6 Challenges to finding the best IT talent
By: Meryvn Dinnen, Contributing Writer
Our economy is becoming ever more reliant on technology. Whatever job you do there is very little that is not impacted in some way by IT, whether it’s the way your organisation does business or the manner in which you complete your tasks.
The recent Global Human Capital Trends Report from Deloitte showed that Technology was one of the HR profession’s most urgent issues yet one that they felt least ready to deal with. For those needing to leverage new software to ease the lives of their workforce there is much to learn about features and functionality, whilst those teams responsible for recruiting technology face a whole different set of problems.
Any time there is talk of skill and talent shortages you can be sure that IT will always be one of the key sectors mentioned, and it is certainly one that seems to be having it’s fair share of difficulties in finding the right talent at the moment.
Lets look at some of the main challenges:
Too many vacancies
It’s a problem in many sectors at the moment but IT seems to be suffering more than most with some recruiters reporting up to four vacancies for each available developer. It might be time to redraft the job spec or look again at the exact skills you need, either through re-apportioning duties or looking for people who may just be an intensive training course away from being fully conversant in a new coding language.
Candidates are passive
There are some good IT operators around but they tend not to actively look for a new role. Recruiters need a subtle approach to sourcing as technology employees rarely respond to a full on headhunting call. You need to understand where they hang out, which platforms they use, what would encourage them to move and build rapport slowly.
Try talking tech to tech
Let’s be honest, most recruiters and most techies tend to be different types of people. They talk different languages. Recruiters are often confident, gregarious and happy to start any conversation whereas tech people quite often are more reserved and prefer to talk to other tech people. Maybe the answer is for recruiters to get their own IT people involved in the early stages.
Social recruitment trainer and author Katrina Collier wrote recently about comparethemarket.com and their approach to getting the IT people involved in the recruitment process:
“They don’t see it as an us versus them situation, instead they work closely with the in-house recruiters to identify potential candidates and then they make contact. The are finding this tech-to-tech approach fruitful in overcoming barriers”
Looking in the wrong places
Unless you know the market really well you may not realise that outside of the main social and recruiting platforms there are specialist forums, discussion groups and networking sites that attract technology specialists who like to share information and new discoveries, and help to solve each others problems. It may be the person you’re looking for is currently active on these platforms.
Talk to your own IT department, or other tech candidates, and find out which are the best platforms to connect with people who have the programming and coding skills that you need. Better still, get a techie to connect for you!
Too much sourcing technology
Do recruiters really know where to start looking for specialist candidates? There are so many new free tools that it must be tempting to try one and if you can’t find what you’re looking for then try another! Experienced talent hunters know that you need to have a strategy and carefully map out the skills and sector you are searching for if you are trying to find those with highly sought after, specialist skills. This could be one for a detective not a big game hunter.
Rewards and opportunity
Whilst we’re talking about highly sought after, specialist skills it’s important to remember that they come at a price. Whilst throwing money at a recruitment problem rarely succeeds, competitive compensation for those who have the right skills is a must.
It’s not only about money though. Many in IT move for greater challenge and opportunity, increased flexibility, a chance to work in an innovative culture that gives talented people the bandwidth to experiment, test and create, so it will also be key to have an environment conducive to the type of people you want to attract. Few businesses can thrive without the right technology skills so it’s vital to try as varied a range of recruiting tactics as you can. If you’re having difficulty it might just be time to redefine the problem and get your tech team on the case too.
Mervyn Dinnen is an award winning blogger and a content & social engagement strategist. He specialises in the Recruitment and HR sectors and is a regular speaker and panellist at industry conferences.
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