A startling Q1 IQNdex and tips for your recruiting strategy

I woke up this morning on the sunny left coast to a headline from Careerbuilder’s Q1 IQNdex findings with the headline: Demand for Specialized Technical Skills is a Leading Driver of Hiring in Contingent/Non-Permanent Labor Market. You can download it here.

I don’t think this will be a surprise to many hiring managers in professional and technical areas. In fact, they have known this for some time but we are now starting to see the effects on wages and competition for talent.

In short, the Q1 IQNdex reports a sudden rise in technology wages to levels circa 2006. This is a good sign perhaps for the economy, but not necessarily for those looking for experienced, highly-skilled professionals. What this means is that competition is translating into higher wages and increased demand for contingent workers, with permanent workers likely soon to follow.

If you thought it was hard to find good people, the IQNdex is now saying it just got a little harder. So what is a hiring manager or HR department to do? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Prioritize your areas of need – You likely have a finite number of internal and external recruiting resources. Your strategy for recruiting should be like any other strategy; prioritize and make sure you are putting the resources on those skill areas that are mission-critical. It also means you may have to assess your current recruiting strategies and resources and perhaps add to your list of providers or recruiting services.

  • Start contingent, think permanent – It’s not as uncommon as in the past to have a good portion of your workforce start out as contingent workers. In fact, it’s the new norm and should be a part of everyone’s recruiting strategy. One important aspect is to make sure you are engaging this workforce with an eye toward using contingent workers as a pipeline for permanent employees once you are able to hire.

  • Get to know your recruiters – No matter what recruiting strategy you are leveraging, with internal or external resources, your recruiters are the ones that can make it happen. Get engaged with them, have your hiring managers work with them and look for their feedback on job descriptions, job postings, rates and availability of talent. If you’re still not convinced, you should be working closely with your recruiters, re-read my post on the reason we need recruiters.

The key with any recruiting strategy is to make sure it fits your needs. This used to be an easy equation that you didn’t have to fool with too often, but now there so many different types of workers, environments, departments, hiring managers and technologies that you can’t possible cover them all on an ongoing basis. Having some flexibility, agility and adaptability is critical.  Take time to look at your current recruiting strategy and see if you could survive a sudden bump in the need for highly-skills professionals. If not, it’s time to assess your recruiting resources and partners. Research like the IQNdex can help you plan for critical areas before your need them.

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