How to Leverage the Tech Talent Shortage in Your Next Job Search

We hear about the talent shortage and low unemployment rate virtually every day.  Many companies are rightfully worried about retaining employees to help grow their business or attracting highly skilled workers to fill specific roles. On the flipside, today’s tech talent shortage can offer career growth and development opportunities that might not have existed previously.

The protracted IT talent shortage has begun to see both higher wages and changing job specs, and many companies are broadening their criteria to fill needed positions. Additionally, employers are working harder to stand out and earn the interest of top candidates by offering extra perks, skills development, and opportunities for growth. Whether you’re actively looking for a new role or a passive candidate who might just explore an intriguing new gig, you can leverage today’s talent shortage to your advantage, gain new skills, and ultimately build your ideal IT career.

Let’s look at a few ways you can leverage current market conditions in your next IT job search.

Don’t waste your time

The talent squeeze has made many area companies realize just how difficult it is to fill positions in today’s marketplace. And for most, it’s time they don’t have. They needed that skilled project PM or software developer yesterday. For job seekers, this is good news. You shouldn’t have to dig deep for relevant details and company info. Savvy organizations who want to attract quality talent quickly are straightforward about who they are, what they’re looking for, and what they offer in return. 

Is the job description light on details? What about a job post that lists every possible responsibility and technical skill required? In both cases, keep searching. An overly detailed description implies they’re looking for a superhero to accomplish everything they want. On the other hand, a job description that’s vague and undefined should also set off an alarm. Keep scrolling until you find the jobs that resonate and strike a balance between these extremes.

Another positive in today’s talent shortage is that the days of long, drawn-out recruitment and hiring timelines have become much more streamlined. If you’re a good fit for the role, you should receive regular communication about your status and expect two, maybe three, interviews tops. However, if you aren’t hearing back from potential employers, or if you’re asked to interview again and again, consider continuing your search. In this marketplace, you shouldn’t have to waste valuable time waiting or wondering.

Show Off Your Transferable Skills

Technology is always changing and evolving. It’s a constant challenge for even the best companies and top IT pros to keep up. Everyone wants talent with up-to-the-minute knowledge and experience, and in some cases, specify years of experience longer than the technology has been around. If you have these in-demand tech skills or specialized expertise, excellent! You’ll have your pick of top jobs. But for those without the real-time experience or certifications, there’s another way to highlight what you have to offer. Focus on transferable skills such as your ability to learn a new tech skill quickly or soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence.

A potential employer will appreciate that you learned and applied a new coding language in a past job or project. This signals your ability to pick up new skills quickly, a quality you will be likely to repeat in a new role. During the interview, highlight career accomplishments like the challenges you’ve overcome, your approach to learning and improving processes, or how your work with a team.

Expand Your Search Beyond the Usual Sources

In a ManpowerGroup talent shortage survey conducted in 2018, 45% of employers reported that they couldn’t find talent with the skills they needed. For large organizations, the rate was even higher at 67%. As a result, Manpower’s report suggested a new approach to talent acquisition: look beyond traditional sources to cultivate new communities of talent. Turned another way, job seekers can do the same to leverage the talent shortage their advantage.

Instead of relying on job boards or limiting your search to known employers, expand your network. Reach out to friends, colleagues, and LinkedIn connections. Attend Meetups and other events hosted by professional organizations or connect with your university’s alumni network. No matter where you choose to expand your search, be prepared for career conversations and know how to articulate what you’re looking for. You never know who might connect you with your dream IT job or employer.

You might also consider expanding your search by working with a recruiter. A good IT recruiter will get to know you, your skills, and your career goals and help you find opportunities that are a great fit.

In the end, while the talent shortage may seem daunting for employers, it offers great opportunities for tech professionals like you. With these tricks, you can successfully leverage the talent shortage to your advantage, gain new tech skills, and grow your IT career.

Ready to begin the search for your next IT job? Check out our available opportunities or contact us to start working with a recruiter today!

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