How to gain a competitive advantage in tech this summer..

Stephen O'Brien 04.07.2019

As we move through the summer months, we have all the inside info you need to know in order to gain that competitive edge in tech...

The summer months have gathered connotations of being a sort of slow period in terms of hiring, but this does not necessarily have to be the case. Employers and jobseekers alike can use this lull in the market to their advantage in order to secure the best quality candidates/ desirable roles. When you think about it, it’s likely your competitor has slowed down their hiring processes for the summer, therefore this is a massive opportunity for you to be one step ahead and secure market leading talent. 
The following are some simple tips you can follow in order to gain a competitive advantage as an employer this summer, in terms of ramping up your hiring;

  • Establish exactly what your USP is. What is it that makes your company unique and that should make a potential want to work with you instead of your competitors. 
  • Examine your interview process. Re-evaluate it and change it if necessary. Is it fit for purpose to secure in demand talent? Follow the format that your first interview with a candidate should essentially be an intro to the company, and give an overview of where the ideal candidate could fit into the business. 
  • Keeping an eye on how long the vacancy is open for and coming up with solutions for this is crucial so that the gap in the team does not affect your business’ productivity. Possible solutions could be a contractor or temporary hire in the meantime while you continue the search for the ideal candidate. 
  • As online continues to be the way forward in terms of hiring, consider where your online presence is at and identify what ways there are to improve this. LinkedIn is a good place to start and the first area which comes to mind for many. However, keeping an eye on Glassdoor reviews, your employees sharing their tasks on Github, as well as any newsworthy articles about the business which may come up while a candidate is doing their research is also important in ensuring your brand is represented as best as possible online. 
  • If you feel that attempting to hire for a particular role or roles is taking up a huge amount of your time and resources, then you should consider partnering with a recruitment agency to fulfill your hiring needs. While it is an expense, until you find the right fit for your business it’s essentially free! 
  • If the relevant hiring manager is on holiday, ensure there is a replacement point of contact to keep the interview process moving along. Top tier candidates have multiple opportunities at the moment so any avoidable delays will have an impact on success. 
  • Arrange out of hours interviews in order to accommodate candidates if necessary.

In relation to the above, the main key takeaway which applies to all is not to treat the summer months as a sort of ‘’downtime’’. Yes people may be away on annual leave and holidays, therefore making organising interviews more difficult, but it doesn’t mean hiring needs to come to a halt for you. Gather your resources, streamline them and ensure you have processes ongoing over the summer months. The bottom line is that professionals don’t stop looking for jobs in the summer, however employers can do themselves a disservice by letting processes fall by the wayside and therefore  missing out on key candidates. 
As mentioned above, holidays and annual leave are a large part of summer, however, people can use this to their advantage in terms of making really clear, quick decisions in regard to roles. This can work both ways as hiring managers can make clear decisions on candidates, whereas jobseekers get some time to think about what they really want from a role. Using this time wisely can be beneficial in the long run for both parties. 
Timelines can have a major effect on the quality and efficiency of a company's hiring process. If your usual hiring process timeline is around 5-6 weeks, by cutting this back by a generous amount (ideally to 2-3 weeks) this will speed up the process and help to ensure you don’t miss out on any quality candidates. Obviously this is not always possible depending on the role, but by following some of the above tips to streamline the process it should help move things along.Without a doubt, businesses with better time management processes can gain a competitive advantage over their peers easily.
On the job seeker side of things, simple practices such as engaging with your recruiter and keeping active in your job search can help massively in the long run. Areas of growth where there are and are set to be a wealth of opportunities following this quarter include data, QA and a massive increase on the multilingual side in terms of technical support. The expansion of these teams in particular has been prominent throughout this last quarter. 
Overall, the technology market is buoyant in Ireland at the moment and shows no sign of slowing down with a massive demand for talent in most sectors. There is a nice mix of opportunities between the contract and permanent sides on the market at the moment as well, which helps meet professionals needs. In terms of popular trends, flexible working and remote working continue to go from strength to strength from both sides - as more employers are offering it and therefore more jobseekers are expecting it. 

Top Tip for Employers! Strong candidates have multiple offers, therefore when making an offer to an individual and indeed throughout the interview process, they need to have compelling reasons ready as to why somebody should want to work at their company. Avoid being complacent throughout the interview process, as one should never expect that their company is a job seekers sole option. 

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