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Keep your head in the game to attract IT talent

There’s little doubt that nearly every type of employer will continue to rely on technology to beat — or even just keep up with — their competition. This means not only acquiring the right hardware and software, but also hiring and retaining the brightest IT people.

Indeed, organizations that fall behind in tomorrow’s marketplace may do so because they underestimated the intensity of competition for IT talent. Here are some strategies for keeping your head in the game.

Sell them on you

Sometimes interviewers make the mistake of thinking only job candidates must sell themselves. But it works both ways — the employer needs to sell itself to candidates, too.

Identify something distinctive and exciting about your organization and play that up in the interview. Examples include having a reputation for cutting-edge technology, marquee clients, a hip culture or an incredible benefits package.

Another excellent hiring practice is for senior executives to personally follow up with top prospects. Nothing makes an impression on a candidate like receiving a personal call from the top brass after the interview.

Offer inspiration

Once you’ve found and hired some IT rock stars, make sure they stay inspired. Don’t just give them ordinary work, such as maintaining your existing systems and taking help desk calls. Assign important projects such as developing new applications or evaluating potential hardware upgrades.

Keeping your IT staff engaged can increase the likelihood that they’ll refer friends and fellow tech experts to you. It also improves the chances that, if valued employees do leave, they may return once it’s obvious that you provide more room to grow than the competitors who hired them away.

Provide opportunities beyond IT

Another method of attracting (and retaining) top IT talent is offering them opportunities beyond technology. During interviews, talk to prospects about not only the job they’re considering, but also their other interests and where the position might lead. This shows them there’s a future with your organization. If you’re known for promoting from within, highlight that as well.

For example, many organizations involve IT staff in planning sessions for the development of new products or services, or expansions into new markets. Including them in strategic planning generates excitement for IT employees, while management is often surprised by the ideas and insight they bring to the process.

Doing this may seem like you’re grooming IT staff to leave for other professions, but this generally isn’t true. The more you invest in your people through training, mentoring and additional challenges, the more likely they’ll stay with you.

Hire wisely

The toughest position to fill on the U.S. job market in 2019 is application software developer, according to a CareerCast.com report. And this is just one example of an IT employee your organization may need to hire. Contact us for more information about how to measure and manage the financial impact of hiring and retention.

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