9 Common Tech Recruitment Challenges and How to Overcome Them

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Bruna Vasconcelos
Bruna Vasconcelos
Head of People

Table of Contents

Recruiting in tech has unique challenges. This article explores nine ways to overcome common tech recruiting challenges, from gender disparity to reaching passive candidates.
Published on
June 13, 2024
Updated on
June 17, 2024

Tech companies face unique recruitment challenges compared to many other industries. Rapid change means skills and expertise become outdated quickly. Companies often seek specialized talent with niche skills in high demand but limited supply. And the work itself requires a combination of complex technical skills alongside soft skills like strong problem-solving, critical thinking, and continuous learning abilities.

Additionally, tech recruiters and hiring teams must navigate an incredibly competitive hiring landscape. Top candidates for tech roles frequently receive multiple job offers and enticing counter-offers. High turnover rates are common, with the most desirable candidates often treating roles as temporary stepping stones rather than long-term career destinations.

Companies must address common talent acquisition challenges in tech to find the best people. This includes overcoming gender disparity to find the best candidates, providing career development to hire from within, addressing benefits gaps, and reaching passive candidates.

This article explores nine common recruitment challenges and strategic solutions hiring managers can use to find and retain top talent.

1. Finding People With the Right Skills

Research indicates that hiring talent with the right skills is one of the top challenges for engineering leaders.

This difficulty stems from several issues, including the specific and evolving skill sets needed in the tech sector. There’s a constant need for skills that can quickly become outdated as new technologies emerge. If these recruitment challenges are left unaddressed, companies risk falling behind in innovation and may struggle to meet their technological and operational goals.

To overcome these recruitment difficulties and build your IT team, consider some of the following strategies:

  • Build relationships with universities and coding boot camps to tap into a pool of fresh talent equipped with the most current skills.
  • Offer regular training and development opportunities to keep your current team's skills sharp and attract candidates eager for growth.
  • Consider less experienced talent who have a strong foundation in your team’s expertise. Mentoring junior developers is an efficient way to grow teams and keep skills current.
  • Use internships and apprenticeships to help you evaluate potential future employees in real work scenarios and train them in specific skills needed within your company.
  • Consider allowing remote work or offering relocation packages to candidates willing to relocate, expanding your search beyond local talent pools.
  • Implement advanced recruitment technologies that better match candidates' skills with job requirements to optimize the recruitment process.

These practical solutions can help HR leaders better manage talent acquisition challenges to attract and retain individuals who are capable and ready to advance their tech initiatives.

2. Gender Disparity in Tech

An estimated 50% of women in tech leave by age 35, compared to approximately 20% in other industries. This high turnover rate among women is troubling because it limits the diversity of ideas and perspectives in the tech industry.

The issue is due to several factors. Firstly, company cultures in tech often do not support women's long-term career progression; consider that 73% of women in tech experience gender bias in the workplace.

Second, women face discrepancies in representation, which can reduce opportunities for mentorship and promotion. A 2021 study found that 72% of women are outnumbered by men in business meetings, while another report found that only 52 women in tech are promoted to a management position for every 100 men promoted. Many of these women found that the company culture was not inclusive.

If not addressed, this challenge can lead to decreased team diversity and a smaller talent pool for tech companies. If and when women drop out of the field after age 35, they take all their technical expertise with them.

To address these challenges, consider some of these solutions to recruit diverse talent for tech roles:

  • Train all employees on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), emphasizing the importance of a supportive environment where all team members can thrive.
  • Establish transparent criteria for evaluations and promotions to prevent unconscious bias. Ensure job postings and job offers reflect these standards.
  • Use social media to build a strong employer brand, showing your company’s commitment to diversity.

3. Lack of Career Development

Research from McKinsey indicates that inadequate career development and advancement is a top reason people leave their jobs. If not addressed, this problem can lead to difficulty retaining top talent, worsening skill shortages, and impacting a company's growth.

To address this, hiring leaders should utilize solutions like:

  • Regularly updating career paths and conducting competency mapping to find potential internal hires or employees who are ready to uplevel their skills
  • Creating mentorship programs that connect experienced workers with newer ones to facilitate skill transfer and career guidance
  • Offering continuous learning opportunities, such as providing workshops and courses to help employees advance their skills and careers within the company
  • Implementing structured performance review systems to identify and acknowledge the growth and achievements of employees
  • Advocating for a company culture that values open communication and feedback, including encouraging employees to express their career aspirations

These steps can help maintain a motivated workforce and reduce turnover in tech roles.

4. Tech and HR Leader Misalignment

A survey from CodeSignal found that a top challenge for engineering leaders is finding ways to improve team productivity. However, interviewing unqualified candidates, manually grading coding assessments, and rewriting leaked coding questions all distract these leaders from that goal.

HR leaders want to fill roles quickly with the best candidates, and finding ways to align their activities with tech hiring managers’ goals will help them do that. Some ideas include:

  • Using hiring platforms with pre-built coding assessments to quickly identify candidates who meet technical requirements without the need for lengthy initial interviews
  • Implementing automation with applicant tracking systems and streamlined communication and scheduling
  • Developing a consistent set of criteria and questions for technical screenings to streamline the hiring process and reduce time-to-hire
  • Adopting collaborative recruitment software that lets both the HR team and technical leaders see candidate information and real-time updates

5. Current Talent Is Open to Better Opportunities

Data suggests that up to 73% of potential candidates are passive job seekers who are currently employed and open to hearing about new job opportunities but are also hesitant to apply due to other circumstances.

In the tech industry, where the pace of development and the demand for cutting-edge skills constantly increase, engaging passive candidates becomes even more crucial. Many of these individuals are at the forefront of their technical fields, often comfortable in their roles with access to the latest technologies and projects. This comfort and security can make them less likely to actively seek new opportunities.

If HR leaders don’t reach these candidates, they risk missing out on recruiting opportunities, potentially leading to skill gaps and delayed project timelines. To engage passive candidates effectively, HR professionals in tech may want to consider the following:

  • Using professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to directly contact potential candidates and highlight role suitability based on their skills
  • Simplifying application procedures to encourage more passive candidates to consider job offers
  • Articulating career advancement and learning opportunities that outpace other organizations
  • Showing how the role will have an impact on the candidate’s technical field

6. A Benefits Gap

Research from Indeed indicates that tech workers in the industry get better benefits than those at non-tech companies. For example, 42% of tech industry employees have unlimited paid time off (PTO), while only 13% of tech workers in the banking industry do. In addition, employees in tech companies tend to work fewer hours than tech workers in other fields.

This can make recruiting challenges tougher for leaders trying to attract the right candidates in non-tech industries. While improving benefits is the best solution, others are within hiring managers’ and tech recruiters’ control.

In tech recruiting, some best practices to overcome a benefits gap include:

  • Refining sourcing methods to include social media platforms and specialized tech job boards
  • Stressing opportunities for professional growth and continuous learning in your organization
  • Implementing employee referral programs to encourage current employees to refer skilled tech professionals and offering incentives for successful hires
  • Advocating for performance and project completion bonuses within your IT budget for tech roles

7. Candidate Dropout

According to Zippia data, around 60% of candidates will quit while applying for a job online due to prolonged or complex application forms.

Hiring teams often want to gather as much information as possible upfront to streamline the later stages of recruitment. This approach, however, can backfire by reducing the applicant pool early on and weeding out qualified candidates.

To address these challenges, HR leaders in tech hiring can implement several practical solutions:

  • Review and reduce the number of fields in the application form. Only ask for information that is absolutely necessary for the initial stages of evaluation.
  • Use recruiting tools that allow candidates to easily import their details from LinkedIn or a resume.
  • Make sure each part of the application is straightforward. Clear instructions can help prevent confusion and simplify the process for all parties.
  • Test the application process regularly from a candidate experience perspective to identify pain points. Use metrics to measure where candidates drop out and adjust the process based on this data.
  • Allow candidates to provide feedback on the application process.

By focusing on these areas, HR leaders can encourage more candidates to complete their submissions and improve hiring quality.

8. Cheating and Plagiarism

Cheating and plagiarism remain challenges in tech recruitment. This makes it hard for HR leaders to accurately assess a candidate’s true abilities. Ensuring the integrity of the recruitment process is crucial for hiring the right talent who genuinely possesses the necessary skills.

This is why, as research suggests, one of the top platform capabilities engineers look for includes providing controls for cheating and plagiarism. A few ways to combat cheating include:

  • Using proctoring software that monitors candidates during tests and detects unauthorized activity or flags unusual behavior
  • Implementing plagiarism checker software
  • Conducting live coding interviews during which candidates code in real-time so interviewers can verify their skills directly
  • Offering unique, company-specific project challenges that are harder to prepare for in advance or copy from common sources

With these methods, companies can more reliably verify the skills of their tech candidates. This makes the recruitment process fairer and confirms that new hires are truly skilled and ready to contribute to their new roles.

9. Referrals

According to Zippia’s research, 88% of businesses report that their best hires are referrals.

But relying heavily on referrals can pose a challenge because it may lead to a less diverse workforce if the existing employees' networks aren't varied. This can limit the range of ideas and perspectives within the team, which is crucial in a field that thrives on innovation. Additionally, employee referrals are often limited in number. So, while they’re the best hires, sometimes referrals are hard to come by.

To address these challenges and maximize the benefits of referral hires while maintaining diversity and inclusion, hiring managers can implement several strategies:

  • Encourage employees to expand their professional networks outside their usual circles. Hosting and participating in diverse tech meetups or conferences can be a good start.
  • Limit referrals to roles where cultural fit and team dynamics are especially critical while using broader recruitment strategies for other positions.
  • Communicate and promote the referral program regularly through internal newsletters, meetings, and special referral campaigns to keep it top-of-mind for all employees.
  • Support and sponsor employee attendance at industry conferences, workshops, and seminars where they can meet potential candidates to refer and expand their professional networks.
  • Start competitions where employees can win prizes for referring the most candidates or for referrals that get hired.

Overcome Hiring Challenges With Revelo

Navigating tech recruitment challenges efficiently helps maintain a company's competitive edge in the hiring marketplace. That’s where Revelo makes a difference.

We streamline the hiring process by connecting businesses with top tech talent in Latin America, vetted rigorously for their technical skills, soft skills, and English proficiency. We also help with critical parts of the hiring process, such as onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, taxes, and compliance with local laws.

Contact us to enhance your recruitment strategy and hire top developers for your organization.

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