The Shrinking Shelf Life of IT Candidates

By Andrew C. Jackson

This is an update to an article I penned two years ago and it is even more relevant today.

Do applicants for your technical positions have a shelf life? You bet they do, and right now your window of opportunity for hiring skilled candidates is getting shorter. A technology worker looking to make a change in today’s environment can find three to five viable career options within hours of starting their search…and they can most likely land a new job with a single interview.

Some employers are finding that qualified candidates who have expressed an interest in their firm are gone by the time they complete their normal (often exhaustive, redundant and slow-paced) hiring process.

BravoTECH has worked with hundreds of clients to help them expedite their hiring and onboarding processes to secure the most elusive candidates. Below is a review of some processes that can be improved for more hiring success.

  1. Reduce the number of interviews. If numerous people are needed for a hiring decision, consider scheduling a group video interview rather than multiple individual interviews. If more than one interview is still required, schedule them on the same day. Update: Give initial interviewer(s) the authority to make a hiring decision if the candidate meets the requirements of the position.
  2. Don’t wait too long for background checks. Background checks are important, but it is unwise to wait days or weeks for the results. If you’ve found the right candidate, make an offer contingent on receiving positive background check and drug testing results. Update: Identity fraud or “fake candidates” is a growing problem. Make sure your employment and onboarding documents have the appropriate language to release any candidate who is later found to have presented false information.
  3. Eliminate departmental delays. If associates from other departments are involved in your screening and interview process, make sure they understand your sense of urgency to fill the position. Work directly with anyone who is not responding in a timely manner. If one of the selected interviewers is going to be out for a few days, select another associate to take their place. Update: Be clear with associates that you must proceed with the interview and hiring process, even if they are not available.
  4. Stay on top of process and quality control. Many organizations have automated the applicant screening and selection process. This enables your organization to review more resumes than would be humanly possible, but it’s up to you to make sure your system is working well. If it rejects qualified candidates for incorrect formatting or if it isn’t searching for the right key words, you could be missing out on some ideal candidates. Update: Beware of candidates who have become fluent in the AI algorithms and submit fake resumes.
  5. Focus on the candidate experience. One of the biggest complaints from candidates is the lack of feedback they get from recruiters and hiring managers. These complaints have grown louder as more companies automated their processes. Whether you use live recruiters or machines, make sure you provide candidates with timely, compassionate feedback. If you’re interested in a candidate, pick up the phone and call them yourself because time is of the essence. Update: A personal phone call has never been more important as you compete for a limited number of candidates!
  6. Drop unproductive old-school processes. One such process is requiring three applicants for each position before extending an offer. By the time you find the third applicant, the first may be off the shelf. Instead, when you find the right candidate, make an offer. Update: No update needed!

It’s always a good reminder that candidates are individuals who have expressed an interest in, not made a commitment to, your firm. Don’t let outdated processes keep you from filling your IT roles this year.

Our Virtual Bench Process

BravoTECH’s Virtual Bench process helps us to identify your talent needs in advance and build a pipeline of qualified candidates to accelerate the recruiting and hiring process. Call us for more information at 800.762.7286.