White Paper: Solving Technical Recruiting Challenges

Created: Jan 13, 2016 09:15AM PST      Updated: Jan 13, 2016 10:52AM PST
As product specialists at TalentBin, we get the chance to chat with recruiters in a range of different roles and markets. Despite their differences, there appears to be a number of underlying challenges that all recruiters face and are constantly searching to solve.

I’ll address some of those challenges in this post, and discuss how a passive candidate recruitment tool like TalentBin can help alleviate some of the common pain points. 

You can download the white paper (PDF) or read through a text version below.

Text Version

Common Challenges
  1. Pipeline Growth
  2. Qualification
  3. Competition
  4. Cultural Fit
  5. The Purple Squirrel

Pipeline Growth

The problem: “I can’t find anyone for my iOS engineer role...”

Too often, recruiters limit themselves to candidates actively looking for a new role. By confining yourself to only active channels (i.e. job boards, careers page, ads, etc.), you are effectively reducing your pipeline to only a fraction of its potential.

In the last decade, LinkedIn introduced the recruiting world to passive candidate recruitment, and has helped many recruiters garner great success through this method. By opening its doors for recruiters to view any LinkedIn profile through LinkedIn Recruiter, they could now tap into not only people actively searching for a role, but also the silent majority of the current workforce: happily employed professionals. In fact, in a 2014 survey conducted by LinkedIn, they found that passive candidates account for around 75% of the current workforce.

So, what better way to increase your pipeline than to tap into the passive recruitment space?

It’s less clear what solution you should use for technical passive candidate recruitment. But, here’s a few things to consider when evaluating LinkedIn Recruiter: As a technical recruiter, where else should I look?

In terms of an online presence, software developers use a variety of different websites to post code, answer questions about coding, or share other personal and professional interests. You will find that these are the sites with the most valuable information about a technical candidate. However, researching and finding information about a person across these sites inevitably results in very tedious and confusing recruitment process.

Instead, let TalentBin do this work for you by aggregating data from all over the web (including software development sites and social networks) and building profiles from that data. The result is a much larger pool of technical candidates than you would find anywhere else.
LinkedIn is entirely reliant on the data provided on one website, and TalentBin can multiply your pipeline even more by widening the lens to include reliable professional data and leading indicators located all across the open web.

The solution: Search across the vast reaches of the web for new candidates (or let TalentBin do this work for you)


The problem: “His LinkedIn profile said he was skilled in Ruby, but I could tell right away in the phone screen that he was not an experienced Ruby developer....”

If you rely on a candidate-created resume or LinkedIn profile, you are inherently accepting that a candidate could end up being under-qualified for a role.

Many people have a knack for embellishing their resumes to make them appear more experienced, and as a recruiter it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. So, if you solely rely on this information, you can run into situations where a promising candidate lacks the necessary skills.

For technical candidates, you can discover a candidate’s qualifications or coding ability in the interview process. Without prequalification, you risk consuming tons of your and your hiring manager’s most valuable resource, time.

How can I avoid these situations?

If a developer is posting code and contributing to a repository (essentially a collaborative project) on GitHub, or answering questions about code on StackOverflow, you can directly see examples of their coding experience. What’s more valuable? A developer saying they are skilled in Javascript on their resume or LinkedIn profile, or someone posting various Javascript projects and actual code on GitHub or StackOverflow.

TalentBin is built to optimize pre-qualification time by aggregating data from around 45 different sites, and condensing it down to a unified profile.
The solution: Trim the “fat” by using data from software development sites or TalentBin to qualify candidates up front.


The problem: “No one is replying to my emails since they have a flooded inbox…”

In high demand areas, a continual challenge for technical recruiters is direct competition with other agencies or companies. Recently, I worked extensively an agency recruiter and TalentBin user in the Bay Area, who vocalized her pain points very well: However, Ruth and many other recruiters have discovered that an alternative to LinkedIn Recruiter can help you meet this increasing demand. TalentBin gets you in front of passive candidates with personalized messages. It’s also the contact method software engineers prefer!

TalentBin aggregates professional and personal data for better qualification and personalization of your messages. And, after comparing response rates of TalentBin users that do not take the time to personalize versus those that do, it’s very clear that this practice is essential in competitive markets. Ruth summarized this benefit perfectly: There's also a great post written by a software developer, Gleb Bahmutov, in which he created a rating system to breakdown the plethora of emails he got on a daily basis from recruiters. If you want to separate yourself from the technical recruiting competition, I’d suggest starting with Gleb’s article and grading your own workflow!

The solution: Use the contact method that software developers prefer (email), and spend time personalizing your messages using TalentBin data to separate yourself from the rest of the pack.


Cultural Fit

The problem: “She has all the professional qualifications, but I can’t tell if the hiring manager would approve…”

Qualifying a candidate’s professional experience and skillset is job one, but another common challenge for technical recruiters is quickly determining whether a person would be a good cultural fit for the company. This can be tricky if limited to a LinkedIn profile focused primarily on the candidate’s professional activity.

Before they take up your time in the interview process, you can explore a passive candidate’s entire social web footprint: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Meetup, to name just a few of the data sources you’ll find in TalentBin.
This information is also extremely helpful to drive productive responses. Developers love when you notice and reference their professional skills, but you get bonus points for including personal interests as well. The more it appears you’ve done your homework before reaching out, the better!

The solution: Qualify a candidate’s personal interests before submitting them to your hiring manager by looking at their social web footprint on social networks or TalentBin.


The Purple Squirrel

The problem: “I can only find 200 Epic developers nationwide on LinkedIn…”

Here at TalentBin, we talk a lot about “purple squirrels”, which are very hard-to-find candidates. We even have a purple squirrel named “JD” in our logo.

Now, imagine you are a lonely purple squirrel out in the wild, and a band of hunters want to capture you and place you on their mantle. The only logical option at this point would be to hide.

How do software developer candidates hide? By deleting their LinkedIn profiles and/or removing their resumes from job boards.

The metaphor might sound a little silly, but if you consider that normal software developers can average around five recruiting emails a day, imagine how many emails or InMails a “purple squirrel” candidate must receive. However, it’s far from a hopeless hunt, you just need the right tactics to find that hidden squirrel.

Since technical candidates frequently sabotage their LinkedIn profiles, you will need to look elsewhere to get started. Then, once you find a purple squirrel, you will need to impress them (or lure them out of hiding) with your research. Let’s try taking bits and pieces from all of the challenge solutions listed above and become a master purple squirrel hunter.

The solution: Use TalentBin to find, qualify, personalize messaging, and contact hard-to-find candidates via email!

About the Author

Brendan Wilson is a TalentBin Product Specialist and the content manager of the TalentBin support portal.

Along with helping hundreds of recruiters as an ongoing product specialist, he has published over 50 support articles and videos that help TalentBin users troubleshoot issues, learn about new features, and provide critical advice to become successful with the tool.

Connect with Brendan on LinkedIn!

Q​uestions? Thoughts? Either c​ontact your Product Specialist, reach out to us at support@talentbin.com anytime, or leave a comment below!
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