If you are IT recruiting in San Francisco, you are all too familiar with the level of competition in the Bay Area for the best IT people. You also know that every year that competition tightens more.

How high is the pain point now? According to the Forbes report on cities creating the most tech jobs:

The San Francisco metro area, which includes tech-heavy suburban San Mateo County, ranks first. The City by the Bay and its environs, a hub for technical service firms like Uber and Salesforce.com, has experienced remarkable 90% growth in tech employment and a 36.5% expansion in STEM jobs from 2006 to 2016.

Your hope for success is rooted in your staying a step ahead of your competition when it comes to how you go about IT recruiting in San Francisco. The following best practice tips, taken together, are a sure-fire approach to boost your success rate.

1. Craft A Winning 2018 IT Recruiting Strategy

San Francisco recruiters have a jump start on other tech hubs: the city itself is attractive to young tech candidates. As Computerworld notes, Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Twitter, and Salesforce.com all have either headquarters or large offices in San Francisco—which makes the city a tech magnet.

Computerworld quotes former Mayor Ed Lee who reminded us that:

We have this incredible mix of faiths, languages and international cultures in San Francisco. It gives you that sense, if you are developing or designing products, that you’re part of the world and having an impact. There’s a vibrancy here with different cultures that attracts people. That’s why younger workers spend so much money to live here—they’re attracted to the city and our values.

Regardless of the significant advantage the location coveys, a winning IT recruiting strategy for the Bay Area still must include all the basics—that is, the 2018 basics.

Fortunately, the research team at Talent Board has done the heavy lifting of pulling together the best practices for IT recruiting from their 2017 Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards and Benchmark Research Program. Yes, these basics apply across the nation—but consider that you are recruiting from a nation-wide pool (or larger) as well.

The Talent Board report has three key conclusions:

  1. The need for a customer-centric approach. Best practices in 2018 include teams hosting live chats on career sites and social media, as well as starting to use chatbots to respond to more general questions.
  2. Excellence in the area of consistent communication, especially feedback. Tech candidates now seek out—and refer others to—companies that give candidates feedback from the start of the recruiting process, and ask them for their feedback before the ink is dry on their application. The Talent Board report underscores the fact that companies with an excellent approach to communicating with candidates stand out in a tight recruiting market.
  3. Recognition that the IT recruiting process has a business impact (more on this in the section on hiring managers, below)—whether a candidate is hired or not. Those candidates who rated their experience negatively and let others know can cost a company. “Loss of revenue for consumer-based businesses, referral networks for all companies and whether or not … candidates apply again.” On the other hand, candidates who rated their experience positively (hired or not) are likely to “apply again, refer others and make purchases when applicable.”

Our blog, How to Master IT Recruiting in 2018, offers you a guide that should play a part in your winning strategy as well.

2. Rely On A Diverse Team To Innovate

Talent acquisition takes a village.

So, this may seem counterintuitive. But the more diverse your recruiting team, the more productive your company’s efforts will be at landing top talent. It’s parallel to the way high tech firms innovate. IT recruiting in San Francisco calls for both creativity and innovation. They both require generating ideas from a team of diverse recruiters.

  • Just ask the team at the Bay Area company, LinkedIn, whose Open Mic nights in San Francisco showcase the connection between technology and arts, and get current LinkedIn employees to highlight their role at LinkedIn and how they came to work there.
  • Why? According to Jennifer Shappley, the head of Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn, “to help attendees develop an emotional connection with the company.”
  • Their result? After four Open Mic nights, Shappley reports that: “LinkedIn has recruited 14 new hires, all diverse candidates, and has a pipeline of potential candidates to continue to woo.”

That’s a remarkable achievement for IT recruiting in the Bay Area.

Get staff input, too

Shappley urges recruiters to turn to their company’s Employee Resource Group. Or at least, ask other tech staff members to support your recruiting efforts. Shappley says, “If you engage your employees, it will feel less like a recruiting event and more like an employee-sponsored event.”

3. Manage Your Hiring Manager

When it comes to recruiting in San Francisco, it’s not enough to identify the best candidates. Getting your hiring managers to say yes is key. Here’s how:

  • According to San Francisco State’s Prof. John Sullivan, “Managers live in a world that’s data-driven, but mostly it’s about money” and they are focused on only these four business impacts: business goals, bonuses, promotions, and time.”
  • Sullivan cautions, “Don’t bother coming in to talk to hiring managers about diversity or time to hire, because it just glazes them over…. But, if you come in and tell them you can increase their sales by 20 percent, then they will listen to you, instantly.”

Do you know the real story behind the impact of your work?

“If you do great recruiting, you can increase revenue by 3.5 times,” says Sullivan. On the other hand, a shaky hire can cost your company ten times his or her salary. Let that sink in.

Additionally, Sullivan offers several more critical pointers on successfully managing your hiring managers here.

4. Predict Retention Rates

Getting your preferred candidates to come on board is one thing. Getting them to stay at least one year in your tight market is quite another.

Recruiting Trends highlights the experience of DocuSign’s Senior Director of Recruiting, Susan Ross, at their San Francisco headquarters: “By implementing technology that predicts whether job prospects will leave before the end of year one, Ross says, the company was able to avoid making roughly 11 bad hires, thereby saving more than $1 million in salary.”

DocuSign’s secret? They initiated the use of reference checks to predict retention—an atypical application for this tool.

How? SkillSurvey. They’re a firm which handles reference checking and credentialing. This enables recruiters like you to look for patterns among the recorded responses from your long-term employees. Then, you can match those to responses from your top candidates.

5. Seek External Partners

Consider partnering with agencies such as the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which is looking at what capabilities our service veterans are bringing to the Bay Area with an eye towards matching skills and aptitude with Bay Area tech needs.

Bob Woodruff Foundation executive director Ann Marie Dougherty says:

As the job market changes and technology provides new opportunities, the American business community has a unique opportunity to harness veterans’ cross-functional skill sets.

Dougherty goes on to explain that the group is reviewing “the interplay between the military, tech and the workforce.”

Keep networking. You just never know where an idea for IT recruiting or the perfect candidate may turn up.

The RightWorks Advantage

Our team at RightWorks understands the critical role you play in the success of your company. And our deep experience in IT recruiting has built-in tools and systems that work. Additionally, we offer a 30-day guarantee to back up our claim.

In conclusion, when you look for external recruiting partners, consider letting us show you how we can help.