IT Hiring on the Rise

A recent study by Dice confirmed a trend that many of us have known for a while - finding good IT help is becoming harder and harder. In the study, Dice found that 73 percent of IT-focused recruiters and hiring managers expect companies to hire additional tech staff in the second part of 2012. This number is even larger at startups, where 83 percent plan to increase their IT staff over the next year.

This is great news for IT professionals who, in a still-struggling economy, are likely to make more money, be given better benefits, and because of demand, have the opportunity to jump to another employer offering more a more competitive package than their current employer. However, for recruiters and companies on the hunt for competent IT professionals, we now face a tougher market. In order to not only recruit the best candidates, but also retain current employees - it’s vital for companies to assess their IT needs now and appropriately plan ahead to account for the smaller and more selective IT talent pool that awaits.

To help you get organized and prepared for future IT hiring demands, here are a couple tips:

Understand what and where your future needs will be. According to thisinfographic by Crisp 360, the most in-demand IT professionals are systems/network engineers. If you are looking to fill this position, be prepared to pay a higher annual salary as well as offer competitive benefits and perks like working remotely and flex-hours.

Equally important as knowing who you need to hire, is knowing the amount of time you have to hire. Be strategic about assessing the risk of critical IT positions if they go unfilled and plan ahead rather than relying on just-in-time hiring. Do you need someone to start tomorrow? Is this a long term solution and can be filled over the next few months? Is your company growing at a steady pace, or is there rapid growth? Having answers to questions like these will paint a clearer picture of your needs and what kind of investment you will need to make.

Establish your presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to start identifying candidates and building relationships with people outside your company. If you’ve been actively engaging with people on LinkedIn, when the time comes to fill a position, the familiarity and trust you’ve established will make your initial outreach much easier and likely produce better results. A great way to start is by creating a group on LinkedIn and posing a questions that will generate debate among the community.

Utilize your current employees. It’s likely that your current IT staff has made connections within the industry and already comes with a “fat rolodex” of potential job candidates. Be sure to use this to your advantage. Whether they are friends, old colleagues or industry acquaintances, your employees may possess an insight into a candidate's current job situation that a recruiter wouldn’t have on their own. Especially in a competitive market, approaching a candidate with knowledge of what they are looking for in their next job can often give you the edge over other companies vying for their service.

While it is tougher today to hire the best IT professionals for your company, taking a few proactive steps like the ones mentioned above can help you still find the right person for the job.