May 22, 2019 • Henry Thedieck
The War for Tech Talent: 5 Keys to Staffing Success in 2019
What will it take to attract and retain top tech talent? It’s a question a lot of companies are asking themselves these days. In 2019, technology unemployment is near record lows, at less than 1 percent in most major markets. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT occupations are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations during the current ten-year period ending in 2026. That means the addition of about 557,100 tech jobs to the marketplace, thanks in part to a focus on new technologies like cloud computing, big data and data collection, and information security.
While this is great news for IT professionals who have their pick of job opportunities, the numbers have businesses and hiring managers worried. With a deficit of skilled IT workers, attracting and retaining tech talent has become a must-win battle for companies to survive. Today, no company can create, deliver or market its products without technology. This means that every company is a technology company and every organization is in need of tech workers to support their operations.
In the war for tech talent, you’ll need more than a good budget and employment perks to win the best candidates. So, what does it take to find and secure top IT professionals for your business? Let’s look at five key ways to achieve staffing success in 2019.
1. Offer Opportunities for Growth
Many of today’s current and rising tech talent are Millennials and, as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, Millennials can’t be ignored in your search for top IT professionals. However, attracting candidates from this talent pool will require some adjustments to your current recruitment strategy. According to a 2017 Dice report, one of the job attributes that matters most to Millennials is the opportunity for promotion. Millennials value the chance to move up in an organization, significantly more so than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts.
You can address this focus in your recruitment efforts by talking about growth opportunities from the start of the hiring process. Explain what a career might look like with your organization and how candidates might achieve their career goals. Does your company offer a mentorship program or leadership training? These types of programs are likely to interest millennial tech talent in your job opportunity and help keep them around when they become employees.
2. Provide Training and Skills Development
Technology is always changing and it’s important for IT professionals to stay on top of the latest trends and keep their tech skills current. As a result, many workers are looking for companies that offer training and development opportunities to help them learn specific skills and build their tech career. Demand for highly specialized tech skills is also driving some employers to pay for special certifications in order to hire and retain top candidates. Does your organization offer employees opportunities for continuing education, specialized trainings or other forms of professional development? Talking about these opportunities with your top candidates will give you a step up in the tech talent war.
3. Allow for Immediate Impact
Another great way to attract talent is to offer new hires the opportunity to contribute to team projects early on. Top tech candidates will be eager to get to work using their specialized skills, and they won’t appreciate sitting on the sidelines while they are slowly integrated into the company. By explaining what types of projects they’ll be involved with from day one, you can demonstrate to candidates their value to the company. This is especially true for smaller organizations where tech candidates often fill vital roles. Leveraging the potential of an immediate impact will attract candidates ready to roll up their sleeves and show what they can do.
4. Deliver a Greater Purpose
Another Millennial-influenced factor is the importance of working for a company that is purpose-driven. A recent study by American Express and Kantar Futures found that 62 percent of Millennials want to be known for making a positive difference in the world, and they expect to work for companies with a greater purpose than just profits. Does your organization have a robust corporate social responsibility program or initiatives like volunteer days designed to have a positive impact? Sharing these efforts with candidates can help demonstrate a deeper purpose that they can connect with and shows top talent that your company aligns with their values.
5. Maintain Open and Honest Communication
At the heart of most successful recruitment strategies is communication. But in the war for tech talent, open and authentic communication are more important than ever. Skilled IT professionals will likely be hearing from multiple recruiters and hiring managers, all of whom want that candidate to work for their organization. Set yourself apart from the crowd with communications that engage the candidate and be sure to follow up regularly with updates. At the same time, don’t bombard or overwhelm them with information. Too many emails are likely to get you ignored as well. Most importantly, get to know the candidate and learn about their goals, interests and job preferences. Showing candidates they’re more important than the role you’re trying to fill will help you find and retain the top tech talent you’re seeking.
Searching for great IT professionals? We can help you win the war for tech talent. Tell us what kind of staff your business needs.