It’s no secret that unemployment is at an all-time low. In the technology industry, this number is even lower. Currently, only 1.3% of technology workers are unemployed which is the lowest unemployment rate for this industry in almost two decades. From grocery stores to auto shops, to online retail giants, nearly every business directly or indirectly depends on technology, which means nearly all businesses need tech talent. The tech industry is booming, and the lack of available talent is threatening to stall its progress. And, it’s not just one role within the industry that’s lacking—companies are on the hunt for new talent with an array of tech-related roles ranging from back-end development to AI and machine learning, to product design.
With so many qualified candidates already gainfully employed, it takes finesse and out-of-the-box thinking to fill open positions. Here are our tips for hiring in a talent shortage:
Shorten your hiring process
In expanding industries, qualified candidates have multiple job offers within weeks of becoming available for work. That means, the days of being able to take weeks to contemplate and test candidates is over. The longer you wait to decide between two candidates, the more likely it is that both will be scooped up by another organization before the decision is made. Tests, coding, and work samples, and working interviews may make sense when there are more candidates than positions available, but in a seller’s market, the fewer hurdles your candidate needs to go through and less time spent on considering the options, the better chance you have of landing a new employee. It’s time to simplify and expedite your hiring processes. If you find someone that seems like a good fit for your team and has a strong background, don’t wait. Offer them the job!
Negotiate your requirements
Finding an individual who fulfills every requirement in your job description is challenging. Reaching a wider group of talent requires refining your job descriptions. Review your current listings: What is the overall tone of your job descriptions? Are there any skills or software requirements that are more of a want and not a true need? Are there skills listed in the job description that could be taught in-house during orientation or a probationary period? Consider lightening up the list of must-have skills and re-writing your posts in a friendly and approachable tone to make them welcoming to candidates with different experiences. Instead of asking for specific years of experience in a role or a degree in a certain category, be open to candidates with unique backgrounds. It may be worth even revisiting previous applicants with this lens—this could be your opportunity to train a new candidate you previously overlooked to fit your exact needs while bringing a new perspective into your company.
Accommodate for candidates outside of your region
Having a tough time landing local candidates? Craft your hiring strategy to speak directly to new talent from outside of your local region. Throughout the interview process, sell them on your location by discussing the perks of both your office and the city in general. If they’re considering making the move, welcome them with a tour of the area or a list of recommendations of your favorite spots for dinner. Explore what a work-from-home policy could look like in your organization—not only will it help take the stress off of new employees moving to your city, but it can help attract new candidates that are interested in staying in their current hometown. Just remember to be transparent early in the conversation so your candidates feel as informed throughout the process as possible.
Hire from within
You already have highly skilled employees within your organization; this new role could be their chance to grow. Which employees are exemplifying the skills you want to see in your future managers? Is there someone that could step into the position you’re hiring for with a little additional training? Think about which of your high-performing employees is a good fit and work with them to make it happen! After a probationary period, evaluate their success and interest in continuing with their new responsibilities. Encouraging employee growth not only builds your team up as individuals, but it also keeps employees happy and loyal to your company.
Consider previous employees
Previous employees who left on good terms are great resources to draw from because you’re already familiar with their work ethic and how they fit within the company culture. If they have a good history in your organization, keep them in your network and continue to nurture those positive relationships. Make note of any new skills they have acquired or advances they’ve made in their careers. When you have a position open that suits their interests and skills, you’ll have a candidate that you already know will be a good fit—all you have to do is ask them!
Leverage your employee network
Your employees are your best advocates. They deeply understand your company culture, team dynamic, and work environment—and each of them has a large network of like-minded friends and colleagues at their fingertips! Implement a generous employee referral program to motivate your team to connect you with new and unique applicants that you may not have reached before. Your team’s insider knowledge will not only help bring in qualified applicants but can be an excellent way to find new candidates that embody similar values and will mesh well with the overall culture of your organization.
Struggling to find the right hire? Contact VanderHouwen today for help filling your contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire roles.