When it involves hiring and retaining talent, IT and ITeS enterprises have long faced the obstacle. The IT sector has seen it all, be it an increase in niche tech roles, tight time frames to rent in, or a continuing upsurge within the demand for highly skilled candidates.
However, COVID-19 has forced more companies to operate significantly in new and remote ways, testing the IT industry as never before. According to Statistica, the total growth of the IT sector was expected to fall by 2% in March 2020; nevertheless, the significant percentage exceeded beyond that.
Businesses are juggling various priorities and systems for business continuity. These requirements include rapid and constant business development, remote working equipment and software ensuring a regular shift to remote work, fast decision-making from the leaders, maintaining work-life balance, and workforce productivity.
IT and ITeS industries will probably encounter a setback in their recruitment expectations even beyond 2020, with the prevailing difficulties faced by the industry and the effects of COVID-19.
IT outsourcer Harvey Nash and KPMG consulted over 3,000 technology leaders for their annual CIO Survey and discovered that an astonishing 65% said hiring difficulties hurt the industry.
Let’s deep-dive into some of the significant challenges of recruiting IT professionals.
Unique Challenges of Recruiting IT Professionals
1. High Volume Hiring
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, the tech industry’s unemployment percentage hit 1.9 percent in April, down from 3 percent a year ago.
While this seems like a good thing for professionals trying to find employment, IT recruiters and employers are challenged with filling the vacant post with skilled and experienced talent that is not always available.
Professionals feel more secured to explore other options and switch jobs more frequently than they did in the past in a booming market.
However, professionals take up another role, acquire new skills, be great at them, sustain an excellent salary package, and leave when a better opportunity comes along. It gets naturally tough for recruiters to hire and retain the best candidates with the ever-growing demand for specialized IT roles all year round.
Because of this, recruiters get stuck with positions to fill throughout the year. Plus, roles like Data Analysts, Software and Web Developers, Security, and more, AI and Machine Learning related roles are frequently open in bulk positions.
2. Tight Time Frames to Hire
Based on recent studies performed in 2020, HR professionals from all over the world consider recruiting within short time frames as one of the most significant difficulties in IT recruiting. (37% of respondents agreed)
This means that even with yearlong requirements to seek out quality candidates, recruiters are also expected to fill positions within a brief period.
Professionals in IT are known to be passive candidates before contacting recruiters in a candidate-driven market. Passive candidates mostly take more time to convert than active job seekers.
So also, IT positions practically take more time to fill, given the manual and sophisticated application and selection processes, thereby makes the passive candidates impatient and lose interest, or worse, jump to a different employer.
3. Skill Gap in Candidates
According to the US (BLS) Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that by 2020 within the US alone, there’ll be over 1 million computer science-based jobs with not enough qualified college graduates to fill them.
The IT field is developing sooner than the number of qualified web developers partially due to a scarcity of the requisite experience, soft skills, and formal education. There aren’t sufficient candidates trained in tech to stay up with the stress of the unstable market.
It is hard for employers to increase, replace, and retain their IT talent. There are wide skill gaps in tech functions, frequently in big data and analytics, security, and more.
4. Highly Manual Process
It might sound ironic; most IT positions are filled through hours of manual screening and selection of candidates ready to answer coding questions. Some employers use a whiteboard or pen-and-paper and ask candidates to write down code on the spot.
Whenever there’s a new vacancy that allows room to error, it takes much effort from the recruiter to check through multiple assessments.
Nevertheless, the manual method for recruitment in IT companies is a tremendous setback in maintaining timelines to hire quickly and better. Passive candidates will lose interest in the long run through a manual method because it is slow and not up to date.
However, how do we await recruiters to hire within a short period if the number of candidates they can assess is limited?
5. No Talent Pipeline
It’s tough for IT recruiters to create and maintain a talent pool, given the frequent fluctuation or upheaval in the industry. New candidates hit the market on the basis, even in a tight market but seldom with the proper skills.
Recruiters usually have candidates on their speed dial, but their ‘not’ or relevant skills mostly become irrelevant in a few years. This puts recruiters struggling to seek appropriate talent in a wildly fluctuating market within tight time frames.
So also, the tight competition among IT and ITeS employers for talent draws most professionals towards companies with excellent employer branding and recruitment marketing strategy.