5 Strategies for Tech Hiring & Firing in an Uncertain Economic Climate
According to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, more than half of all US companies are planning to lay off employees as they brace for an economic downturn.
The tech industry is a unique case. Despite so many looking for work, widespread layoffs in the tech sector, hiring freezes by tech giants, and a volatile economic backdrop, tech workers are rightfully very confident about their employment prospects. Research supports that workers in the technology sector can command higher salaries even in this volatile market.
Hired, a San Francisco-based job matching platform, recently analyzed more than 907,000 job interview requests and surveyed more than 2,000 tech workers.
- 90% of tech workers said they would start looking for a new job if they were denied a raise in the next six months;
- Entry-level salaries are significantly higher than just three to four years ago; and
- Some software engineer roles are paying 50% more than they were a few years ago.
This research suggests that technology companies must carefully assess their talent pool to fire, hire and promote strategically. Talent decisions are among the most important decisions businesses make, especially those with a seat at the leadership table.
How should you navigate the sea of talent management software, assessments, and self-proclaimed effective solutions? Whether you’re considering tests, software, job samples, or interviews, the ideal tools should get you confidence and accuracy in your talent choices.
Here are some proven, cost-effective and timely strategies to help technology leaders identify and onboard the strongest candidates when hiring and when promoting from within.
5 Strategies for Tech Hiring & Firing in an Uncertain Economic Climate:
1. Hire & promote quality people without paying more in recruiting fees.
Finding the best talent costs money; there is no doubt about it. Recruiting new employees is not cheap. According to new benchmarking data from the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost per hire was nearly $4,700. But many employers estimate the total cost to hire a new employee can be three to four times the position’s salary. That means if you’re hiring for a job that pays $60,000 per year, you may spend $180,000 or more to fill that role when considering direct and indirect costs.
Eliminating bias, guesswork, and the high costs associated with recruitment firms start with new tools and technologies that allow businesses to identify the best people based on objective data and successfully develop those individuals with continuous assessments and development plans.
Thanks to AI and cloud technology, hiring, recruitment, and development do not have to cost a fortune.
Tools are available to:
- Identify the best hires via objective assessments;
- Develop employees for their success in any role; and
- Continuously monitor progress and potential to keep employees engaged, motivated, and on track.
Assessment centers offer a more accurate method for measuring an applicant’s abilities. Together, behavioral observations, personality assessments, and measures of learning capability can increase the accuracy and predictive ability of selection processes.
2. Hire smarter and be strategic about promoting current employees.
Tech businesses move quickly, and companies need talent and leaders who are ready to step up and step in. Predicting leadership potential is becoming more critical with the anticipated post-pandemic economic growth, unpredictable economy and labor market, and continued acceleration of digital transformation. Due to these trends, the employees you hire now need to grow with your company quickly. Furthermore, the current labor shortages may force you to promote your existing employees into management sooner than anticipated.
In just a few hours in a virtual leadership simulation, you can know about a candidate’s personality, learning style, job skills, and potential, but also about their culture fit, turn-over likelihood, and engagement in their role! Rather than having candidates travel to attend interviews or assessment centers or using multiple expensive, and lengthy tests to get a complete picture of your candidate, you can accomplish this all with one simulation experience, completed online, and in just a few hours of the candidate’s time.
Accurately predicting leadership potential with assessments and other predictive tools can create a cost-effective and competitive advantage for your organization – eliminating bias and helping you make the best choices to suit your growth.
3. It’s all about culture.
Tech salaries may still be on the rise, yet according to PwC research, money isn’t enough to retain your best workers, who were almost as likely to cite intangible factors related to meaning. Job fulfillment and the ability to be one’s true self at work were ranked second and third among employees considering a job change.
While new hires cannot begin working before their start date, they can be introduced to the company, learn about their role and the organization, and be included in team activities.
Some proven strategies for improving onboarding and new-hire experiences are:
- Allocate a dedicated contact person and have regular conversations with new hires
- Send a brief, friendly, personalized video to the new hire with introductions to the team, photos, and fun facts.
- Once the new hire starts working, invite them to the team and company-wide virtual meetings and encourage them to contribute so they feel involved and others can get to know them.
- Continuously assess employees for skills, potential, needs/wants, and help create their personalized development plan.
4. Eradicate bias during firing, hiring, and promotion decisions.
When considering who to fire, hire and promote, organizations tend to consider a candidate’s current skills and also their potential for future growth and success. Problematically, the most common approach to “measure” potential is for managers to provide a subjective guess as to who a future leader in the company can be.
Employees who are rated as having ‘high potential’ are often given higher salaries, more development opportunities and are groomed for future promotions. However, managerial ratings of potential have been shown to be full of unconscious bias, so women and racial minorities tend to receive lower scores. However, managerial ratings of potential have been shown to be full of unconscious bias, so women and racial minorities tend to receive lower scores and therefore, less opportunities for advancement. When organizations rely on such a biased “measure” of potential, they risk inaccurate prediction, adverse impact, and discrimination.
To reduce bias, it is vital to utilize objective tools and assessments to identify a high-potential candidate. This is not just a diversity issue but a business imperative to put the most capable people in leadership positions where they can have the most significant impact on the business, employee well-being, and the overall economy. Not only will this improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, but it also ensures managers and executive leadership are not unconsciously limiting the potential of their best people.
5. Improve the hiring experience for potential candidates.
If you’ve ever been on the applicant end of the hiring process, you know it can be time-consuming, confusing, and, in some cases, seem ridiculous and unfair. When applicants have poor reactions to the hiring process, they are less likely to take a job offer, and you might drive away your best candidates.
In just a few hours in a virtual leadership simulation, you can know about a candidate’s personality, learning style, job skills, and potential, but also about their culture fit, turn-over likelihood, and engagement in their role. Rather than having candidates travel to attend interviews or assessment centers, or using multiple expensive and lengthy tests to get a complete picture of your candidate, you can accomplish this all with one simulation experience, completed online, and in just a few hours of the candidate’s time.
Depending on your need, live simulations can inform a number of strategic talent decisions. The information gained from simulations can be used to select the best candidate for a job and provide feedback to a group of high-potentials who are looking to progress in your organization. Virtual simulations have the benefit of capturing data online so many more analyses can be run to tell talent professionals about recruitment effectiveness, investments in L&D programs, organizational culture, team dynamics, diversity & inclusion, and succession planning.
Without the right tools and insights into current employees and potential hires, tech companies could miss the chance to improve their teams and increase the successful outcomes for their products, DEI initiatives, revenue targets, and employee retention.
Want to learn more? Download our Free Guide: 2023 Guide to Hiring & Retaining the Best Tech Talent.
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