To Stay Competitive Businesses Need to Alter their Hiring and Training Programs for IT Candidates

By Chelsea Babin

In such a competitive technical job market, the more requirements you have for an ideal tech candidate the longer it will take you to find that diamond in the rough or, more appropriately, that minuscule minnow in an ever-shrinking pond.

Tech unemployment stood at 3 percent in September according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is only slightly higher than in August when it was at 2.8 percent. Similarly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that more technical professionals voluntarily quit their jobs in August than in July. In that month alone 577,000 IT professionals voluntarily quit from their jobs because workers are more confident about the economy and their potential opportunities.

For hiring managers, this should come as a wake up call. Offering low salaries, irregular or no raises, and a lack of appealing benefits will not only fail to attract the few IT candidates available on the market it will also send their existing technical employees running for the multitude of available opportunities that have more appealing salaries and benefits packages. Unless companies want to encounter frightfully lengthy job searches and ever-increasing turnover, they need to seriously reevaluate the salary and benefits packages they offer to IT employees to make sure they’re staying competitive as the number of voluntary quits rises and the tech unemployment rate stays at a steadily low number.

As for training, a recent TEKsystems survey found that fewer than half of tech leaders found they were able to align their training and development programs with desired business outcomes. Kevin Holland, training and education services director for TEKsystems, said, “Organizations should have structured curricula developed for each IT job role, creating a clear path for professional development, and providing the tools and technology solutions to support a variety of learning delivery methods.”

It’s not enough to simply offer tuition reimbursement, if your company actually wants to align the value they get out of these benefits with their future projects and company goals, there needs to be communication and clear direction between the C-suite and the IT department. When this happens, companies will be able to offer much-desired training opportunities to technical employees and have that value filter directly back into their organization.

From the disconnect in the few training programs available to hiring methods that simply aren’t working in such a competitive market, it’s become increasingly difficult for companies to keep up with their IT demands. As always, organizations should focus on minimizing turnover as much as possible and filtering resources to add training programs, raises, bonuses, and appealing benefits packages to their IT departments to avoid lengthy and costly hiring processes.