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The world of recruitment and HR often moves a little slow, but this isn’t the case for tech recruitment. Technology is one of the hottest sectors in the economy, with thousands of developer jobs up for grabs, and demand once again far outstripping supply. As a result, the tech recruitment sector will have to face up to some important changes and challenges over the coming twelve months to keep pace with demand.

The problem is identifying which trends are fads, and which are here for real. Stack Overflow is the world’s largest most trusted developer resource, and with that being said, I like to think I know a thing or two about what this community care about when it comes to job search. Here are the top four ways that I believe tech recruitment will change in 2018.

1. Shorter interviews

Anyone who recruits developers for a living will know first hand that they don’t take much of an interest in the job-searching process. According to a recent study by Robert Half, two-thirds of developers will lose interest in a job opportunity if they haven’t heard back within two weeks of applying, which really goes to show how impatient developers are to get the process moving.

This viewpoint is backed up by those at the top: CIO.com found that 41% of CIOs agree that their interview processes were too long. It’s therefore highly important for recruiters and HR managers to open dialogue with those in charge of setting the interview process. Go armed with the evidence you need to showcase that shorter interview processes are the way that the market is heading. Long, drawn-out interview stages will put businesses at a competitive disadvantage in an environment that is very much tilted in favor of job seekers.

2. Salary negotiations: so last season?

We’re used to thinking of the salary negotiation as an essential part of closing the deal, but what if that’s changing? It certainly is in the developer world. It’s becoming increasingly common to publish expected salary ranges alongside job ads, and this practice is encouraged by companies such as Stack Overflow, which has seen job ads which include salary get 60-75% more clicks.

Salary calculators and companies like Glassdoor are becoming increasingly widespread, and this all means that companies and the recruiters they employ will have to adapt to this new way of working. With salary estimates commonly available, there will be much less wiggle-room to negotiate salary, potentially making new hires more expensive, but also making it easier to estimate the cost of hiring in advance. Ultimately disclosing salary estimates is a great way of building up good faith among applicants, and is recommended.

3. Treating ‘financial anxiety’

This one may be surprising: developers and technical hires such as data scientists are very well paid indeed, thanks to their high demand and relative scarcity on the job market. But that doesn’t make them immune to the same worries that the rest of us face when it comes to money.

MarketWatch recently reported that more than a quarter of millennials say that financial stress affects their job performance. In addition to paying employees fairly for their work, businesses in 2018 will increasingly look to offering other financial incentives unlinked to salary to help make themselves stand out from the crowd. This could be anything from subsidized gym membership to an annual bonus. The important thing is that whatever is on offer, it’s prominently placed in the job ad.

4. Remote working

Remote working is hardly new, but it’s become incredibly popular over the past few years, particularly in the tech sector. According to the  Stack Overflow 2017 Developer Survey, up to 25% of developers in Russia work remotely, while in the UK and US that figure is around 10-15%. With video conferencing and tools like Trello and JIRA, it’s easier than ever for teams of remote workers to come together and work on projects effectively.

But what does this mean for recruiters and HR managers? It’s really important to be aware of the general ins and outs of remote working positions, and how that can affect what companies look for in candidates. Remote workers need to have more sophisticated communication skills to counteract not being in the office full time. It’s also easy to get demotivated when you’re not surrounded by colleagues all working on the same project, so look for healthy levels of energy and enthusiasm in candidates for remote working positions.

Successful recruiters and HR managers establish meaningful relationships with their clients. Really think about your offering in these four areas – remote working, salary expectation, financial anxiety and shorter interviews – and you’ll be well prepared for whatever this year has to offer you.

About the author: Sean Bave is the General Manager & Vice President of Stack Overflow Talent, helping employers engage with the worlds developers and developers find the right job. 

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