As we celebrate Halloween this year, hiring managers in all fields of IT aren’t worried about ghouls, ghosts, or goblins. What truly has them shrieking in fright is the prospect of continuing to build out the teams they need in an ever-tightening IT labor market. In June of 2019, the unemployment rate in the tech sector hit a 19 year low at 1.3 percent. When you drill down into specific technical fields like cloud and cybersecurity, that number further shrinks. To put those numbers into perspective, most economists consider a 5% unemployment rate “full employment”.
With corporate profits breaking records, and companies having more resources than ever before to continue to expand their business, how can hiring managers continue to compete and attract the best talent going into the new year? Here are a few tricks (no treats included):
1. SLASH your interview process: The average DevOps Engineer gets 30-40 messages per week from recruiters telling them they have their next awesome career move lined up. They could be interviewing at 10 different places at a given time. Our clients who are most effective at hiring top, competitive IT talent have 1-3 step interview processes while engaging the candidates throughout the process with quick feedback and clear next steps.
2. CARVE out a clear career path: The better outlined career path you have, the less turnover you will experience. The less turnover you experience, the less you have to spin your wheels to continue to find top talent. Candidates that are evaluating offers also like to see this path upfront and the long-term potential a job can offer. Ideally, have them interview with someone who is successfully completing this same path who can give first-hand knowledge of the opportunity for growth.
3. SCARE the competition: Every company needs tech talent. Realize that your competitors aren’t just who you compete for business with, but literally every company who has an online or technology presence. Knowing this, all interviewers need to be selling the opportunity throughout the process (while of course vetting the candidate as well). One un-prepared or disengaged interviewer can make your team miss out on a solid candidate and go work for your competitor.
4. JACK (O Lantern) up the salaries: Your company may have the best product, best culture, and best work/life balance, but if you don’t pay your people what they can easily get elsewhere, you will not be able to hire and retain the best talent. There are simply too many opportunities out there with large companies and startups alike for companies to be able to underpay their staff. Beyond general market research, ask candidates where they need to be at and make note of the trends you are seeing for different skillsets.
5. (PARA)NORMALIZE working from home: More than ever, we get requests from great candidates about the flexibility to work from home. With Slack, Skype, and other business communication tools that are prevalent, most technical positions can be done remotely. While many companies still value face to face interaction, a 2018 Stanford study shows that production is maximized when a couple of remote days per week are offered to employees. In cities like Atlanta, where a 5-mile rush hour commute can take an hour, this can make a huge difference in your perspective candidates’ life.
2020 is forecast to be another strong year for the economy with record low unemployment. Don’t let your hiring process come back to HAUNT you.
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