The 7 Secrets to Successful IT Recruiting

Companies are looking to fill IT positions with the best candidates. Here are seven secrets for winning the war for top-notch tech talent.

The 7 Secrets to Successful IT Recruiting

As the economy improves, companies are looking to fill their IT positions with the best people available. The competition for these candidates is fierce and you need to know how to win it.

According to another McKinsey survey, 61 percent of HR professionals believe hiring developers will be their biggest challenge in the years ahead.

Here are seven secrets for winning the war for top-notch tech talent:

1. Know what you want before you start looking for it

IT recruiting is a challenging process. The right candidate doesn't always come along at the right time, and even when they do, it can be hard to know if they're a good fit for your company.

But there are some steps you can take to make sure your IT recruiting efforts are as successful as possible. Here are seven secrets of successful IT recruiting:

Know what you want before you start looking for it. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new position and forget about what you really need from an employee.

Before looking for a new hire, take some time to write down what qualities would make someone successful in this role. Then keep that list handy as you look for candidates so that you can compare them against your list and determine whether they're going to be a good fit.

According to Workable research, there 5 qualities of a good candidate: Teamwork, Willingness to learn, Communication, Self-motivation, and Culture fit.

So you can pay attention to these qualities when building your target candidate profile.  

2. Be flexible when it comes to location and compensation

Recruiting in today's economy isn't just about finding the best candidate for the job — it's also about finding candidates who will take it. If a candidate will accept a lower salary or work remotely from another city, that's great news for your company.

It can also lead to better retention rates among employees because they're happier with their jobs and less likely to quit.

Extend an offer early in the process if you find a good fit. If you find someone who's a great fit for your company, don't wait too long before extending an offer (even if it's contingent upon background checks and other formalities). You may lose out on this candidate if something better comes along while you're waiting on paperwork.

Offer opportunities for advancement during interviews or after hiring decisions are made. One way to help retain current employees is by offering them opportunities for promotion within their departments or company at large.

According to Harvard Business Review, true flexibility aligns employers and employees to achieve a mutual gain in meeting both performance and work-life needs.

3. Treat every candidate like a potential star employee

Treating every candidate like a potential star employee is key to building an amazing team.

When you're looking for new employees, it's tempting to focus on just the right skills and experience. But in reality, there's no such thing as the perfect candidate. Every person has strengths and weaknesses, and they're all different.

If you want to build an amazing team, you need to focus on finding people who are strong in areas where your company needs help — and who have the right attitude and approach to get things done.

4. Don't take no for an answer

This one's a no-brainer. If you've got a candidate in mind, don't let them go until you've convinced them that your job is the right fit for them — or until they've convinced you otherwise.

Ask questions: When you're interviewing someone, ask questions that will give you insight into their character or personality as well as their skillset.

This will help ensure that they're a good fit for your team as well as your company culture.

Research the competition: Do some research on other companies in your industry before contacting candidates from outside of it.

You'll want to know what kind of benefits packages other companies are offering and what kinds of salaries top candidates are earning at these companies — this way you won't fall behind competing organizations when it comes to salary negotiations!

5. Ask questions during interviews that will reveal a candidate's true nature and abilities

The interview process is the most important step in hiring the right person for your team. You can have all of the tools in the world to find, screen, and evaluate candidates, but if you're not asking the right questions during interviews, you may not get the information you need to make an informed decision.

The old saying "You cannot judge a book by its cover" applies here — even if someone looks like an obvious fit for a position, don't be afraid to ask them about their past experiences and see how well they communicate with others.

This will help you understand whether or not they'll be able to handle difficult situations at work effectively and efficiently.

Ask candidates about their preferences when it comes to tools, technologies, and work environment. Some people prefer working alone while others like teamwork environments; some want fast-paced jobs while others prefer slower-paced ones; some like deadlines while others have no problem working without one (or without deadlines)

The best way to do this is by asking questions during interviews that will reveal a candidate's true nature and abilities. It's easier said than done, but here are several tips for successful interview:

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Listen carefully
  • Probe deeper into answers if necessary
  • Ask follow-up questions
  • Don't judge a candidate on first impressions alone
  • Use interviewers' notes to guide further conversations with candidates after the interview is over

Also, there are 10 Behavioral Interview Questions to Ask In Your Interview

6. Make sure your job description gets read by someone who actually knows what they're doing

If you're trying to attract the best IT professionals, your job description is your first step.

You may have a great company and a killer product, but if you don't write a good job description, it won't matter.

It's hard to write a good job listing because you want to be specific about the qualifications and experience you need while also being broad enough that you're not excluding any great candidates.

It's easy to write a job description from an HR perspective, but when it comes time to fill that position, HR is not always the best person to review your requirements.

My advice: Make sure someone who has experience in this area reviews your job description before posting or sending it out in any way. They will be able to help you craft a better posting that attracts the right candidates.

Be specific about what you're looking for (and not just technical skills)

If you're hiring software developers or systems administrators, make sure you list all of their technical skills and certifications required — but don't stop there! Be specific about what kind of personality traits and cultural fit would make someone a good fit for this particular position (and company).

Make sure your job title is accurate and relevant. Don't just use an industry-standard title that doesn't actually describe what you do. Instead, make sure it accurately reflects the responsibilities of the position.

For example, if you're looking for an operations manager but your current title is "technical support," then change it to "operations manager" or something similar so that it's clear what you do on a daily basis.

7. Partner with IT recruiting agencies

IT recruiting agencies specialize in finding the best candidates for your position, so they're likely to have more qualified applicants than you could ever hope to find on your own. They also have access to an extensive network of resumes, which can be helpful in finding people who are hiding under rocks (i.e., not actively looking for jobs).

The key here is choosing the right agency and making sure they're bringing top talent across all levels of experience and skill sets into the fold.

Make sure they're working hard to understand your business goals and requirements as well as their own strengths and weaknesses in order to help you find candidates who meet both criteria properly.

You can't just hire anyone and expect them to find the right people for your company. You have to work with someone who knows what they're doing and has experience finding the right people for the job.

The right IT recruiting agency will know how to screen candidates, how to conduct interviews, and how to negotiate salary offers. They can also help you build your brand as an employer so that when they send out resumes they'll be more likely to attract top talent. If you want to know how to choose the IT recruiting agency, here are some tips.

IT recruiting agencies aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny if they bring in outstanding candidates who meet all of your requirements and fit into your culture seamlessly.


IT recruiting is a complex activity and one that we cannot stress enough that will take time and effort to do well. The good news is that the rewards are worth it—if you handle your hiring process properly, you will be able to grow your business. It may take some time to figure out which methods work best for you and your team but the fact remains that the worst thing a company can do is not develop any form of recruitment strategy whatsoever. If done right, your IT recruiting will be a valuable asset to the success of your company.

Related articles:

IT Recruiting: How It Works & Why Recruiting IT Personnel Is Important To Your Company

How To Recruit Software Developers Efficiently

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