With IT talent in short supply and the post-COVID landscape radically impacting ways of working, talent pools and job markets, talent acquisition teams and recruitment departments have their work cut out for them. How can software development companies stay ahead of the competition and recruit the skilled experts they need to ramp up delivery, increase scalability and deliver disruptive solutions? Read on to find out.
A shortage of IT talent is not new, and not going away
The lack of IT talent is a problem that affects all sectors and markets. According to a study by Korn Ferry, a global consulting firm, there will be a global talent shortage of 85 million people by 2030, resulting in USD 8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues. In the IT sector, the talent shortage is not only impacting staffing issues, but broader industry development. Gartner reports that IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies. Not having enough talent is considered more of an obstacle than implementation cost (29%) and security risk (7%).
The COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced how people work and their expectations, especially as regards remote work. As a result of the pandemic and subsequent social distancing measures, travel restrictions and lockdowns, the world experienced a huge shift to remote working models, which, as time goes on, employees and employers are less and less likely to want to abandon. One survey of CFOs indicates that 74% intent to shift some employees to remote work permanently.
While working remotely all the time will obviously appeal to certain companies and employees, some combination of on-site and remote work, the ubiquitous ‘hybrid model’, will probably be the most popular working model going forward. Indeed, HR consulting firm Mercer reports that 70% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid work model. This means that IT talents are not bound by geographic limitations, so the question isn’t “Which is the best software house to apply to in my city?” but rather “Which is the best software house to apply to in the world?” Companies are now competing for talent on a global scale, since a top-notch programmer, developer or engineer can easily work across time zones and continents from the comfort of home. Given the success of remote work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘local talent pool’ or even ‘nearshore talent pools’ are terms that may be a bit outdated.
What were small, local pools with the occasional glimpse of big, global players has become one global pool with big and small companies competing against each other. The hard truth is, there is one talent pool that everyone is competing in, so talent acquisition teams need to distinguish themselves, and the company they represent, in a way that effectively communicates the opportunities on offer and leaves a positive impression on all recruits, whether they join the company or not. There are three keys to effectively meeting your staffing needs: having the right recruitment team in place, fully understanding your organization’s needs and honesty.
The feared shortage of talent is here, and the expected fierce competition is here – now it’s time to sink or swim.
Create a recruitment team that fits your culture and reflects your values
As an external representation of your company’s values and culture, your recruitment team should be distinguishable to that of your competitors, just as the products or services you offer are. It is essential to build a team that fully understands what you do, where you come from, and more importantly, where your company is going. Establishing a company culture that resonates and educating your employees about your culture should be the top of every CEO’s to-do list. Recent research indicates that 77% of people in the US, UK, France and Germany consider a company’s culture before applying for a job.
This information is essential. In the IT world, and the software outsourcing industry in particular, recruiters are responsible for finding premium talent that suits a project or client’s needs and then persuading them about the advantages of joining their company over another. Of course, recruiters need to weed out unsuitable candidates but more importantly, they need to make a successful sales pitch to the ‘can’t miss’ talents.
Your talent acquisition team should be hungry for knowledge – about your company and what it offers, about your competition and the market you operate in. Having this curiosity for the world they are in will empower your recruiters to effectively understand their audience (highly sought-after IT talents) and communicate your organization’s unique benefits and opportunities. As in all areas of life, automation is making inroads in recruitment processes as well. This should be welcomed with equal parts enthusiasm and caution. To the first point, automation can speed up processes and make them smoother, especially in terms of making it easier for candidates to track their progress through the various stages of recruitment. If done well, automation can enhance the experience and make it more rewarding. However, direct contact with candidates is essential, and automation cannot replace this human contact. Technology should augment human capital, not replace it.
Eliminate organizational silos and align recruitment, business, sales and marketing
It is an indisputable fact that information silos can cripple organizations. That’s why it’s so vital to have a clear understanding between your talent acquisition team, external clients and internal stakeholders like project managers and hiring managers. Without everyone aligning on needs, requirements and goals, time, energy and resources will be wasted, and targets will not be achieved.
Central to ensuring a cohesive strategy across departments is communication, and specifically a feedback loop that delivers relevant information in a rapid manner to the right people. Are suitable candidates being selected for the right roles? If not, why? What are actionable items and how can the talent team modify its approach? Can the desired candidate’s profile be adjusted? Should a requirement be ignored, or criteria exchanged as a means of increasing the pool of applicants? Answering these questions requires the active participation of all parties.
Processes can always be improved, and recruitment is no exception. Engage in open discussions with the departments you’re trying to find people for and establish the strategies which are working well and those which could better. Analyize data, measure your effectiveness and verify that the tools you are using are the best. If not, don’t be afraid to try different ones.Honesty is the best policy, in recruitment as in life.
The American comedian Groucho Marx once said “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Of course, the real measure of a company is not having to fake it. If your company has established a culture that emphasizes values that are authentic and support its mission and vision, then there will not be a need to be misleading.
Your company’s culture and the benefits you offer should speak for themselves. Don’t exaggerate and don’t make promises you can’t keep. Even if this deception works in the short-term (and you can hire a few candidates), the long-term reputational harm it can cause is not worth it. According to Glassdoor, 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even for a pay increase. As well, sugar-coated phrases might not stand up to scrutiny, and experienced candidates will call your bluff.
Beyond working on cutting-edge projects with interesting clients, developing news skills and receiving adequate financial; compensation, today’s IT talents want respect. The best way to demonstrate respect is by being authentic in how you represent the company and genuine in how you form relationships.
Without having these strong fundamentals, your talent acquisition team will not be able to compete in today’s hyper-competitive market. The importance of having the right people with the right skills to do the right job at the right time, combined with a lack of IT talent and cutthroat competition to secure these engineers, means more and more companies are turning to external software developers, like Software Mind, who can deliver dedicated development teams. Get in touch with our experts to find out how you can secure the talent you need to increase your scalability, ramp up your software delivery and get your solutions faster to market.
Author: Maciej Matkowski
Bio: As Head of Talent Acquisition at Software Mind, Maciej oversees the team in charge of recruiting talent for a rapidly expanding organization. A wide industry background and experience as a vendor, headhunter and account manager empower Maciej with a comprehensive understanding of all sides of the recruitment process. Passionate about helping IT experts find their dream job, Maciej believes in augmenting a human approach to recruitment with data-driven strategies that leverage cutting-edge innovations to enhance recruiters, not replace them.