Securing Top IT Talent: Lower Your Cost, Lower Your Risk
By Ellen Jones
The information technology job market sometimes experiences unusual growth, and with the benefits of that expansion come challenges. The early 2020s, for instance, have brought an explosion in IT jobs. Although projections show the rate slowing somewhat, the increase will likely continue in a steady climb.
Nevada-based management consulting firm Janco Associates, Inc. estimated in its mid-year analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2022 that the previous year’s growth rate of 20,000 jobs per month would fall to 14,000. Despite this projected decrease, that’s still a significant growth rate. The BLS itself predicts an overall 22% growth rate in the 10-year period from 2020 to 2030.
Finding IT staffing creative solutions
These numbers mean IT talent is and will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. And this type of climate can compound the difficulties of finding the right fit when hiring engineers. You might find that your company needs a certain amount of people but isn’t yet ready to onboard all of them. You may be juggling an attempt to stay within your hiring budget while still attracting the right engineers to fit your needs. Thinking outside the box will help you find the necessary talent and working with a reliable IT staffing company often results in those creative solutions. If you choose an IT staffing agency that understands your company’s needs in relation to the current market, you can save time and energy and maximize your budget during your candidate search. Here are a few examples of inventive solutions.
Adding talent within budget
Perhaps your company is looking for a mid to senior-level DevOps engineer but a hire at that level just isn’t in your current budget. Consider bringing on a junior-level engineer full time at a salary that works with your budget and add a more senior engineer for a three-month contract. Allow the senior engineer to train their more junior counterpart, and you’ll add the necessary expertise while staying within budget.
Hiring contractors lowers a company’s financial risk. There’s less overhead when you hire talent on a temporary basis through a firm. Within the first 3 months, companies likely know if the engineers are a fit or not. If they are not the right fit, you can easily make a change without a significant financial burden. If a company wants to keep an engineer for a few more months or even long term, that situation can often be negotiated with the firm. There’s also less risk here if it turns out there’s not enough in the budget to warrant a continuation. And if a company is limited in the number of full-time hires they can make for the year, they can always start new engineers as contractors and opt to hire them full time once the budget renews.
Balance full- and part-time workers
You can supplement your existing staff by balancing full time and contract talent based on your exact needs. If a company needs a rare skill set, it may make more sense to hire part time professional. The right IT staffing firm can help a company decide which talent model works best. For example, if you’re developing an app, you may need contract talent for architecture for the first few months. After that, you can expect to bring on a software engineer temporarily to help build it, and then you’ll need support staff on an ongoing full-time basis. The model here is different from hiring, say, five full-time people immediately — you might only need to onboard a more senior professional late in the process, and that position may not be a long-term one. If you take the time to select an IT staffing agency that properly understands your goals, they can form a partnership with you to help you build out your IT staffing based on your short- and long-term goals in software development.
Prioritize a few hires at a time
When you need to onboard a certain number of engineers but you’re working in a fast-moving market, tackling the entire hiring process at once puts you at risk of losing candidates if your procedure bottlenecks and they have to wait. Let’s say you need to fill 30 roles, but you realize the interview process takes a certain amount of time. Consider only working with the number of candidates you can take on right now. That line of thinking means you’ll need to pinpoint your company’s specific needs and the roles that will meet those needs before you even start the hiring process. Taking time to consider these factors also means you can avoid shortening the interview process in an effort to fill roles too quickly.
Think of this scenario as the housing market we saw from mid-2020 to early 2022. Homebuyers who weren’t ready to make an offer frequently lost out on potential purchases because properties were selling extremely fast and often at above market value. When you’re hiring in an accelerating market, prioritizing a few roles at a time is a great way to get roles filled, and with strategic preparation, you can avoid missing out on hires.
Maximize the interview process
Make sure you have the right staff members leading interviews. Lots of companies have engineers helping with the hiring process, which is great for peer technical reviews! That scenario can be beneficial, but make sure the hiring manager is responsible for making the final decision and is involved early on in the process. The decision maker can identify early on if the candidate is a good fit.
Facing the process of onboarding a significant number of hires in a relatively short time period can be daunting, especially in a labor market experiencing fast growth. With the help of a conscientious IT staffing agency, however, you can lean on them for initial screening and vetting which makes your part of the interview process much shorter. Think of these challenges, when you face them with the right partner, as an opportunity to fill your company’s talent needs within an appropriate time period while reducing financial risk.
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Ellen JonesDirector of Staffing Solutions
Ellen Jones is the Director of Staffing Solutions at SOLTECH, Atlanta’s award winning software development and IT staffing firm. With a decade of diverse Account Management experience, she has expertise in project management, resource improvement consulting, and strategic discussions with key stakeholders.
Since joining SOLTECH in 2019, she has focused on building partnerships with software engineers and connecting business clients with top-tier talent for their success. Ellen’s expertise and experience in Account Management, project management, and resource optimization enable her to deliver innovative staffing solutions to SOLTECH’s clients. Her comprehensive understanding of the IT staffing industry allows her to write insightful articles on topics related to career advancement and talent acquisition. She shares her knowledge and industry insights through her writings, providing valuable guidance to professionals and organizations seeking to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of software development and IT staffing.