How Managers Can Find the Best IT Talent


Many IT hiring managers would say that there’s a significant gap between the talent that they need to fill a position and the availability of qualified candidates. It’s a known issue in the IT sector. But it’s also one that has a solution or two.

While some companies struggle with finding any qualified talent, much less top talent, others have found ways to forge ahead. It’s a tale as old as time. When your current approach isn’t working, it’s time to find a new one. Here’s what some experts have to say about turning a problem into an opportunity.

Encouraging Top Talent to Apply

Sharon Florentine for CIO suggests that instead of blaming the talent pool, this issue should be flipped on its ear. It’s not that there is a genuine lack of incredibly talented individuals, as HackerRank VP of products and growth, David Park, explains to Florentine. It’s that many employers are using outmoded and “archaic methods to source and screen talent.”

Sometimes the problem lies in the inability to match qualified candidates with the right jobs. And sometimes it’s because top talent wants nothing to do with an application process that stopped advancing two decades ago. “Resumes, cover letters, even interviews are bad for the company and they’re bad for developers because they aren’t focusing on what skills someone has,” Park tells Florentine.

HackerRank CEO, Vivek Ravisanker, tells Florentine that they recently launched a job platform that’s skill based. Through this platform, programmers are offered an incentive to tackle coding challenges. This approach attracts great programmers because it’s not frustrating or outdated. And it benefits the company because programmers who make it through the challenge are essentially pre-screened for qualifications.

Finding a Deeper Pool of Talent

Sometimes the best talent is right under your nose. And sometimes it’s on a whole different continent. Hiring managers and recruiters who bemoan the presumed fact that there just isn’t enough talent might be overlooking three of the greatest avenues: campus recruitment, promoting from within and sourcing globally.

Campus recruiting is a big deal with Adobe, according to their global head of mobility, William Taylor. He explains to Florentine, “We have active campus recruiting programs, and they’ve been very successful. Pick a well-known computer science school — say, Stanford, or MIT, or Harvey Mudd, and we’ve got a presence there.” Adobe then develops talent internally as these newer employees grow and develop a better skill set.

Global recruitment is another major element of the Adobe plan. Taylor says that with a work visa, there’s always an end to the relationship because they expire. So they’ve expanded their recruitment to the source, looking for talent to fill positions in the Netherlands, the UK, Italy and Eastern Europe.

Competition for great IT talent is fierce. And if Sharon Florentine’s predictions are correct, the remainder of this year will only bring more of the same. Some of the biggest names in IT reinvent their talent acquisition strategies on the regular. So if you want to claim some of that talent, you’ll have to evolve along with them.

Ordinary job ads and application processes aren’t working with the best and the brightest. Candidate matching can help you market your jobs to the people you really want to hire, even if you aren’t sure where they are. And analytics let you know when you’re getting it right. Whether you’re a major player or a small company that’s trying to attract a rock star, the volume of available talent is the same. What makes a difference is where and how you look for it.

If you’re looking for more articles about sourcing and hiring the best for your industry, you’re in the right place.

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