Five top tips on how to recruit in tech
The director of disruptive tech staffing expert Talentful has shared his five top tips on successful recruitment.
Michael Hall is the director of UK Expansion at specialist recruitment firm Talentful, which is shaking up the industry by working in-house with clients to help entrepreneurs and global brands grow their teams.
Talentful is only three years old but has already grown its team to 60 people, increased turnover to over £5m and opened up offices in London, Manchester and Stockholm
The company is already working with the likes of Peak, TickX and Sorted.
Here are Hall's top five tips for successful recruitment:
Find your great
Every growing business wants to find and keep the best talent but not enough businesses properly define what ‘great’ means to them.
"Someone's great might be somebody else’s average and one person's great might be another’s amazing – so it's just about quantifying what that actually means before you go to market," he said.
"You need to know what your ‘good’ looks like and how ultimately you’re going to find, attract and retain those people.
"Businesses do a lot of analysis in marketing to find out what their customers look like but we don't do it in recruitment – and we should.
"We should build and identify what great looks like to us and how we quantify what that looks like, whereas we just use that language and say 'find somebody great'."
Talent comes with a price tag
The truth is, most businesses do not budget correctly and not all tech start-ups can afford to hire the 'best' people, but Hall says no company should assume that they’re paying the right amount without doing extensive research first.
"The best people cost,” he said. "We come back to this term of ‘great’ people; if you’re ‘great’ is of a certain level then that warrants a certain price.
"It can be too high for some businesses but you can't compete against what the market is dictating. With the best will in the world if you truly want the best people you have to pay the price."
Take the onboarding experience seriously
Countless surveys suggest that employees are more likely to stay with a business longer if they experience a positive ‘onboarding’ experience.
“The moment you engage with an individual you’re looking to bring into your business that’s when the exceptional experience should start and it shouldn’t stop the moment somebody signs a contract,” Hall said.
“To us onboarding starts the moment somebody has accepted a position. That onboarding is getting them to understand your organisation, your vision, your team, not just somebody arriving day one having lots of marketing collateral like t-shirts and a laptop.
“If you’re going to exit your business or if you’re going to scale globally, the only way you’re going to make this very difficult task easier is by having truly the best people.
There’s nothing wrong with shouting out about your success and achievements, but Hall says the best people do not want to join organisations where “everything is working wonderfully” and there’s nothing exciting to work on or a problem to solve.
“The best people want to come in and effect positive change - so tell them, be honest, be humble,” he said.
“Talk less about how great your business is – unless it’s truly great and you’re doing wonderful, amazing things – and actually focus more on your vision, your ambition, your projects, your people, in order to give them a more honest, transparent view.”
Hiring at a strategy level not operational level
Hall cites the example of Manchester-based Sorted Group, which has a ‘VP of People’ on its board of directors, as a perfect example of hiring at a strategic level.
“I use an example of a CEO who lives in Sheffield or Warrington and he or she decides to stay there, start his/her business there and raise investment there,” he said.
“But if you truly want to build a global organisation then you need to, at a strategy level, think about if you’re in the right place to do what you need to do in order to make scaling easier.”
Steve Pearce is the CEO of TickX, which partnered with Talentful after its Series A funding round earlier this year to help.
He said: “By essentially becoming our in-house talent function, Talentful have made the hiring process smooth and enjoyable, saving us time and money and, most importantly, finding us the very best people for the roles.”