Supercharge your recruitment strategies

Companies need to start utilising their recruitment marketing strategies to fully leverage their hiring processes. Discovering top tech talent is a struggle, but getting them to apply to your company is more complex and requires more of a wider team effort.  

Today’s candidates discover, explore and evaluate employers in the same way that consumers find products, hotels and restaurants. Much of the insight candidates gain into your company is acquired long before they actively apply for your job. As a result, you need to engage with them much earlier in the job-seeking process - before there even is a job-seeking process. Recruitment marketing is the strategy and process you must complete before a candidate applies for your roles.

🔎 Discover

The first step in acquiring fresh tech talent is to enhance brand awareness and start communicating this to a wider audience, with the ultimate goal of attracting like-minded people. Candidates aren’t aware of every single tech company and there will always be a multitude of companies hiring for the same role(s). In today’s market, companies think it’s best to shout about their employee benefits to attract talent but it’s time to take a step back and think about what matters the most.

🧭 Explore

The next step is to start nurturing potential candidates. Most techies are already in a role, and one that they probably like or are comfortable in, but are perhaps passively searching the tech landscape. So, what will it take to make them take the leap and apply?

The takeaway message is how can you move candidates from ‘they sound interesting’ to ‘I can see myself working at X company’.

❓ Evaluate

Candidates need to evaluate the opportunities on offer to ensure they match their desired culture, values, tech stack and work preferences. As an employer, transparency is key when it comes to advertising your tech roles.

The latter stages of the recruitment marketing cycle is driven by the actions taken by the candidate. 

📩 Apply

Once you’ve attracted, engaged and nurtured tech talent, suitably qualified candidates are highly likely to apply for your tech roles. But, keep in mind that they aren’t going to apply if they have to fill in never-ending forms, have to recreate their CV or jump through hoops just to get to the next stage of your recruitment process.

A prominent problem that companies usually face next is retaining top techies without competitors swooping in.

🔁 Join & Refer 

The concluding stages of the recruitment marketing cycle are join and refer - they are ultimately what candidates judge their application experience on. Candidates that find your recruitment process fairly straightforward are more likely to share this with others; word of mouth and referrals are the way forward to being recognised as a ‘good’ employer.

We recently hosted a joint webinar where we were joined by one of the world’s fastest-growing tech consultancies, EPAM. They shared their experiences with us when it comes to hiring new tech talent. Here’s a quick breakdown ⬇️

  • 84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above formal advertising
  • Utilising an employee advocacy programme allows you to benefit from more brand awareness, which will help attract candidates

Employer ego

The problem

It’s a renowned problem that techies are often victims of shady recruitment tactics and never-ending spam, leaving them disillusioned and turning their backs on traditional platforms like job boards and LinkedIn.

In today’s era, companies expect to advertise their tech roles and receive a flood of applications instantly. The reality is very different. There’s increasing competition within the market and many companies are feeling the pain of uncovering talent that directly matches their business’s core values and tech stack.

The solution

Companies need to rethink their hiring strategies and start to move quickly and smartly. Techies are the ones in the driving seat. It only takes one wrong move and you could lose out on a great candidate to a competitor who is already one step ahead.

The process of hiring tech talent involves a lot of time and effort being invested into sourcing the right candidates but employers often struggle with getting applications for their roles, no matter the company size or scale.

We surveyed our users and uncovered the key pain points when it comes to techies searching for their next opportunity:

Lengthy job descriptions

To stand out in a crowded market, companies need to appeal to the right audience and attract talent that directly matches their core values. Techies are the ones who hold all of the cards. With the current trends and rate at which the tech sector is moving forward, techies should be able to filter out the noise. When it comes to searching for their next opportunity, unnecessary long job descriptions are unwarranted.

We surveyed our users to see how often techies browse the tech landscape for a new role, whether that’s actively or just passively browsing for their next opportunity - 37.4% of surveyed users search for a new role at least once per month, and 28.3% of users search every day. Companies need to make their job descriptions easy to digest,  i.e tech stacks, essential requirements and salary expectations. Keep it simple. Keep it concise.

Long recruitment processes

Companies lose out on top tech talent due to the delay in responding to candidates or by taking too long to invite them to an interview.

The saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ comes into play during the hiring process. A process that involves too many steps/stages only opens up a gap for competitors to step in and steal candidates - as they can usually see the candidate’s potential from the get-go. More often than not, most candidates will have accepted another offer or found a different opportunity during this delay in communication. You have to strike the iron whilst it’s hot!

Undervaluing techies 

Salary transparency is pivotal. Over 92% of Haystack’s users say salary transparency is important and they’d like to see it within job adverts. Roles advertised as ‘competitive’ can be off-putting, even to the best of candidates, and can even portray your company’s culture and values by not disclosing this key piece of information. Candidates tend to view roles with a salary marked as ‘competitive’ as a red flag - if you can, always disclose the salary/salary range.

89% of the roles that are on Haystack are advertised with a private salary vs the 11% that have a fixed or range salary.Would you attend an interview without knowing the salary? Top techies slip through the net when they attend interviews to only find out that the pay is not as expected. It’s also bad practice to undervalue a candidate - don’t try to cut costs by going in with a low offer. 9 times out of 10, candidates will be poached by competitors who offer up a salary true to their skill set, the first time round.

P.S. we know it’s sometimes super hard to get salaries listed publicly. So we introduced a feature at Haystack that allows employers to list their salaries but make it private on job listings. We’ll then let candidates know whether the salary “meets their expectations”, is “below their expectations” or is “above their expectations”.

Employer reputation

Employer ghosting is increasingly prevalent in recruitment processes, but it doesn’t cut it when it comes to hiring in a field as in demand as tech. To build a good rapport with candidates, respond to their applications - even the ones that aren’t a good match.

We spoke to our users who had applied for one or more roles to determine the response rate of companies. The general consensus - candidates didn’t hear back from employers.

There’s nothing more frustrating from a techie’s perspective than being ghosted by companies, and consequently, companies with poor response times lose out on their best candidates. Remember, your company’s reputation is just as important to prospective candidates. You can build a bit of a reputation for yourself as either a fair, responsive employer vs an employer that ignores candidates.

How to break it all down

Long term - employer branding

Employer branding isn’t one size fits all.

It’s about showcasing who you really are and changing the dialogue surrounding your company name. Company benefits like standard holidays and beer fridges don’t cut it anymore. Stand out from the crowd and lay down what makes you, you. The better you are at employer branding, the more likely you are to attract top tech talent.

At Haystack we allow employers to build a profile that highlights their engineering practices, cultural insights and tech stack. Start engaging tech talent that resonates with you.

Medium-term - advertising

Cut through the noise and be as transparent as possible - salary insights, tech stacks and job descriptions, all play a big part in attracting the right talent.

Do your research and find out where techies are hanging out. Generic job boards just don’t make the cut. Engage communities that actually want to hear from you and think about the solutions, mentioned in the previous 2 pages, when crafting your ads.

Short-term - sourcing

Techies are turning their backs on traditional job boards, like LinkedIn. Stop sending outreach messages into the void and start engaging with tech talent that actually wants to hear from you.

Target users at the right stage and they’re more likely to buy into you as an employer - but make sure that your employer branding backs you up!Try to engage users that have opted-in to stop wasting your time and theirs.

Start proactively engaging techies that actually want to hear from you today with Haystack Headhunt (more on this on the next page).


At Haystack, we’ve built and continue to build a solution for both techies and employers. In a nutshell, Haystack is an app-based, self-serve marketplace that facilitates the connection between tech talent and employers.

We’ve recently introduced a new feature - a proactive hiring solution that allows employers to engage directly with talent that matches their job specifications.

Introducing Headhunt - your all-in-one tech hiring solution

Techies are often victims of shady recruitment tactics - dummy job listings, spam messaging, salary inflation, the list goes on. That’s why we’re giving techies the power to choose their anonymity preferences, allowing them the option to stay completely anonymous and browse on their terms, or make themselves visible and let employers apply to them. We’ve found that this leaves us with a far more engaged user-base of tech professionals that trust the platform and are actually willing to respond to employers.

We surveyed our users to gather their thoughts on Headhunt. Here’s what they had to say:

The service was super easy. I found myself leaning towards it over what I had previously been using (Indeed mostly).
Thanks to this feature from Haystack I was able to attain a role far quicker than I did with LinkedIn.

Almost 80% of advertised tech roles appeal to more senior developers however this potentially obstructs those at an earlier stage in their career from gaining relevant experience in tech.

Of those that have opted-in to Headhunt, we found that 33% of users who made themselves visible to employers were more junior vs 12% of users who were more senior level. This reiterates the expectation that companies would reach out directly with relevant roles for them to gain experience and get a foot on the tech career ladder.

The analysis:

We built Haystack to accommodate all techies, from every background, regardless of their job-seeker status. Some developers are more than happy for you to directly approach them, hence our decision to build Headhunt. Some prefer to be left alone and browse the tech scene on their terms, a concept that remains the core of the Haystack platform.

As an employer, it's up to you to cover all bases and ensure you're front and centre at every stage of the candidate's journey.

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