4 Ways to Compete with Big Tech Recruiting for Top Talent

Tech recruiter talking on the phone

The tech recruiting world is changing — and fast. 

Between the tumultuous years of 2019-2021, the tech recruiting landscape faced notable shifts. Tech hiring growth strongly recovered in 2021, with the overall advertisements for tech jobs in 2021 being nearly double the number for 2019 and 2020. Even though the world’s tech giants continue to expand their influence, non-Fortune 500 tech companies made up the bulk of recent hiring growth.

While tech hiring surges, applicant pools dwindle. Compared to the average candidate pool sizes from 2020, the sizes were 35% lower in 2021. Not only that, but amid the Great Resignation, candidates have had a change of heart. Candidates no longer want to waste time at organizations that don’t live up to their expectations of the ideal employer. In fact, three-quarters of candidates say they’re considering leaving their jobs.

It’s prime time for growing tech companies to stand out from Big Tech recruiting and snag the best candidates, but only if they can handle the shifting state of applicant pools and their expectations.

To keep pace with the ever-changing world of tech recruitment and to differentiate your company from the competition, take a good look at your recruitment strategies — they’re probably long overdue for a makeover. 

Here are four key ways you can compete with Big Tech recruitment teams and land top candidates.

1. Offer Remote Work Opportunities

The gravitational pull between candidates and remote work opportunities is undeniable. To stay competitive with the big tech recruiting teams, you need to consider making remote work a reality for your organization.

If you’re not offering remote opportunities, you’re missing out on candidates. 75% of tech industry workers say it’s important for their company to allow them to work remotely indefinitely. Despite the desire to work remotely, it seems that each day a top tech company discloses their plans for an eventual return to office.

The fact is that a growing majority of people don’t want to work unless it’s from home. Offering remote options is the way to go, but there’s one caveat: it’s common for tech industry candidates who seek remote work outside of Big Tech companies to expect Big Tech salaries. If your organization can’t meet these expectations, be prepared to upgrade other elements of your compensation and benefits.

2. Show Leniency in Degree Requirements

With a number of Big Tech companies no longer requiring degrees and 90% of employers reportedly open to accepting candidates without four-year college degrees, it’s time to change your expectations on a candidate’s education.

The idea that a college degree is the surest path to a career is now antiquated. Boot camps, digital badges, vocational programs, and self-taught skills demonstrate just as much, or more, competencies necessary to excel in a professional environment.

Removing your degree requirements isn’t just a way to keep pace with the tech talent competition — from a DEI standpoint, it’s also the right thing to do. A college degree is a pricey investment that a wide range of applicants cannot afford. By removing degree requirements, you’ll create an equitable playing field for candidates of all socioeconomic backgrounds, benefit from a diversity of educational experiences, and widen your talent pool all in one fell swoop.

3. Emphasize Your Company’s Continuous Growth

Working at a tech giant with a household name may sound alluring, but don’t discount how enticing it is to work for a company with much untapped potential. 

When carving out your employee value proposition, emphasize the immense learning opportunities that come with working at a company with a focus on growing and scaling. This may be just the thing that attracts the attention of Gen Z, the future leaders of the tech workforce.

Among Gen Z-ers  who plan on leaving their current roles, 76% of this cohort indicate that they’re looking for more opportunities to learn and gain new skills, which is more than any other age group before them.  To win the hearts of Gen Z, capitalize on the growth potential of your organization. Turn your growth potential into a selling point that speaks to the opportunities that you offer in thinking outside of the box and contributing to innovation.

4. Provide What Candidates Expect: Strong Candidate Relationships

If your tech recruitment team doesn’t instill energy into generating memorable candidate relationships, you’ve already lost in the competition for tech talent.

A great candidate experience might have won candidates over in the past, but not anymore. Today’s candidates expect something deeper. Candidates want to feel valued before, during, and after the hiring process, yet more and more companies find themselves losing out on desirable candidates due to their own impersonal processes.

Don’t make that the reality for your organization. GoodTime Hire leverages Candidate Relationship Intelligence to help you transcend temporary experiences and create the type of high-quality connections that win the best talent.

Request a demo to see how Hire provides the edge that talent teams need to need stand out from the competition.

Hiring Gen Z? Here’s What They Want in the Candidate Relationship

Gen Z is the newest demographic entering the workforce, and they’re here to make waves. As the youngest, largest, and most diverse generation in United States history, Gen Z stands out from any generation that’s come before them. They’re already redefining the workplace with their unique preferences, and with Gen Z employees set to comprise 27% of the workforce by 2025, their influence will only continue to expand. From a hiring perspective, teams need to consider how to cultivate a strong candidate relationship with the Gen Z job seeker.

Talent leaders who want to win over this next generation of workers will need to get acquainted with their expectations— and fast. Forming an authentic connection with your Gen Z candidates throughout the hiring process is crucial to maintaining their interest amid a sea of other attractive job offers. 

Read on to learn how you can attract and engage Gen Z at every touchpoint in the interview process by living up to their expectations of the candidate relationship

Demonstrated Emphasis on Company Values

Despite being new to the workplace, Gen Z already knows what they value, and they don’t want to compromise. If an employer doesn’t demonstrate their principles, Gen Z will find a workplace that does. In fact, nearly 70% of young professionals in this cohort are likely to switch industries to locate opportunities that align with their values.

Work-life balance is among this group’s top principles; 42% of Gen Z candidates make a healthy work-life integration a top priority when job hunting. Gen Z seeks out employers that recognize the need to unplug and recharge once in a while to avoid burnout. It’s unlikely you’ll find this age group sacrificing their well-being for the sake of a paycheck.

Companies that don’t emphasize their values are setting themselves up for disappointment when it comes to attracting Gen Z talent. Taking time to clearly communicate what matters most to your organization in the interview stage goes a long way in cultivating a relationship with Gen Z candidates.

Commitment to DEI

DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) holds a special place in the hearts of Gen Z. 48% of United States Gen Z-ers are racial or ethnic minorities, and they want to see the diversity of their demographic reflected in the workplace.

Gen Z is leading the charge in shifting a heavier emphasis on DEI, and much of their interest comes from first-hand experiences with discriminatory workplaces. A recent study shows that 67% of Gen Z employees reported witnessing racial, ethnic, sexual, or gender-driven discrimination in the workplace, and 44% have been on the receiving end of this discrimination themselves.

In turn, this means that this generation is even warier regarding if an organization really cares about facilitating an inclusive and equitable work environment. Gen Z wants companies to champion DEI at all stages of an employee’s journey— even the pre-employment stage. 

Evaluate your pool of interviewers; do your interviewers come from a variety of backgrounds and characteristics? If not, you’re presenting an image of a workplace devoid of a diversity of perspectives. The interview is Gen Z’s first impression of your company, and failing to promote DEI starts the candidate relationship on the wrong foot.

Transparency on the Compensation Package

Gen Z candidates want their future employers to have a strong social conscience, but they want to be paid well, too; 70% say that salary is their top motivator when considering a job offer.

Salary transparency is becoming a widely discussed topic, and Gen Z is oftentimes at the forefront of these conversations. A healthy workplace culture now includes better salary transparency, and 70% of Gen Z would consider switching jobs for more of this transparency.

As a generation defined by money-conscious mindsets and honest discussions on compensation, Gen Z is not likely to tolerate companies that withhold details regarding salaries and benefits. Companies seeking to form trusted candidate relationships with Gen Z must be transparent with their compensation packages, and this means facilitating candid discussions in interviews.

Open Communication on Growth Opportunities 

To cultivate a genuine candidate relationship between Gen Z and your hiring team, it is essential to include discussions on growth opportunities within the interview process. The data doesn’t lie: in a survey, 64% of Gen Z workers identified growth opportunities as one of their top career priorities. 

Gen Z candidates want to know that they can have an exciting future at your company, but this doesn’t mean that they want to hear all about how they can someday fulfill their dreams of becoming a top executive. In the same survey, only 3% of Gen Z cited having a “fancy job title” as a priority. 

Instead, Gen Z wants their hiring process to include open dialogue surrounding how they’d be able to pick up new skills and grow their learnings in their potential future job. Overall, these candidates are looking for additional responsibilities at companies that are dedicated to maintaining their values and prioritizing the well-being of their employees.

Tech-Driven Candidate Experience

Gen Z learned how to scroll before they could speak. They were born with technology in their hands, and they expect the hiring process to keep up with their fast-paced, tech-driven lifestyles. In fact, a staggering 54% of Gen Z job seekers won’t even submit their applications if your hiring process seems outdated or unnecessarily time-consuming.

Arming your tech stack with intelligent recruitment software allows you to keep pace with Gen Z’s expectations. Prioritizing a tech-driven candidate relationship will save you both time and energy, all while ensuring that outdated hiring procedures don’t hold you back from securing top talent.

The Bottom Line: Prioritize the Candidate Relationship

Every generation has preferences in what they want in the candidate relationship, and Gen Z is no exception. This new demographic is redefining not only what an ideal work environment looks like, but also what a desirable hiring process looks like. Staying up-to-date on their expectations is crucial to winning them over.

Cultivating candidate relationships doesn’t have to be complicated. Download our eBook to learn more about the key pillars to a strong candidate relationship.