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How to win the war for IT talent

Sharon Florentine | Jan. 22, 2016
The battle to hire IT professionals is only going to get more brutal in 2016. Even IT heavyweights are struggling to find IT talent and are exploring unorthodox methods for sourcing and screening.

"The allure of companies that haven't yet 'made it' is strong, and it's a good thing to remember. For most IT people, it's not just a job. They want to have an impact on the world, to work on interesting problems from the ground up and help in driving a company's success. Sometimes, larger companies can seem too monolithic -- like, 'there's so much already done, there's so much code already written, how am I ever going to make a difference?'" Srinivasan says.

That's where a strong employee value proposition (EVP) comes in, says Brynne Herbert, founder and CEO of mobility management solutions company MOVE Guides.

"We focus on what we can offer to people who come work for us, rather than only on what they can bring to our table -- obviously, that's important, too, but we are a leader in this space now because we're not like our competition. We're offering employee ownership, freedom to work on exciting projects, flexibility, great benefits and perks. Engineers are drawn to us because that sets us apart from the competition," Herbert says. For MOVE Guides, screening is less of a problem than sourcing, so making sure to emphasize a solid EVP helps to make sure they can find enough of the right kind of talent to drive innovation and growth.

"The EVP is a major part of our strategy and its part of our brand. IT talent wants to be able to ask questions like, 'Is this a growing market? Is this a worthwhile problem to solve? What the culture? What's my day-to-day workload going to be?' and we have to figure that out, articulate it and disseminate that information so they have a few great reasons to come to us," she says.

Finding what motivates IT talent is key to making an inviting EVP and becoming an 'employer of choice' for the types of roles and skills you need, says Lever's Srinivasan, and it's effective for organizations of all sizes, especially smaller companies that might not have the budgets or the personnel to source globally, or to throw multiple-day hackathons.

"It doesn't matter the size of the company. We're all competing for the same talent pool. It comes down to what skills do you need, what problems are we trying to solve, what kind of an impact talent can have, and how can they develop and grow personally and professionally that will help you get and keep great people," Srinivasan says.


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