Changing Times – Engaging, Recruiting, and Retaining IT Employees

As both employers and job seekers know, the nature of IT employment is changing and changing fast. For both parties, that has been a positive and a negative. Salaries are rising and new fields appear all the time, but old skills are quickly becoming irrelevant, and finding qualified talent can be a challenge.

Industry experts are constantly forecasting the future of IT trends in specific fields and specific geographic areas. One recent forecast of trends expected to affect the Chicago area offered some revealing insights that everyone should consider, even if you have a full staff or a secure job.

Top Recruits are Hard to Find

Everyone is searching for top recruits, but their importance to an organization is even greater than most people expect. Data indicates that top IT employees can be an astounding 1,000 times more productive than mediocre employees, a figure that underscores how much they can contribute to success and growth. But with this talent being so impactful, there is intense competition to recruit them.

That has lead many companies in Chicago to rethink their engagement and recruitment strategies. It is no longer enough to simply announce a job vacancy and offer a generous salary and benefits package. Companies must now take a proactive approach that emphasizes the deeper and more abstract benefits of working for them rather than the competition. Here are some proven strategies:

  • Highlight your company culture and why working for you is personally and intellectually stimulating.
  • Emphasize “soft” benefits like the opportunity to travel or take place in professional development opportunities
  • Make you workday more flexible by offering work-from-home options, half days, and night-time hours.
  • Promote collaboration and innovation by encouraging your employees to work as a team and to see each other as more than just co-workers. Simply getting a ping pong table can have a surprising effect.

Before you write these tips off as HR buzzwords, just consider that the demand for top talent is only growing, and recent graduation rates have not been able to keep pace with demand. Recruiting is only going to get harder in the future, so it’s worth reconsidering your strategies now to avoid lengthy vacancies and underwhelming hires.

Look Globally

For all the reasons mentioned above, it’s now more important than ever for companies to recruit internationally. This can seem like a daunting challenge, but consider bringing international talent onto your workforce in a virtual capacity. New technologies make this more feasible than ever, and top talent is streaming out of international colleges and universities and eager to get their foot in the door of American companies. Employees that excel in a virtual capacity are more likely to continue that success if you choose to offer them a position on site.

These are the trends affecting the present, but the future could be quite different. Help chart its course by taking our surveys for employers, and job seekers. Follow along with CultureFit to find out the results and to learn more about the future of IT employment.