Subtle Recruitment Strategies That Get Results - Page 1

Jun 1, 2007

Katherine Spencer Lee

Bill Gates’ recent testimony before the Senate requesting support to allow IT staff from foreign countries to work in the United States reinforced what many technology executives have already recognized: It can be very challenging to recruit skilled talent in the current market.

A recent survey of CIOs by Robert Half Technology found that it takes an average of 56 days to fill a staff-level IT position and 87 days to bring a new manager on board.

As companies vie for the most qualified candidates, “How can our firm attract technology professionals?” has become the million-dollar question. Certainly, making sure your compensation and benefits package is competitive is a good start. But to truly enhance your recruitment tactics, you may need to broaden the scope of your efforts beyond money and perks.

Applicants will begin making judgments about your organization before they even submit an application. The overall impression they have of your firm can mean the difference between someone who is enthusiastic about joining your team and someone who writes off the opportunity altogether.

Here are some strategies that can help tip the scales in your favor:

Build Industry Buzz - Draw candidates to your company by making it a place people want to work. If your business isn’t a household name, do your part to develop recognition in the community.

IT professionals seek to be a part of organizations they respect, particularly those doing interesting work. Speak to a local user-group meeting about your experience with a particular technology or talk to an IT association about a key project your department completed last year. Writing articles for technology publications, websites or professional groups also can build interest in your firm as a prospective employer.

If your company has a public relations or marketing team, tap into their expertise. Get the word out through the media about unique endeavors your department may be engaged in. For instance, if your company is the first in its industry to use a new technology, you could offer to be profiled during the implementation process. You’ll help to put your company in the spotlight.

Consider the Surroundings - Once you’ve drawn candidates to your firm, make sure you’re ready to conduct the resulting employment interviews. That means more than preparing interview questions ahead of time.

Take an honest look at your department: What are job applicants likely to think of it on a first visit? If people have to walk by cubicles filled with old furniture and cables, desktop units and other tech gear spilling into the aisles, you may get a “Wow” for the wrong reasons. Prospective employees may doubt your firm’s professionalism, organization or ability to get simple things done, like disposing of old monitors. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create an inviting work environment.

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