How To Win the Recruiting War

by Pranav Ramesh
March 01, 2022

Ravi was in a tough spot. As a recruiter, he had a requisition for one of his clients that he just couldn’t find a solid candidate for through all his usual avenues. It was a senior-level network engineer with some management responsibilities. It required 10+ years of experience and Ravi was having trouble finding a handful of candidates who even came close to meeting all of the qualifications required by his client. 

This was one of the first requisitions he had such difficulty trying to fill and he began to consider his options. Should he recommend altering the job ad to his client? If the client altered the role, he knew he could find more qualified candidates. Yet this didn’t seem like a great choice. Should he recommend his client interview and hire a candidate who isn’t fully qualified and try to get them up-to-speed internally? 

Even at a time when the job market is very encouraging for job seekers, finding and hiring the perfect candidate can be challenging. What are the benefits and drawbacks of making a quick hire albeit with an imperfect candidate versus waiting for the right candidate? 

 

Try something new: Innovative strategies in recruitment 

Ravi decided to think outside the box before approaching his client with any drastic measures. He began to do research on some innovative recruiting strategies that other companies have tried. Researching the women-only social media platform Mogul, he learned that the final step of a 3- or 4-part interview requires candidates to spend a day in the office working with the team they’re being considered for. This really helps to gauge a candidate’s cultural fit within a team and company instead of simply hoping things will work out after asking a few generic interview questions.  

Ravi also found companies like Booking.com and cloud computing company DigitalOcean create attractive and fun virtual recruiting hubs that promote clarity in the hiring process and help to build trust between company and candidate. These platforms have functions like FAQs for candidates, blogs that describe “a day in the working life,” notifications about in-person job recruitment events and even the option to create job alerts for future openings. Ravi understood that these candidate-focused hubs help to attract top talent with their willingness to be transparent and innovative.  

 

Diversity Recruiting Strategies 

Another avenue Ravi wanted to explore for this hard-to-fill requisition was to improve diversity in the candidate pool. Many companies see increased diversity and equity as important factors to help acquire top talent. Candidates from underrepresented backgrounds may feel more comfortable applying to companies that publicly post the company’s ethnic and gender makeup, like Slack did in 2018. Reviewing how job ads are written and where they are posted are also simple ideas that can help improve diversity and inclusion in a company’s workforce.  

In order to increase the number of women in their data science division, Airbnb decided to tweak its own hiring process. It implemented a binary scoring system for take-home skills assessments and started requiring that women made up half of the interview panel for female candidates to help them feel more at ease. Ravi also knew that new recruiting software implementing AI, like already helped to decrease bias with a blind scoring of applicants- focusing only on skills and keywords and not names and genders. He thought about which of these ideas his client could incorporate into the hiring process to make it more transparent and friendly to people belonging to underrepresented groups.  

 

The merits of making a quick hire 

Many recruiters and hiring managers look for four personality traits that have a significant effect on team building in the workplace: reliability, job readiness, a positive attitude, and strong communication skills. If you can find out more about your imperfect candidates, perhaps they can grow into a role you’ve had trouble filling. Having the position filled, even if the new hire needs intensive onboarding, can hopefully help to decrease the workload of current team members and avoid burnout.  

Ravi decided to learn more about the soft skills of the candidates who were the closest match for this job. For this task, he brushed up on his own interviewing and reference checking skills. If he could find out more about a candidate’s outlook, reliability, and communication style, maybe he could bring up these virtues to his client and let them decide.  

Ravi reviewed some human resource consulting techniques and decided to vet the imperfect candidates a little further on his own. He started by talking more in-depth with their references and asked questions beyond technical skills and competencies. Ravi then did a deep dive interview with these candidates to find out more about their soft skills. Some of the questions he found garnered useful results, including:  

  • Describe a situation when you did not perform well. If you were in that situation again, what would you do differently? 

 

  • Tell me about a time when something unexpected happened to you. How did you manage the situation? 

 

  • Do you believe most people are inherently good? Why or why not? 

 

  • What is your preferred communication method? What are your favorite tips or tricks for being an effective communicator? 

Ravi encouraged his client to consider interviewing a few candidates with less job-readiness but excellent references regarding their communication skills and positive attitudes. His client also took his advice and offered onsite, day-long interviews for those candidates to work with the team they would manage. Ravi, his client, and their newest hire were all thankful that some innovative thinking and willingness to experiment lead to a successful hire. And Ravi has some additional skills in his recruiter toolbox for the next time a tough requisition needs a candidate.  

 

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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has partnered with some of the biggest Fortune brands to offer excellence of service and best-in-class team building for the last 25 years.

PTP’s diverse and global team of recruiting, consulting, and project development experts specialize in a variety of IT competencies which include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Science
  • AI/ML
  • Salesforce Optimization
  • VR/AR

Peterson Technology Partners is an equal opportunities employer. As an industry leader in IT consulting and recruitment, specializing in diversity hiring, we aim to help our clients build equitable workplaces.

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