Do you know what the biggest frustration in the Swedish tech industry is right now? Lack of investments? Not really. Lack of customers? Nope. Lack of people? No way!
Actually, the biggest frustration I hear, when speaking with people working in tech companies, is all the time and effort they have to spend – not on finding people – but rather finding the right people to hire. This frustration of theirs typically involves :
- Sifting through hundreds of CVs, so badly written they can be mistaken for abstract art.
- Sitting in with several colleagues on an endless number of interviews with candidates who are clearly not a match for the job.
- Making bad, and therefore costly, hires meaning lower productivity, higher management costs, and eventually having to do it all over again
- und so weiter.
In recent years, we have seen a steady growth of the number of job boards in Sweden that post IT job ads. This is part of a global trend where more of the traditional recruitment activities are possible to carry out online. This is in many ways a fantastic and positive trend, enabling people to identify matches and connect over long distances. I, for one, find LinkedIn extremely useful for part of my work as a tech recruiter. But the problem resides in the numbers:
- As of Q3 last year, LinkedIn reported having 467 million users.
- A Google search for “IT recruiting” renders 52,6 million hits.
- Monster’s pitch for clients buying a job ad premium is that it will allow for receiving up to 20 resumes, as if the magic happens after receiving 15.
Now, let’s think about where this leaves the hiring managers. What does this trend do for them? Well, quite simply, they risk getting swamped, not seeing the forest for all the trees. In contrast to the business logic of job boards, what hiring managers in tech companies really want is to receive strong candidates that can become top performers in their company. Basta! That’s it. Job boards, on the other hand, what they want is to boost their metrics to show massive numbers of candidate resumes and job ads. Because this still seems to appeal to many companies out there. So they do everything to make it easier for candidates to apply to jobs by just clicking a button (like Easy Apply) or even to make it possible to apply to multiple jobs at the same time. One must wonder, is it really in the interest of hiring managers to receive applications from candidates who hardly need to be conscious when submitting them?
If you are running a tech startup, time is one of your most valuable commodities. You need to crack on with focus to reach that next milestone. You do not have time to drown in CVs and manage low performing developers. Yet it is often the startups that try to rely the most on going at it themselves, using job boards and the like. Fair enough. We all are accountable for our own decisions. But here is a piece of good news, a good recruitment agency can actually help you save – and make – money through better recruitments. You just need to make sure it is a good one.
At Sync Accelerator we have talked a lot about our talent pool of newly arrived and international programmers in Sweden, roughly a 1000 individuals. Does that mean we are also playing the numbers’ game? No! First, 1000 individuals is not much when compared with the ocean of CVs found on job boards. Not a drop actually. Secondly, they all meet very high ‘lowest-level of quality standards’ such as an academic degree and several years’ of relevant experience in their specialty. Thirdly, our talent pool is only one aspect of our recruitment operation. For each recruitment and client, we begin with agreeing on a particular strategy, based on which we then proceed with a specific recruitment campaign that is tailored to find the right type of top performers for the client in question. Fourth, when we talk about being a haven for international tech talent in Sweden it is because we can see how paying homage to the skills of immigrants can actually increase the chances of finding top performing tech talent in a Sweden. where not enough in-born programmers graduate from our leading universities.
I want to end with one example. This last November, Rami, an IT architect from Syria, had been unemployed in Sweden for over 2 years. Meanwhile, Telia Company had been struggling to find someone with his skill-set and personality. In a cooperation with Bravura, Sync Accelerator managed to introduce Rami to Telia which led to him being employed as their System architect. How could it be that somebody so qualified like Rami had been missed out on for so long? Well, maybe part of the answer is that hiring managers at tech companies get so swamped in CVs and job board applications that they stop seeing the forest for all the trees.
So this is my humble opinion, but what is your perspective?
/Johan Engström, Sync Accelerator