In the battle for capable IT specialists, courageous and creative companies win. So you snatch the specialists from the competition in front of the nose. […]
The IT industry has several careers of CIOs on its conscience who have not understood that first-class talent is essential to remain competitive in a world of constant technological change. An end to this development is not in sight – on the contrary: “We do not expect a short-term end to the shortage of skilled workers,” says Marc Tanowitz, Managing Director at the consulting firm West Monroe. “The pandemic has prompted many people to reassess their priorities, goals and lifestyle. Compared to the last 20 years, there are fewer skilled workers available.“
A combination of courage, creativity and perseverance is needed to attract the best IT professionals without losing their salary structure. The following seven tactics have proven extremely successful for IT leaders when it comes to engaging the professionals necessary for success.
Highly qualified specialists do not want to be associated with second-class employers. Tecla Palli-Sandler, Chief Human Resources Officer at North America, also knows this: “When developing strategies for attracting IT professionals, companies should be aware that top-notch IT talent wants to work with other top-notch IT talent.“
Palli-Sandler advises companies to regularly present their leading IT professionals on social media channels and to provide platforms where internal experts can share their experiences with external colleagues and friends: “This approach is effective because it is personal, agile and trust-based. It shows your employees in the best light.“
There are many forms of IT talent. The lawyer Lori B. Rassas, author and former deputy chief of staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, therefore recommends that companies review all job advertisements under diversity aspects in order not to inadvertently exclude qualified candidates.
Rassas also recommends expanding recruitment sources to include universities, for example: “To ensure that they can retain top talent, their workflows and workplaces should meet all the demands of the modern world of work.“
Highly talented applicants are usually very picky when it comes to which company they want to join. Therefore, when addressing top candidates, be sure to emphasize the values of your company, as Loralie Thostenson, senior vice president and technology talent officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance, advises: “Compile information about the company, the tech stack, and the social and cultural aspects of working in your company. Take not only the perspective of the company, but also that of employees.“
If top candidates feel they share the same values as their potential employer, they are more likely to stay in the company longer after they are hired, Thostenson explains. What’s more, they become advocates for your company on their social networks and may also make recommendations for future job offers. “When job postings give a clear picture of the culture and skills needed, it makes your hiring funnel more efficient. Applicants looking for something different are unlikely to apply or drop out during the selection process.“
A very effective way to acquire top talent is to build it internally, says Katerina Bannikova, head of recruitment at software company DataArt: “Companies should help their employees improve their skills and acquire new ones by moving them to other positions in the company and involving them in new and interesting projects.“
Bannikova explains that internal support builds career paths that are tailor-made for each team member and take into account individual factors. The disadvantages included the cost, as well as the necessary support work and patience.
IT superstars expect to be treated as such, observes Kelby Zorgdrager, CEO and founder of Develop Intelligence: “Talented people like demanding tasks where they can have a say. They want to grow in their roles and engage with new technologies to keep their skills up to date.“
Zorgdrager advises telling both top applicants and valued employees that your company is investing in career development and continuing education. “For some employees, autonomy, training and professional challenges are more important than remuneration, social benefits and benefits.“
A sloppy, confusing or slow hiring process puts your company in a bad light even before the candidate shows up for the first interview. “High-quality job descriptions, a clear explanation of your hiring process, prepared interviewers and working with the candidate throughout the process are a must to be able to find and retain the best talent,” says John Riganati, senior executive advisor at consulting firm Think Systems. But it also means being very responsive: “High-quality professionals will not wait for weeks to consider their options. And neither is the competition.“
An intuitive, fast recruitment process gives companies an edge over less careful competitors, says Riganati: “If you design your processes correctly, you stand out and show that you have things under control, respect the time of the applicants and treat them as professionals. Such things remain in the memory and can ultimately be decisive in the choice of the employer.“
Negotiating the best possible deal for your business usually takes a lot of time. Given that IT professionals are currently a rare commodity, companies are unlikely to miss a chance to hire a coveted employee, says Rowan O’Grady, president of Americas at Jefferson Frank, a recruiter specializing in AWS experts: “Almost every candidate you approach will have a counter offer. If you hesitate without a valid reason, it only increases the likelihood that he will accept a better offer.“
Ultimately, the salary offered is potentially the most compelling factor in persuading an IT specialist to change jobs, O’Grady explains: “The success rate is higher when you say what you can afford and not what you are willing to pay. It also shows professionals what their skills are worth to them.“
If there is no scope for further salary negotiations beyond the initial offer, O’Grady suggests changing the benefits package to match or even exceed the candidate’s counter offer.
This post is based on an article from our US sister publication CIO.com.
* John Edwards is a freelance writer.