Human Resource professionals working for IT companies are now witnessing a ‘revolution’ in their role as recruiters. More IT job offers than candidates took away recruiters’ power and appealed to new, innovative ways of recruitment. e.near’s recruiters helped us understand the dimension of this new scenario by giving us their own testimony.
On this Human Resource Professional Day we decided to search deeper into the work of our amazing HR Team. Maria João, Petra Palma and Sara Lopes are our ‘talent pickers’ – the ones who find and recruit incredible IT talents for e.near and our partners. They all come from diverse backgrounds – and that’s why they truly complement each other.
But let’s start from the beginning and try to figure out how each one of these three women became part of e.near’s RH team:
Maria João graduated in Computer Science, but she always loved people management. She started her career as an IT manager. However, her passion spoke louder: and she soon specialised in recruitment. For Petra Palma, things were different. Before being an IT recruiter, she worked for a temporary placement company. There, she had to ‘recruit for a bit of everything’. Later, the IT challenge began – she became a recruiter for a French Nearshore IT Company. And for Sara, who studied to be Senior Technician of Human Resource Management, it all started with a curricular internship.
How recruiters lost their ‘lead role’ in the recruitment process
We know that they love what they do, but they also know that being a recruiter doesn’t come without some challenges. And what a great challenge it is to be an IT recruiter nowadays! From the expertise needed to recruit IT profiles, to the lack of response of these professionals to job offers, recruiters are facing a ‘revolution’ of what used to be their role. Rules changed. Petra Palma believes that a “de-characterization of the recruiter’s role” is happening and it’s currently the professionals’ biggest challenge. “The candidate is the epicentre of the hiring relationship”, she explains. That might be one of the reasons why Maria João says that she doesn’t want to be “just another recruiter”. She battles to make a difference and “create empathy with the candidate”.
But how come this happened? How did IT recruiters lose their ‘lead role’ in the recruitment process? “It’s the lack of IT professionals that the market is facing currently”, explains Maria João. According to Petra, this change is creating even bigger problems. “Especially junior recruiters are becoming emotionally detached from the person and more focused on the tendency of the collective. They are now trying to know where to meet candidates. Where they hang out and to which conferences do they go.”
However, that shortage of professionals might not be the only reason behind that scenario change, as it usually never is. The technology revolution we’re living with all social media, including professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn, impacted this area. “When I started recruiting, only a few high-level profiles were present on LinkedIn. Today, everybody has a Linkedin account, and everyone is so tired of using it”, explains Petra. She adds that, although it is a little exaggerated, nowadays, “not having a Linkedin profile is almost like not existing”.
LinkedIn is, however, the main source of recruitment, at least in this technology field. It’s easy to understand why people spend so much time there, usually presenting themselves as the best of the best, with lots of different skills and valuable knowledge. So, this scenario of lack of IT professionals plus a high competition for being the best is leading to what Petra names “the speculation of the IT professional market.” She explains that “if, on the one hand, the talent of someone with that profile should not be called into question, on the other hand, we are witnessing a growing number of engineers who, in a couple of years, are able to earn astronomical wages.” Some of the consequences are crystal clear – engineers with LinkedIn mailboxes full, and a really hard time for companies that can’t afford to ‘play the game’.
But let’s understand what it’s really necessary to be a great IT candidate. Soft skills are certainly more important than ever, but we’re sure that IT jobs cannot be done only out of those. “Both are important, soft and hard skills. If we need to hire someone and soft skills such as self-observation, persistence, resiliency and communication are fundamental, it doesn’t matter if the candidate is a tech guru”, explains Maria João. Petra adds that “a Senior Developer may have good technical skills… But if he doesn’t have a team spirit, for example, it can be damaging to the performance of his duties.” But Sara reminds us that, sometimes, “it might depend on the tech language and position we’re looking for too”.
What e.near does to appeal to candidates and retain talent
And what about e.near? We’re an IT company as well. So, we’re obviously in need of candidates, the right profiles and good professionals for our nearshore partners. We don’t owe any magical formula. But it’s been years of improving our offers while amplifying the benefits offered to our employees. “It’s a family company with a great environment. You have flexible working hours and also the possibility of home office. We offered that even before the pandemics”, underlines Maria João. Sara adds that “the liberal organizational environment” plays an important role too. That’s because e.near has a strategy of maintaining talent through valuing each individual. And we try to do our best in order to keep everyone happy.
We offer our employees some benefits such as discounts in partner companies such as gyms, banks, restaurants, and hotels. But that’s obviously not all. “e.near promotes various events throughout the year to help the social bonding. Fruit is distributed in the office. Physical exercise classes are fostered. And, amongst other activities, every single month, there’s a general meeting with Inês Malheiro, e.near’s CEO. There, she informs us about the company’s news and allows everyone to meet and speak out!” Petra, focusing on the wider perspective, refers that “as a company, e.near helps you to develop yourself. It’s a company that respects your own ideas. If there’s a will, there’s definitely a way to help you.”
The future of IT recruitment
Far from their first recruitment interview where they felt “a mix of feelings” and “butterflies in the stomach”, our HR team is now used to do a very specialised (but wide) kind of work. They know exactly what they have to do so that great profiles become candidates. They are innovative and professional, even when some candidates’ attitudes might hurt. And that is the case sometimes when you’re a recruiter. “We need to have a strong nutshell and not be permeable to criticism”, explains Petra, after telling us that LinkedIn plays, like any social media, the main role in this criticism towards recruiters.
So, what the future holds is uncertain, but it will be even more challenging, that’s what we know. However, Maria João is certain about something: they’ll have to come up with more innovative ways of recruitment in the future. Sara tells us that, not knowing how it will be, she’d like this “current situation to overturn”, wishing for days where the technology field reaches a balance between candidates and job offers. And Petra finalises saying that “the recruitment process of a tech language will be done in line with this vortex of needs. If the requirements of these functions are not well designed, we may have a thousand people on the market with certain technologies. But we will hardly be able to find them. The fewer variables we can control when looking for a profile, the less capacity we’ll have to find the right one. If he even exists!”.