If you haven’t read the feature article in our April eMag “6 Ways You’re Killing Your IT Recruiting Efforts” what are you waiting for? You’re missing six critical tidbits on what’s preventing your IT Department from scaling and functioning to capacity. Don’t worry, this post isn’t a spoiler, rather I couldn’t help but ponder why so many companies struggle with similar IT related talent acquisition challenges. What or where is the disconnect preventing IT groups from thriving instead of just managing to keep up?
To begin, there’s no question that IT skills are a hot commodity whether it’s supporting legacy infrastructures or pacing with the ever evolving digital landscape and user/business requests. So I did a little digging with the help of some of Yoh’s IT focused Branch Managers and found out that the pain points boil down to two main items: Dollars and Demand!
Let’s tackle demand first. Is there anything quite like the explosive exponential growth in terms of IT technologies? Now I’m not ready to get into a debate today about whether or how soon we could reach technological singularity, but the fact remains that new systems, platforms, etc. evolve more quickly than companies can keep pace. Not to mention IT professionals learning and keeping their skill sets relevant to these changes in technology. This alone greatly impacts the talent pool of potentially skilled or aligned tech professionals vs. the growing demand for talent in this space.
Don’t believe me? Two words…Google Glasses! I know many of you just dropped $1,500 dollars to get in on that exclusive purchase. Kudos to Google for making Tax Day exciting for some of the population, but I digress…
Then there’s that that pesky talent deficit in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas. While a certain influencer, it is by no means the singular definitive factor and should not be an excuse for one’s inability to hire the required talent. What is critical is the actual available talent and current marketplace demand at the time of one’s need and the corresponding ability to set oneself up for success by level setting and managing expectations accordingly. So this leads us into the second factor preventing IT Departments from scaling and thriving - dollars!
Unless you missed your high school economics course on Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations, market prices rise with effectual demand in proportion to the availability of the commodity, or in our case the rise of compensation compared to the available talent pool. Think your internal compensation structure will garner you top IT talent in highly sought after skill sets? You may want to think again. So where does this leave us? Does everyone have to pay premium dollar to duke it out for limited talent in order to scale their IT staffing needs? Not necessarily.
These days everyone is under the gun when it comes to budget constraints, so being proactive, strategic and decisive will be key to getting out from under the rut of your IT hiring woes. How do you get started?
- Strategery is the Key! Yes, no one can anticipate when a key team player may leave, but what is within control is prioritizing and planning out which critical IT skill sets will be required to support existing infrastructure and new projects. According to our Branch Manager Terrill Krigger, “many [clients] have planned well and know their IT staffing needs, but are pinched by budgets.” Based on this common scenario, it’s important for managers to investigate which skill sets may be pricier and may also have a limited talent supply. Starting the acquisition process early for these roles is critical. Also, supplementing your full time staff with IT contractors often becomes a fiscally feasible solution to combat the rising marketing rates against internal needs and budget constraints.
- Do Your Homework: It is increasingly important to find out what the actual external going rate is for the quality of talent you seek. Armed with empirical data you will be best able to set and manage expectations both internally and with your IT staffing partner regarding the level of talent desired compared to what you are able to pay. As Yoh Phoenix Regional Recruiting Manager Jason Pierse warns, “Don’t be led into a false sense of what market pay and compensation should be outside of your organization, do your research and then be prepared to act quickly once the right talent is located.” Can’t pay top dollar? Then maybe you need to relax part of the role requirements or seek a candidate who is a bit more junior. What’s critical is clarifying and level setting your talent needs against your ability to compensate and desired timeline for the head count in correlation to the data you uncover. Beating up your IT Staffing partner on internal HR team to find you a Ruby on Rails developer in one week, paying 15% below the local rate just isn’t rational, feasible or strategic. Prevent your IT team and staffing or HR partners from burn out by arming yourself with data so you can keep your strategic talent acquisition plans realistic and feasible.
- Be Ready to Bust a Move or Be Left in the Dust: Let’s face it, unless you’re one of few companies for whom everyone is dying to work (ahem, the Microsoft's and Facebook’s of the world) lose the chip on your shoulder. Not everyone is clamoring to work for your company; they are seeking to grow their career with an employer who provides exciting work at a reasonable compensation rate. With this said, your IT Staffing partner or HR team should be skilled at getting available talent enthusiastic about both your company and the offered work; however, if you wait around to interview scores of candidates or to pull the trigger on hiring that awesome candidate don’t expect that talent to be there waiting. Good talent is employable and moves quickly to accept new opportunities. Yoh Branch Manager Brian Bader notes that “The issue for IT Departments is that talent has options, while we’re not back to pre-recession speed, it’s on the horizon.“ Regardless of the total unemployment rate, unemployment in IT is extremely low, so don’t be fooled into thinking you have unlimited options for talent. When you interview a candidate who is skilled, act immediately to offer a role and get them working for your organization quickly!
Don’t have access to information on market rates or the availability of the talent pool you seek so you can follow the above steps? Any good IT Staffing partner should be able to supply you with this information so that you can strategically work in tandem to scale your IT needs. While the market is challenging, it is not impossible to attract and hire awesome talent. For more tips, remember to read our eMag so the last thing anyone can say is that you’re killing your recruiting efforts!
This post was written by Cindy Lombardo. With nine years of experience in the staffing industry having worked in the capacities of recruitment, project management, training and marketing, Cindy currently focuses on developing and implementing digital strategies that target and attract talent across all industry sectors for both national and international employment opportunities. She is passionate about following emerging applicant trends as well as educating others about both the growing talent deficit and strategies that can drive better recruitment efficiencies and return on investment. When she’s not working on candidate marketing strategies, Cindy spends her time outside of work running a non-profit opera company, practicing judo and playing with her crazy dog Scruffy.