Last year introduced a new host of challenges and opportunities for hiring managers to navigate, from emerging AI innovations to cyber attacks and economic uncertainty. This leaves many leaders and hiring managers unsure of what the future will bring. 

5 Hiring Practices to Follow in 2024

  1. Define your goals, system and processes first.
  2. Consult technical professionals before hiring.
  3. Build and nurture your talent pools.
  4. Consider contract or fractional roles.
  5. Elevate your interview game.

On one hand, there are forecasts of a hiring surge, yet we’re still witnessing unprecedented churn. Organizations are tightening budgets, cutting costs, and replacing employees with AI tools at a staggering rate. So, the question on everyone’s mind is, are tech leaders ready to navigate 2024’s unpredictable hiring market? 

From deciphering the talent and skills essential for success to adeptly handling unexpected interview questions, here are five outdated hiring practices worth ditching this year, along with recommended replacements from technical hiring experts.  


5 Hiring Practices to Avoid in 2024


1. Relying on Traditional Hiring Methods

Companies are increasingly seeking individuals with a balance of experience and fresh perspectives. Yet, these same companies adhere to outdated, standardized hiring methodologies, often entrusting critical technical recruitment to traditional, in-house recruiters.

Your HR team shouldn’t be responsible for understanding the vast complexities and nuances of the rapidly evolving tech landscape. Copy pasting hiring processes that worked for other teams or positions can lead to additional risks and blindspots around your company’s needs and the complexities of the ever-evolving tech industry. This results in a disjointed focus and gaps in technical acumen.

2. Drag out the Interview Process

In an era where time is of the essence, prolonged interview processes are counterproductive. Six interviews, endless rounds of hackathons, and obligatory whiteboarding exercises may work for tech giants, but most of us, especially those in sensitive sectors like fintech, demand a more streamlined and personalized approach.

Why burn out your top candidate or risk losing them to a competitor due to slow cycles? Additionally, some individuals may interpret the extended hiring process as a sign of disorganization or disinterest.

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3. Fall into the Trap of Divided Attention

While it’s tempting to manage multiple tasks like strategy, technical decision-making, and hiring simultaneously, leaders and hiring managers must resist the allure of divided attention. Instead, prioritize tasks and focus on the most important ones first. 

Symptoms of falling into the divided attention trap can take form in many ways, from expecting too much from one candidate to not carving out enough planned time for interviewing. The key to impactful hiring is not just to secure talent but to empower them strategically, acknowledging the unique goals, aspirations and nuances of each tech team.

4. Stifle the Feedback Loop

One of the biggest hindrances to an effective hiring process is the tendency to stifle the feedback loop. When recruiters are left in the dark about why a candidate doesn’t quite hit the mark, the quest for the right talent transforms into a blindfolded journey.

Not only does skipping this crucial step slow down the hiring process, it also prevents recruiters from finding the right fit because they don’t know the intricacies they should be looking for. This often stems from a trickle-down effect of leaders going off their gut, not knowing their non-negotiables and poor pre-planning.


5. Rush to Adopt AI

In the race to adopt artificial intelligence to cut costs, tech leaders need to pause and consider the potential dangers of over-relying on it. Since AI and large language model tools run on data, the knowledge and ability to collect and connect it effectively is paramount. To stay ahead of the curve, the ability to collect and connect data correctly will be high in demand.

On top of that, recent safety and ethical concerns about AI’s direction underscore a cultural shift towards caution, emphasizing the need to retain skilled technical talent to navigate its potential risks.


5 Hiring Practices to Adopt in 2024


1. Define Your Goals, Systems and Processes First

Creating a systematic approach to hiring and adhering to it can greatly enhance efficiency. Start by defining each step, from screening resumes to conducting interviews and ensure that everyone involved follows the same process.

Next, identify organizational pain points, map candidate capabilities and set clear goals before posting a job. Develop a 30-60-90 day plan to showcase enthusiasm and strategic vision for the role. Finally, set aside specific blocks of time on your calendar for conducting interviews. By doing so, you can ensure that you have enough time to thoroughly evaluate candidates without rushing the process.

2. Consult Technical Professionals Before Hiring

Any recruiting error — whether it be employing a candidate with the wrong experience or someone who isn’t equipped for the role — puts businesses and their customers in irreparable danger due to the sensitive nature of data and transactions that flow day to day.

That’s why it’s always helpful to use industry-specialized staffing to expedite the hiring process and get you more role-specific candidates. Having talent that knows how to break down silos, utilize APIs and understand software architecture will be ingredients for success in navigating today’s complex and vulnerable tech landscape. The crux is clear: meticulous hiring is pivotal in sculpting the stature of a company, a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly.

3. Build and Nurture Your Talent Pools

Engage with candidates to get a sense of not just what they list on their resume, but their capacity to learn. Seek to identify that spark, that hunger for knowledge, and provide the resources and data to propel them.

For example, in 2024 there will be a growing demand for cybersecurity experts, highlighting the pivotal role of human skills in averting security flaws and cyber attacks. At the same time, we’re facing critical shortages of talent with the appropriate skills.

To overcome these challenges, companies must break free from the big tech echo chamber. Build robust talent pools and network extensively with top-tier developers. In this case, smart data engineers with SQL, Python and Tableau skills will be well-positioned to pivot into cybersecurity roles, filling the job gap.


4. Consider Contract or Fractional Roles

While the hiring market will continue to be unpredictable, one thing is certain: work will still need to get done. Whether you face a change in team size, a shift in organizational priorities, or the adoption of new technology, be open to bringing on contract or fractional hires.

Contract work allows the flexibility to bring in advanced expertise for specific projects without the commitment of a full-time hire. It’s a flexible and cost-effective option, too, as there’s no need to expand permanent staff.

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5. Elevate Your Interview Game  

Ask the right questions that bridge the gap between where you are and where you see this role taking you next. Learn the art of subtly extracting non-negotiable information without leading questions. Anticipate common questions about company culture and team dynamics. Keep questions open-ended to allow candidates to share genuine experiences. Initiate small talk to make candidates feel at ease. Invite candidates to ask anything to ease concerns and showcase your commitment.

A tutorial on how to interview a candidate. | Video: Techtrust

In the dynamic hiring landscape of 2024, success lies in throwing away outdated practices and embracing a strategic, forward-thinking approach. By consulting technical professionals, defining clear goals, building diverse talent pools, recognizing transferable skills and investing in a refined hiring process, businesses will be ready to position themselves at the forefront of technical innovation. Let’s get out with the old, and in with the new.

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