Employers who seek to win the IT Talent war need to develop new strategies in 2018 to remain on the leading edge and thus be able to hire the “best and brightest”.
Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate remained stable nationally for the third consecutive month in a row at 4.1%. In the metropolitan Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area the jobless rate dropped to 4.4%, .1% lower than the same time last year.
At the same time, information technology roles remain the fastest growing occupation, projected to add 546,000 new jobs to the workforce in the next decade. According to the BLS, demand will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data and information security. A recent article by ZDNet stated that many companies are looking to grow their capabilities around big data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
What are smart CIOs doing to staff the increasingly specialized roles in the realm of IT? They’re changing the evaluation parameters to focus on candidates who are fast learners.
In the old paradigm, IT recruiters and CIOs would search for someone with an exact skill match and years of experience. The problem is, that’s what everyone’s doing. In this tight IT labor market companies are competing against each other for the most experienced candidates, which then creates an upward pressure on compensation. A creative strategy is to instead search for evidence of lifelong learning and a desire to grow.
“There is a double benefit when an employer is willing to cast a wider net, for example, by being willing to consider a candidate with 5-years experience for a role that normally requires 8-years experience,” explains Kay Durkin, founder of Phoenix Partners.
“In addition to having better odds at finding a good candidate at the right compensation point, the company is creating a corporate culture of advancement and training, which increasingly, is very important to candidates. Innovative candidates who are devoted to life-long learning seek employers who will help them stay at the forefront of developing technologies. So by adopting this approach, the employer also is more likely to attract the kinds of candidates that will fuel growth.”
The following are signs Phoenix Partners looks for among candidates to help identify candidates geared for growth:
- History of pursuing elective certifications
- Evidence of on-the-job advancement, eg. from .Net developer to Webmaster or Analyst to Project Manager
- Pursuit of advanced degrees such as an MBA or Masters
- Authoring articles, speaking on topics at industry symposiums, and participating in online IT forums
- Detailed, knowledgeable responses to questions about the future of their discipline and emerging technologies
Do you have a technical role you’re having difficulty filling? Talk to us at Phoenix Partners and we’ll help you find a candidate who’s geared for growth.