Why is IT recruitment so hard? The bad signals you could be sending

IT recruitment is likely to continue to be challenging for many businesses in 2024 and beyond. It’s a tired phrase, but the supply of IT talent still lags behind the demand.

So if you’re finding it hard to recruit for IT jobs, you’re not alone. But there are some ways that organisations end up making IT recruitment harder for themselves than it needs to be.

Because in the current seller’s market for Information Technology talent, the best candidates have options. Many quickly turn aside from a potential role when an employer unintentionally raises even the smallest red flag.

Here’s how to get a leg up on your competition by auditing your IT recruitment process and eliminating the bad signals you could be sending:

The bad IT recruitment signals you could be sending

1) Disorganisation

If your IT recruitment process is disorganised, it can be a signal to potential candidates that your business as a whole is a little on the chaotic side.

Everyone understands that things do come up and sometimes changes need to happen.

But if you find yourself needing to reschedule interviews more than once, or regularly sending incorrect emails to candidates, it’s probably a sign your processes as a whole could be refined.

2) Poor communication

In a candidate-led field like IT, the best talent can be easily put off by the “vibe” they get from a particular company. This is especially true if they have other options they are considering.

One of the biggest red flags in IT recruitment is poor communication. This means you should carefully assess your recruitment processes for situations where you or your team:

-Take a long time to reply to candidate emails or return phone calls

-Are unclear or vague in response to candidate questions

-Provide inconsistent information depending on who is being asked

As a specialist IT recruitment company, we often hear these mentioned by candidates as the reason they decided against taking an opportunity.

3) Inaccurate job descriptions

It’s far more common than you might think for a candidate to arrive at an interview to find the actual role is very different from what was listed in the job description.

Sometimes, it’s a misuse of adjectives around company culture. Sometimes though, these are concrete details relating to the position itself.

Imagine a candidate applying for a low-level network engineer job. When they arrive at the interview though, it becomes apparent the employer actually wants a single network manager to handle their entire system (that’ll be the candidate).

A more common situation involves differences in what “remote” or “hybrid” working is taken to mean. Or even whether it’s actually on the table at all.

Always, always review your job descriptions to ensure accuracy as well as appeal before you post them. If requirements change, be clear and proactive about informing candidates as to why.

4) Problematic interviewer

Many organisations overlook the key role their chosen interviewer plays in attracting top talent. A good interviewer creates rapport. A bad interviewer is a potential red flag.

Imagine an interview conducted by a team leader with awkward social skills. Software engineers, for instance, have a stereotypical (although sometimes completely undeserved) reputation for this.

An interviewer who “speaks the same language” as candidates could be an advantage. But other candidates might not be able to “get a good read” on them and leave unsure of the role as a result.

Or picture a brash member of upper management arrogantly talking over the candidate or asking questions aggressively. A brilliant candidate might leave thinking the entire company doesn’t “speak their language” in terms of culture at all.

Of course, both of these situations are themselves pretty stereotypical. They’re simply indications of the bad recruitment signal danger of interviewers who are:

-Distracted or distant

-Rude or aggressive

-Liable to ask inappropriate questions

-Awkward, can’t build a rapport, or don’t make an effort to interact

-Disrespectful of other people in the company (or in the interview!)

5) Too many interviews

These days, it’s often expected that there will be more than one interview during the recruitment process for an IT job. Things shouldn’t be taken to excess though.

Stories of three or even four levels of interviews with different stakeholders and managers involved and different competencies tested are becoming more common.

Multiple interviews should not automatically be taken as a sign your recruitment process is fit for purpose. That many interviews is more appropriate for a C-suite or company director-level position.

If you’re hiring for a junior web developer job and you’re taking a slew of interviews over multiple months to make a decision, it’s almost certain to be viewed as a red flag by good candidates.

These days, the world’s leading tech organisations are taking steps to cut back on interview “bloat” in order to attract the best talent. It might be worth following their lead.

Eliminate the red flags in your IT recruitment process

Start making recruiting easier for yourself by reviewing your processes to reduce the issues listed above.

To get even better results, consider working with an IT recruitment agency to help iron out any bad signals you could be sending.

A recruiter sees both sides of the job market fence. This gives you the knowledge you need to avoid red flags and start recruiting the best talent to secure the future of your business.

Want to discuss your recruitment needs with an expert?

Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering and IT recruitment company. We provide access to the best professionals from an extensive pool of curated talent.

Talk over your requirements with one of our supportive team today with zero cost or commitment.