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6 Technical Challenges in IT Recruitment Faced by Organizations

If you’ve been looking to hire new recruits for your IT department or software team, you probably don’t need to be told that organizations often find IT recruitment incredibly difficult. Indeed, 73% of chief information officers are worried about workforce availability when it comes to IT recruitment.

Part of this is a simple game of numbers: there are generally more IT posts than there are qualified candidates. But it’s also important to recognise that the technical challenges in IT recruitment faced by organizations are more wide-ranging than just the number of available candidates. 

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 6 main challenges faced by companies when it comes to IT recruitment. Read on to learn more and find out how to overcome these common barriers. 

6 Technical Challenges in IT recruitment 

IT recruitment can cover a wide range of different types of jobs. However, whether you’re looking for a highly-skilled developer producing complex call monitoring software or an IT support assistant who’s straight out of college, you’ll probably encounter some difficulties in filling an IT post. Here are the main challenges in IT recruitment and how you can start to avoid them:

1) Small talent pool 

There’s no getting around this basic fact: the talent pool of software developers and IT professionals is often limited. This can be even more limited depending on your programming software or tech stack, while roles which require very specific skills will of course be more difficult to fill. 

However, there are some ways of reducing the effects of the small talent pool. The rise of remote work has meant that opening the post to those able to work from home will greatly expand the pool of talent that you can draw on. The perfect candidate can live halfway across the world without it being an issue. 

Additionally, leveraging an applicant tracking system (ATS) can significantly streamline your recruitment process, helping you identify and connect with potential candidates more efficiently.

Another helpful strategy is by investing in your existing IT employees. Upskilling those already in your organization can be a good way to expand the talent pool available to you while also ensuring that you won’t have to worry about onboarding or wasting time as a new hire gets to grips with your company’s processes. 

2) Uncertainty over qualifications 

Often when you receive an application for an IT post, you’ll get a clear list of the applicant’s qualifications without actually being certain of their specific skills and competencies. That’s because academic degrees in IT can be an assurance of hard work and general competency without telling you much about what they actually know. 

Ultimately, you’ll need to build programming tests into your interview process to overcome this issue. Unless you know something specific about an academic qualification – such as the fact it requires proficiency in a certain programming language – you’ll have to assess skills in the interview.

3) Effectively assessing skills

However, the requirement to assess skills as part of the interview process can be a challenge in itself. Often, interviews can be lengthy and difficult to complete, with multiple different tasks which can sometimes put off applicants.

To overcome this challenge, always keep your skills tests as focused and relevant to the job as possible. You should also take experience and references into account – there’s no need to make someone who has just designed a data warehouse migration strategy take a simple test assessing their data handling knowledge.

4) Extended interview processes

This skills assessment part of IT recruitment can lead to extended interview processes that can lead to applicants dropping out part way through the interview process. It can also be tough to organize – workforce scheduling is difficult enough when it comes to your established employees, never mind when you also have to consider potentially dozens of applicants. 

You can reduce the headaches caused by this extended interviewing by reducing the number of stages to 2 or 3 – even if these stages are long and arduous, this is much better than having 5 or 6 different stages which can offer more opportunities for applicants to drop out. You should also build in genuine and constructive feedback after each stage to build a relationship with applicants. 

5) High levels of competition 

When it comes to attracting new IT recruits, you’ll soon find that you’re in a very crowded market. An IT professional looking for a new job will often be able to apply to many different organizations at the same time, so you’ll need to be able to sell yourself to candidates. 

There’s one obvious way to overcome this barrier: a high salary. While this will often be effective, you should consider what else makes a role attractive to a potential hire. Show off your working practices and tech stacks, especially if you have access to cutting-edge technology like a cloud based contact center

You’ll also want to offer strong benefits and a clear set of company values. Another thing to consider when trying to beat the competition is whether you want to class employees as non exempt vs exempt, as this will affect issues like paid overtime. 

6) Balancing technical competency, academic qualifications, and professional expertise

One of the biggest pitfalls that recruiters make when they’re looking for a new IT professional is trying to find the perfect candidate. After all, the ideal hire would be someone who can program in multiple languages, has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and has been working in the industry for decades. However, that’s simply not possible.

Instead, keep a focus on the specific role that you want to fill. If you’re looking for a cybersecurity expert, you might favor experience over academic qualifications, for instance. Making sure to have a balanced set of expectations will help as you look to recruit an IT professional. 

For example, if you’re seeking a cybersecurity expert, prioritize candidates with substantial experience in dealing with the ever-evolving cybersecurity threats. This approach allows you to tailor your recruitment strategy to address the unique challenges posed by cyber threats while also maintaining a balanced set of expectations. 

Additionally, consider leveraging technology to automate IT operations, which can help streamline your IT recruitment process and reduce administrative burdens.

IT recruitment – difficult but essential

There’s no doubt that IT recruitment can be one of the most challenging elements of recruitment. That’s because of a mixture of the small talent pool, the intensity of the interviewing process, and the high levels of competition.

However, by following some of the advice in this article you can make your IT recruitment more efficient and effective. As IT becomes an even bigger industry over the next few years, overcoming the challenges of IT recruitment will be as important as ever.

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