Are you frustrated by putting significant time and effort into hiring, only to have top candidates drop out at the last minute or reject your offer? Chances are, your hiring process is the problem. Bad job descriptions, drawn-out interview processes, and lukewarm offers are all common pain points among candidates.

If you don’t invest time in regularly evaluating and improving your hiring process, you’ll continue to miss out on hiring exceptional tech talent. Following these best practices will help you identify issues and get your hiring process back on track.

Revisit the Language in Your Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are basically ads. That means you have seconds (14, to be exact) to convince a candidate to apply. Every word and detail matters and could mean the difference between someone choosing to read more or moving on to the next posting. It’s time to freshen up your job descriptions. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Word choice is important in writing your job descriptions. Why? Because women and men respond to and use language differently when describing skills and work experience. A few examples from a recent talent survey:

  • 44% of women and 33% of men said seeing the word “aggressive” in a job description would discourage them from applying for a role.
  • 1 in 4 women said they would be discouraged from working at a company described as “demanding.”
  • Men and women react equally to terms like “strong” and “confident,” but women are more likely than men to prioritize words like “supportive” that relate to a person’s character.

Pouring over every word in your job descriptions might seem overwhelming, but it’s important and worth the time. Steer clear of masculine language and choose descriptive terms favored by both women and men instead. Highlighting preferred technical skills, soft skills, and personality traits in job descriptions also helps make the role attractive to all genders.

Talk About the Important Things

Job details are important, but so are things like DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts, company culture, work flexibility (remote, flexible schedules), and unlimited PTO. In fact, a survey found that 86% of candidates said DEI in the workplace is important to them. Another talent survey found that 60% of women and 50% of men consider the availability of flexible working hours during their job search.

Think about what’s important to the candidates you’re trying to attract, then highlight those details in the job description. When talking about DEI, please don’t use meaningless blanket statements like “we value diversity” and leave it at that. Be open and descriptive when talking about your company’s commitment to fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace.

Eliminate Formalities and Jargon

A conversational tone helps candidates connect with the role and your company. For example, using first-person and second-person language (“we” and “you”) instead of third-person language like “the ideal candidate” sounds less formal and personalizes the job description.

You should also eliminate internal jargon that doesn’t make sense to anyone outside your organization. Use clear language and standard terminology, especially in the job title. For example, “Software Engineer Level 9” is rather confusing, and it’s unlikely candidates are searching for jobs with that title. Is “Level 9” a senior position? If so, use the title “Senior Software Engineer” in your job description instead.

Identify and Address Inefficiencies in Your Interview Process

It’s frustrating when candidates withdraw halfway through the hiring process or reject your job offer. After all, you invest a lot of time and resources into recruiting talent. Losing candidates, especially if it happens frequently, means it’s time to review and improve your interview process. Here’s what to do:

Rethink the Number of Interviews

There’s been a 20% increase in candidates dropping out of the hiring process. We understand the desire to be thorough and find the right fit. However, making someone go through several rounds of interviews and take technical assessments and personality tests is a bit excessive. It’s also unnecessary to have numerous staff members involved in the process, especially if scheduling conflicts cause significant delays between interviews.

A phone screening and a couple of face-to-face interviews are usually plenty to know whether someone is right for the job. If a member of your team can’t make an interview, ask them to provide the hiring manager with questions to ask. You could also record the interview for them, so long as you get the candidate’s prior consent. Consider conducting all of the interviews on the same day instead of spreading them out–this saves time and makes scheduling easier for the candidate and your team.

Request Feedback on the Interview Experience

Companies request feedback from customers to improve processes, so why not apply that tactic to your hiring? Send new hires a survey on what they liked or disliked about the interview process. Was it too drawn out? Did they feel they had enough time to prepare? What did they think about the questions asked during the interview? Was the vibe in the room comfortable or intense? Being receptive to honest feedback will help you make continuous improvements to the interview process.

Get Offers out Quickly and Don’t Lowball Candidates

Hiring teams need to make decisions quickly or risk the candidate getting snatched up by another company. If they nailed the interview and things feel right, extend an offer that day–and make it a good one. Hiring managers often lowball offers to leave room for negotiations, but that’s a dangerous game to play in today’s market.

Candidates have the upper hand and have no problem rejecting an offer and moving on to the next opportunity. Additionally, women and BIPOC have historically been paid lower wages than white men. If you want to hire the best talent and stay true to the DEI claims in your job description, you need to offer fair, competitive salaries and benefits packages to all candidates.

Leverage Hiring Resources and Technology

Applicant and resume tracking tools help automate and streamline hiring processes and help save your team valuable time. The tools and resources commonly used for talent management are Managed Service Providers (MSP), Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and Vendor Management Systems (VMS). Each offers different benefits but keep in mind no system is perfect, and software cannot replace the talent acquisition skills and expertise of a recruiter or hiring manager.

Managed Service Providers (MSP)

Managed Service Providers are third-party agencies hired (typically by large companies) for temporary staffing management. They provide access to a large pool of talent and help tech companies manage their contingent workforce.

MSPs typically use Vendor Management Systems to source and manage permanent and temporary staff. The software collects and analyzes hiring and payroll data and can be used to automate onboarding and other HR tasks. These systems help organize candidate information and provide you with valuable insight into each stage of the hiring process.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Hiring managers and recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems to track candidates from the moment they submit an application through receiving and accepting an offer. These systems help you manage the candidate pipeline by screening resume submissions for keyword phrases and weeding out anyone that doesn’t “fit.” One word of caution is that an ATS doesn’t check for soft skills, and the system might reject highly qualified candidates missing certain key phrases in their resume text.

Work with a Recruitment Agency

Not every company has the luxury of having a team of full-time internal recruiters. For many, talent acquisition responsibilities fall on HR, hiring managers, and other staff that is already stretched thin.

Recruitment agencies take the burden off your staff by handling the most time-consuming parts of hiring for you: networking/seeking out potential candidates, reviewing resumes, conducting pre-screening interviews, and following up with candidates. That’s a lot of time saved on your end! Recruiters also help speed up your hiring process and provide honest feedback on what is and isn’t working.

Partnering with a specialist recruitment agency like Pira Consulting provides several advantages over using generalist recruiters. First, the recruiters and account managers understand the tech and IT market. They’re also familiar with tech jobs and the requirements candidates need for specific roles. And with their deep industry knowledge, you won’t have to explain the difference between a software engineer and a software developer. Recruiters act as an extension of your team and are dedicated to making your life easier.

Are recruitment agencies an investment? Yes, but the cost is well worth it. If you’re curious about what it’s like to work with a tech recruitment agency, give us a call. Pira Consulting’s approach to technology staffing is different from other agencies. We go the extra mile for our clients and promise you won’t be disappointed.