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5 strategies to help HR hire in-demand tech workers in this market

Curtis Britt, Korn Ferry
Curtis Britt
Curtis Britt is the Director for Korn Ferry's IT Services in the Professional Search business.

News headlines have been sounding the alarm bell regarding a dire shortage of workers in many industries. Chief among these is the technology industry. A 2018 Korn Ferry study predicted a tech talent deficit in the U.S. of more than 625,000 by 2030, representing $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenue.

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The pandemic has no doubt accelerated the tech talent shortage crisis, as just about every industry had to quickly pivot to remote and virtual ways of doing business.

For example, pharmacies that used to rely on walk-in business now have online queuing for customers to pick up prescriptions and avoid crowds. And as workers retreated from offices and began working from home, the need for cloud and VPN support skyrocketed. Tech workers know they are in the driver’s seat. They can have their pick of positions, so it’s the job of talent acquisition professionals to make their organizations stand out among the competition.

Following are five tips to help your company win the war for tech talent.

Accelerate the hiring process: Traditionally, part of the hiring process for tech workers included a technical test where candidates first had to pass a coding exercise before they were scheduled for an interview. If you wait, that person will be snatched up by your competitor. Conduct the interviews first then give qualified candidates the technical tests.

Make interviewing a two-way street: Instead of rapid-fire questioning of the candidate, allow them to interview you. Let them ask about the opportunities, culture, workload, priorities and career trajectory. Treat candidates like they are already employees and make them feel respected and heard.

Offer perks that matter: Gone are the days when a ping-pong table or free meals were enough to retain qualified tech professionals. Of course, it’s important to offer competitive salaries, but it’s also critical to offer increased autonomy and the ability to understand the big picture and employees’ role in solving problems instead of simply writing code. Also, allow them to carve out time in their day to work on passion projects that matter to them.

See also: Shortage in tech talent pushing HR to creative recruiting strategies

Create a “new collar” program: The talent shortage in tech will require your organization to think beyond hiring only workers with previous tech experience. We’re seeing a big boom in “coding boot camps,” where companies bring in non-traditional employees with different backgrounds for three- to six-month code training courses. The benefits include developing a new talent pool in a strained market, teaching the processes your company uses and imbuing your culture.

Value agility and business skills: Technology is no longer an adjunct effort to greater business goals. It is an integral element of how work across the organization gets done. Offer tech workers the ability to get increased insights into other parts of the business, such as sales and R&D, to help them understand key strategic business objectives. This will enhance their loyalty and pride in the organization and help give them a reason to stay.

Learn about emerging technologies helping organizations hire in-demand tech talent during this fall’s HR Tech Conference. Click here to register.