Maintaining a tech talent takes a lot of hard work. Because most developers are only passively looking at job opportunities, it's also something that always requires your attention. Even though the benefits are obvious, how often do you feel too overwhelmed by your day-to-day responsibilities to even consider it?
If you feel that you only have the bandwidth or desire to hire developers on a more reactionary basis, you’re not alone. But there are some serious benefits to making an effort to nurture a tech talent pipeline that will make your life a lot easier when you need to hire a developer.
If you're mostly reactionary to new roles as they pop up, you'll always scramble to cobble together a sourcing strategy and schedule intake meetings with the hiring managers. All of these things might yield some quality candidates, but your job will utlimately be much harder than it needs to be.
To give your entire recruiting team more flexibility to build a pipeline, John Sullivan suggests stretching out your hiring process. Not only does this mean better output from your recruiters, but he also says that pushing hiring deadlines back slightly is beneficial to everyone involved. Sullivan adds, “There is less stress on hiring managers, so that they will be less likely to dread the hiring process as much.”
A well-maintained tech talent pipeline isn’t the silver bullet that will allow you to hire developers with the snap of your fingers. But it will have an impact on the amount of time it will take you to identify developers who are eager to help your company solve its unique business challenges. The time you spend building relationships with warm candidates in your pipeline will also give you more opportunities to determine how each developer might fit into your company’s culture.
Each conversation is a chance to evaluate whether a technical candidate is legitimately interested in joining your engineering team, or if that person is simply an excellent interviewer—especially considering that your early conversations won’t typically include coding tests that indicate whether he or she can write quality code.
It's hard to see the value of candidate pipeline-building activities like informal coffee meetings and informational interviews. But as time-consuming as they might be, they'll pay dividends down the road—especially when you have a role for that person in the future.
Even if you’re currently not hiring developers, it’s important to consider the experience that candidates in your tech talent pipeline have with you. Inviting developers up to see your team’s workspace or chat with your developers in a casual setting will make your company stand out when that candidate decides to start looking around for a new job.