Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Why diversifying where (and how) you hunt for tech talent is crucial in today’s global age

Written By Tom Nikl | February 4, 2015

Thanks to the way that the Internet brings together people from all corners of the earth, companies in search of new talent have more options than ever before. The days of simply posting a job advertisement in a newspaper and hoping that qualified candidates will answer it are long gone. Like a good portfolio of stocks, diversification is the key to successfully finding the best talent available for your open positions. If you are looking for the brightest, most qualified talent that you can find, diversifying where and how you hunt for tech talent is a great idea.
Why diversification works
In today’s world, there are many methods that businesses can use to help them find quality talent. Old norms like career fairs and job postings are being overshadowed by newer ways like social media networking, online hackathons, code challenges, and interactive company career pages. It can seem overwhelming to think about all of the potential ways that an organization can find the kind of development talent they need, so focusing on the right mechanisms for their organization is critical.
Diversifying where you hunt for tech talent works with this setup because the more places you look, the larger percentage of the overall talent pool you will have access to. There are probably some great developers who don’t have the time, or simply aren’t aware of some of the options available to them for connecting with companies that need their services. For example, imagine that there was a developer looking for work in your geographic area who scored extremely high on a coding challenge related to what your business does, but didn’t know that you were looking for developers. If you don’t diversify, you’ll never get the chance to connect with this type of talent.
Search broadly, but specifically
Diversifying where you hunt for tech talent consists of more than just using several different methods to advertise for a development role at your company. You also need to diversify the type of people you are recruiting for these positions by recruiting based on merit, a la, the developers who score highly on code challenges that are specifically relevant to your business tech needs.
By doing this type of detailed screening, you help guarantee that your interview time is maximized, and the candidates you bring on board are well suited to the role you are looking to fill. For example: instead of hiring based on experience level or which kind of hiring channel the candidate used, you could incorporate coding exercises into an online application form to immediately judge the skills of candidates.
This type of diversification is also critical to building a well-rounded team that works cohesively together, since different kinds of candidates will always bring different types of experiences and abilities to their workplace. The ability to pre-screen with code challenges also gives potential future teammates a great insight into who they would (and would not) want to work with.
Think outside the norm
For a long time the tech industry has been dominated by male engineers and developers, and in many ways it still is. But, this is a challenge that is well-recognized and documented in many parts of the tech world, especially in the Silicon Valley hotbed of tech and Internet companies. Fortunately, the tide is turning and today’s executives and educators understand this challenge and are approaching it head-on: many programs are being established to improve the number of women and other underrepresented populations in the workforce.
In St. Louis, the Coder Girl movement is helping bring women closer into the technology fold and in October HackerRank is hosting a female-only CodeSprint to help encourage more and more women to join the field. In the Salinas Valley, the CSIT-In-3 program aims to help the Latino population find better tech jobs, too. These are just two examples of the greater trend in tech to be more inclusive to everyone. Great companies know that technology and innovation only get better when a more diverse set of people and ideas are present. Hiring from a more diverse pool of talent also means you can more frequently hire the kind of developer who may have all the skills you need but for whatever reason did not have access to your job posting.
This is why new means to evaluate candidates are so valuable to tech recruiting in the 21st century. These methods of evaluating developers are inherently diverse because the criteria is based on skill and nothing else. By diversifying both the type of talent you look for and the techniques that you use to find this talent, you can give yourself the best possible chance of retaining excellent team members who will help your organization accomplish its goals.

Want to find out even more ways to find talent where you least expect it? Click below to download our guide, “4 Unconventional Ways to Source Top Tech Talent“, or sign up for a free trial at HackerRank for Work.

Get the Guide


How to Make Technical Interviews More Inclusive