As more companies are starting to realize the importance of going digital, people working in the IT and technology sector are becoming more in demand than ever before.
According to research by Gartner, 58% of IT executives in 2021 reported increases or plans to increase technology investment. The figure was only 29% the previous year, meaning the desire to go digital has doubled among key decision makers.
Companies are scrambling to find the right people to drive this digital growth–both in tech firms and regular companies aiming for digital transformation.
Naturally, this puts an overwhelming amount of pressure on recruiters in technology, because they are the ones who need to find candidates that their clients urgently need.
However, sourcing technical talent is notoriously difficult, even for the most experienced tech recruiters. The biggest challenge for recruiters in this industry is knowing how to qualify these candidates before passing them on to clients.
Skills like coding, cloud computing, and software development need to be evaluated by people who already know how to do them. And since technology rapidly changes over time, any pre-planned technical skills assessments may quickly become obsolete, affecting the quality of candidates brought in for interviews.
A tech recruiter’s value lies in their ability to assess and qualify candidates, and to save their clients’ time and money in the hiring process.
And in this article, we will be covering everything you need to know about solving the IT talent gap, by introducing remote skills assessments into your recruitment strategies.
Read on to find out how different they are from normal skills assessments, and how they will make your life as a technical recruiter easier.
Why it’s so difficult to hire for technical jobs
Before getting into remote skills assessments and how they will benefit your recruitment strategies, it is wise to understand why it is so hard for recruiters to hire in the technology industry in the first place.
There are generally three main reasons why:
1. Qualifying technical candidates takes industry-specific skills
As we discussed in the introduction, recruiters and people who actually work in IT generally come from different backgrounds.
While recruiters could have either graduated from human resources programs or gradually made their way into the industry, tech employees would have gone through specialized studies in their area of choice before getting to where they currently are.
The skills they have learned, like coding or software engineering, can be difficult to judge, unless you also know their craft. And while technical recruiters are qualified for this, technology is changing rapidly.
This means there is a huge bottleneck for recruiters, as in addition to managing entire recruitment strategies, they also have to stay updated and hands-on with recent trends in the industry, which often gets overwhelming.
As another option, a recruiter’s client may instead ask an internal employee, namely a software engineer, to help assess each candidate’s work, after the recruiters have already brought the candidates in.
But since software engineers are already incredibly busy, it doesn’t make sense to make them part of the external recruiting process.
This is why any recruiter who can solve this challenge will have the upper hand when it comes to finding tech talent in the present and for the future.
2. The demand outweighs the talent
It is expected that the IT industry could grow by more than 667,000 jobs by 2030. That means there is a need for tech talent, but not enough qualified people to carry out the jobs.
But the same research by Gartner states that 64% of IT executives believe that “talent shortages” are the top reason why they cannot fully introduce new technology in their companies.
This huge mismatch in demand and supply is why qualified candidates are so highly valued. It is especially the case with those who are currently working somewhere else, as there is already proof that these people are capable of carrying out desired tasks.
And for recruiters, having a sense of awareness of this demand, and having recruitment strategies in place to support this huge tech talent search is crucial.
READ MORE: Top 10 Tech Recruiting Challenges in 2022
3. Technical roles demand high salaries.
This means the stakes are usually very high for companies to find and hire the right people, both because they demand high salaries, and because they are harder to come by compared to other industries.
This is also why many recruitment strategies place a strong emphasis on sourcing passive candidates, or those who are currently employed elsewhere. Expanding your talent pool to passive candidates as well as active applicants will ensure your best bet at finding people to drive digital growth for your clients.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: The Complete Guide to Recruiting Passive Candidates
So now that we have gone through the biggest challenges facing IT / technical recruiters, let’s move on to how you can begin solving them:
What are skills assessments in Tech recruitment?
Skills assessments are tests given out to applicants or candidates to evaluate their skills pertaining to the job opening. Again, this step is normally carried out by a skilled tech recruiter, or it is internally evaluated by a client’s team
These assessments are a mandatory part of your tech recruitment strategies, since they prove whether what a candidate says on their resume is actually true or not.
Skills assessments test both a candidate’s ability to perform tasks like coding in certain languages or familiarity with certain technologies, and their ability to collaborate with the existing way of working in the client’s organization. The information taken from these assessments determines whether a candidate is qualified enough to reach the interview stage.
However, there are two key drawbacks of using skills assessments in your recruitment strategies:
1. Due to rapid growth in the industry, some assessments quickly lose relevance
Imagine hiring someone to oversee a company’s data storage center, only to realize that modern companies are already switching to cloud computing to save more on storage fees.
Another example would be hiring someone to manage a company’s existing website, only to learn that another website development service has now taken the lead as the better option than the one the company has been using.
Best practices and choices change over time in the technology industry, and sometimes simply upskilling recruiters to incorporate these changes into their recruitment strategies is not enough.
This is why assessments need to be current, and involve the help of experienced people in the industry to keep them current.
2. Complicated or inefficient assessments negatively affect the candidate’s experience.
Research from IBM Analytics found that 38% of applicants who were satisfied with their experience as candidates have a higher likelihood of accepting a job offer. The research also found that even if they don’t accept the initial offer, they are 80% more likely to apply to the same company once again.
This is vital for the tech industry, especially considering how talent is so scarce. If your clients’ companies want to leave a good impression on candidates, then your recruitment strategies and processes have to be as concise as possible.
The data shows that candidates don’t respond well to long, tedious assessments, and will likely choose to work for a company with quicker-moving recruitment systems.
Given these challenges, let’s explore how introducing remote assessments – ones that can automatically be integrated into your recruitment strategies–will help you overcome the tasks of qualifying candidates while providing a good candidate experience.
How are remote assessments different from regular ones?
Remote skills assessments are prepared tests that can be sent online, directly to candidates once they have passed the initial screening stage.
In Tech/IT, these primarily come in the form of technical assessments. However, the difference between remote skills assessments and regular ones is that everything is carried out online, which makes things much faster and more convenient for both your clients and the candidates.
Modern-day assessments can now be integrated into recruitment software, like an applicant tracking system (ATS). This means they can be sent to any favorable candidate right after you view their application, or after you have an introductory call or meeting with them.
Evaluations for these assessments are now also automated, meaning clients will not have to step in to evaluate candidates until the interview stage. They also do not require physical meetups.
In addition to the time-saving properties of remote skills assessments, they also help recruiters identify other skills beyond candidates’ resumes, improve both the volume and quality of your talent pool, and ensure your hiring standard is free of bias or prejudice.
An example of how to include remote skills assessments into your recruitment strategies
Manatal is currently working with Codility, an advanced programming services provider, to integrate remote skills assessments into its ATS. Codility’s assessments are designed by engineers and come equipped with automated evaluations that score assessments instantly.
This effectively turns a week’s worth of evaluations into a few seconds of viewing the automated results from each candidate.
But to get a better understanding of how these skills assessments work and how it benefits your recruitment strategies, let’s first cover how an ATS helps you hire faster.
While ATS software, in general, has been available for recruiters since virtually the early 90s, Manatal’s ATS provides recruiters with an easy overview of all applicants and where they are in the hiring process, like this:
In addition to organizing applicants, Manatal provides candidate sourcing from thousands of channels, AI-driven candidate recommendations, and automated candidate profiles from data from several sources compiled into one page per candidate.
The game-changer for tech recruiters is how they can simply pick a candidate from this interface and send them an assessment from Codility, instead of manually having to send an assessment to each person and grading them individually.
Take this Python Developer assessment, for example, where the recruiter wants to send an assessment to candidates:
The recruiter can simply select a candidate at any stage of the hiring process and request an assessment to be sent to them. In this step, all the recruiter needs to do is select the assessment and send the candidate an automated email, all in one platform:
After all desired candidates complete their assessments, it becomes much easier for tech recruiters to develop their shortlist for who to call in for an interview.
And once the candidate completes the assessment, their results can be viewed simply in the Assessments tab:
And the best part is, because Codility is run by software engineers, all assessments have been curated and updated specifically for the industry.
All of this means your IT recruitment strategies can now be shortened significantly. Instead of taking weeks to send assessments over to candidates, wait for them to fill them out, and manually evaluate them, you can now use automatically-graded assessments, so that you can spend the rest of your time looking for more candidates for your talent pool.
The IT talent shortage is set to be one of the biggest challenges for tech recruiters in the coming years. With more and more companies going digital, existing tech firms will have to try harder to stay on the cutting edge, while newly-digital companies will have to find people to drive their digital transformation.
Tools like an ATS combined with Codility’s technical assessment integration serve as a way to both improve the quality and quantity of tech candidates. The time you save from doing away with tedious recruitment processes can be used to find more and better people for your talent pool.
In terms of Codility’s success stories, the brand has raised an example of a client who has used the assessments to hire around 100 successful, high-quality hires, from 1,000 Codility assessments taken so far.
To find out how Manatal’s ATS with Codility’s integration can help you transform the way you recruit, sign up for a 14-day free trial today!