5 Strategies to Find the Right IT Talent

Employers have had to adapt their methods of recruiting and maintaining tech workers because of the competition and scarcity in IT talent. Here’s how. Employers are forced to adapt to new ways of recruiting, despite the scarcity and availability of IT talent. This was according to industry leaders who spoke at the CompTIA 2020 EMEA Member and Partner Conference.
Graham Hunter, CompTIA’s vice president, skills certification EMEA, met up with Ben Hansford (managing director, apprenticeships at Firebrand) and Aaron Saxton (director of training and education at UKFast), to discuss current trends and strategies in talent acquisition.
The Rise of Talent Poaching, Salary Inflation, and Recruitment Fees
In response to COVID-19 customers’ increased demand for cloud and cybersecurity solutions, so did employer demand for data scientists, engineers, designers, and developers who create and support these solutions. IT companies were willing and able to pay more for qualified candidates.
“We are seeing it day in and day out. Hansford stated that there was a skills gap pre-COVID, which has only widened. Hansford said that they have seen an increase in temporary recruitment, inflation in salaries, and massive fees for recruitment.
Some candidates felt the need to remain put because of the economic and social uncertainties caused by COVID-19. Saxton says that COVID and the instability in jobs and careers have caused some workers to stick to what they know.
How to Find the Right IT Talent
How can solution providers, vendors, and distributors be strategic in sourcing IT talent for their short- and long-term business requirements? Hansford and Saxton shared some of their insights.
1. Prioritize current projects based upon existing skills.
Business leaders should prioritize current projects based upon the talent they have.
“We had to rethink our priorities. Saxton shared that we had to reharmonize our talent to have the right mix of people with the right skills to support cloud basics.
2. Retain core functions in your existing roles.
IT companies are developing new talent to support core business functions and mission-critical projects.
Hansford stated, “We’re seeing more people reskill from roles that don’t fit into the company’s core or have a long-term outlook.” They are reskilling people before they let them go.
3. Identify gaps in skills for future business needs
It’s tempting to only focus on urgent recruitment needs in a crisis such as a pandemic, economic recession, or other type of business crisis.
“We’ve seen a lot people retract. Retract to your core business. Retract to your core business… Many companies are currently in survival mode or recovery mode. Hansford observed that they don’t see the bigger picture.
Managers should spend time and energy identifying future skills gaps. These skills gaps are where companies must grow their talent pipeline.
4. For alignment with market trends, monitor compensation levels.
A limited candidate pool can drive wage growth but channel organizations must ensure that compensation levels are in line market trends and sustainable over the long-term.
Saxton stated that “a lot of engineers can freelance and do consulting, which has an important impact on what they demand for salary or pay. That’s something we’re trying to fix… But it doesn’t remain sustainable.” We have to find a balance that works for everyone.
5. To build your own talent pool, create IT apprenticeship programs.
Some vendors, distributors, and managed service/solution providers offer IT apprenticeship programs to help their own talent in the roles of developer, engineer, and analyst.
“We have seen a significant increase in the traction and talent for apprenticeships. This is a great way to attract younger talent. Hansford stated that we are seeing a lot of entry-level recruitment.
Strong apprenticeship programs offer accelerated IT professional education that few colleges and schools can offer.
Saxton stated, “We’ve been doing [apprenticeships] since seven years now.” Our outreach schools account for fifty-seven percent. 100 percent of those 57 percent go into management. These are the students and young people that we have worked with over a few years. They move directly into senior management and leadership roles within the company.
CompTIA’s EMEA Partner Conference is a must-attend event. You can find all the online sessions here.