If you’ve tried to hire an IT professional in the past six months, you may have noticed it more challenging than before. Maybe you found the right person but they accepted another position before you could extend an offer. Or it could be that they started your job but left half way through the contract for another, “better” position. Two market trends have been the largest contributors to this occurrence:
1.) The IT job market continues to steadily grow, having expanded 31% in the last 15 years.
2.) The unemployment rate in IT is 2.3%.
The increase in technology jobs in the market along with a low number of IT professionals looking for work has made it harder to find IT talent today. Additionally, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that 48.3% of college students that initially enrolled in STEM programs are changing their minds and pursing non-STEM related fields.
This might make it seem near impossible to find and hire the IT talent you need to complete all your technology goals and initiatives. Not to worry, though! There are things you can do in your hiring process to help get you the talent you need.
When figuring out what experience and skills you’d like your new hire to have, you might be writing a job description envisioning your perfect candidate. While that would be great, it’s not realistic in this market. There might be certain attributes that you need to be flexible on.
For example, maybe you’d like your new hire to have experience in a specific technology. However, often times experience in another, similar technology or skill will also satisfy your needs.
Obviously, there are some requirements that are not negotiable. However, it’s important to analyze all of your requirements and realize that in order to get the best talent, you might have to be slightly flexible.
When you’re looking for a certain position, it’s important that you are informed about the market. Doing so will allow you to correctly set your rate. The best way to get this research is to work with your IT staffing provider (like EdgeLink). They have their ear closest to the market and can tell you if there are plenty of candidates available in your area or you might have a hard time finding that right fit. They can also help provide you with insight into where you should set your rate. Having a rate that is too low will only drag out your search and produce lower-skilled candidates.
It’s also important that you extend the length of your contract as long as you can. If you are pretty sure your project is going to last for 12 months, don’t offer a 6 month contract knowing that you can just extend them later. As candidates have lots of choices in the market, they are going to go after the one with not only the best pay rate, but also the longest contract.
We made this point in last month’s article but it bears repeating. If a resume comes across your desk or you interview a candidate that is perfect (or near perfect), don’t sit on it! Waiting to extend an offer only gives candidates time to talk to other recruiters and companies and accept another contract.
After you’ve quickly extended the offer, don’t prolong the start date either. Of course, these things take time to get paper work through and prepare for their arrival but get it done as fast as you can. Again, pushing their start date out only gives them more time to find and accept another contract, leaving you at square one.
While finding IT talent in a tough market is certainly difficult, it’s not impossible. You might have to make concessions in your search and move faster than you’re used to. Also, utilizing your IT staffing partner to help guide you and provide insight into market trends will help you get the talent you need.
Looking for quality IT talent? Check out EdgeLink to help you find that right IT consultant.