Recruiting IT professionals and keeping IT talent happy are two significant challenges experienced by HR managers in many industries. Top IT talent is essential for corporate success. Unfortunately, the supply of these sought-after professionals isn’t keeping up with today’s demand. Bidding wars over elite professionals can become costly and may result in spending too much for talent that could have been acquired in more creative and inexpensive ways. In today’s competitive job markets, the top IT professionals often know they may have an upper hand in the hiring process. Creative HR managers think “outside the box” in order to save money and time when planning for the IT future of their growing organizations.
Top IT professionals can sometimes manipulate a hiring situation to their advantage. One way savvy HR professionals can get around feeling influenced when attempting to hire top talent is to look at current employees with an eye for long range planning and a mindset of cultivating IT talent from within. Promoting and training someone from within the organization can save time and money. In addition, a long-term employee’s loyalty can mean less potential staff turnover. In some organizations, professionals are asked to sign an intention-to-stay statement which can help identify employees that are willing to keep investing their talents into a company that is also investing in the employee’s future.
Another way to secure and retain top IT talent is to offer a clearly defined reward system for career advancement and job performance evaluations. Reaching new goals and being rewarded for continuous improvement can create a corporate culture that resists stagnation. IT professionals at the top of their game want to be held in high esteem and need to feel that their suggestions for improvements are taken seriously by management. Cultivating a corporate structure that values and rewards open communication can increase an IT professional’s job satisfaction and personal engagement.
Once hired, continually investing in well-performing employees can mean increasing their loyalty and quality of work. Offering opportunities to attend conferences, engage in career mentoring and continue education to develop related areas of expertise are all cost-effective ways to make IT professionals feel valued. Offering online certification courses can help keep IT professional on top of their games and at the same time feed the competitive edge of the organization with best practice knowledge.
Flexible benefits are also a strong bargaining chip for the creative HR manager. Knowing individual employees’ needs and being able to offer flexible benefits is another way to make IT professionals feel valued as individuals. Flex time and reimbursement perks, which they can choose from based on their family situations, can make a big difference. One employee may enjoy discounts on child care while an employee without children may choose discounts on adult daycare facilities when caring for an aging parent. In today’s increasingly diverse workplace settings, a single benefits package may not be the best choice for all employees.
With up to four generations of talent in one organization, it is important that HR professionals look creatively at ways to secure one of the most essential sectors of their talent pool – IT professionals.