This week, there’s been great optimism in the IT sector, with data from the Office for National Statistics showing that the UK is experiencing its fastest growth in IT jobs since the dotcom boom. In fact, figures show that nearly 720,000 professionals were employed in computing positions in March – up 11% from 2012. On top of this, the percentage rise in IT jobs has reached double digits for two successive quarters for the first time since 2001.
With the industry doing so well though, it’s just as important that companies are thinking about hiring the best talent – both now and into the future. In order to compete with rival firms, IT businesses need to have top professionals in place, and be able to attract them away from others in the industry. So how can you source the best people in order to remain competitive?
When it comes to hiring, there’s a real danger in placing too much focus on qualifications. Of course, grades are useful to look at when it comes to assessing a candidate’s CV, but what do they actually tell you about an individual? It’s important that you’re placing equal importance on previous experiences and key traits as well so that you can hire the best person for the job who can also fit in with your company and its culture. Attitude, for instance, is one of the most important qualities for us at ConSol and forms a key part of our recruitment process.
To find top talent effectively, competency-based interview questions are a useful tool so that a candidate can highlight their abilities that match the competencies you’re looking for. Only then will you get a clear indication of their suitability.
However, it’s also important that, when you find the right person, they choose your company over a competitor’s. Consequently, you need to be able to differentiate your organisation from the rest, placing a key focus on candidate experience. Right from the start, it’s fundamental to think about the candidate’s needs, for instance by ensuring that all of the information in the job description is easily accessible, responding promptly after receiving a CV, and showing a high level of organisation at interview stage.
Of course, the candidate experience is fundamental even for those individuals who aren’t right for the role, so ensure feedback is provided to all applicants. They may, after all, be perfect in the future. As well as this, a candidate will tell others if they’ve had a poor experience with your company and there isn’t a clear separation between employer brand and overall brand anymore.
Being able to effectively identify and assess key traits in a candidate is invaluable for your consultancy. However, this is only the beginning, and if you want your emerging talent to continue to develop, you need to have a clear training programme in place. Only then will you ensure you have the best team in place to gain competitive advantage in a challenging market.