So You Want To Hire In Tech?

Note: Even though you can hire for most positions with these tricks & tools, the best use case is for talent in tech, i.e engineers, designers, product managers etc.

I don’t need to explain to you why it can be hard nowadays to hire tech talent and that many companies struggle with choosing the right tools & tactics to hire the best remote or onsite employees. You probably know this already. You are here for solutions and tools, so let’s jump right into it.

I’ve worked as a Tech Recruiter for the last couple of years (currently at On Deck), and let me tell you something. I always try to work as efficiently as possible, so I tried out dozens of tools. Note that I will present to you the tools that I find the best and that work in my setup; it can differ from person to person.

I will break it down from:

1. Sourcing

2. Outreaching

3. Interviewing

4. Recruiting Analytics


1. Sourcing

I will not talk much about job boards and how to post your job ad on different platforms because this may work for Intern/very junior positions. But once you get to more senior roles, the probability is relatively low that you will get suitable inbound applications. That’s where sourcing comes into play.

Most of the recruiters you will ask will tell you they use LinkedIn for recruiting. While that could work, it’s limited when it comes to filtering and accessing information about tech talent. Another reason why I don’t use LinkedIn anymore is that if 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn, they all have access to the same talent pool. Ask an Engineer, they don’t look in their LinkedIn DM’s anymore or even deleted LinkedIn.

I’ve tested multiple sourcing tools, and the two that I can recommend are AmazingHiring and Entelo. While both tools work similarly, the main difference is that AmazingHiring focuses on sourcing engineers, and Entelo, besides sourcing for engineers, you can use it for non-engineering roles as well. That’s why at the moment, I use Entelo since the database is more extensive. Both are not cheap: between 4800$-6000$ for a year’s license, but in my opinion, it’s worth it.

Entelo’s search engine feature allows users to identify prospective hires with desired skills. Information from social networks and professional sites is aggregated within the system for each prospective employee. The search feature can also identify candidates based qualities such as gender, race or military experience to assist recruiters with building a talent pool.

To help you better understand, I recorded a quick demo for you here.

After sourcing a bunch of candidates, the next step is to contact them via mail, leading me to the next step.


2. Outreaching

Before starting with this, you need to promise something: Never ever use these tools to spam people. Most of the time, people are interested in new opportunities, even if they wouldn’t start a new job immediately, but no one wants generic spam emails from recruiters.

The sourcing tools I told you before also have an outreaching feature, but for me, the outreaching tool also works as a single source of truth to see which candidates the organizations have already contacted. If you work with multiple recruiters in a team, there is a high probability that everyone is using different sourcing tools. That’s why it is essential to use one outreach tool together with a database of candidates so that you don’t contact the same people twice. If you are just by yourself, you are fine with doing the outreach within the sourcing tool.

There are a ton of mail outreach tools out there. The ones I can recommend are Gem and TopFunnel. I currently use TopFunnel.

Here is a quick 1min Demo I found where it gets explained

The tools again work very similarly. Your goal is to write the perfect email campaign (First mail + max. 2-3 follow-up emails). Writing an email campaign that converts is something complicated. You will need a lot of time for A/B testing to see what works for you and what does not.

I won’t go into detail here because I think every organization needs to write its own unique outreaches. If I should send you my templates, send me a mail.

Put please let me emphasize one thing again: PERSONALIZE YOUR OUTREACH. Take a look at their social profiles and try to understand why this particular candidate is a good fit for the position and then let them know why you think that. If it’s not a good fit, don’t contact them. If you do this, you will see that the response rate and interest rate will be higher than the industry standard.

You can take these conversion numbers as a benchmark. If you have better numbers: Great. If you have lower numbers: Try to personalize more.

After you sourced candidates and reached out to them, it’s now time to schedule interviews.


3. Interviewing

You probably know this already, but you can use tools like Calendly or Cal.com to save you a bunch of time scheduling interviews.

By now, you should also already have an ATS where you can organize your interviews and other recruiting stages. If you don’t have an ATS already, send me your company size and how many people you are hiring, and I will send you the best ATS for your use case. We use Lever at the moment.

Another thing I can recommend is being transparent about your recruiting stages, even before your first call. At On Deck, we built an overview for this in Miro. Another example is our Product Engineering playbook which is available publicly.

An extra trick is to record your calls with Otter.ai for automated transcripts if you forgot to write something down in your notes.

There are multiple ways to assess tech talent. You either build something manually or use third-party services. Something I can recommend especially for assessing engineers is to let them choose between a take-home challenge or a pair programming session (We do our pair-programming sessions in Replit).

You now sourced candidates, reached out to them and interviewed/assessed them. Congratulations, you can hire them now! After hiring someone, you may want to look at the last weeks/months and see how you performed.


4. Recruiting Analytics

I’m a big fan of data-driven recruiting because it helps you to optimize your team and yourself even more.

If you want to save cash and build something yourself, you can look at what kind of data you can export from your ATS and import it into Google Sheets to create your dashboard. But this takes a lot of time and is definitely not the best way to do it.

The tool I use at the moment is DreamTeam. You can easily import your data from your ATS and build your own dashboards with insights from your ATS. You can set goals within your team to achieve specific data-driven recruiting goals.

Hundreds of insights you can import
Example dashboard

Additional tools & resources

Well, there are so many more tricks and tools out there, but I hope that this overview can help you at least a little bit in your hiring goals. If you have any questions or you want to discuss things, just let me know.

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