Hiring managers: How to find and keep top IT talent


As a hiring manager, it is your responsibility to find the best possible candidate to fulfill a position in the company. Easier said than done, though, especially when it comes to recruiting IT pros.

Today, more companies are searching for engineers, technologists and computer scientists to help manage their rapidly-evolving IT needs, so an increasing number of positions are opening up. Unfortunately, this has led to a skills shortage and made IT recruitment extremely competitive.

HR executives have to step their game up and be strategic in how they approach IT staffing. Below are some tips that you can use to onboard and retain the best tech talent.

Know who to look for 
To attract the someone who is a perfect fit for the position, you need to first get a clear understanding of who that person is. To do this, Forbes contributor and Node CEO Falon Fatemi recently suggested that hiring managers should create an “ideal candidate profile.”

As a hiring manager, you already know what problems this role will resolve, so all you need to do is identify the exact skills an employee must have to solve those issues. As Fatemi explained, you should get as specific as possible because different tasks require different IT competencies. Once you have identified who the ideal IT pro is, you will be able to craft a detailed job post to improve your chances of finding the perfect fit.

“If you’re not well-versed in IT solutions, you should enlist recruitment help from someone who is.”

Leverage the expertise of an IT recruiting firm
If you’re a non-technical hiring manager, it can be difficult to assess the skills of a candidate and determine how they fit with the job functions. In such case, it would be beneficial to partner with an IT staffing and consulting firm that can narrow the scope of your search down to an industry-specific network. They will know where to find the individuals with the particular qualifications and training needed to solve the particular challenges of your business.

Make application assessments fun
Tech giants, including Facebook and Google, conduct coding challenges and “hackathons” to find the best engineers and programmers. This may not something your budget allows you to do. However, it does demonstrate how you can take a step away from the traditional cover letter/resume/application process and move toward more innovative recruitment strategies.

You want to stand out to job-seeking IT pros, so you need to consider what will make them to want to work for your company. You should definitely screen candidates using technical skills testing. But, by incorporating gamification techniques and interactive simulations into the mix, job seekers will be more likely to view your organization in a favorable light. Plus, you will get a more relevant and applicable demonstration of their qualifications.

Offer meaningful benefits
In the race to onboard top IT talent, companies are starting to offer competitive salaries. But higher pay isn’t the only benefit that can help you attract and retain tech workers. As we’ve mentioned before, research has shown that the younger generations making up the majority of today’s workforce are motivated by different things than their parents were. One of the biggest  factors they take into consideration when evaluating a job opportunity is the work/life balance. Perhaps this is why a “Freelancing in America” survey, conducted by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, recently found that an increasing number of workers are moving away from traditional jobs and choosing instead to freelance.

Improve IT employee retention with flexible compensation packages.
Working from home

Improve IT employee retention with flexible compensation packages.

“People are increasingly building flexible careers on their own terms, based on their passions, desired lifestyle and access to a much broader pool of opportunities than ever before in history,” Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel explained.

So what can you learn from this? That you have an opportunity to attract applicants and retain top talent by giving offering them more flexibility. Instead of increasing their pay, consider how providing them with options to work remotely or make their own schedules could strengthen your compensation package.

As digital technologies continue to dominate the business market, the demand for IT talent will only get more intense. Don’t get stuck behind by failing to adapt your recruitment strategy to the evolving needs of trained professionals.

Hiring managers: How to find and keep top IT talent
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