Shortage of candidates
For 2018 we expect there to be more companies and more IT recruiters fighting for fewer and fewer skilled people in IT.
The demand for IT skills will not be limited to the conventional technology and engineering sectors. We expect significant employment needs in many sectors including healthcare, finance, manufacturing, energy, marketing, import/export, etc.
Related Government Report: Occupations with the Most Job Growth
Essentially any business sector that uses a computer will see increased needs for IT staffing and recruiting efforts.
The IT staffing gap of 2018 (from our perspective as a Dallas IT Staffing Agency)
Our country is not making graduates fast enough to fill the growing number of positions needed by IT staffing companies in Dallas, or elsewhere in the country.
Compounding the problem, the young technology graduates we do get are still green. To be more productive soon, the new IT engineers should be mentored by someone with at least 4+ years experience.
But mentors are in short supply.
We hear from other IT staffing firms that the shortage of mentors is complicated because about 20% of seasoned IT employees are looking to retire soon. While most HR departments are not tracking those statistics, it is going to smack a lot of companies right between the eyes when one-fifth of their senior IT staff retires in five years.
The value of experience
Companies and IT recruiters can try to convince their more experienced IT staff to hang around for another couple of years to assist with mentoring younger engineers.
If your organization finds itself short of mentors don't be afraid to find older IT workers, including retirees.
You'll often discover that seasoned IT professionals will come back in for a few years. With the current emphasis on youth, sometimes companies gloss right over this incredible wealth of experience that is eager to come in for couple more years and pass on their knowledge.
Getting IT staff up to speed faster
Have you ever heard of Code Fighting? Programmers go head-to-head in a managed competition, testing their skills against a group of professional, working engineers, from top companies.
The programmers engage in technical bug-squashing contests. They can be challenged to re-create deliberately missing sections of code in a program. Other tests include creating virgin functions-to-order in the most efficient way possible.
Scores increment as the programmers become more successful. The higher the ranking the more employable the programmer.
Code Fighting is a place where technology staffing agencies ought to keep their eyes open for the truly amazing talent.
Shaking the bushes
The report from Talent Trends 2015 shows that over 70% of professionals on LinkedIn are happy to hear from technical staffing firms. This could prove to be a very rich resource, and as a recruiter, one that you want to keep an eye on.
Job seekers should update their profile and make sure it reflects not only their history but any new talents they have gained. Remember to focus on accomplishments and skills, not "duties" and "responsibilities".
For more info on keeping a great looking resume, check out this related article: Tips for writing your IT resume
Hirer younger and train in-house
With the increase in the skills gap, companies are hiring younger IT workers and training them.
Developing IT professional internally builds loyalty and provides people starting out in IT with an opportunity to advance in many directions.
Under-30s can expect more opportunities to be promoted into management positions. Up to 55% of companies plan to hire or promote more women and minorities into management.
Show 'em the money
Surveys show that 83% of employers are expecting to increase compensation to keep their top talent. Fully two-thirds are expecting to raise starting salaries for new employees.
Recruiting and the cell phone
The intelligentsia of IT are enamored of their mobile devices and expect to complete an application on their smartphones. Corporate and Recruiter websites must be mobile-compatible.
If a company or recruiter website is incompatible with their expectations, applicants will not take it seriously as a place of employment. They're not being unreasonable. Making a website mobile-compatible is so easy that anyone that doesn't do so is beneath contempt (for these brilliant individuals you are your dream employees).
Hiring via smartphones and tablets makes it easy to conduct live video interviews from anywhere. While you're doing a preliminary assessment of a cross-country candidate to find out if you want to know more about them, are you really willing to undertake their airfare and/or hotel accommodations so they can come into your office and talk to you?
You can see more people, more quickly, wasting less time and costing less money, if you are mobile-capable. Save those expensive flights and hotel fees for that candidate where you are already 90% convinced that they're the right person.
Increased responsibility is falling on the recruiters and the employers to provide a higher level of responsiveness for the candidates they seek.
Where there is a shortfall of candidates don't be afraid to seek out retirees as a stopgap measure.
Meanwhile, you should establish relationships with local educational institutions. Hiring younger candidates gives you a chance to impress them with the value of your company and gain their loyalty.
Knowing the trends is the first step toward winning the game! Good luck!
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