How to hire for a unique role
Recruiting for new job titles within the tech industry
By 2027, it is expected that there will be more than 5 million jobs in information technology added globally. The interesting thing? The majority of these roles haven’t been thought up yet.
Within the innovative nature of the tech sector, new roles are created daily. But, how do you hire for new or niche roles? Especially for ones that, as a recruiter, you’ve never had to source for before?
This happened to me recently when we needed to find a Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist for our growing Left Travel team. The emergence of this role was driven by the increasing access to pertinent data, a trend that has also fueled the significant rise of interest in Data Science.
While the position’s job description had some similarities to other roles I had filled in the past, the title was new. There were also KPI’s and deliverables tied to the role that were unique and very specific to ecommerce.
This article explains how, through my career experience, I followed the steps to recruit for this niche role.
During my time as a Recruitment Consultant, I had the opportunity to partner with organizations throughout British Columbia across a variety of sectors, from software development to mining to engineering, etc. Having this wide breadth of clientele gave me the chance to work with and recruit for a range of highly varied roles.
In addition, I was able to see the nuances of roles with the same titles between companies, as well as between industries. For example, an Operations Manager at ‘Tech Company A’ versus ‘Tech Company B’, or a CFO of an Accounting firm versus a Manufacturer, might have differing responsibilities and daily tasks.
With these large variations in role expectations across sectors, it was imperative to work with existing teams to better understand their needs. This practice increased my recruitment success and retention rate and eased the process for myself in finding the right person for the right role.
How it works
My approach when dealing with a role I’m unfamiliar with is to first understand the work performed by the team this person will be a part of. To do so, I sit down with each of the current team members and break down the job description to get a clearer picture of the role. My goal in speaking with the team is to determine a few key things:
- What value does this position bring to the team and, in turn, to the company?
Understanding this will give me the chance to work backwards from that point of value.
- What skill gaps does this position fill?
Understanding this helps me during the screening phase, as I can assign greater weight to certain skills that are critical. This is important because every candidate who comes through the recruiting process brings a different mix of strengths.
- How will this person be interacting with other team members?
I ask this in order to better understand how the dynamics of the team will work once I have introduced this new team member.
- What does success in this role look like?
This question helps to get the team thinking of what their ideal candidate would look like. Carefully identifying the outcomes of what will make someone in this role successful will often lead managers to realize what is truly important to them.
The conversations with team members, and answers to the questions above, provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role, far better than could be achieved by simply reading the job description. They also opened up a dialog that can sometimes lead to the team realizing there are additional or changed requirements needed to apply to the job description.
Once we’ve had a thorough conversation, I’m able to begin piecing together a better understanding of what I need to be looking for when I begin recruiting.
This process of discovery is vitally important because, without properly understanding the job in its entirety, all your subsequent screening and headhunting efforts could be misguided.
Once I have formed my understanding of the new role, I proceed to develop my recruitment campaign as I would with any other role I have hired for before.
About Brandon Langlois
Brandon is the Talent Acquisition Specialist with extensive experience developing and recruiting for hard-to-fill technical roles. His prior experience working with an international service provider enabled him to build successful and cohesive teams. Now working at Left, a technology innovations company with offices in Canada, Bangladesh, the United States, and Switzerland, Brandon’s strong recruitment and leadership development skills led the company to undergo hypergrowth in 2018. His ability to find the right culture fit for the organization has made it possible for Left to achieve a 97% voluntary retention rate.
Left is a B-Corp certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown into a global team of over 120.Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices, subsidiaries, and employees in Bangladesh, Switzerland, and the United States.