Picture this: You’ve posted a job opening with the day-to-day description and job requirements, received some applications, and you head into your first interview with a candidate.
On paper, it’s a great match. This candidate brings several years of experience to the table and can show the results of their work. They have worked in diverse tech stacks across their previous roles. You interview them, and learn they have an incredible personality that will enhance your team’s dynamic.
Then you find out the candidate wants to work at least three days per week remote when your team wants them in the office five days a week. They haven’t worked with two programming languages your team uses regularly. They ask for $5,000 above the top end of your salary range.
What Happens Next?
Your team enjoyed the interview, but you choose to wait and see if another candidate can check all the boxes.
Weeks go by. You never found that dream candidate you were expecting, and the one you interviewed and loved has already gotten three other job offers and accepted one.
Hiring is incredibly hard. It’s even harder when the talent market is moving as fast as it is in 2022.
As with everything, remember the end goal: You’re looking for an individual who adds to your team, who can drive your projects to completion and help build your business.
When your team paints a clear picture of what a successful hire may look like, and when that picture aligns with what candidates on the job market have to offer, hiring becomes a lot easier!
Let’s dig into the planning that comes before sourcing candidates for a job opening.
Set Clear Expectations Across Stakeholders
When you’re taking a road trip hundreds of miles away, maps are an effective way to stay on track and make sure you progress to your destination. What sort of road map does your team have in place to find the best candidates? And does everyone on the team know what the road map look like?
Some questions to start your road map at the beginning of the hiring process:
- Who will be involved in your hiring decision?
- What is the timeline for each stage of your hiring process, and how soon do you need to hire a new team member?
- What does your company have to offer candidates?
- What does your team hope to gain from adding this new employee?
- What duties and responsibilities are going to be included in this role?
- Who will be working with this employee? Who will be supervising them?
- Do you already have any potential candidates in your pipeline?
- How will you evaluate applications? Who is leading that process?
The temptation to jump right into creating a job posting is real. Your team will be better prepared by taking the time up front to plan. These questions can help you determine what your ideal job posting looks like and the candidates it will attract.
Consider Your Team’s Current Skill Inventory
The day-to-day job description and the skills required are major keys in any job description. Candidates reading your job posting will try to picture themselves in the role, how they would work within your team, and whether they have the skills necessary to make a strong contribution.
Before you go to the external talent market, is there someone on your team ready for a promotion into this role? Can someone on your team be trained on the tech skills you need for this role? Considering internal talent before posting externally supports team engagement and morale.
When making an external hire, it’s still important to consider the current skill inventory of your team when building the job description. Build an understanding of your team’s strengths and weaknesses and how this new hire will be expected to complement those.
- What languages or methodologies should candidates have a strong expertise in, or which do they just need a familiarity with?
- Is this new hire leading a new project or new development, or are they integrating into an existing team?
Depending on the specifics of this role and the work of the rest of your team, your answers to those questions may affect the requirements that go in your job description.
How Many Must-Haves Must You Have?
Job descriptions for roles like “full stack developer” can vary widely between companies, depending on what the tech stack looks like. If your team needs to hire quickly for a role that will carry a lot of initiative and leadership, it can be tempting to ask for a high number of technical requirements when listing the job.
Could your team focus on the three or four most vital requirements for the role your team needs to hire for? Then, consider which requirements would be a plus or a “nice-to-have” from candidates.
What if you find someone who would be an incredible team player that adds to your team’s culture, but needs some additional training on necessary hard skills? That may be easier in the long run than bringing on someone with the perfect set of hard skills who doesn’t positively impact your team. Part of this planning stage is figuring out the trade-offs your company is willing to make in the talent search. Offering this type of professional development to upskill tech professionals who join your team is a great way to recruit new talent!
Having fewer must-haves in your job requirements opens the door to a broader pool of applicants and makes it easier to target your sourcing efforts for candidates – all of which helps you find the new employee you need sooner.
What Soft Skills Can’t You Live Without?
Certain soft skills like communication and time management apply across the board. Depending on the level of initiative this new employee will have within your team, however, your requirements for soft skills will play a role in your search for candidates.
It will be hard to honestly assess a candidate’s soft skills before getting to the interview phase – public testimonials are one way to learn about these from the perspective of those the candidate has worked with before. Some soft skills may be listed on your official job description, and others may not. As with the technical hard skills, it’s important to have the necessary soft skills identified before setting out to hire.
Keep in mind that soft skills are not as easily taught as concrete, technical skills; if you need more soft skills, consider holding fewer strict must-haves in terms of hard skills.
Let’s Talk Salary and Remote Work Expectations
Whether you have them listed on your job description or not, candidates are likely going to ask about two things first regarding the role: the salary range, and the capacity for remote work.
Once you’ve set expectations for what the role looks like and committed to the hard and soft skills necessary from candidates, it should be much easier to hone your salary range for the job description.
Should the salary be listed in the job description? It’s a polarizing question, and there are many pros and cons, but it may not be a debate in the future. The New York City Council passed legislation in December 2021 to require employers disclose minimum and maximum salaries for all advertised jobs, promotions or transfer opportunities located in the city. Will more laws like this be enacted in the years to come?
As for remote work, depending on how much direct contact and collaboration the role requires, there may not be much flexibility on a percentage of remote work that can be offered to candidates. But if candidates on the open market have been working remote or hybrid, it may be hard to get them back to the office.
Buffer’s 2022 State of Remote Work report is their fifth annual research project including over 2,000 remote workers. 97 percent of those surveyed said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their career, and 72 percent of respondents said their companies are planning to permanently allow some amount of remote work.
Chart Your Path to Your Next Hire!
Once you have assessed your team’s need, earned the buy-in of stakeholders, crafted your job description, and prepared your expectations and must-haves, you’re ready to search for candidates!
Since 2004, our staffing team at Lighthouse Technology Services has been focused solely on the technology industry, connecting talented professionals with great companies offering new job opportunities. Learn more about our flexible technology staffing options and how our expertise helps you find the technology professionals your team needs.