In June, a record 6.7 million jobs remained unfilled, while the U.S. economy moved even closer to full employment. It’s an economic shift that has only worsened with the IT talent shortage, prompting companies to try new sourcing and recruiting methods. But what is actually effective during a full employment economy? Here are the hiring strategies that are helping companies to maintain their IT workforce with a low unemployment rate.
Train Raw Talent
During the Recession, when the national unemployment rate was 10.8% and IT professionals were actively searching for jobs, businesses had a better chance of finding their technical wish list all in one person. Now, full employment and a persistent IT talent shortage for skillsets like MapReduce and Cassandra (Big Data skillsets), full-stack development, cybersecurity, and others have made turnkey IT talent harder to find. That’s why companies need to adjust their IT hiring strategies by embracing an old school approach: training technical talent.
The first step is to determine the rarity of a specific IT skill. Are candidates really not available in your metro area or could you benefit from a more comprehensive recruiting process? If the candidates just aren’t available, successful companies sidestep the talent gap by prioritizing culture instead of exhaustive technical skills. Once a company finds and hires a quick-learning, hard-working tech professional, they can bring that person up-to-speed with strategies like these:
- On-the-Job Training – If a niche technology is the only skillset preventing a company from finding IT talent, it can be taught through on-the-job training. Hire based on culture and the remaining fundamentals, then select an experienced team member to transfer his or her knowledge and best practices to the new employee. Though it will take time to scale up to full productivity, this can maximize your output faster than waiting for rare tech talent to just appear.
- IT Certification Programs – Does your company need niche skillsets, but lack internal SMEs to train the next generation? It’s possible to fill vacant positions by hiring candidates who meet 80% or more of the technical requirements and then fund their further education with a certification program. This allows them to focus on the projects they can complete, while ramping up their skillset off-the-clock through a structured training program. This type of program can also be beneficial if you cannot spare team members to train new hires or want to outsource your training costs.
- IT Bootcamps – Has a specific yet broader IT skillset become harder to find? Bootcamps can provide raw talent with experiences that deliver results (according to Indeed, 82% of companies trust the quality of coding bootcamp graduates). Subsidizing these programs cost $11,400 per person on average, so it’s important to determine what percentage of the program you will cover and how that will factor into the prospect’s initial compensation.
Recruit Passive Candidates
During a full employment economy, fewer tech professionals are actively applying. However, the 2018 Stack Overflow Developer Survey found that 59.8% of developers were not actively looking, but were willing to consider the right opportunity. With more than half of the workforce falling into that category, it’s critical for companies to improve how they engage with top tech professionals and funnel passive job seekers into their organization.
The success of recruiting passive candidates depends on a company’s ability to build relationships with tech professionals. If potential candidates are invested in your business and they feel a connection, then they will be more inclined to trust the opportunities you offer are right for their careers. Connecting through LinkedIn’s InMail, sharing career or technical insights through social media, or networking at events in your local tech communities (here’s the Twin City and Kansas City markets) establish relationships that build your pipeline.
Speed Up Hiring
With the low unemployment rate, those tech professionals who are searching for jobs are only doing so for a short period of time. That means more companies are competing for the same limited supply of active candidates, and that top talent is only on the market for ten days. Since the average hiring process lasts for 45 days, exceptional candidates are needlessly lost to competitors.
Companies can accelerate their hiring process by incorporating a few of these methods:
- Research Competitive Pay – Candidates know their worth and have the opportunity to take their skills elsewhere. That’s why companies during a full employment economy need to research competitive compensation based on region and skillset. For example, our Twin Cities and Kansas City Salary Guide can increase your knowledge around compensation best practices.
- Stop Consensus Hiring – When IT candidates need to be approved by separate decision makers, there is more of an opportunity for competitors that move faster to make the hire. Increasingly, companies are creating a predetermined scorecard to identify qualified candidates and approve them in a smooth process.
- Provide Quick Feedback – With the time it takes to review a candidate’s resume, schedule a meeting, and conduct an interview, it’s very easy to be approaching the ten day marker when candidates disappear. That’s why companies need to provide feedback on a position within 24 to 48 hours. That way, candidates know you are serious about hiring and value their skills.
Want to continue to hire top talent during the full employment economy? TriCom provides a comprehensive recruiting process that finds top tech talent in half the time of competitors. Contact us to get your search started.
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