IT Recruiting is Still a Struggle. These Strategies Can Help
Recent headlines are shining a bright light on high-profile layoffs in the technology industry. But for many employers, IT recruiting is still an uphill battle — largely because the IT talent shortage continues to dampen hiring plans.
For years, organizations have posted more job openings than qualified candidates could fill. The opportunity cost is staggering. To put this into perspective, consider that by 2030, at least 85 million jobs could go unfilled. In financial terms, this shortfall could translate into $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.
Fortunately, the pandemic-era shift to remote work helped expand the global pool of candidates. But it also increased competition for the strongest candidates.
What can you do if your competitors are offering higher salaries or better benefits? It doesn’t mean your organization is out of the running. How can you gain an advantage? In this fierce IT recruiting marketplace, you can attract and retain the best global talent by focusing on three key priorities:
Strategies for Global IT Recruiting Success
1. Define Audiences and Create Candidate Personas
It’s essential to know your target audiences. This includes thinking carefully about the personas of candidates you want to attract, and understanding their career drivers.
First, your talent acquisition team and hiring managers should take time to explore the different cultures related to your target markets and understand what is important to these potential candidates. This insight will help you develop messages and incentives that resonate with the various types of people you want to draw into your organization.
For instance, messaging that a software developer in India considers important and engaging won’t necessarily interest a software developer in Bulgaria or any other country. The same principle applies to nearly every other position and region, across the board.
Also, a large pool of talent isn’t yet ready to enter the workforce but will become a priority in the future. Don’t wait. Start considering now what it will take to reach those young candidates and appeal to their interests.
For example, an internship program is one way to build a pipeline of candidates who will soon be prepared to enter the workforce. When college students perform effectively and have a positive work experience as interns, you can build a bench of people who are ready to be hired when they graduate.
2. Develop Your Employer Brand and Showcase Your Culture
To attract and retain top global IT talent, it’s especially important to publicly showcase your employer brand and company culture in an authentic way.
Social media is one of the easiest, most effective tools to accomplish this. Ideally, your social media presence provides visibility into your organization’s culture, mission and values, professional development opportunities, diversity initiatives, corporate social responsibility, and team bonding activities. This helps potential candidates envision what it could actually be like to work there.
Your social media presence is especially important when attracting younger talent. In fact, The Harris Poll says 58% of Gen Z and Millennial job seekers with work experience rely on social media to research potential employers. And 48% have applied for job opportunities they found on social media.
And other research reveals that most candidates who are seriously considering a job offer will carefully review a potential employer’s social media profiles for red flags before they decide to accept.
BREATHE LIFE INTO YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND
Clearly, Gen Z and Millennials are turning to social media when looking for jobs. They’re also willing to get involved as employees if employers simply ask.
For example, an employee brand ambassador program could significantly amplify your organization’s social presence. By crowdsourcing social media activity internally, you can generate higher-quality content, increase audience reach, and drive much deeper engagement.
Employee brand ambassador programs can also capture behind-the-scenes “magic” that makes your organization a unique place to work. This could include everything from feel-good stories about managers who recognize team members in fun ways and internal team traditions like weekly trivia contests, to candid videos of silly work moments and community volunteering events. Your employees are uniquely positioned to showcase your brand in ways that no one could communicate alone.
From Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to LinkedIn and Glassdoor, the content posted by and about your organization reflects your overall employer brand. So it’s important to work closely with your marketing and social media teams to ensure your efforts support the organization’s brand identity across all platforms and channels.
3. Prioritize and Personalize Candidate Experience
The last (and perhaps most important) piece of the global IT recruiting puzzle is to provide the best possible candidate experience. This is vital because it helps distinguish your organization from other companies that are vying for the same talent.
Your candidate experience is essentially your brand experience. In fact, 78% of job hunters agree that the candidate experience they receive directly indicates how much an employer values its people.
Not surprisingly, a weak candidate experience has caused some job hunters to withdraw from the hiring process. Their top 3 issues:
- Disrespect during interviews
- Poor rapport with recruiters
- The process simply took too long.
Ultimately, a negative candidate experience can harm your brand. For example, 72% of candidates that encounter a negative candidate experience will tell others about it directly or online. That’s not the kind of word-of-mouth any employer wants to spread.
ELEVATE YOUR CANDIDATE JOURNEY
How can you ensure a strong candidate experience? Focus on each stage of the process:
- First, carefully review and evaluate the entire journey. Start with the moment someone learns about a role at your organization. Then, move through each step until a new employee arrives for the first day on the job.
- When candidates initially apply, is the process as easy, accessible, and straightforward as possible? Can people apply quickly online, or do you require them to go through multiple steps and submit excessive amounts of information?
- During the interview cycle, your hiring team has a chance to shine. How do you assure candidates that you’re interested in them and you value their time? Is everyone in the hiring process able to prepare for interviews? Do they develop relevant questions, so candidates can provide useful answers? Does your process give candidates ample opportunity to ask about job expectations, organizational culture, and other key decision criteria?
- Throughout each stage of the journey, clear, consistent communication is key. Are you keeping candidates in the loop with regular updates and next-step information? And if you choose not to move forward at any point, do you explain why in a timely, thoughtful way?
These steps may seem obvious, but if you want better results, you won’t leave them to chance. Why? According to a U.S. survey, interviews trigger anxiety in as many as 93% of job seekers. A great candidate experience can help relieve stress. This means candidates will be able to focus on discussing their strengths, demonstrating their skills, and determining if the position is a good fit.
Final Notes on Global IT Recruiting
In today’s candidate-driven global IT market, applicants have the power to choose which employer they prefer. That’s why it’s crucial for hiring managers and talent acquisition teams to know their audience, develop their employer brand, and perfect the candidate experience. When these three components work well together, your organization has the best chance of attracting and hiring the right kind of talent for every job.