“We’ve had over 50 applicants for our senior developer position!”
For a hiring manager, this scenario sounds like great news, right? Not necessarily. IT unemployment rates are at historic lows, and in some markets, unemployment is virtually zero. So why would 50 applicants for a developer position be a problem?
Here’s the challenge: the best talent is already employed and not actively looking to change positions. When you receive a bunch of applications for an open position, the majority of these applications are not coming from top professionals. Most of these applicants won’t have the required skill set or experience you need. They may lack critical soft skills or be chronic job hoppers. Consequently, hiring managers end up spending weeks sorting through applications and conducting interviews, only to end up right where they started: an open position and no one to fill it.
IT Hiring in 2020: What to Do Now for Success
In 2020, the IT candidate market will only get more competitive. Yes, throwing up a job posting on job boards or LinkedIn will yield applications, but you won’t be getting the quality you need. Instead, you’ll be deluged by applications from second-tier candidates who aren’t the right fit. This not only wastes your hiring manager’s time, but it also hurts your current developer team.
In the absence of a key hire, your developer team is working longer hours and falling further behind. This hurts team morale and creates a domino effect: your best talent becomes a flight risk, and you could lose top performers to the competition. Here’s how to reverse this trend:
- Understand market dynamics. Hiring IT talent is a number’s game, but not how you might think. It’s about connecting with 3 or 4 exceptionally qualified passive candidates, not losing valuable time sorting through 50+ second-tier candidates. Focus your efforts accordingly.
- Know your employer brand and market reputation. Top IT professionals are what we call “passive candidates”– they’re satisfied with their current job and don’t need to take a new position unless you give them a reason to. That’s where your employer brand comes in. Are you known as an innovator or a technology dinosaur? A strong employer brand is what gets passive candidates to take that initial informational call.
- Target your hiring strategy. Partnering with the right technical recruiter can keep you from spinning your wheels for two months. We act as a seamless extension of your hiring team, working in concert to amplify reach. We drill down on the essential skill and experience requirements and tap our passive candidate base to find the perfect fit. Most importantly, for companies with weak or lesser-known employer brands, we act as your “ambassador.”
Few businesses enjoy Amazon or Google level hiring prestige. That’s where an IT recruiter can help: we get your foot in the door with talent who otherwise might not consider your company. We know those professionals and understand their pain points – a long commute, a desire for more management experience – so we pitch the opportunity at your company accordingly. We give them a compelling reason to take the next step in their career with your company. That’s something a generic job posting can’t do.
What’s your greatest IT hiring challenge going into 2020? I invite you to share your perspective in the comments below.