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Improve Your IT Recruitment Process

Train your IT department to get involved in the recruitment process to attract and select the best talent.

Business and IT leaders aiming to recruit and select the best talent need to:

  • Get involved in the talent acquisition process at key moments.
  • Market their organization to top talent through an authentic employer brand.
  • Create engaging and accurate job ads.
  • Leverage purposeful sourcing for anticipated talent needs.
  • Effectively assess candidates with a strong interview process.
  • Set up new employees for success.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

To create a great candidate experience, IT departments must be involved in the process at key points, recruitment and selection is not a job for HR alone!

Impact and Result

  • Use this how-to guide to articulate an authentic (employee value proposition) EVP and employer brand.
  • Perform an analysis of current sourcing methods and build an action plan to get IT involved.
  • Create an effective and engaging job ad to insure the right people are applying.
  • Train hiring managers to effectively deliver interviews that correctly assess candidate suitability.
  • Get links to in-depth Info-Tech resources and tools.

Improve Your IT Recruitment Process Research & Tools

1. Improve Your IT Recruitment Process – A guide to help you attract and select the best talent.

Train your IT department to get involved in the recruitment process to attract and select the best talent.

Follow this blueprint to define and communicate the unique benefits of working for your organization to potential candidates through a strong employer brand. Learn best practices around creating effective job postings. Target your job posting efforts on the areas with the greatest ROI. Create and deliver an effective, seamless, and positive interview and offer process for candidates. Acclimate new hires and set them up for success.

2. Improve Your IT Recruitment Process Workbook – A tool to document your action plans.

Use this tool in conjunction with the Improve you IT Recruitment Process to document your action plans

3. Interview Guide Template – A template to organize interview questions and their rating scales, take notes during the interview, and ensure all interviews follow a similar structure.

To get useful information from an interview, the interviewer should be focused on what candidates are saying and how they are saying it, not on what the next question will be, what probes to ask, or how they will score the responses. This Interview Guide Template will help interviewers stay focused and collect good information about candidates.

4. IT Behavioral Interview Question Library – A tool that contains a complete list of sample questions aligned with core, leadership, and IT competencies.

Hiring managers can choose from a comprehensive collection of core, functional, and leadership competency-based behavioral interview questions.

5. Job Ad Template – A template to allow complete documentation of the characteristics, responsibilities, and requirements for a given job posting in IT.

Use this template to develop a well-written job posting that will attract the star candidates and, in turn, deflect submission of irrelevant applications by those unqualified.

6. Idea Catalog – A tool to evaluate virtual TA solutions.

The most innovative technology isn’t necessarily the right solution. Review talent acquisition (TA) solutions and evaluate the purpose each option serves in addressing critical challenges and replacing critical in-person activities.

Use this catalog to evaluate virtual TA solutions to select approaches that will best support candidates and are feasible for the organization.


Improve Your IT Recruitment Process

Train your IT department to get involved in the recruitment process to attract and select the best talent.

Own the IT recruitment process

Train your IT department to get involved in the recruitment process to attract and select the best talent.

Follow this blueprint to:

  • Define and communicate the unique benefits of working for your organization to potential candidates through a strong employer brand.
  • Learn best practices around creating effective job postings.
  • Target your job posting efforts on the areas with the greatest ROI.
  • Create and deliver an effective, seamless, and positive interview and offer process for candidates.
  • Acclimate new hires and set them up for success.

Get involved at key moments of the candidate experience to have the biggest impact


Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and Employer Brand



Job Postings and a Strong Sourcing Program

Effective Interviewing

Onboarding: Setting up New Hires For Success

Awareness Research Application Screening Interview and Assessment Follow Up Onboarding

RECRUIT QUALITY STAFF

Hiring talent is critical to organizational success

Talent is a priority for the entire organization:

Respondents rated “recruitment” as the top issue facing organizations today (McLean & Company 2022 HR Trends Report).

37% of IT departments are outsourcing roles to fill internal skill shortages (Info-Tech Talent Trends 2022 Survey).

Yet bad hires are alarmingly common:

Hiring is one of the least successful business processes, with three-quarters of managers reporting that they have made a bad hire (Robert Half, 2021).

48% of survey respondents stated improving the quality of hires was the top recruiting priority for 2021 (Jobvite, 2021).

Workshop overview

Prework

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Post work

Current Process and Job Descriptions Documented

Establish the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and Employer Brand

Develop Job Postings and Build a Strong Sourcing Program

Effective Interviewing

Onboarding and Action Planning

Putting the Action Plan Into Action!

Activities

  • Recruitment Process Mapped Out and Stakeholders Identified
  • Prepare a JD and JP for Four Priority Jobs
  • Collect Information on Where Your Best Candidates Are Coming From

1.1 Introduce the Concept of an EVP

1.2 Brainstorm Unique Benefits of Working at Your Organization

1.2 Employer Brand Introduction

2.1 What Makes an Attractive Job Posting

2.2 Create the Framework for Job Posting

2.3 Improve the Sourcing Process

2.4 Review Process for Bias

3.1 Creating an Interview Process

3.2 Selecting Interview Questions

3.3 Avoiding Bias During Interviews

3.4 Practice Interviews

4.1 Why Onboarding Matters

4.2 Acclimatize New Hires and Set Them Up for Success

4.3 Action Plan

5.1 Review Outputs and Select Priorities

5.2 Consult With HR and Senior Management to Get Buy-In

5.3 Plan to Avoid Relapse Behaviors

Deliverables

  1. EVP draft completed
  2. Employer brand action plan
  1. Organization-specific job posting framework
  2. Sourcing Plan Template for four priority jobs
  3. Sourcing action plan
  1. Completed Interview Guide Template
  2. Managers practice a panel interview
  1. Onboarding best practices
  2. Action plan

Enhance Your Recruitment Strategies

The way you position the organization impacts who is likely to apply to posted positions.

Develop a strong employee value proposition

What is an employee value proposition?

And what are the key components?

The employee value proposition is your opportunity to showcase the unique benefits and opportunities of working at your organization, allowing you to attract a wider pool of candidates.

AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION IS:

AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION IS NOT:

  • An authentic representation of the employee experience
  • Aligned with organizational culture
  • Fundamental to all stages of the employee lifecycle
  • A guide to help investment in programs and policies
  • Short and succinct
  • What the employee can do for you
  • A list of programs and policies
  • An annual project

THE FOUR KEY COMPONENTS OF AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION

Rewards

Organizational Elements

Working Conditions

Day-to-Day Job Elements

  • Compensation
  • Health Benefits
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Vacation
  • Culture
  • Customer Focus
  • Organization Potential
  • Department Relationships
  • Senior Management Relationships
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Working Environment
  • Employee Empowerment
  • Development
  • Rewards & Recognition
  • Co-Worker Relationships
  • Manager Relationships

Creating a compelling EVP that presents a picture of your employee experience, with a focus on diversity, will attract a wide pool of diverse candidates to your team. This can lead to many internal and external benefits for your organization.

How to collect information on your EVP

Existing Employee Value Proposition: If your organization or IT department has an existing employee value proposition, rather than starting from scratch, we recommend leveraging that and moving to the testing phase to see if the EVP still resonates with staff and external parties.

Employee Engagement Results: If your organization does an employee engagement survey, review the results to identify the areas in which the IT organization is performing well. Identify and document any key comment themes in the report around why employees enjoy working for the organization or what makes your IT department a great place to work.

Social Media Sites. Prepare for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Social media websites like Glassdoor and Indeed make it easier for employees to share their experiences at an organization honestly and candidly. While postings on these sites won’t relate exclusively to the IT department, they do invite participants to identify their department in the organization. You can search these to identify any positive things people are saying about working for the organization and potentially opportunities for improvement (which you can use as a starting point in the retention section of this report).

1.1 Gather feedback

  1. Download the Improve Your IT Recruitment Workbook.
  2. On tab 1.1, brainstorm the top five things you value most about working at the organization. Ask yourself what would fall in each category and identify any key themes. Be sure to take note of any specific quotes you have.
  3. Brainstorm limitations that the organization currently has in each of those areas.

Download the Recruitment Workbook

Input

Output
  • Employee opinions
  • Employee responses to four EVP components
  • Content for EVP

Materials

Participants

  • Recruitment Workbook
  • Diverse employees
  • Different departments
  • Different role levels

1.2 Build key messages

  1. Go to tab 1.2 in your workbook
  2. Identify themes from activity 1.1 that would be considered current strengths of you organization.
  3. Identify themes from activity 1.2 that are aspirational elements of your organization.
  4. Identify up to four key statements to focus on for the EVP, ensuring that your EVP speaks to at least one of the five categories above.
  5. Integrate these into one overall statement.

Examples below.

Input

Output
  • Feedback from focus groups
  • EVP and supporting statements

Materials

Participants

  • Workbook handout
  • Pen and paper for documenting responses
  • IT leadership team

Sample EVPs

Shopify

“We’re Shopify. Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone – but we’re not the workplace for everyone. We thrive on change, operate on trust, and leverage the diverse perspectives of people on our team in everything we do. We solve problems at a rapid pace. In short, we get shit done.”

Bettercloud

“At Bettercloud, we have a smart, ambitious team dedicated to delighting our customers. Our culture of ownership and transparency empowers our team to achieve goals they didn’t think possible. For all those on board, it’s going to be a challenging and rewarding journey – and we’re just getting started.”

Ellevest

“As a team member at Ellevest, you can expect to make a difference through your work, to have a direct impact on the achievement of a very meaningful mission, to significantly advance your career trajectory, and to have room for fun and fulfillment in your daily life. We know that achieving a mission as critical as ours requires incredible talent and teamwork, and team is the most important thing to us.”

Sources: Built In, 2021; Workology, 2022

Ensure your EVP resonates with employees and prospects

Test your EVP with internal and external audiences.

INTERNAL TEST REVOLVES AROUND THE 3A’s

EXTERNAL TEST REVOLVES AROUND THE 3C’s

ALIGNED: The EVP is in line with the organization’s purpose, vision, values, and processes. Ensure policies and programs are aligned with the organization’s EVP.

CLEAR: The EVP is straightforward, simple, and easy to understand. Without a clear message in the market, even the best intentioned EVPs can be lost in confusion.

ACCURATE: The EVP is clear and compelling, supported by proof points. It captures the true employee experience, which matches the organization’s communication and message in the market.

COMPELLING: The EVP emphasizes the value created for employees and is a strong motivator to join this organization. A strong EVP will be effective in drawing in external candidates. The message will resonate with them and attract them to your organization.

ASPIRATIONAL: The EVP inspires both individuals and the IT organization as a whole. Identify and invest in the areas that are sure to generate the highest returns for employees.

COMPREHENSIVE: The EVP provides enough information for the potential employee to understand the true employee experience and to self-assess whether they are a good fit for your organization. If the EVP lacks depth, the potential employee may have a hard time understanding the benefits and rewards of working for your organization.

Want to learn more?

Recruit and Retain More Women in IT

  • Gender diversity is directly correlated to IT performance.

Recruit and Retain People of Color in IT

  • Good business, not just good philanthropy.

Enhance Your Recruitment Strategies

The way you position the organization impacts who is likely to apply to posted positions.

Market your EVP to potential candidates: Employer Brand

Employer brand includes how you market the EVP internally and externally – consistency is key

The employer brand is the perception internal and external stakeholders hold of the organization and exists whether it has been curated or not. Curating the employer brand involves marketing the organization and employee experience. Grounding your employer brand in your EVP enables you to communicate and market an accurate portrayal of your organization and employee experience and make you desirable to both current and potential employees.

The image contains a picture of several shapes. There is a trapezoid that is labelled EVP, and has a an arrow pointing to the text beside it. There is also an arrowing pointing down from it to another trapezoid that is labelled Employer Brand.

The unique offering an employer provides to employees in return for their effort, motivating them to join or remain at the organization.

The perception internal and external stakeholders hold of the organization.

Alignment between the EVP, employer brand, and corporate brand is the ideal branding package. An in-sync marketing strategy ensures stakeholders perceive and experience the brand the same way, creating brand ambassadors.

The image contains three circles that are connected. The circles are labelled: EVP, Employer Brand, Corporate Brand.

Ensure your branding material creates a connection

How you present your employer brand is just as important as the content. Ideally, you want the viewer to connect with and personalize the material for the message to have staying power. Use Marketing’s expertise to help craft impactful promotional materials to engage and excite the viewer.

Visuals

Images are often the first thing viewers notice. Use visuals that connect to your employer brand to engage the viewer’s attention and increase the likelihood that your message will resonate. However, if there are too many visuals this may detract from your content – balance is key!

Language

Wordsmithing is often the most difficult aspect of marketing. Your message should be accurate, informative, and engaging. Work with Marketing to ensure your wording is clever and succinct – the more concise, the better.

Composition

Integrate visuals and language to complete your marketing package. Ensure that the text and images are balanced to draw in the viewer.

Case Study: Using culture to drive your talent pool

This case study is happening in real time. Please check back to learn more as Goddard continues to recruit for the position.

Recruiting at NASA

Goddard Space Center is the largest of NASA’s space centers with approximately 11,000 employees. It is currently recruiting for a senior technical role for commercial launches. The position requires consulting and working with external partners and vendors.

NASA is a highly desirable employer due to its strong culture of inclusivity, belonging, teamwork, learning, and growth. Its culture is anchored by a compelling vision, “For the betterment of Humankind,” and amplified by a strong leadership team that actively lives their mission and vision daily.

Firsthand lists NASA as #1 on the 50 most prestigious internships for 2022.

Rural location and no flexible work options add to the complexity of recruiting

The position is in a rural area of Eastern Shore Virginia with a population of approximately 60,000 people, which translates to a small pool of candidates. Any hire from outside the area will be expected to relocate as the senior technician must be onsite to support launches twice a month. Financial relocation support is not offered and the position is a two-year assignment with the option of extension that could eventually become permanent.

The image contains a picture of Steve Thornton.

“Looking for a Talent Unicorn: a qualified, experienced candidate with both leadership skills and deep technical expertise that can grow and learn with emerging technologies.”

Steve Thornton

Acting Division Chief, Solutions Division, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA

Case Study: Using culture to drive your talent pool

A good brand overcomes challenges.

Culture takes the lead in NASA's job postings, which attract a high number of candidates. Postings begin with a link to a short video on working at NASA, its history, and how it lives its vision. The video highlights NASA's diversity of perspectives, career development, and learning opportunities.

NASA's company brand and employer brand are tightly intertwined, providing a consistent view of the organization.

The employer vision is presented in the best place to reach NASA's ideal candidate: usajobs.gov, the official website of the United States Government and the “go-to” for government job listings. NASA also extends its postings to other generic job sites as well as LinkedIn and professional associations.

The image contains a picture of Robert Leahy.

Interview with Robert Leahy

Chief Information Officer, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA

2.1 Assess your organization’s employer brand

  1. Go to tab 2.1 in the Improve Your IT Recruitment Workbook.
  2. Put yourself in the shoes of someone on the outside looking in. If they were to look up your organization, what impression would they be given about what is like to work there?
  3. Run a Google search on your organization with key words “jobs,” “culture,” and “working environment” to see what a potential candidate would see when they begin researching your organization.
  4. You can use sites like:

    • Glassdoor
    • Indeed company pages
    • LinkedIn company pages
    • Social media
    • Your own website
  5. Identify what your organization is doing well and record that under the “Continue” box in your workbook.
  6. Record anything your organization should stop doing under the “Stop” box.
  7. Brainstorm some ideas that your organization should think about implementing to improve the employer brand under the “Start” Box.
Input Output
  • Existing branding material on the internet
  • A clearer understanding of the current employer brand and how it could be improved
Materials Participants
  • Workbook handout
  • Senior IT Leaders

Want to learn more?

Recruit IT Talent

  • Improve candidate experience to hire top IT talent.

Recruit and Retain More Women in IT

  • Gender diversity is directly correlated to IT performance.

Recruit and Retain People of Color in IT

  • Good business, not just good philanthropy.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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