Each year, thousands of vacant tech positions go unfilled. It’s not that companies are unwilling to pull the trigger on new hires, it’s that they just aren’t finding the candidates with the right mix of skills and experience they so desire/need. This is what’s known as the IT skills gap. Despite this fact, technology isn’t slowing down. It continues to move forward at a rapid pace, and if anything, the skills gap expects to widen in the future. Not all hope is lost, however. There are varying strategies that will allow businesses to keep their IT teams staffed and fully functional. In this blog, we’ll address 4 of the strategies businesses can adopt in order to create larger, more diverse candidate pools.
Look Beyond the Skill Sets
In such a competitive environment, where businesses and technology departments are competing over the same top-end tech talent, organizations will need to think outside of the box in order to attract and retain IT professionals. That’s why, when looking to make a hire, businesses need to look beyond specific skill sets and consider experience, energy, and soft skills instead.
In a perfect world, a new hire will be able to hit the ground running with little need for training, especially on the technology for which they are hired to work on/with. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and depending on the position, those candidates may be few and far between. So in instances such as this, hiring managers need to look at candidates who possess experience and a proven track record of success. Candidates who have shown, throughout their careers, the ability to learn new skills. Often times, these individuals make for the best hires because they’re quick learners, which makes them adaptable to your needs.
Beyond experience, hiring managers should also be looking for energetic personalities and candidates with the personal attributes that will allow them to interact effectively and harmoniously with other team members (soft skills). Candidates who show a desire and willingness to learn new skills and diversify their portfolios in order to further their careers. Candidates with determination. As an added bonus, their energy can prove to be contagious, which can help inspire passion, enthusiasm, and drive in your other team members.
Partner with Colleges and Educators
While tech giants certainly have the resources to lure and retain top technical talent, they’re faced with the realities of the IT skills gap as well. That’s why companies like Google, Amazon and IBM have all begun to establish partnership programs with community colleges across the country. The goal being to turn these colleges, or at least programs within them, into IT talent incubators. Places where students, and future candidates, can learn and train on the tech skills needed by organizations. Such programs, however, aren’t reserved for the tech giants of the world. Small to medium sized businesses can also get in on the act. By sponsoring and partnering with colleges (especially community colleges), businesses can remain competitive by filling their talent pipelines with a more diverse candidate pool. And in turn, these programs will offer students a path to compete in a workforce that has an increasing need for such tech skills.
Partner with a Staffing Firm
Staffing firms, such as PSCI, have the resources and highly trained staffs necessary to understand your organization’s needs and find the elusive talent your organization desires. In fact, the reasons for partnering with a staffing firm are numerous. They allow for lower overhead costs, quicker hires, and an ability to conduct trials runs by making your positions contract-to-hire. They also give your organization an insight into market knowledge and allow for access to more and better qualified candidates. To experience the value a partnership with a staffing firm can provide, contact us here today.
Lean on Referrals
You’ve heard the old adage, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. While the meaning of this saying may be a tad lugubrious in nature, referring to the fact that people get ahead in life based on their connections and not on their merit (skills and knowledge), it does hold a general truth. The connections we make and the people we know are important. That’s why it’s incredibly important to make and have a lot of connections. As employers, sponsoring and partaking in tech conferences, events, and job fairs is an excellent way to achieve this. For the more people you know and have connections with, the greater the likelihood of being able to find the talent you so desire. It also opens the door for you to interact with passive candidates – candidates who are employed and who are not actively seeking out new work. These candidates are almost always valued employees making worthwhile contributions at their current place of employment. Translation: they’re exactly the type of candidate your organization should be targeting. And all it takes is an introduction (referral) and a phone call to make them consider your opportunity, because there’s another proverb that’s commonly adhered to, the grass is always greener on the other side.
These 4 strategies, if properly followed, will help your organization gain access to a larger and more diversified candidate pool.