IT Recruiting in Austin, TX
The IT recruiting business in Austin is hotter than ever. In fact, Austin boasts one of the fastest growing job markets in the nation. The unemployment rate in Austin is 3.1 percent compared to the state unemployment rate of 4 percent. LinkedIn recently ranked Austin as the top U.S. city in terms of attracting new talent, boosting hiring by 14 percent. Software and IT services jobs jumped by 7.5 percent year-over-year, but there is still a national shortage of IT talent.
As competitive as Austin is for high-tech jobs, IT departments have to offer enticing salaries and benefits to attract the best talent and keep them from the competition. They have to be able to move fast and get offers out quickly. But, there’s a whole lot more that goes into making an offer a candidate can’t refuse.
Companies hiring for IT positions are in a tough spot. In order to grow, stay competitive and gain market share, companies need the right people working on their team. Finding those people is hard enough. Making them want to work for your company can be even harder. To top it off, companies are vigorously competing with other hiring companies, whether they realize it or not.
It is an IT job seeker’s market and if you want to get the best, you’re going to have to offer the best. But how do you know if your offer can stand up to any other carrots they may have dangling in front of them? Is it all about the salary or are candidates interested in more?
One of the best ways to answer these questions is to seek the guidance of an experienced tech recruiter. IT recruiters in Austin do more than just find the right talent for a client. They have a handle on what the hiring trends are across the city, what companies are offering to attract the best talent, and what it takes to make sure you get who you want without worrying your offer wasn’t good enough. In addition, if you find the right IT recruiting company, they will be skilled enough to match candidates desires with the actual offer and value proposition of the company before getting too far into the interview process.
We’ve been in this business a long time and often get questions about attracting top talent and making good offers. We’ve put together a short list of the 3 best practices any hiring company can implement to optimize their hiring process with offers that will get candidates to sign on the dotted line.
Know Your Market
Austin is a little like a case of the chicken or the egg. Companies are moving to Austin in droves. High tech job seekers are right on their heels. Or are they? Are there so many viable candidates in Austin that they attract the businesses or are businesses coming to Austin and attracting the talent? The skills gap in Austin lures candidates from all over the globe, yet the rising cost of living and infrastructure issues can be a deterrent.
That means an offer may need to consider all kinds of variables that come into play when a candidate decides whether or not they want the job. Companies must know their market before they hire. Any company can pull reports from the chamber of commerce or career builder sites, but speaking with a market expert like a tech recruiter is the best way to get the most up-to-date information.
Tech recruiters in Austin should know the following variables, plus many more:
- What is the cost of living in Austin?
- What are the commute times from various popular residential areas?
- What kinds of salaries are companies paying for specific jobs?
- What benefits are in play?
- What kinds of skills are most in demand?
- How many companies are hiring for specific job positions?
- How many candidates are vying for those jobs?
- Where are the candidates coming from and what are they seeking?
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it does give you an example of some of the many things to keep in mind when recruiting and making an offer. Keep in mind that these factors can change. Unless you have your finger on the pulse of Austin at all times, working with a tech recruiter can save you time and ensure you know your market as well or better than the competition.
Understand Your Candidates’ Motivations
We can’t stress this enough: know your candidates. It’s not easy to develop a personal relationship with every person applying for your open IT job positions. After all, the average job opening attracts 250 resumes. Without a tech recruiter by your side, you may spend hours scouring job sites and reading resumes, only to realize you know virtually nothing about the actual person you may hire.
While it’s obvious every candidate is a unique person, it’s amazing how little some hiring companies understand how they tick. If you don’t know what motivates them and what excites them about a job, how will you be able to build an offer they can’t refuse? It takes building relationships.
An IT recruiter in Austin should have these relationships with candidates. It’s often easier and more beneficial for candidates to open up to recruiters than it is for them to spill their details to a hiring manager. They know the IT recruiter is working to find them the best job, so they are more willing to get into the details of exactly what they want in a job. The recruiter can then work with client companies to develop an offer that fits the candidate’s boxes.
Every candidate will have his or her own motivating factors. Some are higher ranking than others, but here’s a general list of the things we find matter most to candidates:
- Technology stack
- Benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc)
- Flexible work hours
- Personal time off (PTO) policy
- Work/life balance
- Opportunities to develop skills
- Opportunities to advance in the company
- Company culture
- Salary enhancements (bonuses, stock equity, etc)
Get to know your candidates, or at least, work with a tech recruiter who knows your candidates. Once you understand what’s important to them, you can better build an offer they can’t pass up.
Nail Down Your Interview Process
Did you know that the interview process can blow any chances you have for hiring? We’re not talking about the candidate screwing up here. We’re talking about the hiring company. As much as the interview process feels like the candidate is in the hot seat, the hiring company is also being grilled. Smart candidates interview the company just as much as they are being interviewed.
What is your interview process? Have you asked any recent hires what they thought of it? Have you evaluated it in a while? Are the people conducting the interviews qualified or trained to interview? How do you know if it gives you the information you need about a candidate or if it puts your company in the best light? An IT staffing company may be able to help.
An IT staffing company in Austin will know how each of its client companies conducts their interviews. They will be able to tell you if you’re on point or need an overhaul. For instance, one company we worked with told us they “let” their candidates shadow the team they’d work on for a few days. They wanted to know if that was a good way to screen a candidate. Without hesitation, we advised against it. Why? Because candidates have near panic attacks when they have to be “on” for an entire team. They are trying to impress not only the hiring manager but the actual team members who they feel are judging them as well. This practice can also put the hiring company at risk of having sensitive data and information leaving the company when the candidate is hired by the competition. Not a good idea.
A common practice for many IT companies is to give candidates a lengthy technical/coding assignment. Their good intention is to see in action the candidate’s skills and what they’re capable of. While this may sound like a good idea, we know candidates despise these tests and they aren’t good indicators of future contributions. What they do promise is to have your job position move to the bottom of a candidate’s opportunity pile.
Here are a few things we know candidates want in an interview:
- They want to be asked about what they are looking for in the new role and why they are looking
- They want to feel like the interviewer understands their skills and how best to utilize them
- They want the interviewer to ask them about their motivating factors for leaving their current position
- They want to spend face-to-face time with the interviewer(s) or at least a phone conversation versus email
- They want the interviewer to be frank about what will be expected of them and not oversell
If you’re a hiring company in Austin, the hiring game is a tough one to win without expert guidance. A company’s success is directly tied to the quality of their workers. If you want the best people on your team (and not your competition’s), follow the best practices above and work with a reputable IT staffing company who knows the Austin market, understands what motivates each candidate, has the interview process thing down to a science. Too much is on the line to chance it.