The challenges of IT specialists recruitment and how to deal with them

The selection of Information Technology (IT) is one of the sub-lines of recruitment, which differ with the type of specialist search, communication strategy, evaluation and maintenance of professional relations.

In general, recruiters use the following ways to find candidates: publishing an advertisement to job search portals and social networking groups, as well as the more recently used tools LinkedIn Jobs. You can also use a variety of side-by-side tools, such as MeetFrank or pay advertising on social networks (Facebook, Instagram).
However, all these types of advertisements mostly work when a person is already in the active job search, or at least occasionally looks at what offers are in the labor market.
And now imagine that no applications are received at all, which is not uncommon in IT selection.
Of course, there are always enough applications for the position of the junior specialist, but from the experience of 2 years, it can be noted in the Latvian market that active job search activity is falling significantly from the candidates' side. The reason is simple. People have already gained experience in some of the technologies, have chosen which direction they want to specialize in, and are attached to current projects. If the culture of the company is satisfied, there are opportunities for development and existing projects are interesting, there is no need for a change of work. Moreover, quite often, specialists want to complete the projects that have been launched and move to the next point of development only after they have finished.
Consequently, one of the challenges of recruiting specialists here is not so much in the selection of candidates as in finding, addressing and organizing an initial interview, because people who are employed and earn quite well are being sought. As it is said, the price issue on the domestic market is often not at all the key! Especially when talking about midlevel specialists from 3 to 5 years of experience.

  • In order for the search to be potentially successful, you need to understand which technologies are needed to complete the job in the candidate's profile and how much experience the candidate needs to have for the job to be performed. After establishing these parameters, the recruiter should carry out a market survey that helps to understand whether there are any specialists in the market and how much. The number of specialists in work networks, groups, repositories (sites where the personal project or work code is written, such as Github) and the existence of similar offers on the market are evaluated. 

Unfortunately, even after a study, it may also be difficult to find a specialist. Other factors can work here. For example, people's willingness to grow horizontally as a better specialist rather than move to a leading position, or vice versa.

  • In addition to the above tools, different time resource-saving tools may also be used to search. For example, a boolean search method automatically compiles for a keyword set. It can be used both for searching through social networks and through a Google seeker.
  • The next challenge for an IT recruiter is to get the response of a potential candidate. Unlike specialists in other spheres, they receive so many specialist offers that they stop responding to incoming emails and messages at once.
  • In a positive case, when there are often hundreds of potential candidates who have managed to reach an interview, a larger presentation of recruiters and the image of the company can start. It would be important to set up an interview here in the form of a dialogue when questions of interest are raised from both sides.
  • During the interview, following it or possibly only after meeting with the head of the company/department, a technical assessment shall be carried out. There may be questions raised by an expert/direct supervisor/senior specialist showing the level of experience of the candidate, or a dedicated task for home performance or for sharing a problem at the time of the meeting. Questions/tasks are usually adjusted separately for a specific position or group of positions.

There are cases where companies are also creating demo days. Very rarely when it's a whole day of work. They could usually be a few hours (up to 3-4 h), when a candidate is performing a casual technical task, both in company culture and in the collective. Such practices are rare because there are few specialists with 2 and more years of experience who agree to such conditions.

  • For the match to be higher, the recordant asks the wishes of a potential employee for technology, working conditions, projects, company culture, bonuses. Experience has shown that IT professionals are assessing their situation and expectations. Clarifying these aspects can help to establish a framework for the development of professional relations with the candidate. Even if a person declines to a particular position, he may be interested in the one who will come to you later. Consequently, a database of potential candidates with their wishes should be established. In many cases, it can make life for recruiters easier.
  • Another good way that can be used already with familiar candidates is to clarify recommendations. In the first time, it is rare to get one, but after a while, specialists start advising their acquaintances, former colleagues, managers, friends and relatives on your current vacancies.

Similarly, despite the myth of the infrequency of technical people, they communicate with each other in terms of work and interests, perhaps much more than they do in other areas. That is why the company's personal brand can play one of the most important roles in the selection.

It is also important to realize that there are more current projects in the labor market than IT professionals. Good technical professionals have what to choose. They are being hailed from a large number of IT recruiters. Today, specialists with the possibility of working remotely are being sought not only domestically but also on the international market. It is noted that, from 5 years of professional experience, IT professionals are starting to offer their candidacy for European business and project vacancies or to provide their services. In this case, the remuneration of local customers is already compared with, at least for the time being, a higher rate in the European region. As a result, business competition for experienced professionals increased. In order not to lose a candidate interested in the vacancy at the stage of the offer of employment, the opening decision must be taken at a much faster pace than it was before.

For this reason, it is important not only to set the target and go hard on it, but also to take into account the current market situation and specialist trends, and to be prepared for dialogue and a relatively quick decision.


The article was prepared by DarbaGuru IT recruiter Lilita Alute.
You can look at the current IT vacancies here.