Companies looking to grow often struggle to find enough technology workers to fill their information technology departments. It comes down to the simple dilemma of too many jobs and not enough people to fill them.
So, landing a tech rock star to lead the way becomes an even more monumental task. But it is possible, says one tech recruiting expert.
Currently, computer and information technology positions are expected to post 12 percent job growth between 2014 and 2024 – substantially higher than the 7 percent job growth for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Demand for these workers is growing because of the focus on cloud computing and the collection and storage of data, as well as the increasing connection of our lives with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Adding to the demand is the unceasing popularity and growth in mobile computing.
“Developers and data professionals, in addition to desktop support talent, will continue to drive hiring in the tech industry,” says John Reed, senior executive director of recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. “We may see new advancements, such as 3-D printing and IoT, begin to add to demand as they move forward and will need talented professionals to keep up with cutting edge technologies.”
In the future, he predicts, there will be an increased focus on getting students and women interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers to help ease the talent shortage.
But most companies want to do more than fill the positions; they want to hire the best of the best, or IT rock stars.
“The best managers and team leads will possess a great deal more than just technical skills, although, those are imperative,” Reed says.
“Rock star IT managers and team leads will have strong written and interpersonal skills, they will be able to manage their teams to collaborate effectively with other departments, and they will have the business acumen to understand how their initiatives are impacting the business.”
How to land a rock star
Reed and other technology players have a range of suggestions on landing a highly sought-after tech pro:
- Show rock star prospects the cool technology tools they’ll be able to play with on the job, as well as the awesome projects they’ll work on.
- Inspire them. Does the mission or purpose of your company’s products or services have a larger calling than posting profits? For example, is the artificial intelligence under development aimed at easing the life of the prospect’s aging parents, grandparents and society at large?
- Look for rock stars in places where you don’t typically go. Networking events for IT professionals may help you tap into alternate resources.
- Show these top-tier IT pros your organization is as committed to them as they are to the company. Invest in training, allow teams to work with cutting-edge technologies, and let candidates or employees know that you understand their wants.
- Talk about potential career paths they can take within the organization once they are hired. For example, a rock star team leader who helps guide the career paths of her team members will, in turn, help create a new and highly effective group of future managers as they move through the ranks. Despite what position they’re in when they join your organization, it’s possible for these people to be potential managers. Look for those traits in every person you bring on board.
- While offering competitive salaries is still one of the best ways to attract rock stars, additional incentives such as strong corporate culture, benefits packages, work-life balance offerings and any other programs that would appeal to applicants will all aid in the recruiting process. Stay up to date with industry trends and compensation.
- Finally, be honest about what your company offers its employees, and don’t try to be something you aren’t. Being true to the culture of your organization and upfront with candidates brings in people who will grow and thrive in the environment.