Hiring in the tech industry has not only boomed but fundamentally changed during the pandemic. The growth of the tech job market is promising, with 13% growth in computer-related occupations between 2020 and 2030, compared to combined growth of 8% for other occupations. Companies are changing how they approach the hiring process by conducting interviews and onboarding mostly, if not entirely, by virtual means. The pandemic has ushered in new changes and accelerated others, so it’s critical to follow guiding principles and choose tools that support them when creating a tech talent pipeline.
What is a tech talent pipeline?
A tech talent pipeline is a set of practices, processes, and candidate engagements that establishes relationships, quickly and efficiently identifies talented individuals, moves candidates and new hires through a streamlined hiring process, and retains talent in the long-term to benefit the organization as a whole.
There are at least two approaches a company can take to build a tech talent pipeline. A traditional, more cooperative way involves taking advantage of an ecosystem of partnerships that is situated in a favorable geographic location. Companies located near MIT, for instance, can cultivate relationships with students in the form of internships and potentially hire student interns upon graduation. In this manner, companies can easily draw from a neighboring institution or benefit from a related industry in the area.
A company can otherwise do its own heavy lifting by building and maintaining a talent pipeline with time, effort, and most importantly, the right digital tools. There are many tools out there today that have made it easier to build a stronger talent pipeline amidst the digital transformation that the pandemic has accelerated.
There are several benefits of generating a tech talent pipeline, but perhaps the biggest one is that by proactively, rather than reactively, sourcing and screening talent, an organization ends up saving time and money. The pipeline helps a company more easily and efficiently fill vacancies when they arise because those vetted relationships are already established.
How to build a tech recruiting pipeline
Whether approaching your pipeline development in a cooperative or standalone manner, or a blend of both, here are some guiding principles to consider.
Know what you want
Assess current and prospective business needs and identify the accompanying skills and job descriptions that support them. The more specific, the better to target the right candidate, but also think more broadly in terms of desired personality traits to ensure cultural fit. Focus first on entry-level or high-turnover positions that could benefit from a steady pipeline of applicants.
Once a company knows or at least anticipates the type of candidate it’s looking for, it’s important to start reaching out and nurturing relationships that can result in hires in the short-term or long-term. The best ways to do so are through conventional sourcing channels:
- social media
- professional networking platforms like LinkedIn
- job boards
- network recruiters like Hunt Club
- passive recruiting
- employee referrals
Workable, for example, is a talent acquisition software that provides a tool to motivate employees to refer from their networks.
Also read: 8 Best Job Listing Sites for Employers
Cultivate a diverse talent pool
In the process of building relationships with individuals who are deemed a good fit for current or potential openings, your team might have a certain educational background, socioeconomic standing, or even gender in mind. Women, for instance, are still sorely underrepresented in tech, occupying just over a quarter of tech positions. The statistics are even worse for women of color, with only 2%, 3%, and 6% of tech jobs held by Hispanic, Black, and Asian women, respectively.
Initiate and maintain partnerships with camps or programs, such as Black Girls Code or Girls Who Code, that engage underrepresented demographics. It goes without saying that a company benefits greatly from hiring and retaining a diverse workforce, so check implicit biases that might be informing your pipeline-building strategy and actively seek out programs that introduce underrepresented populations into the world of tech. Recruiting platforms, such as Fetcher, use AI to mitigate bias when sourcing candidates.
Tap into freelancing talent
Forming working relationships with freelancers is a great way to increase uptake in the tech hiring pipeline. Working with freelancers gives both them and the organization a relatively low-stakes means by which to test out the relationship and assess skills and cultural fit.
Harness the power of AI
Ascertaining specific skills and qualities to target in potential candidates should narrow down the applicant pool quite a bit. However, when hiring for a position that generates a high volume of applications, AI can help immensely by automatically screening candidate profiles and resumes. Once suitable candidates are determined, AI can further help by automatically sending messages to the employee or reminders to the hiring organization. Celential.ai automatically sends personalized engagement emails to good-fit candidates. AI helps maintain a correspondence cadence that keeps your company and its brand top of mind for a candidate whose skills and experience make them a great fit for your company in the future.
From tech talent pipeline to tech talent pipelining
The pandemic has posed new challenges as well as opportunities for the hiring process. To remain agile and competitive on the tech job market, companies are building a tech talent pipeline to groom potential new hires in case an opening emerges.
The term “pipeline” is actually a misnomer because once you build a pipeline, the process doesn’t stop there. Rather, it entails an ongoing process of initiating, developing, and maintaining relationships with those in the field that could possibly end up working for your organization. That is, your pipeline is only as good as the agents within it who are reaching out and nurturing relationships. “Tech talent pipelining” is therefore a more apt name to capture the cycle of behaviors and interactions that support networking efforts. Moreover, pipelining efforts that materialize into a new hire is only half the story. It’s crucial to foster a culture of inclusivity that keeps the talent there.
If you’re looking to boost your tech recruiting efforts in 2022, check out TechnologyAdvice’s Product Selection Tool for a shortlist of recruiting software and tools.