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9 ways you can improve your technical hiring process


Technical hiring processes are among the most difficult yet most rewarding hiring processes out there. 

Technical talent that fills the most important roles in industries such as IT, engineering, construction, or manufacturing needs to be properly vetted and evaluated to find the best possible candidates for these roles. 

But technical hiring is difficult and demanding, and there are a lot of things to take into consideration during a technical hiring process.

This article will provide nine tips and tricks that will help you improve your technical hiring process. But first, let’s go over what exactly technical hiring is.

What is technical hiring?

what is technical hiring

A technical hiring process requires recruiters to source and screen the talent that will fill a very specialized job description with a specialized set of skills, usually in (but not limited to) the IT, engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries. 

Today, technical skill sets are typically required in digital environments where the roles might be connected to systems engineering, software development, and data science. 

Why is technical hiring challenging?

There are several reasons why technical hiring is a challenge in today’s workplace, but the following four are the most critical. 

reasons why technical hiring is a challenge in today’s workplace

1. Technical recruiting requires immense skill

Recruiters in charge of the technical recruitment process have many different responsibilities. They need to: 

  • Create and define a technical recruitment strategy 

  • Find new ways to reach and engage talent from both old and new talent pools

  • Write specialized job descriptions

  • Interview the candidates and assess their skills

The recruiter also needs to have deep knowledge of the industry, its jargon, and how to interpret the answers from a technical interview.

As an example, a recruiter may need to know the difference between SQL and NoSQL database systems, when you should use one or the other, and whether a candidate is well versed in using both database systems. 

So the technical interviewer needs to have experience in the industry, as well as general HR interviewer skills, such as: 

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills

  • Written communication skills

  • Negotiation skills 

  • Time management skills

  • Critical thinking skills

  • An analytical mindset 

2. Interviewing and evaluating technical candidates

An interviewer needs to properly interview and evaluate a candidate who is applying for a technical position. To do this effectively, the interviewer needs to not only lead the candidate through the hiring process but also understand when someone is skilled in a programming language, a system’s database, or a cloud-based engineering software application. 

On top of that, the interviewer needs to create interview questions and/or situations that allow them to properly evaluate the candidate. These won’t be the same for both a salesperson and a JavaScript programmer — it might be better to give the salesperson situational and behavioral questions and the programmer a problem to solve. 

3. Creating specialized job descriptions

Another key part of the technical hiring process is creating job descriptions that are suited for the technical talent out there. To create an effective job description, the recruiter needs to do two things: 

  • Include all the skills required for the job in the job description

  • Make sure not to insert anything that isn’t actually needed for the job 

Let’s say you’re hiring a C# programmer, and you write “3 years of experience needed” in your job description. What are you trying to accomplish with that requirement? It’s better to ask for specific knowledge in the C# language instead of three years of experience or, better yet, to test out the candidate’s knowledge and eliminate that requirement from the job description altogether.

4. Finding new talent pools

Did you know that in 2017, there were fewer than 50,000 computer science graduates in the US?

That number doesn’t seem that small, but when you compare it with the over 500,000 open IT positions, you can grasp why there is such a “tech talent shortage.”

On top of that, according to Gartner, the talent shortage is the biggest barrier to the adoption of 64% of new technologies.

This massive shortage of tech talent means that the standard ways of finding talent simply won’t be enough — recruiters need to find new talent pools for tech professionals. 

9 tips and tricks to improve your technical hiring process

tips and tricks to improve your technical hiring process

Now that we have talked about the burning problems recruiters face when hiring tech talent, here are nine tips and tricks that will help you improve your technical hiring process:

1. Be crystal clear on what your hiring needs are

It’s already difficult enough to find tech talent, and you shouldn’t make the task even harder. Analyze your hiring needs and determine what they are exactly: 

  • Do you need to hire a full-time employee?

  • Do they need to come in person to the office? 

  • What kind of skills do they need to have? 

Be crystal clear on what your needs are because you can’t afford to have candidates look at your job description and think that the role isn’t for them because of an unnecessary demand they can’t fulfill. 

2. Create a detailed candidate persona

When you’ve answered the questions above, you then need to write out a detailed candidate persona for the type of person you want to hire. You’re doing this for a few different reasons: 

  • So you can target that exact person via advertising

  • So you can speak to the person like “you get them” 

  • So you can determine where the person would likely be (the talent pool), the approximate salary they would expect (junior, senior), and where they would be based (additional cost-of-living expenditures)

3. Demand only skills that you need for the job (write a good job description)

As a recruiter, you need to write out only the skills that you absolutely need for your positions. Writing a good job description is essential to make sure you get enough applicants for your open role. 

Also, if you have completed the steps above, you will already know who your target audience is, which will help you write the job ad in a way that will catch your target audience’s attention. 

4. Find candidates in “fishing ponds” (where your technical talent usually gathers)

We mentioned that there’s a massive tech talent shortage, so you will need to be creative when it comes to finding your talent. 

Luckily, there are still largely unexplored “fishing ponds” for your tech talent: 

  • Global talent. There’s still a lot of tech talent and potential in countries all around the world. So finding the places/websites where global tech talent “hangs around” should be the first step you take in filling difficult technical roles. 

  • Neurodivergent talent. A lot of neurodivergent talent is still unemployed, so you should consider looking into that talent pool — you might be surprised about the suitable candidates you find there.  

5. Communicate in tech language — learn the jargon

If you’ve established your needs, created a detailed target persona, and found the places where your tech talent gathers, it’s time to communicate with them using their language. In other words, you need to learn their jargon. 

Communicating in their language is critical if you want your tech talent to think, “This is the right place for me.” If you were to run a gym, you would market it differently to men than to women. For example, to advertise it to men, you might use a phrase like “Get Buffed,” while for women, you might instead use a phrase like “Get Lean.” 

Communicate in your tech talent’s language, and you will catch the interest of candidates who will feel at home with your company. 

6. Be prepared to negotiate with your candidates

When you find the right candidate and they pass through the hiring process, be willing and prepared to negotiate with them. 

The most desired jobs in the market will also have some of the highest salaries out there. The median salary for a software developer back in 2020 was $110,140. So when you get the best possible candidate, make sure to negotiate with them and realize that they have many options in today’s marketplace. 

Work on a compensation plan, and try to bridge the gap between you, the hiring manager, and the executive team regarding perks and benefits.  

7. Organize local events for tech talent

One more thing you can do to improve your technical hiring process is to organize local events for tech talent. At local events, you might run into talent that still hasn’t found their first job (if you’re looking for junior tech talent) and “snatch” them before a competitor does. 

When you go local, you should do two things: 

  • Make your company appear accessible. Local events allow your technical recruiters to talk with potential candidates, ask questions, and determine if they would be a good fit for your company. 

  • Find emerging talent. At local events, you might find tech talent that’s just emerging and get them early on in their career. 

8. Create a tech-oriented career site

Creating a tech-oriented career site is great not only for your local talent but also for global talent. 

Global talent can’t easily understand what your company is about and what you stand for (your mission, vision, and values), so they need to use proxies to determine if your company would be a good fit for their knowledge, skills, and attitude. 

A tech-oriented career site is a perfect way for candidates to get to know your company, understand what it’s about, and determine if they want to apply to work there. 

9. Use pre-employment tests to evaluate candidates’ skills and competencies

And the last (but not least) thing you can do to improve your technical hiring process is to use pre-employment tests to evaluate the skills and competencies of your candidates. 

Pre-employment tests are a great way to determine the skills of your candidates: 

  • Bias-free. When you use pre-employment tests, you determine candidates’ skills using objective measurement. Also, you can easily compare candidates because they have all been graded on the same scale. 

  • Great first touchpoint. You should use pre-employment tests before you even perform CV screening. With CV screening tools, you might filter out some really great candidates either because their CVs aren’t fully keyword optimized or because a recruiter misses out on them. (On average, a CV is only looked at for six seconds.) With a pre-employment test, you give everyone the opportunity to prove their skills, and the only determinant is the candidate’s skill set. 

  • Scalable option. A pre-employment test is a scalable option because you always spend the same amount of time giving out the test, no matter if you have 50 or 500 candidates. 

With that in mind, here are three reasons why you should use TestGorilla’s pre-employment tests: 

  • Our tests are made by subject-matter experts. First, a test is made by one subject-matter expert, and then it’s tested out by another subject-matter expert who has relevant experience in that field. After that, the test is taken hundreds of times and iterated accordingly so that the best possible version of the test is put onto our platform. 

  • You can use more than 150 scientific tests. Our test library has more than 150 scientifically created pre-employment tests that you can use in your hiring process. 

  • We have a customizable platform with a video response option. Our platform is highly customizable, and we even have a video response option. During the hiring process, you can ask your candidates a question and indicate that you want to receive a video response. This lets you determine how your candidates behave on video, how they communicate their ideas, and what their energy level is in front of a camera.  

Improve your technical hiring process and hire the best candidate

Technical hiring can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you follow the nine tips and tricks we share in this article, you will find it easier to improve your technical hiring process. 

If you still need more information on improving your hiring process, you should read our guide on how to create a bulletproof remote hiring process

Meanwhile, try TestGorilla for free today and start making better hiring decisions, faster and bias-free.


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