This Is How You Accelerate Your Tech Recruitment

When I did my first hire for my previous recruitment business back in 2005, it took us a good 6 – 8 weeks to get from putting together the job description to having our hire sign off on the employment contract.

We were extremely fortunate that she was able to wait out for such an extended period.

In today’s world, nobody has the patience to wait so long.

But despite all the technological advancements from online job boards to Applicant Tracking Systems to LinkedIN to Recruitment Marketing and Data Analytics, it still takes that long if not longer.

I have a friend who went through 7 rounds of interviews over nine months with a UK bank.

It went so long that the role undergoes numerous changes along the way. From one based in Singapore to working out from Kuala Lumpur.

My friend didn’t take up the job.

And I can assure you that many of your target candidates won’t have the Buddha-like patience of my friend here.

Tech Recruitment Takes Even Longer

The complexity of the role would also play a big part in the time-to-fill.

two developers representing the tech talents

According to the Dr Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist of Glassdoor, it takes an average of 35 days to fill the role of a Software Engineer.

So if we assume the applicant puts in their application on the 1st of March (day one), they would sign off on the 4th of April and god knows when they could start if they have to serve out notice.

The data Chamberlain collated ā€œoffers convincing evidence that job interview processes have indeed grown longer in recent years.ā€

He also pointed out a few factors which would contribute to the length of a hiring process. They are:

  • Industry and company size
  • Usage of screening methods

In my opinion, the former is usually the main culprit.

One of my ex-colleagues is working with as an in-house recruiter, and she told me she knocks off every day around 9:30 pm.

And she happens to be the earlier ones.

She isn’t even focusing on tech roles. It is the sheer volume that is inundating her. Imagine if it is all tech.

IT roles are much harder to fill with many prone to drive hiring managers crazy.

Justin James, the Lead Architect for Conigent, wrote a blog post onĀ TechRepublic on the 10 IT job roles that are hardest to fill:

  1. IT Trainer
  2. Project Manager
  3. CIO/CTO/Director of IT/etc.
  4. Help desk staff
  5. Specialized programmer
  6. Pre-sales engineer
  7. Technical Writer
  8. Product Evangelist
  9. IT author
  10. Maintenance/legacy programmer

Although the article is from 2012, I believe it still very much applies.

We are only seeing more demand for such talents given the number of tech companies sprouting up.

At Singapore’s version of Silicon Valley (aka Blk 71), the number of startups went up from 250 in 2011 to the current 500.

It is projected to reach 750 by 2017.

And we are only talking about startups. SMEs and MNC will have their set of demands.

Unless we can mint developers as quick as we could mint coins, tech recruitment is going to be very challenging.

Taking The Pain Out Of Tech Recruitment

Clearly, the current way of tech recruiting is painful and unnecessarily stressful.

HackerTrail aims to be the ointment for that pain point.

It does this via HackerTrail Recruit – a platform which seeks to accelerate tech recruitment via a calibrated combination of targeted outreach, active recruitment marketing and gamified skills assessment.

And all these are done without the employers even lifting a finger.

The result?

A curated pool of assessed applicants that you can’t possibly identify through traditional means.

And this is completed in a fraction of the time sinceĀ 90% of the process are automated. Think of it as a virtual headhunter. But one that could handle hundreds of applicants at the same time.

So how does it work?

Targeted outreach

In Singapore, the unemployment rate is hovering around 2%.

And given the recent chain of events that might lead to things doing downhill very quickly, you probably get more people clinging very tightly to their cubicle versus on the lookout for another job.

So you are not going to get many applicants.

But that is what you get when you rely primarily on job boards, newspaper or any other form of advertised outreach.

Given that Singapore has 3.5 million working population, a 2% would equal to 70,000 people.

Divide that by the number of jobs on National Jobs Bank; you are looking at less than two candidates per job posting.


So you practically have to hire the first (and only) person who respond to your ad.

Unless you are hiring purely on the existence of heart beat, that number isn’t going to work well on your hiring.

HackerTrail overcome this by taking an active outreach approach.

Instead of looking at active job seekers that areĀ hanging out at all the different job boards, an integrated ad campaign is put together to reach out to the target audience.

They could be hanging out on YouTube or Twitter or Facebook.

The ad will hit them where they will be, drawing their attention to the campaign page which is set up exclusively for the particular opening.

To put it another way, this is fishing where the fishes are.

Active Recruitment Marketing

Look at this typical online job posting by Golden Village:


Not very inspiring nor engaging.

What’s the working hours? How are the people there? Do you get to work in an impressiveĀ office?

You can’t expect many people to hand over their life’s history and personal particulars with a job description and a few lines (if you are lucky) on what the company do.

HackerTrail puts together a dedicated campaign page for each and every role.

And what you could see on that page is akin to a long form sales landing page.

Grab Full Stack Job on HackerTrail

You can see that this is a full blown employer branding page that begins withĀ a full-width attractive image that best exemplify the organisation and the role.

Next up is the magnet that will keep the visitors reading, prizes that are up for grabs. People just love to win stuff and if you win based on a skill you are good in, why not?

Following which would be an elaborated write-up on the company, job requirements and responsibilities.

And it doesn’t end there.

Moving on you get to learn about the culture of the company and how they work.

You also learn about the technology they are involved in and (very importantly) the makeup of the senior management team.

The last bit is an overview of the interview process to align your waiting time expectation.

Gamified Skills Assessment

In many job board or career site, the applicant would submit their resume whether they are suitable for the job or not.

And that means the recruiter or hiring manager have to go through every single applicant which are extremely time-consuming.

Even if one is to use an Applicant Tracking System to filter and score the candidates automatically, you might naturally come across people who can better keywords optimise their resume.

HackerTrail tackles this problem by presenting a challenge between the applicant and the hiring manager, turning a clearance test into a gamified skills challenge.


There are three options for employers to choose from:

  1. Coding challenge
  2. Multiple choice questions
  3. Scenario based questions

You could do either or a combination of them.

The most significant purpose behind this is it discourages unsuitable applicants to further their applications.

Many would drop off at this stage.

And for those who continue to attempt, their scores would play a big part is how they are ranked.

So employers only focus on the ones that manage to crack their challenge and accelerate their tech recruitment process from 8 weeks to 2-3 weeks.

Does it work?

Hereā€™s a peek at a recent campaign that HackerTrail created for Capgemini, in which they gave away Pebble Watches to the winners (a.k.a. the ones they hired).

In a matter of weeks, over 10,000 people were reached and got to know about their campaign.

1,000 of them went ahead to learn more about the job and over a 100 completed & submitted their challenge.

CapGemini shortlisted 30 quickly and made 15 hires.

The applicants also had a great experience. Here’s what the batch from the IDA campaign has to say:

Tech recruitment from Startups to MNC

HackerTrail has three packages to cater to different kind of employers:

  • Early stage startups: FREE
  • Growth stage: Fixed Fee
  • MNCs: Performance Pricing

So stop pulling your hair out over your tech recruitment and start accelerating it.

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