Tips to Find and Place Candidates in Tech

Sourcing IT candidates

Sourcing during a skills shortage may feel like an impossible task, but with the right approach, you can improve your sourcing results for even the toughest roles. In this new weekly blog series, you’ll find relevant stats and tips for industries where talent is often high in demand but short on supply, like manufacturing, tech, and business services. This week, we cover strategies, stats, and tips for IT and tech roles. Want tips for other industries? Read the entries on Finance, Business, Healthcare, and Skilled Trades.

IT and Tech Recruiting at a Glance

If you ask someone to name an industry impacted by the talent shortage, chances are they’ll mention tech or IT—and for good reason. For the 2018 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report, we asked staffing professionals to name a role being impacted by a skills shortage. Forty percent of all responses were for roles in IT or Tech.

Talent Shortage

Sixty-five percent of staffing professionals that serve IT clients said the talent shortage was their top challenge. Making matters worse: tech roles are among the most competitive to place, as 49 percent of staffing firms report placing at least some candidates in these types of roles.

Looking for good news? Seventy-percent of staffing professionals predict an increase in IT/tech jobs due to innovations like automation. Regardless of what the future holds, firms that can effectively find and place candidates in tech roles will have a leg up on the competition. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Technology Candidates

Get Creative with Your Spelling

Search flexibility is crucial when sourcing for candidates in technology, an industry that often has multiple ways to refer to a candidate’s title or skill sets. When performing searches on LinkedIn, experiment with different ways to spell titles. For example, engineering might be listed as eng, engnr, or engineer. Also, experiment with different titles like “Leader of Engineers” or “Team Lead, Engineers” instead of the typical “CTO” or “VP of Engineering.”

Prioritize Soft Skills—Expert Tip from SkillSurvey

Soft skills are a key driver of on-the-job success yet assessing them can be tough. Review a candidate’s cover letters, resumes, and CVs for examples of soft skills in action. Practice behavior-based interviewing to uncover a candidate’s past performance and behaviors – the single most predictive factor of on the job success. Update the rubrics you use to evaluate candidates. To avoid bias, institute a matrix to assure the skills of each candidate are transparent to decision makers.

Expand Your Knowledge of Abbreviated Terms

Stuck in an endless jumble of jargon? Use websites like in order to more fully grasp the particularities of a search you might not be familiar with. Of course, tools like this are no substitute for knowledge—technology candidates, in particular, say they want recruiters who understand their industry. So use tools like Acronym Finder to fill gaps in your tech knowledge, not to replace them.

Stand out with Video—Expert Tip from Spark Hire

When recruiting IT candidates, you need to craft targeted and personalized messages that stand out in an inbox that’s extremely crowded with pitches from other recruiters. The most successful recruiters are using video in their outbound messages to pique the interest of a candidate and start a conversation.

Get three selfie-style videos together—one from you, another from the hiring manager, and the final one from other developers at the company you’re recruiting for. Weave these videos into your outreach and you’ll see more engagement and better results.

Want more sourcing tips? Read Straight to The Source: Why Candidate Sourcing Matters and Tips For Success for interesting findings on the candidate acquisition landscape and sourcing tips that work.


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