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In the Press

Tuesday, 03 September 2019

The Non-Technical Guide to Recruiting Technical Roles

by Paul Murphy
Non Technical Guide

​Hiring for tech roles is hard. 

And it's even harder when you don’t have a technical background. 

But with the right approach and a genuine understanding of what tech professionals’ priorities are, you can put in place a winning strategy to get top quality tech talent at your company. 

So I’ve put together this guide to help you better understand these priorities and learn how to attract and interview talent more effectively so you can start building the tech team your company needs.  

The talent drought

So you’re probably wondering why it's so hard to get good tech talent in the first place. Well the simple reason is - the demand for talented developers and other tech professionals far outstrips supply. This means the best candidates have a huge number of options to choose from and can expect high salaries, perks, and bonuses to be thrown at them from a host of willing companies. 

So you need to keep in mind that the insurance sector, like all other sectors, will always face some level of challenge attracting tech talent. But knowing the scarcity of talent can also help you develop a sound hiring strategy - one that’s based on knowing what the talent is really looking for. 

Start with a plan

This is where you can properly prepare yourself, especially if your understanding of the technical aspects of the job are limited. You want to be hiring with a clear purpose and create a detailed profile for the role by asking yourself some important questions:

  • What minimum skill set is mandatory for the person to be successful? 

  • What specific coding/technical skills are needed?

  • What level of seniority is required?

  • What other qualities and attributes are you ideally looking for?

If the role is highly technical and you don’t have the knowledge to answer all of the above thoroughly, then you need to find someone who can. If you’re filling a developer role, talk to another developer or tech specialist to find out exactly what the key technologies and techniques expected of the new candidate are. 

During the interview, the candidate is likely to ask the following types of questions: 

  • What are the role’s regular and detailed duties?

  • How will job performance be measured?

  • What are the salary, benefits, and perks?

  • How does the position fit into the overall organisational purpose and structure?

  • What opportunities for career progression will the role/company offer?

Knowing the above information will allow you to prepare a detailed job description. This helps you find the right person for the job as well as shows the candidate that you know what you’re talking about. 

The interview

During the interview, at the same time as assessing their skills, don’t forget to also sell the job. Sell your organisation’s meaning, purpose, and unique selling points. Tell the candidate what projects you’re working on or have in the pipeline that will inspire them to want to be a part of your company’s journey. 

If your technical understanding of the role is limited, it’s important to consider how you will test the person’s abilities in the latter stages of the vetting process. Beyond the usual questionnaires and Q&A sessions, you may need to work with a qualified partner that can assist you in conducting any necessary skills assessments or technical interviews. 

The job offer

You should ensure you’ve designed the salary and benefits package in a way that appeals to the individual candidate.During the interview process you should have picked up a good understanding of the candidate’s values and priorities. 

Now’s the time to put that information to good use. 

For example, if you learned they like to lead projects and there’s scope in the role for them to do so, make sure the offer highlights this and the candidate can see it in writing. 

Is there a built in degree of flexibility in the offer (such as salary, start date, benefits etc) to allow the candidate to negotiate if necessary? A recent Stack Overflow Developer Survey indicated that the two benefits that candidates value most highly are vacation days and flexibility/remote work options. The ability to work from home or another work location such as a co-working space is increasingly being seen as highly important. So make sure you acknowledge this by being prepared to offer a high degree of flexibility in the role. 

So that’s it. By looking realistically at the current tech landscape and knowing what candidates are really looking for you can put yourself in the best position to land the tech guru you need. If you want to chat about the insurance market and explore how Ensure can help you up-skill and source the best tech talent, get in contact with the insurance tech experts at Ensure.

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