent.

Creating a data-driven recruitment strategy might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Use these four tactics to improve your technical recruiting.

Define Your Ideal Candidate

The developers you want to hire aren’t defined by the programming languages they’ve mastered. They have tangible career goals, fears, and motivations. The first thing you should do to improve your technical recruiting? Understand your ideal candidates!

As part of your research, review the profiles of your most recent developer hires. What types of projects did they work on before joining your team? Which programming languages did they know on Day One, and which ones did they learn on the job? What were their concerns about accepting your job offer? These data points will help you create a more useful profile that will help you better understand your ideal candidates.

Target Your Employer Branding Strategy

There’s no denying that employer branding is critical to your success. But the ultimate goal of building your employer brand is to generate awareness in the developer community. If developers don't see your job listings or careers page, the time you spent creating them was ultimately wasted.

Many applicant tracking systems (ATS) enable you to track “application source,” which shows you how developers discovered your job listing. But if your ATS doesn’t allow you to track this, don’t worry. Ask them how learned about your company during their initial phone interviews, and keep track of their responses in a spreadsheet. Over time, the data will show you where your employer brand is engaging developers, and which platforms you can spend less of your time on.

Forecast Future Hiring Needs

You should always be prepared to recruit developers. Even if you don’t have any open developer jobs today, you don’t want to be caught flat-footed when the time comes to grow the team.

Let’s say that your company recently launched a new product and that it’s already generating a substantial amount of revenue. The chances are that you’ll need to recruit additional developers to support that initiative soon.

Your data also doesn’t lie when it comes to predicting busy recruiting seasons. Look back at your last year or two of activity. If you’ve had more open roles at the beginning of those years, ask your engineering managers if this trend is likely to repeat itself. No matter what they come back with, you’ll know when you’ll need to focus on filling open roles, and when you can spend more of your time building your candidate pipeline.

Identify Resume Information That Doesn’t Indicate Future Success

Raise your hand if you can think of a few things that you look for on a developer’s resume. Then, be honest with yourself. How many of those criteria have actually helped you identify talented programmers?

Google once thought it was important to collect candidates’ GPAs and test scores. But in 2014, their data showed that these data points were worthless—and neither one helped them predict anything.

To avoid making the same mistake, sit down with your engineering managers and compare your job listings to the actual developers you’ve hired. Which qualifications helped you determine that someone would be a good fit? Which “important” skills are not strong indicators that you should hire a developer? This data-driven recruitment approach will help you understand the skills you should be looking for—and prevent you from passing on perfectly qualified developer resumes.

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