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Are you able to hire the IT talent you need?

Here are some thoughts to improve your hit rate.

Unless you’ve been hiding out on another planet for the last few years you know well what’s happened to the IT job market. High demand is frantically chasing static supply. The techniques and requirements for recruiting and landing good tech talent have changed and continue to change, and when you do find the talent you need – and think you’ve convinced them to join you – they can still slip away. It’s a dynamic – and increasingly frustrating challenge.

At one time it was primarily the technology firms – the Google’s, HP’s, and Intel’s of the world that were competing for the top IT talent. Now firms of all types know that they have to leverage technology to stay competitive. In a sense, almost every type firm is a technology firm which has ratcheted up the difficulty of attracting and retaining good talent.

So what do you need to know about the tech talent market? Here is our quick take on how you can improve your success rate on landing top IT talent, what’s now happening in the Charlotte IT job market along with some of the jobs that will remain in demand in Charlotte over the coming years.

The type of IT talent most in demand continues to evolve – albeit slowly. There has been high demand for JavaScript, Java and Python developers. Demand for those skills will remain strong. This is also true for full stack developers and cloud engineers. Recently, as more firms try their hand at creating software, the demand for agile scrum masters has grown along with devops specialists. It’s likely that these skills will remain in strong demand.

Three disciplines that have “caught fire” – and for which competition is intense and hiring demand way outstrips supply - are cybersecurity, AI/machine learning/robotics, and data science. Finding enough skilled talent in these specialties is especially tough. One need look no further than Uber’s raid on Carnegie-Mellon’s robotics lab from which they lured away around 50 engineers to appreciate that calling it a talent war is no exaggeration. What’s an organization looking to attract tech talent in this market supposed to do? Here are a few ideas that we know work.

Sourcing (finding enough experienced workers) has become more complex. As effective tools and new techniques continue to emerge, keeping up becomes difficult. Sourcing has become highly specialized and for organizations that don’t do it all the time, it becomes hard to keep up. If you’re having trouble finding enough experienced tech talent (and just about everyone is), you might want to look outside your organization for help.

Even if you get the sourcing right, there are plenty of other potential bumps in the road. Vetting, making the offer, and/or onboarding can be stumbling blocks. Assessing and, if needed, revamping your hiring processes is time well spent. For many organizations, the time to make candidates an offer is too long. In this market, where IT professionals have many organizations pursuing them, delays in making an offer can give a competitor an opening to snag the candidate. Look at the steps in your hiring process, identify the most time consuming, and figure out ways to shorten or eliminate them.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your ability to hire top IT talent, here are a few thoughts:

  • Your employer brand, what job candidates think about you as a potential employer, can be a boon or a hindrance to hiring. Insight into perceptions of your employer brand and, if necessary, taking steps to enhance your brand can affect your ability to hire to best talent.

  • During vetting keep the candidate informed of their status, your next steps, and when a decision is expected. As noted earlier, good candidates don’t have to wait. If they don’t get feedback, they’ll quickly move on. Look at your feedback loops and try to tighten them.

  • A well-conceived and executed onboarding process (which is not the same as employee orientation) goes a long way to helping the new hire believe they made the right decision in joining your organization. A poor one creates dissonance and could even induce them to quickly leave.

The big point here is that even subtle tweaks in recruiting, hiring, and onboarding can go a long way to helping you hire top talent.

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