Insights into Talent Acquisition from an Expert IT Recruiter

  • Insights into Talent Acquisition from an Expert IT Recruiter
An In-Depth Interview with Tatyana Kharaskina
Today, we're joined by Tatyana Kharaskina, a Senior IT Consultant from GitMax . Our discussion will delve into the intricacies of navigating the competitive talent landscape. From managing candidates juggling multiple job offers to championing diversity in hiring, we'll explore effective strategies for securing top talent while fostering inclusivity. Welcome, Tatyana!

Thank you for having me. It's great to be here.
Handling Multiple Job Offers
In a competitive talent landscape, how do you handle situations where candidates are simultaneously pursuing multiple job offers, and what tactics do you use to secure top talent?

“Whenever I interview a candidate, I try to find out what other opportunities they are considering, where they are in the process, and why those opportunities appeal to them. This helps me understand how my opportunity compares to others and how it relates to their key drivers.
Ongoing communication, regular check-ins, and interview debriefs also help me stay on top of things and respond quickly to any changes.
And last but not least, being aware of timing and prepared to act promptly when needed is another key ingredient to staying competitive in the market.”
Addressing Bias in Hiring Practices
How do you respond to criticisms that traditional hiring practices are inherently biased and perpetuate inequality within the tech industry?

“While the problem exists, I have observed many positive changes in recent years, with an increasing number of businesses taking ‘inclusion and diversity’ policies very seriously and taking action to address any related issues. I have noticed that more data is being published to raise awareness, and new policies and practices are being implemented to support non-biased hiring.”
Balancing Speed and Thorough Evaluation
How do you address the tension between the need for speed in hiring and the importance of thorough candidate evaluation, especially for critical technical roles?

“I think the problem lies not in the duration of the process, but in a lack of efficiency and clear communication. This can be improved through the use of technology (there are plenty of truly helpful AI tools out there) and also by effectively delegating work to a recruitment agency. Working in close partnership with a recruitment agency that you trust, and providing them with in-depth information and clear communication, are essential steps for successful and fast hiring. Some companies may not have 45 minutes to conduct a proper job brief, yet they spend hours reviewing poor-quality CVs and interviewing the wrong candidates.”
Advocating for Non-Traditional Candidates
Can you discuss a time when you had to advocate for a candidate who didn't meet all the traditional qualifications but possessed unique skills and potential that aligned with the role?

“I do it all the time, as it’s part of my job.
Once, I helped an underpaid candidate, whom we’ll call Sarah, land the job she deserved. Despite holding a non-managerial title for years, in reality, she performed all the duties of a manager and a senior team member. From our conversation, it was clear that Sarah should have been promoted at least three years ago and received at least a 20% higher salary.
So, I encouraged her to apply for the Associate Director role, despite her initial doubts. In my email to the client, I emphasized that despite Sarah’s seemingly junior job title, she was fully qualified for the Associate Director position and would excel in it. Sarah received an offer with a significant salary increase. It was a win-win for both Sarah and the client. She has remained with the company to this date and has since been promoted again.”
Leveraging Global Talent Pool for Diversity
With the global talent pool more accessible, how do you leverage this opportunity to attract diverse talent, ensuring an inclusive hiring process?

“Having the ability to source candidates internationally is indeed a great advantage these days. To ensure an inclusive hiring process, I make sure everyone has access to the same opportunities and service, regardless of their location or hiring challenges.
I also do my best to support candidates who require visa sponsorship. I know from personal experience that this often adds extra stress and imposes limits on available opportunities.”
Evaluating Soft Skills in a Virtual Setting
How has the pandemic influenced your evaluation of candidates' soft skills in a virtual setting?

“I do not think the pandemic has had a drastic impact on how engineers interact with recruiters or within their teams. Zoom calls were a main communication channel and a common practice long before Covid-19, at least in my experience.
To assess candidates’ soft skills, you can ask them about their projects, the challenges they had to overcome, and what motivates them.
But generally speaking, having an open and honest conversation has always worked best for me. If someone is not a people person, they will tell you; there is no need to beat around the bush. Being direct seems to be a shared superpower among many engineers, haha.”
Ensuring Accessibility in Technical Interviews
How do you ensure technical interviews are accessible while maintaining rigor in evaluating candidates?

“It is always a challenge for a non-technical person to conduct a thorough assessment of candidates’ technical skills.
For this reason, having a job briefing call with the engineering team prior to the search is essential for successful delivery. Such a call will help you understand their requirements, differentiate between must-have and desired skills, and clear any doubts you might have.”
Building Cohesive Remote Teams
How do you evaluate candidates for remote work and build cohesive remote teams?

“I would ask candidates if they have worked in the remote environment before and how they feel about it. It’s useful to explore challenges they’ve faced and their strategies for overcoming them.
To build cohesive remote teams, I think it is essential to replicate a real office environment in a virtual world. This includes not only work-related meetings and events but also entertainment and social events, as simple as virtual coffee catch-ups and Friday game nights.
It’s crucial to set clear KPIs and business goals, ensuring transparency so that the team is aligned with both personal and shared objectives. Celebrating both team and individual achievements is also key.”
Addressing Job Automation Concerns
How do you address concerns about job loss due to automation in recruitment and future-proof talent acquisition strategies?

“I believe AI is our future and will only make recruitment more efficient and effective. Jobs that become obsolete will be replaced by new jobs that have never existed before, so I do not think recruiters will be left without work. We will potentially be hiring for different roles. It is indeed sad that some professions might be replaced by AI, but people can always pivot and learn new skills. If AI replaced recruiters, I wouldn’t cry over it; I would happily pivot into something else. This is in answer to the question about my concerns; I have no idea what the future will hold.”
Leveraging Social Media for Talent Acquisition
Can you share your experience leveraging social media to attract passive candidates in the IT sector?

“Being active on LinkedIn helps me stay connected with my network and stay up-to-date with market trends. Creating polls is effective for better understanding your audience, while writing stories and articles helps to engage with them. Publishing the latest jobs on the wall also helps to increase engagement and sometimes results in attracting the right candidates. Asking for referrals and recommendations is also a great way to attract passive candidates.”
Thank you, Tatyana, for sharing your invaluable insights into the complexities of navigating the competitive talent landscape.

My pleasure!
In conclusion, we at GitMax believe that navigating the competitive talent landscape requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes understanding candidates' motivations, advocating for inclusivity, and leveraging innovative strategies. By actively addressing concerns, fostering diversity, and embracing technological advancements, we not only secure top talent but also contribute to shaping a more inclusive and resilient workforce. Through continuous adaptation and engagement with diverse platforms, we build robust talent pipelines that are poised to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of the IT sector.
Ally Schulz
Writer / IT Admirer/ Creative Soul