Hiring Strategies for Rockstar Tech Managers

The hiring process can be surprisingly similar to dating: even when you like someone, unless they return the feelings then it won’t get past the first interview. Through our yearly research, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to attract – and hire – the candidates you want. Avoid rookie mistakes and gain the skills to woo your dream candidate.

Be exciting

People spend most of their lives at work so it’s no surprise that candidates are looking for an exciting workplace. In fact, 16% of candidates are willing to leave a dull work environment for a new position. Not only are candidates leaving jobs because of a boring workplace, they’re also evaluating your environment from the moment they step in your doors. Hiring – like dating – requires an interest from both parties to be successful. Although you may be evaluating a candidate in order to decide if you want them on your team, they’re doing the same for you. Companies often come to us wondering why a candidate they were really interested in never returned their call. Ouch. It’s painful when you’re struggling to make a hire. Here’s a few ways to evaluate your environment, objectively of course.

  1. Ask for feedback. The more you open the lines of communication, the better you can improve yourself and make the hire. Create a form on your website for candidate feedback post-interview. After an interview, have hiring managers send out the link to the form to get confidential – and anonymous – feedback.
  2. Let employees know you’re taking a candidate around premise. Many companies give candidates a tour as part of the interview process. No matter how wonderful your working environment is, interrupting employees without notice may lead to an overall sense of dissatisfaction in the workplace. Every employee deals with daily frustration so if you happen to be walking by with a potential future employee at the wrong point and all they see are frowns, they might become discouraged at the prospect of working there.
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Be honest

Nothing kills that spark quicker than dishonesty. Whether it’s something silly or more serious, dishonesty can make your dream candidate think twice about working for your company.  Don’t lie and make the position seem better than it is, in fact, the more honest you are, the more real you’ll become. Every job seeker knows there’s going to be a “catch” (e.g. some bad aspects about the role you’re offering). Let them hear the problems (and what you’re doing to fix them) from you – rather than be scared away by those Glassdoor reviews.

Don’t hesitate

Many companies require hiring managers interview multiple people for a role. Even if you love the very first candidate, you end up having to put your dream candidate on the back burner while looking for other possibilities. And, when you finally are able to get approval to hire the first candidate, bam, they’re already hired. Great people are never in the market long and you know you need to make a choice or let them go on their way. If your company requires you to interview a few people, let the first candidate know. Tell them, “hey, I like you and I’d hire you right now if I had the choice. But corporate says I have to interview three candidates before I can decide – can I count on you to stick around until Friday next week at latest?” They’ll appreciate being treated like a person and not just a commodity.

Give feedback

I’ll be the first to admit that this is the most challenging. A great hiring manager will give feedback, good or bad, and let the candidate know if they’re going to be moving forward in the process. No one wants to go on a spectacular first date only to never hear from the other person again. At the very least, say “I liked you but I don’t think it’s going to be a good fit right now. Good luck!” From the candidates perspective, it’s better than hearing nothing at all.

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Show them what they’re worth

Salary and benefits are number 1 and 3 on our 2015 list of candidate motivators. Purposely low-balling a top candidate is the equivalent of taking a dream partner to McDonalds on your first date. This doesn’t mean that you have to pay the new hire an outrageous amount or take a first date to a 5 star steakhouse. Instead, if you can’t afford to pay what you know they’re worth, at the very least be open and let them that. And, try to work in a benefit you know they’ll enjoy, like working from home, it can help make up the difference. When they get higher offers, they might still consider you because you were upfront.

Have good leadership in place

Leadership quality is the #2 motivator for candidates considering a new job. Even if you win over the best candidate, it won’t mean much if their direct supervisor is incompetent. That candidate will say “see ya” before the ink dries on their offer letter.

Have any rockstar hiring tips? Share in the comments below!

Hiring Strategies for Rockstar Tech Managers

Elizabeth Becker

Elizabeth is Marketing Manager at PROTECH. Comments and feedback can be directed to her at jobs@protechfl.com.