Recruiting IT Talent: More people, less unicorns

The IT department in organisations is no longer optional or a novelty. To survive, you need a qualified team at the forefront of new technologies and with a business vision to enhance operations and the future of the organisation.

We agree that the demand for IT profiles is greater than the supply available, according to the 2017 Linux Foundation Report, 89% of recruitment managers have difficulty finding talent for the systems area.

One of the most common mistakes made when starting IT searches is wanting to find various profiles with specific characteristics in a single person. The key is to understand the requirement of the sector and find someone who can join the team and find it easy to develop skills once working in the position. These searches for impossible and non-existent people in the labour market are not limited to IT recruitment, but in such a competitive market these errors are even more costly.

Wanting to find unicorns that are capable of doing everything is a trap that hinders recruitment processes. In addition to understanding the specific requirement needed, it is essential to understand how quickly technology evolves; this means that the main skills to be sought are those of adaptability to change and the ability to transfer knowledge to the reality of the business.

Having a very clear and concise job description and including appealing organisational features that describe the workplace culture, in addition to the benefits offered, are just some ways to attract IT talent. With the large number of offers such candidates receive, their curiosity needs to be aroused and they must be encouraged to participate in the selection process. One way to achieve this is to briefly describe the challenges and projects they will face once in the position.

Due to the trend of IT professionals to change jobs, guided by the desire to learn from new environments and technologies, you must not get carried away by the amount of different jobs listed in their CVs. In general, this does not indicate a poor performance but instead an inclination to get involved in different kinds of projects.

Having found the candidate who fits the search, it is important to move quickly. An excessively bureaucratic and rigid process can put candidates off or allow other organisations to hire them first. Having a well-defined strategy, with fluent communication and an agenda with the sector that has the requirement is key. The most advisable thing is to segment the interviews and ask/measure different aspects that necessary in each one of them, in order to gain time and knowledge about the applicant.

In defining the strategy, it is necessary to prepare the technical assessments necessary to demonstrate the key knowledge for the position. This stage must be supervised by the leader of the team in which the talent would work, in order to take into account the exact skills required for the position. As part of the HR team, it is essential to keep up-to-date with technologies, especially in organisations with numerous IT recruits, to be able to filter with greater awareness and lead more enlightening interviews. However, the final evaluation of technical skills must fall on the IT sector.

Sometimes, with the pressure of filling IT positions, recruiters hire the first person who appears and accepts the conditions, due to the low number of candidates. It is easy to fall into that trap and rush without making sure that the new recruit shares the cultural values of the organisation or has basic communication skills, resulting in a failed recruitment that, rather than speeding up, delays the processes in the area.

One way to evaluate this organisational fit is through the use of the PDA Assessment. Compare the person’s profile with the team and see whether or not they are compatible; have tools to lead or detect behavioural trends that will pave the way for success in the position.

The challenges of IT recruitment are easier to face when we remember that we are not dealing with superheroes; the technical aspect is learned and developed and, in a scarce and demanding market, speed and agility for handling processes are essential to achieve the expected results.