How to Overcome the IT Talent Shortage and Thrive in a Tight Job Market

How to Overcome the IT Talent Shortage and Thrive in a Tight Job Market

By Ken Wagner | August 4, 2023

How to Overcome the IT Talent Shortage and Thrive in a Tight Job Market

By Ken Wagner | August 4, 2023

If hiring talent is a challenge at the moment, you’re far from alone. The low U.S. unemployment rate has created a seller’s market, giving job seekers more bargaining power.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, job openings now exceed available workers by 4 million, equal to 1.7 job seekers for each job.

Few industries feel the pain as much as those of health care and technology. The Financial Times reports that the situation in America “is acute, affecting tech businesses and those companies in other sectors that rely on an IT function.”

For companies that need highly skilled workers, versed in, for instance, InterSystems technology, including IRIS for Health, HealthShare, Health Connect, and those with interoperability experience, your search could benefit from staffing support services. While these sectors are our primary focus, the strategies we offer in this post apply to other industries in similar hiring predicaments.

Talent Scarcity Demands Multipronged Approach

The question is, what can you do to overcome these challenges, especially if the systems your organization depends on require highly skilled IT professionals? Consider the following strategies to attract and retain employees.

Prioritize Employee Retention

In the face of talent shortages, your first line of defense should be your current employees. Key employees can seize opportunities to advance their careers, and it’s optimal if they can do that within your organization instead of moving to competitors. Identify the employees whose absence would create substantial disruptions.

Engage with these employees proactively — not when they’re one foot out the door. Regular check-ins can help you gauge their job satisfaction levels and identify opportunities for their growth and development within the organization. Remember, it’s far easier and cost-effective to retain an existing employee than to recruit, hire, and onboard a new one.

Define Your Hiring Needs

After safeguarding your existing talent pool, the next step is to assess your hiring needs. As the leader, it’s crucial that you craft the job descriptions. Avoid falling back on generic or outdated templates from human resources. To attract the right talent, your job descriptions must be clear, comprehensive, and compelling. They should not only outline the role’s responsibilities but also highlight the opportunities for growth and the unique benefits your organization offers.

Diversify Your Recruiting Strategies

In a tight job market, you can’t afford to rely on a single hiring strategy. You must diversify your recruiting methods to cast a wide net. Use all available channels: internal recruiting, external recruitment agencies, job boards, and employee referrals. Additionally, consider hiring temporary workers or consultants who can quickly fill gaps and ensure continued operations while you’re still looking for long-term hires.

Ensure Quality Over Quantity

While the urgency to fill vacant positions can be compelling, remember that a hasty hire can cause more harm than good. Prioritize quality over quantity. Implement a patient, methodical hiring process that upholds your standards. A results-oriented approach will pay dividends in the long run.

Provide Robust Onboarding and Training

An effective onboarding and training program can make new employees feel welcomed, valued, and prepared. It helps them understand the expectations, fit into the company culture, and learn about their potential for growth within the organization. Furthermore, it underscores your company’s investment in its employees, fostering a sense of loyalty.

Leverage Your Existing Workforce

During the hiring process, find ways to maximize your current employees’ potential. Can they assume additional responsibilities? Is cross-training a possibility? Be sure to compensate them fairly for their extra efforts—be it through increased pay, time off, or opportunities for professional development.

Foster Work-Life Balance

A competitive salary and comprehensive employee benefits are fundamental, but they are only part of the equation. Employees today also seek a work-life balance and flexible work arrangements. McKinsey’s 2022 American Opportunity Survey found that as many as 87% of workers would seize the chance to work flexibly. This desire held true across demographics, occupations, and geographies.

Communicate Your Vision

Illustrate your standing as a rapidly growing, mission-driven organization. The term — mission-driven — has generated a lot of buzz in recent years and should, when taken to heart. be more than a slogan. In essence, such companies offer the ability to work for something greater than a paycheck. Talented professionals are attracted to innovative projects, cutting-edge technology, and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact. High-profile clients, industry awards, and your company reputation can all serve as a testament to your success and the opportunities you offer.

Promote Sustainability Initiatives and Community Involvement

In this day and age, professionals appreciate companies that demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility. Showcase your sustainability initiatives and community involvement to enhance your company’s appeal to socially conscious individuals. Time reported last year, for example, that around 70% of employees and job seekers think a sustainability program makes an employer more appealing while 44% of executives use such initiatives to drive recruitment and retention.

Harness the Power of Employee Testimonials

Authentic, positive employee testimonials can significantly enhance your employer brand and credibility. Prospective employees often trust the feedback from those on the inside, so leverage this powerful tool in your recruitment strategy.

Summing Up

Hiring in a tight job market is undoubtedly challenging. However, with strategic planning, a focus on retention, and diversified recruiting strategies, it’s possible to navigate these difficulties and secure top talent for your organization. Be creative, persistent, and above all, appreciative of the staff you have.

Need Help? Contact Henry Elliott and Company

We provide dependable, highly skilled consultants, contract programmers/analysts, and direct hire candidates in the healthcare IT and InterSystems product industry. Contact us at Henry Elliott and Company today to get started. We’re dedicated to your success and are prepared to guide you through this complex market.

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