IT Recruitment Challenges in the U.S. and How Staff Augmentation is the Answer to all Developer Woes
Let's face it: finding qualified IT staff is a challenge and recruiting them is even more so. The increasing demand for skilled IT professionals has resulted in a shortage of skilled personnel and a high-paced, competitive environment.
Today, the estimated unemployment rate for the tech sector is far below the average of 1.5 percent — a striking difference considering the global turmoil and economic hardships brought about by the world pandemic. However, this, in turn, has created a lack of skilled software developers, and the industry is finding ways to deal with and adapt to the changing market reality.
The shortage of IT professionals in the industry is a challenging problem for employers, but it is a welcoming aspect for the developers. Recruiters and employers have to compete for the top tech candidate. As for job seekers, they can simply “shop around” for a position that comes with the best benefits.
Sure, “poaching” software developers from other companies also works, but it can be too expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, you need to be able to offer more than the competition to get an audience with the potential candidate.
Referrals are also a good approach, especially in the developers’ community, but the outreach with the thought of recruiting them is still limited. Couple it with economic backlash and industrial changes, and recruiters must navigate new landscapes to hire the right talent for a business.
5 Challenges in the IT Recruitment Industry
What are some common challenges of IT recruitment? What are the solutions to these challenges? Well, giving a definite answer to these questions is not that simple. The reason for it is that these challenges have evolved over time. With the pandemic, more organizations are adapting to the remote work structures.
Research states that fifty-three recruiters face challenges accessing the right skills when hiring a potential candidate. Forty-five percent of recruiters claim that the potential candidate does not fall into the budget. These challenges are just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive into understanding the primary IT recruitment challenges:
Challenge #1: Finding eligible candidates
Challenges to recruiting the ideal candidate for a company is something present in all industries, but speaking of the IT market, it shifts to a whole new level of complexity. Perhaps the most recognizable among them is to find a qualified candidate to hire.
It is no lie that the IT industry is continually evolving and developing with its implementation of different aspects of our daily lives. This evolution has led to an unprecedented requirement for IT jobs to be filled by experts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs report states that through the first five months of 2022, employment increased by 69% since last year.
Opposing the numbers, it is hard to find the talent that can meet the requirements of the IT firms. Perhaps the major problem in finding qualified talent is the technical and professional knowledge of the industry, the skills required, their experience, and formal education. To tackle this challenge, there are some measures to be taken, including
- Widening talent pool (choosing from multiple educational backgrounds)
- Looking into the candidates’ experience
Finding a suited candidate for the job is only the first stage of the recruiting process, not to mention the complexity of retaining them. The actions that are needed to be taken lie not only in the hands of recruiters. It is also a challenge for the IT department to entice their interest in the job effectively.
Challenge #2: Creating competition with better branding
Building a brand is considered a part of marketing and has nothing to do with the company's HR. Where this is true, it is to be noted that the emphasis on brand building as a recruitment challenge is to accentuate the brand's workplace, work benefits, insurance it offers, and other aspects to attract potential candidates.
It is understood that branding is not a one-size-fits-all formula for better benefits when it comes to IT talent acquisition. However, it plays an imperative role in hiring and retaining candidates.
Knowing how the brands interact and engage with the brand workplace, a business may significantly benefit from a better impression among the competition. This can result in recruiting talent that is a perfect fit for your team.
It is important to note that when applying for a job, people often judge the credibility of the workplace based on the reviews and image of the company on online platforms. So, a company with a better image will reap the better fruit!
Although creating a brand image is primarily the responsibility of the marketing team, the human resources team has the professional knowledge to produce the key features to attract IT candidates. Together, they can promote the brand image that is a perfect blend of a professional workplace with a friendly environment. After all, that is the primary source of attraction for the potential candidates.
Challenge #3: Meeting the tech team requirement
When it comes to recruiting a perfect candidate, the teams, i.e., the talent acquisition and the tech team, need to be consistent with acquiring a new member. There are circumstances where the two teams are not on the same page, which may bring complexities to the hiring process.
For recruiters, the part of the job is to fill in the missing position within the given time frame while meeting the tech team’s requirements. On the other hand, the tech team needs to pay attention to the perfect fit for the job — perhaps a candidate that has both professionalism to fit in and adapt and the tech skills required for the job.
To make this happen, both the tech professionals and the recruiters need to create a synergy of processes to hire the most suitable candidate — maybe create a checklist of interview questions or a metric of characteristics to create the desired persona and boost the recruitment process.
Challenge #4: Recruiting within a tight timeframe
“Early bird catches the worm!” is perhaps a proverb that perfectly sums up the recruitment of the “perfect candidate.” In simple words, to get highly qualified candidates, you need to be quick to get a hold of them. With the increasing need for skilled developers in the industry, job seekers are impatient and willing to give up on the wait of getting a response, even if it is an ideal job.
This has led many organizations, renowned brands, and ideal workplaces to lose the best candidate to the competition.
Not just that, when a potential applicant sees a job opening, their first impression is based on the time for the job posting. If the time is too long, the candidate will likely lose interest as they will have to wait a long time for the first interview sessions. On the other hand, if the time is too short, they may have an excuse of being unprepared.
The solution to this challenge is to keep the candidates up-to-date with the process so they can feel attended to. This can lower the odds of candidates dropping out of the interview.
Challenge #5: The creation of an efficient recruiting process
The recruiting process of a company is often considered a trivial feature of the HR department, even though it is a crucial process to find the right developer for the organization within the given time frame.
The HR professionals of an IT company have leverage here. They have gained credit under the circumstances of talent shortage in recent years. With an inclusive recruitment process, the recruiters can sort a talent pool enriched with professionals and experts in the tight market.
A well-defined recruitment process can work as a tool to minimize the time involved in the process. However, the perspective of a comprehensive recruitment process can vary according to the industries and even companies. The crucial aspect of a comprehensive recruitment process involves:
- Clarification of job requirements from the IT professionals
- A well-devised and comprehensively defined job description
- Talent search through multiple channels
- Screening and shortlisting
- Final evaluation
- Job offering
By following the steps carefully, you not facilitate a consistent application of recruitment but also streamline the staff culture according to your business goals.
5 ways staff augmentation can help with IT recruitment challenges
There is no doubt that IT staff recruiting challenges can be complex to the core, but with appropriate measures and considerable investment, it is easy to overcome them. The best bet is to tap into the tech-focused talent pool with Staff Augmentation as an option.
Here are 5 ways you can benefit from staff augmentation services.
1. Access to expertise
Consider this: you already have an expert team for web development, but you need more resources to make a quick launch of your product. Instead of setting a budget to hire new talent for your team and going through the arduous hiring process again, it is better to consider IT outsourcing partners.
One of the significant advantages of outsourcing companies that offer staff augmentation is their broad experience in the industry. Experts at these companies gain experience by working on a wide range of projects. They come up with architectural decisions to create solutions from scratch that contribute to their overall experience.
In simple words, IT staff augmentation opens doors to the most experienced pool of talented developers and professionals worldwide who can provide their expertise to take your business to the next level.
2. Meeting tight deadlines
To begin with the work, your internal team for product development may work with a clear vision and a defined roadmap, but they may lack agility. They may be excellent at producing and delivering great features of unique products. But when a possible obstacle comes their way, they may be unable to take swift action to tackle the problem.
On the other hand, the talent resourced through staff augmentation is habitual in working in a fast-paced environment. They will prioritize the critical tasks and find potential solutions to overcome the hurdles in the process on time.
Besides that, having a vast experience in the industry, they have the knowledge of the trends going on in the industry. This helps them to predict the pitfalls and discuss issues and risks before they are given a deadline to launch the product.
3. Capability to scale team
In a fierce and competitive business landscape, it is essential to keep up with the changing market and analyze the gaps to succeed. The earlier it is done, the better chances of the company to grow.
Applying a similar thought to software development, making improvements to the app, and launching the “in-demand” functionality on time can win the user’s attention. This can lead to better business for you.
However, achieving this by hiring an in-house development team can take the time that needs to be invested in the process and production. Here, taking advantage of staff augmentation is perhaps the best option. With minimum effort and time put into finding the best outsourcing company, the specialists acquired through staff augmentation are likely to have the needed skills and deep expertise to meet the tight deadline for the project launch.
That’s not it! Staff augmentation allows you to scale your team without any legal obligations. As soon as the job is done, you can reduce the work hours of the contractor without any legal penalties.
In simple words, staff augmentations allow you to regulate your team's capacity according to your needs, and you pay only for the hours they work on the project. It is a win-win opportunity for businesses wanting to progress quickly in the industry at minimal prices.
4. Supports HR tasks
IT staff augmentation can lower the participation of the HR processes, including
Hiring an in-house recruitment team or an external hiring agency is an investment of time and money. External recruiters may not be able to provide you a candidate who shares your vision or adapt to your workspace quickly. On the other hand, an in-house recruitment team may have a limited database of qualified candidates.
In contrast, IT staff augmentation services will provide you with the resumes of the available resources and organize an interview if required. They will handle the entire communication and organization project. All you need to do is approve of the best candidate they provide to do the job.
Where it may take months to find the best candidate externally, staff augmentation is only a matter of a couple of days.
Employee retention is a complex process and sometimes can be very expensive.
With staff augmentation, you don’t need to dive into employee retention tactics or worry about making your people stay at the organization. The service provider will take care of the matters without causing you a delay in work.
5. Optimizing development cost
The most significant of all advantages of IT staff augmentation is that it is easy going on the money.
So instead of investing in proper office equipment, resources, and talent recruitment, you need only focus on the development cost of the project. With staff augmentation, you need only to pay for the staff’s development hours.
This allows you to cut unnecessary costs and invest in what really matters.
There is no easy route to overcome the critical challenges of recruiting talent. However, if implemented correctly, staff augmentation is a suitable business model that can help achieve success cost-effectively and efficiently. There may be concerns about it — as no business model has ever reached perfection — but it can leave you free to focus on the core business objectives while lowering the cost of hiring in-house resources for your project.