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The IT Talent Shortage Rages On (And Four Things You Can Do About It)

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By Andrew C. Jackson

True:  Unemployment figures were way up in 2020 and have not returned to the levels we saw prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also True:  The majority of the jobs lost during the pandemic were not IT-related, so finding qualified IT professionals is as challenging as ever.

While the pandemic caused higher levels of unemployment overall, the shifting needs of businesses increased demand for many IT roles including developers, DevOps engineers, IT administrators, help desk specialists and cybersecurity professionals. And thanks to the cloud, most IT pros were able to work from home and remain fully employed.

New data from TechServe Alliance indicates that IT employment will be back to pre-COVID levels by summer. According to TechServe CEO Mark Roberts, “Many candidates are reporting multiple job offers, underscoring a systemic long-term challenge with no ready solution.”

So do not be fooled by undefined reporting of elevated unemployment numbers. If you plan to hire tech talent, you will need to be decisive and move quickly. Here are some tips for filling your IT roles.

  1. Trim the fat from your recruiting process. If your company still requires multiple interviews and onsite visits before a hiring decision can be made, or if you typically wait days for candidate processing, your ability to acquire quality talent is at risk. Desirable candidates are likely to be snapped up by companies with the most agile hiring processes.
  2. Use technology to accelerate decision-making. If nothing else, the challenges of 2020 showed us how much we can accomplish without meeting in person. Throw out old notions that it takes multiple days or weeks to screen, interview and onboard candidates, and use your cloud-based tools to streamline the hiring process and accelerate decision-making.
  3. Expand your reach by offering fully remote positions. If you invested in technologies that enabled employees to work remotely during the pandemic, you can leverage those capabilities to retain IT professionals anywhere in the country and in some cases, around the globe.
  4. Ask an IT staffing provider for help. Internal human resources departments have multiple responsibilities in addition to finding new talent. IT staffing firms are singularly focused on the search for qualified candidates. Leveraging external resources like BravoTECH can help you access the broadest talent pool possible.