Finding highly skilled talent, especially IT professionals with expertise in the areas of cybersecurity, cloud computing, data analytics and mobile strategies, is difficult today. When it comes to technology recruiting, in a market with low unemployment, we’re seeing a definite talent gap, and companies are competing over the few candidates who have the increasingly specialized skill sets they need.
Interestingly enough, the lack of qualified candidates isn’t slowing down hiring plans. In fact, in the second half of 2016, 84 percent of CIOs reported they intend to bring in new tech talent to expand their teams or to fill open roles. But finding the talent to fill these jobs may not be easy. To be successful and to find the right people needed for these critical tech roles IT leadership and HR departments have to work together. It’s imperative. And it’s the only way to identify and recruit these highly sought after IT candidates effectively.
Are you wondering how this could work in your company? Here are six strategies you can use to meet the tech talent hiring demand:
- Attract talent with compelling job descriptions. What sets your organization apart? What makes your employer brand and corporate culture desirable? Showcase the things that make your company distinctive and appealing. Share interactive content and videos to directly communicate the brand narrative without making your job description too long. Make sure you include: A precise, keyword-rich description of the job responsibilities so that the posting will appear in search results; a few essential qualities/credentials that your ideal candidate must possess; and use an easy-on-the-eyes format (like bullet points) to make it mobile-friendly.
- Emphasize diversity, inclusion, and equality in your hiring strategy. Broadening your search for talent that may be outside your usual scope can help diversify your staff and uncover hidden pockets of talent. As an example, Google now trains staff about unconscious bias so that an individual’s background, cultural environment, and personal experiences are not part of hiring considerations. If you conduct your talent recruitment in a bubble, you’ll end up with cookie cutter candidates—so expand your reach, and reap the rewards.
- Embrace social and digital recruiting. You’re probably on LinkedIn already, as 87 percent of recruiters said they are in the JobVite Recruiter Nation 2016 survey but are you using LinkedIn effectively? How about the other social networks? Younger job seekers (67 percent of them) say they use Facebook for their job search. And don’t forget the importance of digital recruiting. Having a mobile-friendly career website–is essential yet, according to Jobvite’s data, only 45 percent of companies have one.
Connecting with candidates on the platforms and devices they use most is key. Study ERE Media’s “5 Levels of Social Media Recruitment Maturity,” which gauges how optimized your social recruiting is, to see how your program sizes up. Take a page from the social recruiting playbooks of the companies that are trying everything from connecting with job seekers via messaging apps like WhatsApp and SnapChat to creating virtual reality films to showcase their workplace.
- Build up your employee referral program. Referrals have grown as a key source of quality hires in the last year, with 32 percent of respondents citing their effectiveness in LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report. To start a formal referral program in your organization, identify which motivators will encourage your staff to recommend potential candidates. Use a data-based approach to determine what non-cash rewards will resonate (like public recognition in the office, or an extra day of PTO), as well as the optimal amount of referral bonus to offer. You could even offer a “gross up” bonus, in which your firm pays any taxes on the bonus.
- Reach out to “boomerang” employees. Anyone who has already worked for your company could be an untapped resource. Recruiting a former employee can reduce costs and even eliminate some of the risk involved in hiring an unknown. In fact, 56 percent of HR professionals and 51 percent of hiring managers are prioritizing former employees who left in good standing as viable candidates. Staying connected on LinkedIn with former staffers is an excellent way to find out that they may be looking for a new job. If you want to pursue past employees aggressively, there are software solutions that help you manage alumni as part of your talent-nurturing initiatives.
- Leverage your recruiting software data. If you’re using recruiting software, you already know that it is collecting massive amounts of hiring data. Are you using it to your advantage? Use the analytics. Experiment with different search criteria to find candidates—without manually sifting through mountains of unqualified applicants.
The tech talent pool is in high demand. Getting IT professionals to recognize your company as a viable employer will require a combination of good old-fashioned human relationship-building and utilizing the latest virtual recruiting techniques and data you have at your disposal. By working closely together, CIOs and HR can identify the attributes of their ideal candidates, and do whatever it takes to bring them aboard.