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The labor shortfall in tech spaces is no secret. The IT Labor Trends Report in Q4 2021 outlined a grim prognosis: “new year, the same story; high demand, low supply will challenge the IT sector.” With a projected 14 percent growth (twice the national rate) in the tech sector over the next decade, the U.S. is simply not producing enough technology grads to close the ever-growing talent gap. Moreover, with a whopping 40 percent of workers planning to quit their jobs, IT companies will likely experience job vacancies.
Although IT talent may be in demand, there are skilled, well-qualified people seeking jobs in this field. To make sure they consider your business as an employer, start with these four steps:
< Should I Stay or Should I Go? >
Although it may seem counterintuitive, an excellent place to gather data about how to attract people to your company is at an exit interview. Solicit honest feedback about your organization and how you can improve employee experiences, whether with a higher salary, added benefits, or an enhanced work culture. You can also poll your current employees; however, anonymous surveys may make them feel more comfortable about submitting honest answers. Along with information from your former and present employees, it’s also wise to research employee packages that your competitors provide –– and offer at least a little more.
Remote vs. In-Office Work
Among the lessons learned during the pandemic is that productive remote work is possible with the right tools and resources. And the trend isn’t ending anytime soon. As of the spring of 2022, 58 percent of Americans have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week, and 35 percent have the choice to work from home five days a week. Spanning demographics and professions, 87 percent of workers jump at the chance to work remotely and take advantage of flexible work options.
However, research has found that millennials and Gen Z workers, in particular, don’t want to work remotely every day. Instead, they prefer a hybrid schedule, expressing that in-person interaction improves their motivation and work. Still, suppose you are struggling to find skilled employees who live close enough to commute to the office. In that case, remote work may allow you to expand the talent pool you can draw from, possibly enabling you to fill more positions with qualified candidates.
Improve work culture
Promoting a positive workplace raises employee morale, improves teamwork, increases productivity and efficiency, and ensures job performance and satisfaction –– all of which can attract new talent.
However, as remote work schedules become more common, there are challenges to overcome. Schedule regular touch-base calls and team meetings to maintain relationships and show you have a genuine interest in your team’s well-being.
Offer professional development and continuing education
In a survey of 10,500 job changers, 43 percent said they left their jobs due to “concerns over the lack of advancement” opportunities. Younger employees are not only looking for a job but also want a solid career path and to be challenged.
Be prepared to learn about job candidates’ visions for their careers and commit to helping them achieve their goals. It may tip the scales in your favor.
Change Your Approach to Recruiting IT Talent
As a business owner or manager, there are changes you can make today that can attract IT talent to your organization.
- Promote your brand as an employer: Enlist your team to be on the lookout for IT talent. Your employees know your organization and what it offers, so who better be on the front lines? Ask them to share job openings with their social networks, professional groups, and friends.
- Leverage your network: Local networking clubs and professional associations provide the most valuable resource: people. With those personal recommendations, you can keep the flow of potential qualified IT talent steady.
- Adopt smarter hiring processes: With fierce competition in the current job market, corporate leaders have been forced to rethink their hiring processes. They’re looking more at soft skills: the ability of new hires to handle real-world challenges and projects is just as important as their technical skills. Also, from a job candidate’s standpoint, they prefer transparency in the hiring process, looking more favorably upon companies that are upfront with pay and help with interview preparation.
Create a Destination for IT Talent
It’s possible to build a work environment and make offers that attract IT talent to your organization. But, first, evaluate how your business is perceived as an employer in your market and change your culture and employment packages, so they’re second to none. Also, consider adapting your work model to allow for remote or hybrid work to meet the current workforce’s demands, and rethink the recruiting and interview process to make it a more positive experience.
The ROI will be IT talent that joins your team and helps you advance toward your business goals.