There are different opinions on this matter: some say there’s no such a thing as a tech talent shortage and some say there is. The main reason everybody is talking about the tech talent gap is that the majority of companies don’t want to grow and train inexperienced graduates.
Instead, they want to get a particular specialist with the right experience fast, easy, and without overpaying. One thing is clear, though – finding the right specialist is harder than ever.
The tech industry is growing and changing too fast for educational establishments to prepare and provide enough specialists in every field.
The situation depends on the location and what kind of tech talent you are looking for. Thus, there might be more than enough web developers in your city, but very few somewhere else.
Also, the number of specialists in your area might be promising, but if you need someone with a special set of skills or extensive experience, you could find out that there’s not a single candidate to fit your criteria or those who do suit you are already working for a larger, more successful company.
Even though young people tend to choose a tech career, many of them struggle to find a job after graduation just because they don’t have the experience.
1) Highly Skilled Tech Recruiters
A professional IT recruiter is not only the link between the customer and the candidate, but it is also a good sales manager.
Roughly speaking, they sell people to companies and vice versa. The recruiter must not only know how to recruit but competently convince the customer why a certain candidate should be hired and paid a particular amount of money.
Sales skills also help to lure the candidate himself, at least for an interview. Not to mention persuading him to change his place of residence.
Where to Look for Valuable Candidates?
The main search channels are:
- Social networks (Telegram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter);
- Specialized events (conferences, meetings);
- Online instruments (X-ray request, Turbo hiring, Opportunity, Angel list);
- Groups and forums (chats of IT recruiters and IT forums).
With a large selection of channels, there is no single right or universal tool with which you can always effectively search for people. Some channels work better in the US market, others in the European market, and some work only in specific circumstances.
Each recruiter should not only know how to hire programmers, but how to choose a search channel that is convenient for himself and his company and gives access to the best tech talent pipeline.
2) IT Staffing & Remote Employees
The number of IT companies is constantly growing and the competition between them on the labour market is tightening and the demand for remote employees is growing.
According to Google Trends, the popularity of the “remote developer” query is constantly growing.
These days, the most innovative model to hire remote developers is out-staffing, but outsourcing and freelancing are still very popular.
People become freelancers for various reasons. For some, it’s a problem to constantly go to the office (for people with disabilities or women with small children), it’s psychologically difficult to work in the office, and for some, the main advantage is the ability to choose tasks yourself and not do things that will entrust.
There are a lot of people around the world who are constantly or temporarily engaged in freelance work, and their number is constantly growing.
From the perspective of a hiring company, freelance is probably the cheapest solution.
On the other hand, hiring a freelancer does not give you much control over the process, you cannot be sure your deadlines would be met, you may not get what you paid for or the quality would be lower than you expected. Communication is also an issue here.
Outsourcing as a concept has proven its efficiency and this model is being used for decades now. Any area of the enterprise’s work can be left to the care of an outsourcing company. It can be accounting, human resources, customer support, marketing, offshore IT resources, and more.
The very first outsourcing companies offered intellectual services, primarily legal ones. This happened in countries where it is customary to resolve business disputes in court, that is, in the UK and the USA. There appeared independent legal advice that helped to complete litigation or to understand the legal details.
It is worth mentioning that outsourcing is a good career for a specialist as well. Working in an outsourcing company, a specialist deals with professionals in his field and gets the opportunity to exchange experiences, knowledge, and simple advice with his similar specialists.
The chance that would burn out emotionally when working at these companies is much lower.
5) IT Staffing, Outstaffing
Outsourcing and outstaffing are somewhat similar but the main difference is in how the model works itself. The result and the process “feel” different as well. Outstaffing is a relatively new hiring model, but its popularity is rapidly growing.
Companies that provide outstaffing services would find, hire, and manage an IT specialist or a whole team according to your requirements.
You get a contract-based collaboration where your subcontractor is responsible for delivering results.
Using such a model brings many advantages:
- Lower development cost (due to lower salary rates mainly);
- Save on taxes and operating costs (your subcontractor is doing the hires);
- Easily scalable team;
- Access to global tech talent;
- No need for micromanagement;
- Full control over the process;
- Fixed rates;
- Efficient communication.
6) Internship, Employee Training, and Development
There are four strategies for working with interns:
- Direct selection;
- Organizing student competitions;
- Hackathons and championships;
- Educational programs and short-term internships.
a) Choosing Interns Directly
Direct selection is easy to organize through a career centre at the university. Just place an internship announcement on the university’s website, on social media channels, or the bulletin board.
From the applications received, select the most suitable. Be sure to include a test task in the vacancy: this way you will receive applications from really interested candidates. Let the test task be vital.
b) Specialized Hackathons and Championships
If a company needs an intern for a very narrow, specialization in IT (Big Data, Machine Learning, etc.), look for candidates at thematic championships and hackathons.
Here we need a student who has not only knowledge from the university, but also experience in solving similar problems. KPI for such an intern is a ready-to-use program or script.
Keep track of topics and dates of hackathons at all universities of your interest. Hackathons are usually held in the spring and autumn, so do not miss the moment. Or, if you have the resources, do a hackathon on your topic of interest.
Keep in mind that the bright participants and winners of the hackathons are in great demand and usually have a big list of opportunities to choose from. Therefore, consider not only the hackathon tasks, but also the presentation of your business or project.
c) Short-term Internships
This option is the most common and least effective. The company recruits many students for a short time, entrusts them with simple work, and involves a lot of employees to train newcomers.
Why are massive short-term internships ineffective?
This is a high burden for company employees because you need to attach one or two mentors to each intern.
7) Own Educational Programs
If you have a large company, which is important for a constant stream of qualified trainees for highly specialized activities, create your educational programs: departments in universities, additional education programs, or special courses located in your office.
This way has a huge advantage and a significant drawback. The educational project allows you to prepare trainees following the needs of the company.
On the other hand, this method is very labour-intensive. The company should highlight several employees who will share their knowledge and skills with students, and if the need for interns is large and constant, it will be necessary to create a whole base of mentors and a system to motivate them.
8) IT Certification Training
IT сertification is a relatively new phenomenon among tech specialists. Now it’s clear that IT certification is becoming more and more significant when applying for a job, and for some organizations the presence of such a “proof” is a mandatory point for obtaining the desired position.
The growing tendency to test IT-specialists become a necessity, not because it is really in demand on the market, but because “everyone does it.” Having a certificate from a big, reputable company opens up lots of opportunities and makes a candidate much more appealing in the eyes of recruiters.
The majority of valuable certificates are provided by tech companies. They usually offer related information technology jobs to those who have proven great ability to learn and grow as a professional.
On the other hand, there’s also a pool of organizations that do not hire but only train. It is in their interest to have some kind of tech company ready to offer jobs to their graduates.
Thus, having such an agreement is beneficial for everyone: students, course providers, and hiring companies.