JOB SEARCH SERIES

3 Must Do Things To Recruit Your Top Tech Talent

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Scott Rothrock is the co-founder and CTO of RemarkableHire, a talent-sourcing platform that uses social evidence to help recruiters and hiring managers find and evaluate the best job candidates. Connect with him and the RemarkableHire team on Facebook and Twitter.

Finding top-notch technical talent can be hard. But are we experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates, or are brilliant minds simply being overlooked? Traditional recruiting methods just don’t cut it in terms of finding highly skilled candidates anymore, and companies may be to blame for their less-than-brazen use of these hiring techniques.

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Top tech candidates are out there. So, how do you find and hire top talent?

Get serious about seeking talent. While companies say they are looking for the next “game-changing” employee, they certainly aren’t updating their selection processes to do so. Journalist George Anders, author of The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out, observes the incredible shortcomings of companies who rely on conservative selection processes — and end up narrowing their criteria to such a degree that they often miss candidates with unusual potential.

Anders explains that wise leaders shouldn’t expect exceptional talent to come in a neat package. Companies should be scouring the market for candidates with resilience and creativity, while keeping traditional skills, such as work ethic and reliability, in view.

Employers should consider finding talent through methods that are as unique as the candidates they’re seeking. Facebook’s strategy of using online programming puzzles to test and attract new talent stands out as a great example. These forms of tests offer an alternative route for those who might initially be overlooked during an application process.

There’s no doubt that hiring managers and recruiters are serious about the hiring process. But their hiring methods sometimes take too few creative liberties, and therefore pass up serious talent. While the resume was once the mainstay of the HR industry, for instance, you’re likely to miss candidates with serious potential if your hiring process relies solely on resumes. In this day and age, many of the top tech candidates spend much more of their time honing their craft than they do honing their resume.

Recruit to train. Let’s face it: Not all employers are blameless for the talent recruitment struggles they’re facing. Peter Cappelli, a professor and author who recently wrote,Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It, presents a possible solution for this issue. Cappelli argues that companies need to return to the ancient way of doing things —  focus on recruiting talented people, and train them to be the skilled employees you wanted all along.

With the unemployment rate at 7.9%, business leaders are still complaining about the shortage of qualified candidates. These same leaders’ companies offer job descriptions with an impossible number of requirements, and then use software to filter through thousands of applications. The talent search is doomed from the start when there are precise words needed to alert the applicant-tracking software that a candidate should get through the gates and into an interview.

The tech industry should not be forcing applicants to apply through automated resume screening tools. Put more emphasis on a candidate’s core abilities to learn and adapt rather than being overly precise on a given skill set. If you focus on foundational competencies and professional athleticism, you’ll be able to look at a broader pool of qualified candidates and maybe even find the talent that your competitors might have overlooked.

Go niche. Social communities revolving around specific areas of interest — such as GitHub, Dribbble and StackOverflow, for example — exist for every nook and cranny of the tech industry. Use these to attract talent looking for specific jobs rather than post on a generic job board, where your listing can easily be lost or overlooked. Not only can you assess candidates’ qualities even before the first interview and find out if their area of expertise is consistent with yours, but you can also create and build a network of potential candidates to look at when you have other openings.

As more and more tech candidates contribute to these online, peer-reviewed communities, recruiters can get deeper, more objective appreciations for the candidates’ core competencies. By using this information, you can rank candidates based on how well they’ve demonstrated the core set skills you’re looking for, and save time that would otherwise have been spent in screening interviews. Because of the way many of these niche communities are designed, you’ll be able to see actual examples of candidates’ expertise rather than bullet point descriptions of their skills.

Don’t stand in your own way of finding the tech talent you need; take advantage of these tips to set your organization apart, and find a perfect match.

What is your company doing to find and attract top tech talent? Tell us in the comments.

4 Things that Provides a Ways to Knock Off Your Resume

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Brie Weiler Reynolds is the content and social-media manager at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings, and a former career advisor. At FlexJobs, Reynolds offers job seekers career and work-life balance advice through the FlexJobs blog and social media.

One area of job searching that confounds plenty of job seekers is what to include on a resume. Include too much information, and you’ll lose recruiters in unimportant details. But, with too little information, recruiters won’t be sure you’re qualified for the next step in the process.

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Since most job seekers have excessive information on their resume and don’t know what to eliminate, let’s start with four things you can always leave off of it. These tips will help you better organize your information, and present it in a format that is easy-to-read and quickly understandable for recruiters.

An “objective.” This is the statement at the top of a resume that tells an employer what you’re looking for — but it’s got to go. They already know you’re interested in their job, so it’s unnecessary. Instead, use a “summary of qualifications” to introduce employers to your most relevant skills and experience, and to show them exactly how your experience can fit their needs.

Unrelated awards, hobbies and interests. Our CEO once had a job seeker who claimed to be a “pig-wrestling champion” on his resume, which is a great accomplishment, I’m sure. But it had nothing to do with the job he applied for, and it distracted from the rest of his qualifications. Unless it directly adds to your qualifications for the job or helps the employer see how you fit with their company culture (for example, if you’re applying to an outdoor apparel company and you are an avid hiker, that’s a hobby that matches their culture), leave it off your resume.

Too much formatting. Keep your resume simple, so recruiters can read it quickly and easily. Don’t use bold, italics and underlines all at once. Don’t use more than one font, and be consistent in the way you present information. Bulleted lists are much easier to read than paragraphs. Keep your resume single-spaced, and shrink your margins to a half inch. You’ll be surprised at how much space poor formatting can take up on your resume, pushing it far longer than it needs to be.

Lists of tasks for each job. Instead of telling recruiters what you did at your past jobs, tell them what you accomplished — what were the overarching results of your day-to-day tasks? Rather than rewriting your job description, tell recruiters how you did what you did and why it made a difference to your employer and customers.

What you leave off of your resume can be just as important as what you include, so make sure that precious real estate is taken up with relevant, well-stated, interesting information. Recruiters should be able to check off their list of qualifications easily by reading your resume, and come away with a sense of who you are and the value you can bring to their company.

How can you Renovate Your Career

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How-to-Reinvent-Your-Career

There are so many reasons why you may need to reinvent your career. Maybe you’re looking to reenter the workforce after staying home raising your kids. Or you might have lost your job after twenty years with the same company. Or perhaps the thought of going into your job just one more day makes you want to do a Jerry Maguire. No matter what your age or motivation, it’s not as impossible as it may seem to reinvent your career. Here’s how.

Decide what you want to do. Now more than ever is the time to really, truly figure out what you’d like to do in your professional life. Just because you’ve toiled away as an ad exec doesn’t mean that you’ll continue on that career path until retirement. If you’re clueless as to what the next phase in your career will be, simply look to your hobbies. Discover what gives you joy in life, then determine a way to find work in that field.

Establish a timeframe. Once you decide which direction you want to take your career in, you’ll want to get there — now. But you’ll need to take the time as you carefully lay down the foundation for your career. Do some research to learn of potential jobs in your area of interest and to also get an idea of how long it might take before you can start working in your new profession. Depending on where you are in life, you may need to find a remote job or one that offers flex. So be sure to look for these job characteristics when job hunting.

Get guidance. If you’re lucky, you’ll already know people who can help you as you begin your new career. If all of your contacts are from your former industry, you’ll need to find a potential mentor for your new career. A great way to gain new connections is to request informational interviews with companies that align with your new career goals. Not only will you get an in-depth look into this potential job field, but you’ll also get to meet industry heavy-hitters who, if you form a connection with, can possibly mentor you along the way.

Build new skills. It may seem impossible to marry your old professional life with your new one, but there’s a great chance that you already possess some of the skills you’ll need in order to make your new career a smashing success. So take a look at your previous work experience and write down all of the skills you’ve utilized in those jobs. Then assess the skills you’ll need in order to get work in your new career. Redesign your resume to highlight those skills, and see if you can take a class or attend webinars in order to build skills that can help you moving forward.

Be flexible. Starting out in a new field may mean that you’ll start out in a lower position than you’ve previously held. It may also equal taking a financial hit by earning a lower salary than you’re used to. Just keep in mind that these are all just mere milestones as you work towards gaining footing in your new career — and a happier, healthier work life balance.

Reinvention at any age can be scary but it can also be an exciting time as you challenge yourself to find a position — and a career — that you truly love.

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