Beating the Tech Talent Crunch
Ways to Shore Up the Talent Gap
The tech talent shortage has been compounding for some years, to the point we are hearing about the return of the candidate king. Sectors across various technology industries, engineering, and finance are experiencing difficulty acquiring and retaining much needed talent. Big talent gaps exist in software development and data science/analytics, and all across the science, engineering fields as well.
So what can you do to find the skilled talent you need?
As a country, we can be compelling the youth of today to study STEM. Create a vision of an American Renaissance, something much more exciting than this recovery. Something that reproduces the excitement of JFK’s “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” a la Dot Com Tech Boom.
How about an Industry campaign that rivals the 90% awareness of the “Got Milk?” campaign, so well-known it has been borrowed, begged, stolen, and parodied hundreds of ways. How about a new icon in the vein of “Rosie The Riveter” to draw in the next generation of home-grown STEM talent?
As a company, tell your brand’s unique story: mission, vision, backstory. For example: Loyal 3, democratizing the capital markets, making stock ownership easy and affordable for everyone. Barry Schneider, CEO, says “we believe that people make a difference. We believe in the bedrock principle of equal opportunity for everyone. And we believe that getting more people back into the markets is an important way to support the middle class and benefit our economy.” Irresistible! Or Moxtra, offering power communications, from anywhere via a mobile platform for teams across borders to communicate and collaborate at full throttle. “Founded in 2012 by Subrah Iyar and Stanley Huang. Both are seasoned veterans of the collaboration industry with decades of experience at both WebEx and Cisco.” I want to know more!
Pay your peeps; salary is still the primary factor tech professionals take into consideration when evaluating a job offer. The benefits are certainly a part of the compensation package, taking a strong second in terms of the pecuniary aspect. Compensation is the leading issue in both talent acquisition and retention. The ComputerWorld IT Salary Survey results confirm that money is the biggest motivator for IT professionals when looking for a job or deciding to stick it out with their current employer, with nearly half (49%) of survey takers indicating that base pay is among the most important aspects of their current jobs. For those looking for a new job, 60% were motivated by higher compensation; and 74% said a salary increase would entice them to change jobs.
Be a Best Company
Cultural cachet goes a long way too. There is prestige in working for the Googles and Facebooks out there. Attaining recognition such as Best Places to Work in IT you’re your company in demand. Whether your company culture is attracting 1000 resumes a day or simply keeping your current folks satisfied, there are huge benefits to having a winning corporate culture, for example: productivity gains, low turnover, and lower talent acquisition costs.
If you can’t find the skilled talent you need, try internships and college recruiting. Akamai Technologies has partnered with Girls Who Code to host company for the organizations acclaimed seven-week Summer Immersion Program to access upcoming talent. Wal-Mart Stores, who has around 800 openings for coders and information technology (IT) systems architects at any given time offers internships with college credit as a way to reach budding talent. And Mattel is hiring college graduates directly from supply chain and business programs with the goal of molding them into their very own supply chain leaders.
Internal/external training is a great way to grow the skills your company needs, as well as creating a culture of continuous learning and innovation. In-house training and mentorship programs impart the skills necessary but also attract the talent that loves to learn. 45% of natural resources talent consider the opportunity to work with knowledgeable colleagues an important factor when considering a job, and 56% agree that the opportunity to participate in training and development programs make an employer attractive. Offering tuition reimbursement or other cost sharing opportunities to seek additional skills that are unavailable internally allows a company to bring in new skills and ideas while creating loyalty with existing staff.
Import your Talent
H-1B visas and immigration are also important resources for tapping into highly skilled talent. “Immigrants are far more likely than natives to study science and engineering and more likely to produce innovations in the form of patents,” University of California economist Gordon Hanson wrote in a 2011 study. “Expanding the supply of immigration visas for high-skilled workers increases patenting activity in science and engineering, particularly in U.S. high-tech firms.” Rather than educating and then exporting STEM talent, the U.S. should be rejoicing in the ability and desire of these foreign students to stay and be an important part of the American workforce.
Staffing Out of the Box
Rethinking work to stay agile may attract more talent. Many people desire more flexibility than the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. Contract and part-time work or job sharing can bring in talent that may have all the skills you want but might otherwise not get. Millennials have different values when it comes to approaching work/life goals and they are now preponderant generation of the workforce, you’d better figure out how to attract and retain them! But other demographics are also a valuable source of talent: consider “returnship programs” for STEM women who may have left full-time work for family choices, but who could be enticed back with the right flexibility. And “late career” programs may attract older tech warriors who are interested in staying active in the workforce but with more flexibility than previously. And entrepreneurs who may have their own gig going but want part-time work may lend you a new perspective you never even imagined.
So while there is a tech talent war raging, there are many solutions and strategies to reach the skilled staff you need to grow your company. If you need additional help, Redfish Technology can help.
About Redfish Technology –
Building Growth-Mode Tech Companies with Hand-Picked Talent.
Founded in Silicon Valley in 1996, Redfish Technology is an award-winning talent acquisition firm specializing in high tech sectors. Partnering with growth mode companies, small and large, Redfish staffs executive functions and builds out the teams below. Redfish knows talent and good companies – we’ve been named #1 Best Places to Work in Idaho three years in a row!