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4 Ways to Clear Out Recruiting Bottlenecks When Hiring for Tech Roles

Three office workers looking at computer, trying to solve for recruiting bottlenecks

Recruiting for tech talent was never easy. Throw in a global pandemic and a sudden shift to remote work, and it’s no wonder recruiters are looking for extra support. In fact, in a recent recruitment webinar, 60% of attendees said the biggest challenge their hiring teams face is attracting top talent, followed by creating a diverse and inclusive workforce (32%), analyzing a candidate’s qualifications (29%), and long hiring cycles (26%).

Each of these challenges — combined with other obstacles like aligning expectations with hiring managers and navigating candidate offers and onboarding — contribute to significant bottlenecks in the hiring process, especially when a company wants to ramp up operations.

David Jackson, CEO of FullStack Labs, says that his company began to feel the pain of trying to hire too quickly when they moved from hiring one engineer per month to 15. Their systems were starting to break down once they began pushing more candidates through the pipeline. 

“After COVID and everybody went remote, the market got more competitive. We’ve seen the market really tick up a lot. For example, we currently have 85 openings right now to fill in the engineering field,” says Jackson.

Lever recently partnered with Checkr and Eightfold to host the webinar Strategies for Hiring More Efficiently in Tech, which covers how to hire more efficiently, featuring the insights of the following recruiting and hiring experts:

  • Scott Jennings, Senior Director of Industry Strategy at Checkr
  • Chris Johnson, Senior Director of Industry Strategy at Checkr
  • David Jackson, CEO of FullStack Labs
  • Michael Watson, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition Advisory at Eightfold
  • Brian Rife, Senior Manager of Talent at VideoAMP

Here’s how these experts handle the four most common recruiting bottlenecks they encounter in the technology space:

Using data to inform your talent search

Talent intelligence platforms help hiring teams better understand the capabilities and potential of each employee by integrating existing data regarding skills, capabilities, experiences,  performance, and more. Utilizing powerful AI, these tools go beyond the initial recruiting phase to provide meaningful engagement through the entire lifecycle of sourcing, screening, retention, internal mobility, and succession planning.

“Meaningful is the keyword,” says Jennings about his work at Checkr. “Talent intelligence is different from just the reporting of data. There are matches being done and recommendations being made that you can’t necessarily see without feeding data into the AI platform.”

At FullStack Labs, Jackson explains that Lever’s AI-powered platform provides them greater visibility into the hiring process and alleviated important pain points, especially with tech hires throughout the process. FullStack Labs is active with Lever’s integration options and the ease of use that comes from automating multiple systems. For example, the team uses a screening questionnaire that routes candidates to the right role so that the process is positioned around the candidate’s skills, rather than the roles.

“Lever has a global view that rolls up all candidates across all of your job openings, and the total number of candidates at every stage in the process,” he says. “We can see when we have too many people at the beginning of our pipeline and not enough people at the end of the pipeline and make adjustments accordingly.”

Keep Reading: Is an ATS Enough? Here’s Why Big Recruiting Teams Are Upgrading to a TRM

Finding qualified sources for tech talent

Instead of approaching a hiring goal with a blank slate, these pros take a careful look at their hiring metrics to identify the best opportunities for finding qualified sources of tech talent. According to Rife, Rife VideoAmp’s most significant sources of talent within their company come from employee referrals, which make up 24% of their hires, and passive outreach, which makes up 51% of their hires. 

There’s also a lot of potential in positioning internal mobility as a source of talent, something Watson at Eightfold makes use of. Watson’s approach is to focus internally, look at past employee referrals, and revisit agencies that submitted candidates in the past. He ran this database through an Eightfold algorithm to determine what these candidates are doing now and see if they can be matched to any open positions. Watson shared, “By tapping into data we’ve all been collecting with some intelligence, you’re able to drive tremendous success.” 

Jennings echoes this sentiment, stating that oftentimes companies might already have the right candidate in their database and they just need a tool to provide the right pointers to that candidate.

In fact, VideoAmp has a program called Project Accelerate, which is an internal database that shows every employee’s career-mapping. When a position needs to be filled, Rife explains that he starts by looking at those maps. “We can go in and actually see if there are people within our own company who have the job with[in their] career growth plans,” he says, explaining how he looks for alignment within that database of current employees. “That’s one of the things we’re doing before we kick off any requisition.”

Internal Mobility can make a difference not only in your time to hire, but also in your long-term retention strategy. See how Lever can help you prioritize internal hires in The Ultimate Guide to Internal Mobility.

Automating workflows to assess candidate quality

The webinar panelists emphasized automation as an important way to free up staff time for more important work. Tools that automate tasks such as skills ranking, background checks, and interview scheduling give time back to the recruiting team to focus on candidate-facing tasks and provide a more “concierge service” approach to recruiting.

“HR isn’t revenue-producing,” says Watson. “We’re always asked to do more with less. So the question is: where can I automate things to allow my people to do more meaningful work?” 

At VideoAmp, Rife’s team has made it a goal to go from initial contact to a hiring decision in 14 business days. Their commitment to this requires a highly efficient, high-quality recruitment process that relies on automation whenever possible. “Our approach is outlined in the candidate packet and communicated upfront, which helps set expectations on both sides,” he says, referring to information that is sent automatically in the initial stages of the hiring process. “It shows candidates that if hired, they will be put in a position to succeed.”

Another area that benefits from automation and tech is the resume review process. Lever’s Fast Resume Review feature screens the volume on behalf of the recruiter, ensuring your team is served up only the best possible candidates and can sort through them quickly. 

Click here to check out Lever’s Fast Resume Review Feature

Assessing all candidates objectively to improve DEI

Companies like VideoAmp rely on a variety of assessment tools to analyze candidates. This includes work samples, code assessments and problem-solving assessments. These are calibrated against specific job performance results, so that an objective and predictive pass/fail decision can be applied to each candidate. 

Another effective way to reduce bottlenecks in candidate analysis is to assign an objective measurement for each interview question. 

“In our process at FullStack, the interviewer ranks the answer to every question asked on a scale of one to 10,” said Jackson. “That information, along with scores from general computer assessment, can be input into our platform and an algorithm will assign a final ranking for each candidate.”  

Johnson from Checkr recommends what he calls “peer reviews,” rather than panel interviews, as a way to take a more technical approach and apply an engineering process to interviewing. He’ll ask hiring managers to identify the five aspects that make up a great candidate for this role, then identify five people to be involved in the interview, assigning each person a specific topic to focus on. This allows his team to analyze laterally across the entire candidate pool.

Want to watch the full webinar? Click here to access Strategies for Hiring More Efficiently in Tech.

Streamline growth by eliminating bottlenecks

Hiring for the tech industry will always come with challenges. But the good news is that HR teams can harness the power of data to reduce bottlenecks and streamline the recruiting processes, enabling them to efficiently identify and engage with quality candidates and ultimately hire the right people for the right roles.

Interested in hearing more about the Lever TRM platform? Click here to schedule a demo.