IT companies complain about a shortage of skilled workers for no reason: Acquiring and retaining IT talent
Many IT company bosses complain that they are limited in growth because they cannot find the right people. We are desperately looking for very different positions. A company urgently needs developers, another urgently needs consultants to carry out the projects it has won, and small to medium-sized system houses in particular often lack the right person for new customer sales.
If the questions are:
Who is really happy with their job?
Who can best bring their personal strengths to bear?
Who and is there framework conditions that support personal development?
and if eight out of ten people do not raise their hands, then we will not have a shortage of skilled workers at the level of an individual IT company. There is much more a lack of attractiveness. Most companies have not yet come out of the comparability on this point and are therefore not very attractive.
Young talents and especially experienced experts in consulting and IT sales are willing to switch if dissatisfaction has built up over a longer period of time or if personal needs and values are better addressed elsewhere.
Every position is linked to expectations. First is the job holder’s expectation. As a rule, they want to do their job well to very well and have an interpretation of when this is done. Second, there are the expectations of the IT company – the superiors. Observations show that there is often no 100% agreement and that too much is simply assumed. Specifically, this means that expectations can quickly diverge. If this is not recognized in time, it can lead to dissatisfaction if a job holder does not meet the requirements of the position from the company’s point of view.
Another aspect is to actively support employees in their development in order to either keep the current position interesting or to prepare the next career step in a targeted manner.
The amount of the annual training budget per employee shows directly whether this point is already important in the company. Today it is crucial that employee skills are developed in a targeted manner. Here it is important to select the right skills development programs that ensure that employees and managers are developed in a strength-oriented manner in the context of their current and future tasks.
Classical leadership training and sales training, which are set up for a few days in a block, usually fail here because they do not offer people the space for individual development. In addition, these are not tailored to the existing potential, i.e. the development opportunities of an employee or a manager. Companies that have already set up good processes for this stand out clearly in the market. And that’s not a question of company size. Small and medium-sized companies in particular can react quickly in order to gain a clear advantage in attracting new talent and retaining experienced employees.
Interesting candidates are attracted via marketing mechanisms (leads) and the expectations and wishes of the candidate are explored via personal discussions (needs analysis) in order to later jointly check whether the advertised position (solution) fits. This is followed by a contract with negotiated conditions (offer and acceptance).
The challenge in the IT industry with regard to employee recruitment is completely comparable to the requirements in today’s IT solution sales. The point here is to position yourself in a highly competitive environment with your target / ideal candidates and to assert yourself. We currently have a labor market. And this is exactly where the industry problem lies: the attractiveness of most IT companies is at most “mee-too” and therefore it is a coincidence whether suitable candidates with potential are attracted.
It begins with the approach and with how the HR or specialist department designs the job advertisement. Do I usually look for the key account manager or the employee for new customer sales or am I much more creative here. Job advertisements should attract attention and should be precisely tailored to the language of the target group (the buyer persona). For example, if I am looking for someone who is given the task of developing markets and asserting themselves in the competition, then I should also choose a clear and binding language. Sentences like “we expect you to acquire and support new customers” are neither differentiating nor appealing.
- 26.4 percent offer …
… their employees to analyze their managers.
- Analyze 37.1 percent …
… employee potential.
- 51.8 percent have …
… a quality management.
- 51.9 percent form …
… internal working groups.
- 53.5 percent ask …
… employee satisfaction regularly.
- 54.0 percent enable …
… cross-hierarchical participation in board meetings.
- 63.3 percent bind …
… employees and help them with further development.
- 65.4 percent remuneration …
- 66.2 percent support …
… job satisfaction.
- 69.9 percent promote …
… ideas from employees.
- 72.3 percent consider …
Needs of families.
1853 personnel managers of successful (measured by turnover and employment development 2007-2012) companies were surveyed.
Source: Institute of the German Economy in Cologne
The corporate culture is also an essential aspect. This is expressed, among other things, in the values and ideas that are lived. A person’s values and (drive) motives must be served. A driving motive can be economy, which includes an environment with effectiveness and efficiency as well as high earning potential. Another is the ability to constantly learn and absorb knowledge and to think through complexities. As a result, there are also cases in our industry where people with their strengths and past successes are hired and then are not successful with the new employer. The answer to this often lies at the level of values. For this reason, it is important to ensure that values and corporate culture are also taken into account in the job advertisement and the assessment of candidates.
Macroeconomically, there is a shortage of skilled workers, but before every IT company has exhausted the possibilities in its sphere of influence to differentiate and increase its own attractiveness, complaining is more of a self-pity.
So ask yourself briefly: what can you do specifically to attract and retain the right talent as an attractive employer?
More about the shortage of skilled workers:
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When there is a lack of IT security specialists
Baby boomers retire – training offensive required