The IT talent pool has always been difficult to access. Demand has outstripped supply year after year, making finding and attracting the best tech staff a major challenge. Throwing the COVID pandemic into the mix has now only made things more complex.
So how can you best position your organisation to secure tech talent?
While other options like reskilling workers from other sectors to meet growing demand for technology skills is helpful, one of the most effective strategies is to partner with a specialist external partner.
An already demanding IT market
The 2019 edition of Australia’s Digital Pulse survey has shown that the demand for technology workers will grow by 100,000 between 2018 and 2024 in trend terms. This would bring the Australian technology workforce to nearly 800,000 workers.
Demand for tech workers is strong across all sectors, led by the Information and Communications Technology industry, which will require 43,000 additional tech workers. There will also be strong demand for IT staff in professional services, especially the health care sector where the tech workforce will grow by over 50 percent.
The ongoing strong demand comes on the back of seven years of 2.5 percent average annual growth, which is far above the overall Australian labour market average of 1.7 percent.
Impacts of COVID
While the pipeline of IT workers is slowly improving on the back of increasing enrolments by domestic university students, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a real spanner in the works in terms of accessing foreign trained IT workers.
Due to international border restrictions, accessing a huge component of Australia’s talent pool has been drastically reduced. Most countries have strict leaving or quarantine conditions and are discouraging international travel. Many Australian companies have been reliant on skilled overseas trained talent to fill the most in demand IT roles.
This now looks like a situation that won’t be resolved anytime soon, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently indicating that borders will likely remain closed to most international travellers until at least mid-2021.
How an external partner can help
There’s no way around it, recruiting the best talent takes knowledge, time, and resources. No single approach will secure all the positions you might be looking to fill, so having a more comprehensive strategy will generate the best outcomes.
Specialist tech recruiters have a huge head start over other approaches for the following three key reasons:
It is the job of specialist tech recruiters to keep in touch with the latest industry developments and current trends in the market. With the rapidly changing landscape due to COVID-19, this industry knowledge is even more vital. Most employers simply don’t have the time to spend keeping track of everything that’s happening.
This is evident in the area of salary benchmarking. Because they’re dealing with employers and successful candidates on a daily basis, agencies have a very up to date understanding of the going rate for various tech roles or whether there are specific skills shortages.
In today’s crowded tech space, you cannot expect to find the candidate you’re looking for with a single online or newspaper ad. Employers need to be targeting techniques to broaden the candidate reach.
The best candidates will actually approach and register with reputable agencies in the industry, which means they have a strong network of skilled candidates already on the books. As a result, you get access to a greater number of higher quality candidates.
With the amount of disruption that COVID has caused to Australian businesses, one of the last things they want to be focusing on is the lengthy reality of the recruitment process. Especially when the candidate pool is shallow, the modern recruitment process is not a quick one and can quickly become very frustrating.
Recruitment agencies remove much of the time and hassle of the hiring process by screening candidates and CV’s, conducting initial interviews, handling candidate communications, and conducting salary negotiations. Each of these steps is also easier and faster because this is what agencies do on a daily basis. Being able to outsource these tasks frees up time for managers and HR staff to focus on other areas such as handling the complexities of changing working arrangements and some or most staff working from home.
If you are struggling with sourcing the IT candidates you need in these challenging times, a specialist tech partner like Finite can provide your hiring strategy with a major boost. Talk to Finite today.
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