Labor Shortage in IT: How to Win a Candidate

HR Expertise
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7 min

Labor Shortage in IT: How to Win a Candidate

The world has been in the midst of a Fourth Industrial Revolution for some time. It is a time where automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and other forward-thinking technologies are growing in presence and relevance. But therein lies the problem. The talent pool of IT staff specializing in these areas is not yet large enough to fill all the open roles. Other factors also play a part in making this shortage worse. Shrinking demographics, migration, and of course, the effects of a once-in-a-century pandemic, to name but a few.

Currently, the job market leans heavily towards the candidate, who might have multiple choices (or even offers) on the table. Against this highly competitive background, it becomes essential to win the candidate over.

Here's how to do it.

The situation in the IT industry, today

The shortage of IT talent worldwide is acute across multiple disciplines within the industry. It is not a recent problem, either, though the Covid-19 pandemic did exacerbate it.

IT functions suffering from skills shortage

Let's take one specific aspect of IT, cybersecurity, to illustrate the situation. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5m open positions in this field by 2025. Considering this is just one area of IT, you can imagine the scale of the problem.

The immediate consequence of this paradigm is that specialized IT staff enjoy a position of power. They can pretty much decide which company they want to work for, dictate the terms of employment, and walk out of any job at any time, only to walk into a new one the next day.

This situation calls for imaginative solutions by employers, HR departments, and recruitment agencies to clinch the deal and win a candidate over.

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How to win the candidate

In today's hyper-competitive IT industry, skilled specialists have the upper hand, considering all market circumstances. To counteract this, employers can adopt a series of strategies to help convince the candidate. These include a deep rethinking of the job requirements, paying close attention to employer branding, and putting together a competitive salary and benefits package.

Rethinking job requirements

Often, recruitment stakeholders issue job requirements that might not necessarily be pertinent to what the job actually entails. Overblown education requisites, for instance. Now, while there are jobs that do require a high degree of education (the medical sector springs to mind), is it really necessary for a skilled IT specialist to have undergraduate degrees, for example? Or high school diplomas? If the candidate can demonstrate their ability to do the job at hand, why ask for education papers that might have stopped being relevant two or three decades prior?

Now, education does have a value. But does it have relevancy for the specific role? Hiring managers should consider this quandary when deliberating about the job requirements, and only specify the skills that are really needed, rather than taking a blunt approach and ask for a range of degrees, diplomas, and other certifications that, not only might be completely irrelevant, but might actually discourage people from applying for the job.

Paying close attention to employer branding

A company's reputation is its lifeblood. How a brand is perceived externally has a huge bearing on the candidates considering applying for a job. Because of this inescapable fact, hiring managers should support and cultivate the organization's branding in all communications. Emails, job adverts, promotional material, etc., should promote the brand's values. In other words, the hiring manager should be able to effectively communicate the company's value proposition to prospective candidates. This will help to attract talent and play a crucial role in winning the candidate over competitors.

Putting together a competitive salary and benefits package

Skilled IT specialists tend to command a substantial salary, according to their level of experience, skills, etc. But money alone is unlikely to sway a candidate's mind. Rather, IT specialists will look at the overall offer, of which financial remuneration is an important factor, but not the only one. Corporate culture, benefits, and perks are also integral components of the package. As such, hiring managers should hold discussions with HR and other stakeholders to ensure that the offer is attractive and competitive. And not only that, salary reviews should also be part of the overall package. The candidate should be made aware that their salary will be reviewed in due course as part of their stay within the company.

Working remotely is a new norm, not a benefit

The pandemic happened, and though the coronavirus onslaught did cause a lot of misery for a lot of people, it did have a catalyzing effect on the workplace environment.

Once the pandemic status was declared, many companies were forced to issue guidelines regarding working from home. Some staff accepted reluctantly. But by and large, most staff embraced this as holy water.

Hitherto, working from home had almost been considered a perk of sorts. Something that had to be earned by sheer years of service, or because of very specific and narrow reasoning. Not so anymore. The days when companies got to dictate how and from where staff was allowed to work are long gone. Now, staff has the choice to decide. And this freedom is key for staff retention. Workers should feel like they're in control of their own working life. Companies wanting to retain their best staff should enable them to choose their workplace. Office, home, a co-working space, or a lounger by the beach. It doesn't really matter, as long as the work is done.

For most staff, remote work is the new normal.

AllSTARSIT can find the right talent for you

Finding the right talent for the right job isn't easy. It takes a dedicated and passionate team to do it. A team working for a company with strong brand recognition and knowledge of the local legal framework. All these things come together in AllSTARSIT.

If you're looking to establish a remote team in the CEE Region, AllSTARSIT is the right fit. The company has a very recognizable brand in the area, the expertise to source the right talent, and all the HR, legal, and operational support that you need to establish and maintain the team.

Find out how ALLSTARSIT can help you grow

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