It’s evident, that the era of digital transformation is upon us.   Businesses across the globe are tearing up the rule book - and are embarking upon a journey of technological change.  Their goal:  Enable their customers the power of choice and convenience, whilst benefiting from the economics of mass scale business growth.

To boil it down to the absolute basics, there are two simple elements to this transformation – the technology itself and the people behind it.  The most unpredictable variable in this scenario is the human aspect.  Without the right people behind the wheel, a “transformation” can be steered into the gutter.

Building the capabilities within an Engineering team is tough at the best of times, then throw in the need for niche skill-sets and the urgency of project deadlines – and you have a lot of potential headaches.  So how do we scale Engineering teams with the best talent, quickly? 

Here are 5 ways to make this happen:

1.) Build a brand that people want to be Involved with

To attract the best people, your company must be an attractive place to work, right?  Does this mean you have to be the be the most unique and groundbreaking powerhouse in the digital market?  In short, no - our experience in the last 10 years in the industry shows that companies who have a genuine, true reason for being – their “WHY?”, have the most powerful tool to attract and retain talent. 

We all want to feel a mission and a purpose - and the "why?" of a company; your vision, your “raison d'être” and the impact your work has on the world, holds a large proportion of what a potential candidate finds attractive.  So, find your why, and make it clear and share it with the world.

2.) Know what you want

You can’t get what you want if you don’t know exactly what you want.  Clarifying your specific requirements and translating them to your internal and external teams, is an extremely important part in the process. In the engineering realm, code is essentially a way to give a set of specific instructions for your computer to execute.  If the code is inaccurate, the results are less than desirable. This principal applies directly to the way that your team sources candidates. Connecting with Hiring Managers/HR to thoroughly qualify their needs and understand more about the team structure is the “code” to successfully placing the right candidates.

Be specific, write a detailed role description, know what you are willing to compromise on and why – then make sure everyone has full clarity of this.   Now you are ready to go out there and win.

3.) Design a clearly defined and fast hiring process 

The best companies don’t always secure the best talent, but the fastest do! If your interview process isn’t well defined, with assigned people responsible with timeline expectations and accountability, your wheels can fall off.  Design a streamlined fast interview process – slow and steady does not win the race.  

  • Make sure the whole team knows exactly what you are looking for, so they can have productive interviews
  • Agreeing Internal interview processes before you open the role
  • Set hiring deadlines, track it - and drive it
  • Gaining buy in from all stakeholders in the interview process, from CEO to Interviewer
  • No “informational interviews” needed, provide this information to the recruiter or in an upfront informational package / promotional information in an email.  Unnecessary interviews slow the process down.
  • The more organized you are - the faster you can be and the quicker you can make decision.

4.) Give feedback

Here is a scenario that HR and Recruiting executives, who are ultimately responsible for the growth of your teams, face on a regular basis: An ace candidate for a difficult to fill role, interviews and really enjoys the conversation and is very interested – the day after, no hiring manager feedback – then a week slips by, still no hiring manager feedback.  The best possible candidate for the job is then approached by another company who shows keen interest and makes them an offer before feedback is received – candidate lost.  Then the frustration is directed toward HR for not “closing” them.

Why does this happen? Simple; a lack of communication between hiring managers and recruiters.  If you are interested in a candidate, provide the feedback quickly and be as detailed as possible.  The devil is in the detail, if you can provide the reason why it went well (and quickly) the candidate sees this as genuine, well thought out feedback that someone has taken thoughtful care to provide.  It is like any relationship, if you show you care, it is reciprocated.  

It is equally important to share detailed feedback to the candidates that you do not want to hire. In a recent survey conducted by Elliott Browne – 96% of candidates said they would refer a friend to a company they interviewed with if they had a positive experience with prompt detailed feedback – even if they didn’t get the job.  This is a powerful tool for you to build a network and an “army of ambassadors” for your business.

5.) Be flexible and humble

We are living in a candidate driven market, like it or not – that is the case.  This means that the best candidates are often passively looking at opportunities.  So, the likelihood is, they might not want to do an eight hour long take-home assessment, or online coding test as the first interview step.  If the candidate is worth it, be flexible, set up warm calls with managers, answer their questions and listen to their needs.  If they give you feedback that they don’t have time or that they are just curious about your business, it is not a reflection of their arrogance by not following your process – but not showing flexibility on your part, is.  

Having a mindset of “well, they should do what we want if they want to work for us” is a road to nowhere.  Once the candidate is bought-in and invested in the process, they will take the tests and if they join, could be the people who add the most value to your engineering team.

Implementing the above takes time, buy-in and real organizational change at all levels – but the results are absolutely worth the hard yards.  You will build and retain the super-star Engineers, have a happy HR team and suppliers - and build a winning business with a mindset that makes you a force to be reckoned with for your competitors.  They will be quaking in their boots if they are competing against you for a candidate.

So best of luck, and please contact us if you need help designing these processes, helping you is after all, is our “raison d'être”.