Why it’s time to stop looking for top IT talent where you’ve always found them.
If your business has been having trouble finding IT staff, you’re not alone. Tech talent has been at a premium for some time. The late months of 2016 saw a global talent shortage, with 40% of employers finding it difficult to fill job vacancies. The top of the list of empty chairs was in the IT department. Into 2017, the situation has only persisted. Those 40% of struggling employers rose to 59% and then 65%.
The lack of tech graduates and qualifying courses has gotten so bad that some companies are turning to other educational fields (such as math and philosophy graduates) for the kind of logical thinking necessary to succeed in IT. What can a business do in such tough recruiting times?
A closer look at the IT shortage
The world is becoming ever more technologically integrated; every company now has IT elements necessary in order to be competitive. It’s daunting that as tech leaps onwards and upwards, the number of people qualified to make it all run smoothly is dwindling.
An industry study by job giant Indeed underscored the stress facing hiring managers and provided some concerning figures. For example, in only two years there will be over a million new U.S. jobs available in software, but less than half a million computer science graduates to meet the demand. They also highlight how IT staff shortage is a global problem. Data analytics, security and cloud computing are other IT positions becoming increasingly difficult to fill.
Some analysts feel that American immigration policy has had a direct role to play in our home-grown talent deficit. Foreign IT talent has contributed hugely to the sector here in America, and some feel the current political climate is going to make things harder for IT recruiting in the future. It’s a controversial side of the equation, with some industry watchers saying America has enough talent to fill the gaps; cheaper outside staff are simply accepting lower wages for the same work.
Most sources agree, however, that the IT gap is very real.
What your company can do to tackle the IT drought
Your first step should be working with a qualified recruiter. With the race well underway to find and keep IT talent, the last thing a business wants is to have to go through the often laborious process of sourcing candidates. A recruiter can greatly speed this process along and allow you to benefit from their wealth of experience and connections. It saves time, and time is money.
A recruiter is an excellent bridge of communication between candidates and companies. They’re able to understand the needs and expectations of both parties and align applicants with the job opportunity most suited to each. Recruiters also relive the strain on HR departments who will already be fully engaged in the issues of their own company. HR may simply be unable to devote the kind of time necessary to seeking, screening, and suggesting candidates.
Consider expanding your search pool
To further expand on our earlier mention of sourcing educational candidates from non-IT fields: there are those who believe that widening the category of potential talent is a solution. One company hired an IT project manager whose skills lay in history. The rationale here is that strong analytical and writing skills will translate well into the IT sphere. This school of thought also recommends bringing in candidates with disabilities or those for whom tech is a secondary career.
Your business as an educator
Continuing the educational approach, you may want to consider IT training to create the candidates you need. Microsoft, ever the innovator, implemented their Microsoft Professional Degree program in 2016 to provide skills and foster talent. They made it available via edX.org.
What makes that platform of interest when sourcing new candidates is the relation to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). MOOCs offer a way for companies to create their own course studies to educate students and qualify them in needed skills. The company who provides their own tailored course can be the one who crafts their future employees.
Rephrasing your job ads (and looking in-house before you do)
You may want to look internally at your existing staff. Do any of your current team have the potential to add IT qualifications to their skill set? If there are no leads there, then it may be time to reword your existing job ads.
In light of the fact that more companies are placing compatible skills and qualities above black and white qualifications, you could reword job postings to emphasize the objectives you wish to achieve, rather than which degrees or certificates are deal breakers.
This could attract more people with the right qualities, if not the typical academic credentials. Any employer who takes that “person first” attitude and displays a willingness to develop the necessary skills will be a far more attractive prospect for job seekers. As we also covered in our earlier blog, your company culture can be crucial in drawing in the right people.
Of course, offering a competitive wage and benefits never hurt any company’s recruiting chances. We’re here to provide solutions when you’re in need of the best in IT staff. It’s our business to place IT talent as and when it’s needed under both contract and contract-to-hire conditions.
There may be a shortage of tech talent, but you don’t have to be short of ideas. The workplace these days is becoming more people and mission-focused. It’s the qualities of the business and the people in it that are moving to the fore. When you’re willing to think outside of the traditional recruiting mentality, you’ll be able to capitalize on a shortage that means bad news for your competitors.
At Consultis, we’ve been delivering first-class project solution, technical search, and contract services since 1984. Tell us how we can help you transform your IT workforce.