A staggering 96 percent of tech employees don't believe recruiters are best at evaluating candidates for tech roles, meaning a mere four percent trust in their ability to hire well. Rather, employees believe their colleagues are better placed to assess candidates given their tech backgrounds - and given the recruiters lack of expertise in the area. So says the results of a survey carried out by Rooftop Slushie - a site that matches job-seekers with insiders at big tech companies for mentoring and referrals.
The open job referrals platform was originally designed to have credible tech employees give advice on interview preparation, resumes, and offer career advice, but was later amended to extend the access of referrals that only used to happen within closed professional networks, enabling tech employees at some of the world’s biggest tech firms the chance to build their “dream team”, while sidestepping traditional recruiters.
In India especially, where IT forms one of the country’s two largest sectors, representing around eight percent of the nation’s overall GDP in 2017 and generating an annual revenue of almost 180 billion U.S. dollars, sourcing appropriate IT talent is a particularly daunting challenge. A huge talent shortage is already expected for 2021: as the IT job market gradually aligns with the megatrends of evolving technology, there will be around 200,000 new jobs opening up in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data which firms will struggle to fill. IT service firms will remain the biggest employers of tech talent, filling 21.61 percent of these roles. But recruiters continue to use traditional avenues to fill roles, and firms are finding the talent being presented as mostly lacking.
“Technical recruiters usually do not come from technical backgrounds yet they are tasked with evaluating candidates for positions that require a high level of technical abilities… Recruiters lack the skills to accurately judge whether a candidate is interesting from a technical background, and they look for prestigious schools and companies in a resume instead,” says Daniel Kim, leader of Growth and Operations at Rooftop Slushie. “Some of our users have said that it is common in the tech industry for recruiters to bring 10 resumes and for all of them to be poor candidates.”
“Data also showed that almost three-quarters of respondents said they wouldn't have an issue referring someone they didn't personally know, as long as they are a qualified candidate,” Daniel said. “So we thought, what if we created an official space where professionals could source and give referrals to qualified candidates?”
The Rooftop Slushie platform was then developed as a space where users could pay and incentivize professionals to fulfill referral requests. Within a short amount of time, the platform fulfilled 2,000+ referrals, with 37 percent of the referred candidates receiving an onsite interview and with referred candidates having a 95 percent response rate, as opposed to no response at all, as is usual in the recruitment process. Software engineers, app developers, coding graduates - you name it - simply need to pay a small fee to gain a referral from an employee at Microsoft, IBM, or Twitter, for example, and provided they fit the criteria will then move onto the next stage of recruitment.
“In India especially, firms could benefit enormously from this very personal and verified referral platform,” Daniel continued. “With buy-in from Google, Amazon and Facebook, we have some of the biggest tech firms in the world as members, so it’s where you want to be also if you are in IT.”