5 key principles to keep in mind
As the VP of Human Resources at Zaga, I find it empowering to address one of the most exciting challenges we face—finding and retaining exceptionally talented individuals who are fully prepared to become an integral part of our teams.
With over 18 years of experience in hiring for the tech sector and working with various clients and their unique needs, I firmly believe that together, we can embrace the great opportunities that lie ahead in attracting the right people to our companies.
Indeed, it’s essential to acknowledge that selection processes may sometimes deviate from our expectations, and it’s not solely due to a candidate’s lack of preparation.
Sometimes, we, the interviewers, can make improvements, which are always enlightening. We need to be inspiring from the first moment. We must recognize that the candidates are also evaluating us. It’s a two-way street.
When we invite someone for an evaluation, they ponder, “Is this where I want to work? Is this the team with whom I can grow? Is the technical challenge captivating? Do hiring managers have the work and leadership style that will allow me to give my best?”
We want to share with you what is the Zaga recruiting experience, what our candidates recognize as an ingredient in the secret sauce that makes them choose us. Considering this perspective opens the door to refine our actions, enabling us to attract potential game-changers.
These 5 principles are:
While the resume serves as a valuable guide, candidates nowadays invest less time in filling out forms and more time in discussing and showing their skills. We enthusiastically embrace the idea that a resume is just the beginning. We believe in fostering genuine conversations that illuminate the rich tapestry of skills and experiences individuals bring. Our aim is to inspire candidates to share their unique qualities, knowing that true potential often extends beyond what’s written on paper.
Our process remains open-minded, inviting candidates to showcase their abilities and passions. Willingness to look beyond the paper is the key.
Just as we embrace agility in our projects, let’s infuse this trait into our recruitment journey.
While we should maintain high standards in our assessment steps (we recommend no more than 3 calls), we must clearly outline the process, expectations for each stage, and its purpose.
Acknowledge that candidates we invite are often already engaged elsewhere. Demonstrating sensitivity to their time commitments signals genuine care and attracts them to us. A nimble and respectful approach resonates powerfully in today’s fast-paced world.
Time can work for or against us. Let’s ask ourselves, “If I’ve already found someone I like, is it worth risking losing them by waiting for more candidates? Or would I rather secure them before they’re gone?”
Under my perspective, the reasoning should lean towards “If I like them, I’ll take them.” Waiting more than 1 week to make a decision is a significant risk. While we may occasionally recover someone we saw some time ago, more often than not, they won’t wait for us. It pains me deeply to receive a response like, “I just accepted another offer and started this week,” after having invested time and expectations in someone.
However, we must acknowledge that time alone does not grant us the ability to make decisions. This conviction is nourished by what we refer to as Talent Recruiting Urgency Analysis, an equation that factors in three variables when assessing a decision’s timing: the complexity of acquiring the desired profile, the immediacy of integrating this individual into the team, and the level of demand for such talent in the market.
When a situation calls for urgency, quick decisions are in order. In a competitive market with mounting pressure, swift action becomes imperative.
As we stand side by side in this endeavor, our goal remains clear: to make the right move at the right time. In this competitive arena, time is both a cherished ally and a formidable foe, and the power to decide rests in our collective hands.
In a world of shifting sands, clear expectations provide a solid foundation. Candidates value clarity about where they stand, the time investment required, the nature of the calls, and the interactions they can expect. Sharing the structure of our process upfront and adhering to it demonstrates reliability.
Should changes arise, we’ll communicate these in advance, ensuring alignment with the original process. Setting expectations and delivering on them builds trust and rapport.
Not every team member is cut out for conducting interviews. A positive attitude, active engagement (turning on the camera, breaking the ice, making a few statements that give context to the process), and inspiring interactions are pivotal. Focusing on inspiring rather than intimidating candidates leads to positive outcomes.
Let’s aim to find technically proficient individuals who can challenge candidates during the calls while showing empathy and a deep understanding of the team’s needs. Technical prowess alone is no longer enough.
Indeed, conducting hiring processes in today’s market has changed. Many managers may boast, “I’ve been doing this for over 25 years.” While experience is undoubtedly valuable, we must recognize that the landscape of software talent has evolved and we must evolve with it.
We’re not dealing with individuals who plan to stay in a job for years; we’re competing in a vast, diverse market.
The people we seek are becoming increasingly discerning in identifying what they want and embracing what they desire.
Believe in us, for we are all united in pursuit of the same goal. Let’s embark on this journey hand in hand, creating a hiring experience that is clear and delightful for the applicant, while simultaneously assertive and effective for the company. The future beckons, and together, we’ll make it extraordinary.
SVP, Human Resources