In recent years, recruitment in almost every sector has gotten tougher. First there was the “great resignation” and its associated turnover, as workers sought out new positions and demanded better salaries and benefits. Then there was the tightening of the labor market, with record lows in unemployment. Now inflation and the rising cost of living are continuing to put upward pressure on salaries in competitive industries. Add to that the inherent challenges of hiring for technical roles, and it’s easy to see why companies seeking to hire for specialized roles can struggle. Staying abreast of current recruiting trends, while staying mindful of why technical hiring can be uniquely difficult, is essential for organizations wanting to maximize their chances of finding the right candidate.
Certain trends are transforming the process of both finding and recruiting potential hires. Whether an organization chooses to embrace any or all of them, it’s important to note that they will shape candidates’ expectations. A few of the most notable are:
Remote interviewing: Pandemic lockdowns not only accelerated the trend toward remote work, but they also pushed companies into remote interviews when in-person interviews weren’t feasible. While this format has its downsides, as when technical difficulties can interrupt an interview, it has notable advantages as well. A remote interview can be easier to arrange on short notice, and it can facilitate collaborative hiring by making it more feasible for multiple departments or managers to participate in interviewing and selecting candidates, even when geographically separated.
Candidate experience: When promising candidates have multiple options for employment, a confusing or off-putting hiring process can be reason enough for them to walk away. Candidates want processes that are straightforward, and they will judge an organization on how well they communicate, how effectively interviews are organized and conducted, and how follow-up processes are executed. Attracting and successfully recruiting top talent means paying attention to how candidates experience your hiring process.
Automation and AI: Many companies are working to use automation and AI to perform tasks that can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, such as screening candidate documents or reviewing resumes for specific skills or keywords. This may be most useful in fields where recruiters are expecting to process a large number of applicants from many different sources; nevertheless, caution should be exercised to ensure that automated processes are not inadvertently screening out qualified candidates.
Recruiting varies to a certain extent by industry, and technical hiring can be among the most significant challenges a company faces. Why is recruiting technical engineering talent so difficult? Much of it comes down to the laws of supply and demand, though that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.
Shortage of skilled talent: Skilled technical talent is often scarce, particularly in specialized areas like software development, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. This shortage makes it difficult for companies to find and attract suitable candidates.
Competition for talent: Not only do companies have to face shortages of qualified candidates, but they have to compete with other firms also looking for the same top technical talent. Competition drives up salaries and benefit packages, making it more challenging for organizations to attract and retain the best hires.
Job complexity: Technical engineering positions can be complex, requiring specific skills, knowledge, and experience. Finding candidates who have the necessary qualifications and experience can add to the headache of finding the right person for the role.
Changing technologies: Rapidly evolving technologies make it challenging for companies to keep up with the latest developments and find candidates with the necessary skills and expertise. Companies must also invest in training and development programs to keep their existing technical talent up to date.
Location: Technical engineering talent may be concentrated in specific regions. Companies located in areas where there is a shortage of skilled professionals can face additional difficulty in recruiting qualified candidates.
Cultural fit: Technical skills aren’t the only thing the right candidate needs to succeed in an organization. Companies must also consider the candidate’s cultural fit to ensure that their values align with the organization’s and that they will be able to work well within the company’s culture. This can be particularly challenging when hiring for technical roles that require a specific set of technical skills and knowledge.
While finding the right candidate for highly specialized roles isn’t impossible, companies can’t afford to waste time or money on ineffective recruitment strategies. Integress specializes in helping our clients hire for critical technical and engineering roles, giving you the edge in a tight market. As a boutique technical search firm, we provide white-glove, high-touch service in finding engineering and IT talent in the manufacturing, industrial automation, logistics/materials handling, and information technology sectors. We don’t just help you locate the right candidate to fit your company’s needs and culture—our hiring expertise helps you craft an offer that will effectively persuade your top candidates to come work for you. To learn more about how Integress can help you conquer your tech hiring challenges, contact us here.