As the Director of Talent Operations at Andela, I am passionate about staying up-to-date on hiring trends so I am best able to connect world-class engineers with exciting job opportunities. And there’s certainly no shortage of trends to keep track of. Demand for engineers continues to increase and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, software development employment is expected to grow 21% by 2028, which is bigger than the average projected rate of growth for all occupations (5%). Given this massive spike in demand, it would seem that organizations would be working faster than ever before to scale their engineering teams, right? Actually, the data suggests otherwise. In fact, according to a recent LinkedIn report, engineering jobs take a median of 49 days to hire, the longest time frame of any industry listed.
Let’s discuss why this is the case, how this extended timeframe can ultimately be detrimental to the hiring process, and the ways in which companies are seeking unique solutions to fill their needs.
Why hiring engineers is so challenging
As the LinkedIn report demonstrates, hiring for technical roles tends to take much longer than non-technical roles, and multiple rounds of interviews are commonplace. While it’s important to do your due diligence to ensure that candidates who are hired are both a strong technical and cultural fit, these extensive hiring processes can also have downsides.
In the LinkedIn study, the Chief Operating Officer at Lambda Academy, Molly Graham, sums this up well by saying: “Companies in the tech industry tend to value precision — sometimes false precision — over speed.”
Graham goes on to emphasize that many companies search for candidates that have deep textbook knowledge of a certain technical topic, even if it’s far beyond what the position requires.
This hiring approach can be problematic, as it can focus more on whether the candidate says the “right things” and has the “right credentials” on their resume over whether they have the tangible skills needed to succeed at the given job itself. These types of interviews ultimately waste valuable time, and given that prospective employees being interviewed are in high demand, this is time that companies cannot afford to waste.
Furthermore, if a job interview is also a way of introducing your organization’s brand and value to prospective candidates, an overly extended, drawn-out hiring process runs the risk of leaving a bad first impression. Let’s discuss why.
Why extended hiring processes can be detrimental
From the candidate perspective, a drawn-out hiring process can seem at best disorganized, and at worst disrespectful.
Just as an extensive hiring process is time-consuming for employers, it is just as time-consuming for potential employees, who oftentimes have to take extensive time away from their current jobs to complete multiple rounds of interviews.
If the employer indefinitely delays the process, or provides vague answers regarding a decision or offer date, they run the risk of deterring great candidates and missing out on great hires. With some sought after skills in low-supply, it’s not uncommon for top engineers to receive a few dozen recruiter emails or inMails on a weekly basis. It’s a seller’s market.
How can your organization avoid this fate? Fortunately, there are multiple options. Let’s review how a global talent network like Andela can help.
How companies are bridging the gap
More companies than ever before are hiring remote and global talent. This means the competition to hire great engineers is now between leading global organizations whose fire power in attracting the right people can largely beat out any small organization.
This is where Talent Networks come into play. Clients are struggling to identify and source engineers to unlock their potential and need to scale their teams with engineers that have a wide range of technical expertise. This is where Andela thrives. We connect our clients across industries with vetted software engineers around the globe and significantly shorten the time to hire; nearly halving industry standards.
In my tenure in the talent industry, I’ve found that it’s often a balancing game to scale depth of screening to find quality while maintaining speed and candidate experience. So, what’s Andela’s secret?
We believe in connecting brilliance to opportunity, and to most effectively do that, we believe in removing any potential for bias. This is why all applicants to the network have to complete a templatized coding assessment, as well as a structured interview with a set of relevant job questions. Both of these means of assessing candidates are a great way of assessing a potential candidate’s likelihood for success in a role. Furthermore, templates are an equalizer, weighing applicants based on their technical ability over less relevant factors like where they went to college. (This is even less relevant in a field like software engineering, where so many are self-taught.) Let’s not forget that coding assessments can be completed quickly — there should be no reason that a qualified candidate needs to wait 49 days.
Perhaps most importantly of all, we always focus on the human element in the recruiting and hiring process. We never lose sight of the fact that these are human beings with aspirations and goals rather than “human capital” or “resources.” Deeply caring about candidate experience is what ultimately wins the long game.
The big picture
Hiring for technical roles isn’t simple — there are many factors to consider to ensure you find the right fit for your team. But with an emphasis on decisive communication and removing bias while maintaining a world-class talent experience, you’ll be well on your way to building a hiring process that works better for everyone involved.