In part 1 I wrote about some of the challenges firms are facing around hiring engineers in 2018.

Here are my 5 top tips to consider when hiring and interviewing for those “unicorns”

1) Be realistic

What do you actually need from your ever-growing wish list of skills? Is the latest and greatest tech stack actually needed to achieve your goals as a business? Does someone have to be a superstar or can the business facilitate someone who has the potential to grow and learn in the role?

As much as you want a superstar engineer when push comes to shove does the engineer want you? Offering flexi-time and a beer on a Friday isn’t enough to attract the same pool of candidates that your more established competitors are also attracting.

Be realistic about who you are and what level of talent you can attract at this point. If they can do a job for you. Then hire and work with them to make them amazing.

2) Be prepared to pay for the best talent

The disconnect between what candidates feel is their market worth and where companies benchmark their skill set is widening. If you don’t have a rockstar budget then maybe it’s time to accept that a junior option is more suitable right now. Alternatively, can some of those desired skills be shelved for now?

3) Is your interview process ruling out great talent?

How many technical tests are truly necessary to assess someone’s technical ability?

Understandably the candidates will need to prove their skills in the interview process, however, putting candidates through multiple technical challenges is not only ruling out candidates who could thrive given the right environment but also jeopardises the interview experience.

Candidates have choices and your 4 technical tests can be offputting when competitors who are offering similar roles have lowered the barrier to entry.

Can the same conclusions be made through fewer and less time consuming technical assessments? Have we also considered that technical testing isn’t a natural way to assess skills and great talent can be overlooked because they don’t respond well to pressure or that type of assessment

4) Don’t procrastinate

If you meet the love of your life on your first date do you put them on hold to continue dating in case there is someone better out there? Of course not. So why do we hear the dreaded “I need to make a comparison” so often? If the candidate can do the job and fits in with the culture of the business make an offer. You will lose them and they will become “the one that got away”

5) Take chances on people

Unicorns don’t exist. Humans do. With their flaws and eccentricities. Let’s celebrate these differences and nurture people who demonstrate a willingness to learn, develop and embrace hard work ethic.

Can training and development be offered through induction and throughout their careers to get them up to the level required? Are there external courses that can bridge the skill gap?

This blog isn’t intended the be negative. It’s a reflection of my findings in the market right now. Matching great candidates with great companies is my passion. It’s never been easy. But it also doesn’t have the be this hard either.

If you would like to discuss how my team at Salt can help you find solutions to your hiring challenges then we would love to speak with you.

Happy hiring!