Posts Tagged ‘Recruiting Tips’

Do Software Developers Need Talent Agents?

April 30th, 2013

hiring star developersIn locations such as Silicon Valley where the best developers and programmers are often treated like rock stars, recruiters are starting to find that they sometimes have to deal with their agents instead of negotiating directly with them as potential employees. That’s right: Programmers now have agents like movie stars and directors, according to a new report by ABC News.

The report notes that competition for programmers has increased so much, they have their own talent agency. Altay Guvench, a programmer and musician came up with the idea to launch a talent agency called 10x Management after observing how music managers helped their musician clients find work. The term “10 X programmer” refers to a programmer who is ten times as productive than ordinary programmers, and only programmers and developers of this caliber are represented by the agency.

It makes sense that programmers now have agents helping them further their careers, given that a star coder can have such a major impact on a startup or an established project, much in the same way that a top notch director or actor can jump start a production and almost guarantee enormous sales at the box office.

Although the world of high tech doesn’t function in exactly the same way as show business, an agency model can be useful for helping growing companies quickly land the programming talent they need for their projects.

HR professionals may find it unusual to negotiate with an agent rather than directly with a prospective employee, but for some, the agency is making a difference in helping them get up to speed with the talent they need to ensure the success of their project.

The emergence of an agency such as 10 x Management only serves to underscore that the world of hiring high tech employees is evolving. While relying on talent agents to deliver excellent programmers may seem like the next best thing, the standard recruiting process still has plenty to offer.

However, companies need to keep up with finding new talent in a number of different fronts. This includes making sure that their recruitment process takes advantage of all forms of social media, for example, in an effort to reach out to the most elusive of the talented software professionals. This means turning to sites such as Twitter and using blogs to get out the word instead of simply relying on LinkedIn and Facebook. Recruiters also should verify that their online recruitment applications and careers sites should be quick to access and easy to fill out, to avoid turning off prospective candidates.

While it might take some getting used to, the advent of talent agents for programmers and developers may mean that recruiters need to present their companies in the most positive light to attract the rock star talent they need to thrive. Job  postings and careers sites must accurately convey a brand, and potential candidates need to be treated with courtesy and respect through all phases of the recruitment process.

Recruiting Excellence: Improve Your Upfront Processes

January 17th, 2013

hiring manager tipsDo sports coaches hold the key to recruiting excellence? Not according to Dr. Wendell Williams in his latest piece at Dr. Williams dismisses this commonly accepted principle by showing that, in the world of professional sports, talent scouts do the tedious vetting and groundwork, so that only the most gifted athletes get to meet the coach. You can find the full article here.

Compare this process to that of corporate hiring, with recruiters standing in for talent scouts and line managers for the coaches. The analogy isn’t perfect, because recruiters can’t actually see candidates in action on the playing field. Instead, they rely on resumes and screening interviews. Do line managers want applicants with the best interview performance or the best skills for the job?

In 1978, the DOL published “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” which Dr. Williams condenses to three main principles for organizations:

  • Base standards for hiring and promotions on job requirements and business necessity.
  • Ensure that hiring tools accurately predict job performance by assessing their validity.
  • Reduce adverse impact wherever possible.

Why don’t those responsible for recruiting keep these three principles top of mind? Perhaps they lack the appropriate knowledge and HR technology, relying on cookie-cutter interview questions instead of job-specific competency assessments to hone in on a candidate. Recruiters without the right  training in job analysis and hiring tools may be able to get through a traditional interview, but rarely produce the best candidates.

In the end, it is the hiring managers who must deal with the consequences of bad hires and subsequent poor performance. True, they have their part in the selection process, but they also rely heavily on HR to narrow the field and provide qualified candidates. Once an employee is on board, managers are often left on their own to handle the difficult situation of insufficient skills and expertise, with the inevitable negative results on their team.

Clearly, the challenge for HR is to do more vetting upfront to avoid burdening line managers with bad hires. Choose the right recruiters, and equip them with the proper training and technology for recruiting excellence. Investigate job try-outs with a combination of tests, simulations and measurements, instead of traditional interviews. With improved screening reducing the number of unqualified hires, you’ll be limiting the number of poor performances with which line managers have to cope.

Recruiters, do more talent scouting, and you’ll be doing your hiring managers/coaches a big favor by sending fully-skilled candidates their way.