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When Good IT Candidates are Hard to Find

Dec 23 , 2015

For some specialized IT positions, it can be difficult to find good candidates in the general job market.

Many IT jobs require specific skills that only a small number of people in the workforce have. Finding quality candidates to fill these specialized positions is difficult at best, and is often nearly impossible using traditional job posting methods.

So what is an employer to do when faced with such a challenge to fill an open position? Taking a page from the recruiter's handbook, including recruiting passive candidates and understanding how top candidates look for jobs, can help with these staffing challenges.

Recruiting Passive Candidates

Most people who could do any given job aren't actively looking. The key to filling niche positions with quality candidates is to find candidates who aren't looking and get them to apply for the job. There are a few ways to do this.

Social media and online talent networks allow ongoing relationships with professionals in the IT field that can lead to possible candidates or referrals when a position opens up. By connecting on LinkedIn, job boards, or a company-specific talent network, then keeping in periodic contact, it's a simple process to get your job listing in front of many qualified IT professionals.

Having a referral program that rewards quality referrals is a good way to make sure the word gets out about your open positions. Your network will be motivated to pass on information to their network when they can get something in return for their effort.

Establishing a social media presence and developing a talent network can be time-consuming, but recruiters routinely do these things and can use their resources on your behalf.

With a little help from recruiters, you can find quality candidates to fill your niche positions.

How Top Candidates Look for Jobs

Rather than looking at classified listings or even online job boards, top candidates typically come across job opportunities through in-person or online networking, or through colleagues from other companies that they come into contact with during the course of their current jobs.

When hiring managers look to fill niche positions, one step they should take is to talk to that department's other employees and ask for a list of names of all those who might be able to fill the desired position. It doesn't matter if those named are actively looking for a different position or not. Hiring managers or recruiters can then contact each of these potential candidates personally to let them know about the open position.

Making the Job Look Good

Many top candidates keep an ear out for open positions and advancement opportunities at all times, not just when actively looking for a new job. Having an attractive job description focused on objectives rather than requirements may entice some good candidates to come forward where they otherwise might not.

Quality IT candidates are looking for an increase in salary and for new challenges to meet. Give them both, and you just may entice them away from their current position.

Need help attracting the best possible candidates for your open positions? Contact us today.