24 Aug

How to Approach IT Staffing During the Skills Shortage

Posted by John Brandwagt

If you’ve had to hire in information technology recently, you’ll know first-hand how difficult it can be to recruit qualified talent to your business. With the rate of innovation always escalating in the technology industries, the skills required to manage these areas are growing harder and harder to find as the list of qualifications grow.

Many IT departments are struggling to keep up with demand because they can’t find people with these necessary IT skills—but yours doesn’t have to be one of them. There can be certain ways to navigate the skills shortage and keep your business fully staffed—but it does require some time and preparation. Here’s how you should be approaching IT staffing during the skills shortage, and what your business can do to successfully navigate the talent drought.

Learn Why There’s a Skills Shortage

The first step to solving a problem is understanding why there’s a problem in the first place. For the IT skills shortage, it’s not simply about a lack of skilled talent—there are a number of factors at work.

As previously stated, the rate of innovation in tech is difficult to keep up with—it’s nearly impossible to know what type of program or gadget is going to be the next big business game-changer, making IT staffing a complicated area to predict. With all of these new jobs being created to make up for new technology developments, many businesses run the risk of being understaffed and underprepared for even a minor blip in their IT department. But if the shortage can’t be predicted, how is it possible to successfully manage your IT staffing without compromising on skills and experience?

Reassess and Re-evaluate

According the Labour Market Outlook 2015-2019 report, 182,000 IT jobs will need to be filled in Canada over the course of the next few years. This means that employers will need to re-evaluate their recruitment strategies to make up for the tough market. It’s not enough to simply throw a job posting on a job board; you may need to aggressively seek the talent you need to make up for the gap in your business.

The best approach to IT staffing during the skills shortage is to look beyond what’s available and dig a little deeper into the talent pool. You might be tempted to take the first half-decent candidate who walks through your door in order to fill your empty position as quickly as possible, but taking the extra effort to search for the candidates with both the skills and experience to suit your position will contribute to the overall health of your company.

You can find this ideal mesh of skills and experience in passive candidates. Passive candidates are the IT experts who are already employed, but might be open to new opportunities if the right offer came along—making them the perfect solution to your IT staffing problems. The only thing standing between you and these ideal employees are the offers you make them to recruit them onto your team.

New Recruiting Strategies

The skills shortage in IT can be a huge hurdle to overcome for any business big or small, but once you’ve reassessed and re-evaluated your options, new recruiting strategies should follow in tow. Passive candidates can be hard to win over, but working with an IT staffing firm to recruit them could be the solution to your skills gap. IT staffing firms know the market, and can tell you exactly what it will take to fill your empty positions with the talent you need. Their deep network of tech experts is what can help your business bypass the skills shortage and make it out of the drought unscathed.

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John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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