Recruiting IT talent has never been more challenging. Many tech recruiters report that they’ve experienced a surge of demand for specialist IT roles, particularly in cyber security, artificial intelligence and the cloud. Demand is not just coming from technology companies and the world’s largest corporates, but SMEs who understand that technology is the key to being an agile and competitive business.
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This trend is set to continue into 2020 and beyond, resulting in skills shortages across the technology arena. Many organisations are finding that they must delay IT projects because of staffing issues. So, what should your IT staffing strategy look like to ensure your organisation has the right talent to achieve your business goals?
Here are a few ideas:
IT staffing strategy tips
1. Recruit for cultural fit
If you’re looking at recruiting new IT staff, future proof your investment by recruiting with retention in mind. As it’s a candidate’s market, there are plenty of opportunities for your staff to jump ship so think about how you’re going to hang on to your top talent even before you recruit them.
An attractive salary and benefits, good progression and training opportunities are all good reasons why an employee may think twice about moving jobs. However, cultural fit is equally as important. With a good fit, someone with the right personality, attitude as well as technical skills, your IT team will be more productive, collaborative and innovative, and your staff are likely to be more engaged and loyal.
2. Upskill now to meet future needs
The more senior and specialist the role, the harder it is to fill. So, consider how you can upskill your existing team to meet future demand. Opportunities to gain new skills and progress professionally are highly valued by technical staff and will help with retention too.
Many of the technical roles organisations need support with are in their infancy. For example, very few organisations, apart from technology companies, would have considered recruiting a cloud architect just a few years ago. Therefore, it can be easier to offer existing staff training in these specialist areas, rather than competing for experienced candidates in a very small talent pool.
3. Flexible IT staffing options
Increasingly many companies are accessing the technical skills they need by using more flexible staffing options, rather than inhouse hires. The most common ways of achieving this are:
- IT contractors – often brought in for a specific project such as digital transformation
- Vendors – software and hardware vendors may assign their employees to a client’s IT department as part of a contractual arrangement
- Service Providers – IT outsourcing providers can enhance your team, or manage the entire IT department, either remotely, onsite or as a hybrid service
The advantage of having flexible staffing options like those above is that you can ramp up the technical skills you need at different times, and then cutback when those skills are no longer needed. Therefore, you can avoid having experienced (and expensive) staff doing jobs that are below their paygrade when a project ends.
If you want to take advantage of these kinds of staffing options, it’s important to plan ahead. As with upskilling existing staff, knowing what skills you’ll need in the future provides you with enough time to get the right talent onboard.
As your flexible IT staff are likely to work with your organisation for a period of time, it’s also important to get a good cultural fit. They’ll need to work alongside your inhouse team, either onsite or remotely, and be motivated to deliver a successful project. If you’re considering working with a service provider, look for a company that has similar values and culture to yours. And talk to them about their own staffing policies to explore whether there’s some synergy between both organisations.
In summary, whatever staffing solution is right for your organisation start planning now. Whether you want to upskill your existing team, bring in skills from outside, or a combination of both, assess what skills you need for future projects and start exploring where they’ll come from. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our consultants in more detail, please get in touch.