Posts tagged "it professionals"

Pressing Need for Cybersecurity Specialists on the Market

Cybersecurity is threatened not only by hackers and outside sources but also by the lack of talents on the market. Skilled professionals are in great demand according to a study conducted by the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute.

Currently, companies who employ such specialists are in dire straits. 68% of them are looking to recruit talents that are not available since the gap between supply and demand has reached a score of 25%.

The senior executive of Deloitte and a recent graduate of a master’s programme in cybersecurity, has pointed out through her study, that by the year 2022 we will suffer a 1.8 million shortage in this particular area of expertise.

Is there a solution to closing the gap?

The first step consists of stimulating and attracting young talents to pursue a career in cybersecurity. This entails the following:

  • Coming up with creative and forward-thinking strategies of attracting talent
  • Build a story around the organization and work environment in the field
  • Target groups and hotspots of already trained professionals
  • Creating talent from within the company

The second step consists of efficient retention of current professionals. Ideas on how to improve the process include:

  • Creating goals and motivation for them to advance in their expertise
  • Coming up with a career plan system to help specialists grasp a better picture of their professional future
  • Promote an unbiased acceptance environment for all genders and orientations
  • Make tasks more challenging and entertaining to maintain enthusiasm by automating the dull ones

Closing the gap is not realistic, but bridging it can be an effective and progressive approach. The Human Capital Agenda for Cyber Security strongly encourage active collaboration among organizations in this sector.

Active involvement and collaboration could take the form of:

  • Providing controlled training in many sections of cybersecurity. Access to education can open up opportunities for young talents who would otherwise choose differently.
  • Facilitating access to extensive career plans that would emphasis on long-term benefits, quality of life, income and the sense of belonging in a close community
  • Promoting cybersecurity as a viable option for future talents and young professionals
  • Creating support groups and skill sharing communities among professionals to widen their expertise
  • Attracting students through events, competitions, and challenges like hackathons
  • Leading conferences and events to provide role models in the field and sharing stories on professional paths
  • Expanding beyond universities and college degrees to people of diverse backgrounds who may have the abilities to learn and excel in the cybersecurity sector

It would be a shame to leave untapped potential dormant while the market is suffering a major deficit.

Hot IT Hiring Trends and Trends Going Cold

A top challenge in the modern IT industry is that of hiring the best tech talents to bring about the achievement of goals and promote organizational development, this is partly due to the fact that tech talents are in high demand and also their paucity in the labor market. However, despite these challenges, companies have been able to adapt themselves to this seeming difficulty through various means, this article showcases how companies now carry out IT hiring and trends getting cold in the process of IT staffing.

Hot Trend: Workplace Flexibility

While companies still want their staff working in a specific base, an increasingly observed phenomenon in the IT world today is workplace flexibility which allows employees to work from home, café, coffee shop or even overseas during breaks or trips. The advantage of this is to aid retention and system burn out. Therefore, these days, employers are leaving rooms for their employees to work flexibly for greater efficiency.

Cold Trend: Full-time Remote Work

Full-time remote work has appeared to be a trend on the decline in the IT industry and fast getting outdated as a workplace practice. This is because there is usually always room for employees to strike a balance in their various engagements and duties and a full-time remote work doesn’t allow for this. Close proximity among staff, working together is proving more effective than a remote system of working.

Hot Trend: Flexibility Staffing

A standard pool of staff is being made possible in the IT industry, this system allows the availability of employable flexible staff who are well equipped and skilled to handle different challenges which might be thrown at them and even excel at this. Hence, this provides easy access to employees who are willing to work and deliver the required service at any time they are needed.

Cold Trend: Rigid Recruitment

The impact of the imbalance between the demand and the supply for tech talents have made it practically impossible for tech talents to be treated to a very stiff requirement before they are recruited. Hence, employers now rely on hiring employees who are less experienced but motivated to acquire new skills quickly.

Hot Trend: Incentives

Despite the fact that IT talents hiring is very competitive, IT talents are not immune against following the path of incentives and better workplace welfare, IT talents also follow the direction of “perks” if they are found as part of the employment package. Some of the popular perks include flexible work schedules, regular social events, remove work opportunities, free gym membership, a compressed schedule, and free food.

Cold Trend: Prolonged Hiring Period

Since the nature of the IT market is competitive, one thing which turns tech talents off is if the recruitment process extends beyond two weeks after the interview. Many tech professionals have explained that they lose interest in a job if there is no follow-up within two weeks after an interview, hence, employers are advised to look for ways to make their hiring process smooth and fast to avoid losing desired workers.


Why Candidate Engagement Matters in Recruiting

Employee engagement is one of those often talked about but rarely understood concepts. We all know that a fulfilled employee is more productive, but in order to attract and retain top talents, companies need to engage employees in the long run.

To realize how important the candidates’ engagement is you’ll have look at your recruitment and selection processes from the candidate’s perspective and change things accordingly. Some of the most common problems we find embedded in each process are:

  • The application form, candidates find on your website is too long and too complicated.
  • There is no confirmation email that a human being has seen that a new candidate filled the application form
  • The recruitment and selection process has too many steps and/or is too long or worse no expectation is set on this.
  • The candidate is unable to contact a recruiter for no contact info are available.
  • No notice is given when the position is filled/closed or just a standard automatic mail is received weeks after the job was given to someone else.

Communication is key and by simply addressing some of the basics above and further scrutinizing your process most will understand if another more qualified candidate has been placed in the role or recognize if the organization is no longer hiring. Be clear and notify candidates if passed over or not, answer promptly to all candidates’ questions/emails, explain the timeline of the selection process. Also, ensure you offer feedback to all candidates after each step including after interviews or tests and questionnaires applied.

The improvements shouldn’t stop here make sure to survey the candidates and the newly hired employees by asking them for feedback on what they like or didn’t like about your application process and change things accordingly.

Candidates will always prefer the human touch but this doesn’t mean automation is obsolete, on the contrary. Use recruiting technology or even the trendier Artificial Intelligence (AI) for speed, to automate repetitive tasks, such as screening, use chatbots to answer questions that potential applicants have about posted job offers, use AI to generate insights that you as an HR professional wouldn’t think of by yourself, for example. Thus, recruiters will have more time for tasks that really add value such as network-building and communication. AI is clearly the future as discussed by LinkedIn and other but is now only coming to the fore and gaining acceptance because the experience is more human-like. However, AI is only as good as the logic you invest in it and technology will only execute what you’ve told it to automate so don’t skimp on the investment of time in engineering your process for a successful candidate experience all around.

Take time to understand how these new trends match with your current hiring process and you will be able to add extra more valuable tasks to your “to do list” for improving the candidates’ experience and engagement but also for attracting and hiring top candidates from the marketplace.

With all this info at hand is time to act, so be critical when scrutinizing your hiring process and improve it using candidates feedback, common sense and of course the 80-20 rule (Pareto distribution). Results will show but you need patience for this is not an overnight transformation. Analyse, change, measure again and change again and don’t forget that recruiting is changing fast and so should your ways of doing it.

Hiring In Tech: Potential Over Experience

Every growing and advancing company seeks to recruit additional staff to handle and further their growth. In that light, companies usually seek the best minds and hands in the fields they intend to hire from. One such field is that of Tech; in which likely recruits fall into the categories of either those with experience in the industry or those with little/no experience but with potentials.

During the recruitment process, employers are usually faced with the question of whether to choose someone with experience over one with potentials or to do otherwise. This choice, of course, isn’t a straight forward one, as both categories of likely recruits each have their advantages and their drawbacks, and depends on what the company values most at the point of recruitment. But then, we will look into why tech companies should choose potential over experience.

Companies spend a lot of resources in order to get top talent for hire and have always favored those with experience. The reason for this isn’t far-fetched, as many think it is obvious that those with experience in the field will be able to handle more tasks and challenges and thus, are better suited for the job. But this approach no longer serves the best interest in today’s job market, as experience is not everything.

Potential is the capacity to develop into something great and everyone in the tech space will understand that jobs in this field are very competitive and need to be creative and innovative in order to stand out. These key areas of innovation and creativity are better handled by recruits with little experience but high potential than the experienced folks.

Also in the tech industry is the need for flexibility, adaptability to change, and diversity. These qualities are better found in recruits who have high potentials, as they are more willing to explore new options in the field; which is relatively new to them. This enables them to be able to effectively function and succeed not only in their current roles but also in sideways or upward roles within the company.

As mentioned earlier, hiring for experience definitely has its own benefits, as companies who recruit them can expect fewer errors in jobs, and better character and hindsight. But for a tech company whose main drive is insight and innovation, it is more advisable to go for the ones with potential over those with experience.

Sure enough, recruits with just potentials and little or no experience will have their own drawbacks, but with adequate support and training will be able to continuously improve over time. All the companies need to do is capitalize on the curiosity, motivation, and determination of these recruits to help them learn as much as they can. With this approach, the employers will be able to better understand them over time and give them more appropriate roles where they can function best.

Having said all that we have, we can confidently conclude that for long-term investment and future growth of tech companies, the choice of potential over experience in hiring is the way to go!

What’s Really Fueling the War for Tech Talent

Without a doubt, any careful observer in the tech industry will easily notice what can be rightly called a war for top tech talents. The signs are quite obvious and clearly seen from how much companies battle fiercely to win top tech candidates to their sides, not minding the higher salaries they might have to offer them with additional incentives. The basis behind this is not hidden, and the economical law that backs up this observed phenomenon is simply that of demand and supply:

John Reed, a senior executive director of IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology explained that the continued investment of companies in tech has created an increase in the demand for tech professionals, however, the number of people who chose the field of tech is not increasing, leading to a “supply-demand imbalance.”

However, in the midst of this seeming “scarcity” of tech talents, a tech job-listing website, claimed that the scarcity of good tech brains might have been over exaggerated by some companies. This is supported by comments from some other tech recruitment executives such as Tony Martin (Vice President, Recruitment Process Outsourcing) who believes that many companies are not doing their best to attract the best talents which are available, and he expressed the view that a smart way to recruit great employees is by looking at the skills available in the market and looking into ways to apply these needs to meet the specific needs of the company rather than matching a set of skills with job requirements.

Another challenge which might have been responsible for this “tech-talent-scarcity” could also be from the part of employers’ branding which could be inappropriate or unenticing to the prospective employees. This is a marketing problem from tech companies and it boils down to their branding. Funny enough, when people think about tech and its employees, they already have in mind a biased mindset that the employee must be within a particular age-range which is not always advantageous as many times, the desired tech talent wanted might not be in that category being specified, hence it could be seen more like a case of looking into the east when the answer lies idle right in the west. What this could translate to for the employer is to brand the company in a much better way and allow prospective employees know that the company stands for and what they stand to gain by working with the company, and also, the goals and objectives which they are going to fit into work with.

Yet, often left undiscovered in the cause of this war in the tech-talent hunt is the fact the company sometimes have workers leave their work easily while the company is looking for new talents. Many times, the talent being sought for outside a workplace might in the real sense be present at the workplace, and only needs to be identified, hence, there is a need to sometimes consider existing workers when tech-job opportunities open up.

Therefore, it is necessary for employers to look in the right directions when looking for their tech talents and not forget to be proactive and act smart. Also, it is essential to ignore biases and sometimes consider already available talents who might only need to be brushed up with training to meet the job requirements.


Tactics for Recruiting IT Talent in a Tight Job Market

One cannot deny the fact that the IT talent market today, is under great strain. Demand is increasing while supply is static at best. This fact is well captured in a statement made by Michael Kohlman, infrastructure Systems manager for a global life sciences company, Cook Group Inc.; “The talent market is tightening up. It’s getting back to the point where IT professionals with good backgrounds can more easily find a job.” The demand for IT talent is strong because shifting economic cycles often generate strategy changes inside companies that can lead to the creation of new jobs.

If your company is racing to uncover hard to find IT talent, you’ll need to possess the right recruiting tools – tools that leave no stone unturned. Your first sourcing priority is to find candidates conversant in both business and technology. Below are some important and helpful suggestions on how to possess and use the right tools and tactics for getting and recruiting your desired number of IT workers.

Promote your IT Organization

It is important that you put in much effort in promoting the reputation of your company. This will make recruiting easier, as the potential employees and candidates will become already aware of the culture of your company and more readily open to your job offers.

Recruit from Colleges

Participating in career day activities at career day activities at colleges to drum up interest in IT jobs helps increase the number of potential employees in the field, hence more candidates for hire. Likewise, building relationships with computer science professors who can recommend students for internships and entry-level positions.

Use networks and your employees’ networks

Referrals are ranked as the leading source for new hires. They produce candidates who have already been vetted to some degree and who tend to be a more desired match for organizations than unknown candidates.

Use Contractors

Many IT organizations maintain large pools of contractors that allow them to scale up their resources when business demand for IT is high.  Making use of the services of contractors is one way to get tested people into your organization. However, you have to be careful because self-employed contractors tend to have a different mindset from individuals who prefer to be tied to a company.

Optimize Social Media

This age of social media is one that provides companies with a very wide range of reach, with very limited cost. It is more efficient than other online job boards and enhances good response and quality candidates.

Act promptly

Time is of great essence in getting IT talents (who are limited in number in the job market). It is very essential that you guard against slow and disorganized recruiting functions in order to quickly get the attention of the IT candidates.

So, are you a CIO constantly faced with the challenge of getting and recruiting IT talents in the job market? Consider the above-mentioned tactics, put them to effective use and this challenge will become a thing of the past.