RESUME

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.

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Grab you Skilled Place without Resume

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So you’re about to enter the world of work. You’re ready to get in front of hiring managers and secure a job you’re passionate about. But there’s just one problem: your resume is seriously lacking.

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Maybe your major was so challenging that you didn’t have time to intern or participate in extracurricular activities in college. Or maybe you’re switching career paths, and your past experience isn’t relevant to the new gig. Whatever the case, you can still get hired without a resume –- it just takes some honesty and drive on both your part and the employer’s.

My company, 2U, an ed-tech company helping universities bring their own degree programs online, often makes hires without asking candidates for resumes -– especially within our tech team.Why? It’s often a lot easier to test candidates in the throes of battle than it is to see their qualifications on paper

It’s often a lot easier to test candidates in the throes of battle than it is to see their qualifications on paper. At 2U, we want to recognize a candidate’s passion and effort, and sometimes, seeing them work alongside us on a project as an intern or consultant can tell us a lot more than a resume.

In fact, 2U’s vice president of IT and the vice president of software development were both hired without turning in resumes. They helped me to complete some work first, like managing my email and setting up computers. Based on a few conversations over lunch, I learned enough about them to know they were people I wanted on my team, people who could be at the nucleus of our technological success. Since 2U’s founding in 2008, we’ve grown exponentially this way -– from just a few employees to 400 in offices around the globe.

Hiring without a resume benefits the company because, instead of judging a book by the cover, I get to read a chapter before I buy. It gives me a chance to hire the right people for 2U’s culture and mission. Want to get hired without a bursting resume? Here are some collections of  tips.

Focus On Personal Projects First,

At 2U, we often work with technology so advanced that it’s impossible to find someone who’s already gained experience working with it. For instance, we built one of our learning tools with AngularJS, an open source Javascript framework. Because it’s relatively new, we opted to hire someone who didn’t have that particular skill but was interested in building smart solutions, someone who’s a fast learner.

Any employer should be willing to teach new hires the skills they need. Get your hands dirty on your own first, then use that work to pivot into a company, Get your hands dirty on your own first, then use that work to pivot into a company or use it as a replacement for a resume when speaking to hiring managers and employers.

Complete a public project for yourself or contribute to an open source project, and make your work available online. We, for example, source a lot of candidates through GitHub.

Just Be Honest,

One of 2U’s current employees came to us after doing nonprofit work for free. He told us that even though his prior experience was in a different field, he’d been doing tech work for free because he really liked it, wanted to learn and was ready to take on the challenge.

If you don’t have lots of experience, you don’t have to hide it. All you have to do is explain that you’re very interested in what the employer is doing and that you see your career path meshing with their needs. Point to your schoolwork, personal projects or experience in another job that’s given you transferable skills to succeed.

Perform To Rise Through The Ranks,

Rising through the ranks can happen more quickly than you’d think. Many of the senior members of our team rose from being interns. They showed they cared to work and were interested in what we did

They showed they cared to work and were interested in what we did. They acted as a sponge for information, learned what they could and ended up with compatible jobs. One of 2U’s interns transitioned to a full-time employee after just three months. Nine months after that, he became a lead developer managing others on complex projects.

Often, our resume-less intern hires come to us by way of referral. If you know someone working in the field you’re interested in, get in touch and see if they’d be willing to recommend you to any key players they may know. Attend meetup events, use social media, or offer to start as an intern or temporary employee. Networking can be a great way to get your foot in the door and ultimately rise through the ranks. You don’t have to have tons of experience to do great things in your career. All you need is intuition, drive and true passion about what the company has to offer.