Hiring & Retaining IT Staff

Supply__Demand_shutterstock_279891257.jpgWhy is hiring and retaining IT talent so difficult?

  • Isn't this a well paid profession? 
  • Isn't there a dramatic increase in the number of students pursuing computer science?

  • Didn't Thomas Friedman tell us in "The World is Flat" that we had entered an age where labor, especially IT talent, could be sourced competitively, from anywhere?

Supply & Demand

The simple answer is supply and demand. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that employment opportunities for software developers will increase by up to 32% over the next five years. They predicate that by 2020 there will be an additional 1,000,000 new jobs in the field, and only 400,000 new computer science graduates 1 

So what is a hiring manager to do when demand is exploding, supply is inadequate? 

I asked Jim Hansen, co-owner and Senior Vice President, Client Engagement at Millennium Consulting, an IT staffing firm, about some of the mistakes he sees hiring managers make; they included:

    • Creating a poor job description - a carefully thought out and well written job description will set expectations and enhance your chances of success  
    • Having unrealistic expectations – given the prevailing labor market conditions, managers must be prepared for flexibility on skill set and salary requirements  
    • Being ill-prepared for interviewing – in a candidate driven market, this is a non-starter  
    • Hiring process/decision takes too long – in this uber-competitive market look for ways to reduce hire cycle time  
    • Not having a defined career path – new career opportunities don't always have to be promotions, they can represent a chance to grow and learn through new projects or skills  
    • Having micro-managing and controlling bosses - this "old school" management style breeds contempt and stifles innovation and breakthrough thinking  
    • Failing to listen – two-way communication engenders employee buy in and motivation and enhances organizational loyalty  

    I asked James Wright, Partner at Bridge Technical Talent, a full-service IT staffing firm providing contract, direct hire, and contract-to-hire staffing solutions, about the recruiting challenges he sees for 2016.    

    "Today, every talented developer has multiple options. If you delay your hiring decision, you are likely to lose that talent to a competitive offer..." said Mr. Wright. 

    Mr. Wright noted "The organizations I see having the most success recruiting, and for that matter retaining, top IT talent, know that they are competing for this talent, they need to give candidates and employees a reason to want to be on their team."  

    If you want to explore this issue in more depth, please read my eBook "IT Workforce Recruiting  and Retention". In it I share insights from recruiting and staffing experts on their experiences and best practices, and their predictions of the strategies that will make the biggest impact on IT recruiting and retention in 2016.  



    1. Analysis: Examining the Computer Science Education Explosion at  http://www.geekwire.com/2014/analysis-examining-computer-science-education-explosion/


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