5 Strategies for Overcoming the IT Talent Shortage
With today’s IT talent shortage, every tech role you need to fill is a challenge. As new technologies accelerate, the search for great IT talent becomes even more competitive. With consistently low unemployment rates and a looming IT skills gap, it’s harder than ever to attract and hire tech professionals whose experience matches exactly what you’re looking for.
How can your organizations overcome this IT talent shortage? Try these 5 strategies to keep your tech team fully staffed.
Hire for Potential and Transferrable skills
Rapidly developing technologies and evolving coding languages make it hard for even the best tech professionals to keep up. When you’re looking for talent with experience in innovative applications like Microsoft Azure or languages like Kotlin that are quickly gaining traction, it’s a struggle to find the right people – mostly because the pool of experienced talent is small. Thankfully, a lot of highly capable IT pros are ready and able to learn the skills you want if given the opportunity.
Look for a professional with a history of picking up new skills. Someone with the ability to learn new coding languages or become an expert in new platforms quickly will likely be able to repeat that success. A motivated, organized problem solver will develop skills through training and become a valuable member of your team. Asking candidates about previous challenges they have overcome and how they approach learning opportunities can help you gauge how quickly they can acquire the abilities you’re seeking.
Offer Training and Development Opportunities
What better way to overcome the IT talent shortage than to simply create your own talent? Offering training and development opportunities is not only a great way to attract top talent, it is also critical for recruiting people with the skills your company needs.
A recent Coding Dojo report looking at the top 25 companies in the Fortune 500 showed that on average, each company relies on four different coding languages. If you’re doing the same, can you realistically expect every potential hire to know your four specific languages? Probably not. Hire a pro who knows some and train them on the rest. In time, they may become one of your best team members because they’ve already demonstrated the ability to adapt and learn. Instead of focusing on what each candidate lacks, focus on skills they have and train them for the rest.
Engage and Retain Employees and Consultants
It is a massive expense to replace employees who leave, as the cost of employee turnover is staggering in terms of lost profits and lost productivity. The key to reducing turnover is engagement – keeping employees and consultants happy and loyal to your organization.
Currently, 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. These people are far more likely to be searching for other positions and leave you with a vacancy. With today’s IT talent shortage, it is thus imperative that organizations engage the highly skilled tech talent they want to retain.
Employee engagement comes in many different forms, but the cornerstone is making employees and consultants feel valued. This can include providing flexible work arrangements and perks like happy hours, but the most important factors are listening to employee feedback and planning for the future. Working with employees on a career path and helping them progress makes those professionals feel like they’re moving forward. For consultants, this discussion requires planning for their next role as well as their long-term course, collaborating to find how and where they can be assets to the company.
Understand the Cost of Top Skills
When did you last assess your compensation structure? The number of tech employment opportunities is expected to increase by 12% by 2024, making an even more competitive hiring environment. As the tech field evolves, market pay will naturally rise. Tech pros with in-demand skills are often receiving multiple job offers, which makes competitive pay a necessity to get top professionals on board.
As you build the job description for your next open role, research the position’s local market pay. Using tools like Payscale or Salary.com, you can understand what new employees will expect to be offered. Especially when you’re looking for rare or popular skillsets, your company should expect to pay a salary at or above the market rate.
This is also necessary for seasoned employees. If the market rates for their positions have risen significantly since they joined your organization but their salaries have not kept up, they may start job hunting. Staying current with the market’s costs will help you retain the strong professionals you already employ.
Work with a Staffing Partner
A good partner is intimately familiar with the challenges of the talent shortage. They should know what talent will cost, which skills are transferrable, how to assess each candidate’s potential. Furthermore, your staffing partner should already have a robust network of connections to locate candidates that are the best fit for your organization.
A true staffing partner is more than just a resource. They will not just save you time but help you hire IT professionals who are fully vetted, have the technical skills necessary to ramp up quickly, and fit seamlessly into your company’s culture. Partnering with a staffing organization like Benchmark IT that understands the industry and the IT talent shortage will help you maintain a competitive advantage and locate the top technology professionals you need.
Overcome the IT Talent Shortage
The tech industry’s booming growth is creating a wealth of opportunity for candidates but a challenge for employers looking to keep their IT teams fully staffed. To overcome the current IT talent shortage, organizations will need to employ alternative hiring strategies and focus on retaining the strong IT professionals you already have.