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What Does it Take to Compete and Win (Hire) the Best IT Talent in Today’s Market?


I’m so glad you asked! And if you’re doing the same things you did two or three years ago, you are not in the race for talent at all.

Over my 30+ years of experience in the recruiting and staffing industry, I have recruited, interviewed, and hired thousands of people for hundreds of companies in all industries. Because of this, I have a unique perspective which is directly from candidates about what they’re looking for in their next career position or contract engagement. Candidates tell me that these five things are the most important to them and will help you get and keep the best IT professionals.

  1. Remote work
    Recognize that most IT work can be done from anywhere and offer an option to work remote. This is the number one request I hear from the best IT candidates. And you wouldn’t believe how many IT professional in our markets (NE, IA, KS, MO, etc.) are working from home for companies that are based on the East or West coasts! We are losing our local talent to companies that aren’t even here because they can work from home! Our unemployment rates in the Midwest are the lowest in the nation. The most qualified and talented people are working a full-time job or are on a consulting engagement. Banish the thought that you need to be able to see your employees for work to get accomplished. For the candidates who want this and if you truly want the best talent, take a leap of faith and offer remote work.
  2. Flexible schedule
    Offer flexible hours. Our millennials are teaching us all how to “work to live” and not “live to work”! The struggle is real to balance the hours we spend at work with our family commitments with children and aging parents and all the activities and events surrounding life today. We’re all plugged in to work through our mobile devices more than ever before. Don’t be a clock watcher – stop the madness and trust your people. The employers that offer this get the best people and have dedicated, engaged employees who are committed to getting their work done whether it’s 8 am – 5 pm or before/after hours. Everybody wins!
  3. Managers that lead
    Top IT talent wants to work for managers that lead. The leadership, from the top down, needs to embrace and promote remote work and flexible schedules, and not just give them lip service. Most people respond best to a leader with a coaching and collaborative style. Managers need to adapt their style to whatever each teammate needs from them. Always keep teammates’ best interests at heart and in mind. Build a relationship, be genuine, get to know them, and show that you care about them personally and professionally. This creates and fosters an incredibly responsive, proactive, and engaged workforce that will do whatever they can for that manager and for the company.
  4. Benefits
    This can be a real differentiator today and like 20+ years ago, benefits have become important to candidates again. They expect to pay for healthcare and are looking for it to be affordable and comprehensive. The other important benefit to them is paid time off (PTO). You could set yourself apart by offering PTO based on their years in the workforce and not their tenure within the organization. As our workforce ages, employers are reaping the benefits of hiring candidates who are more seasoned in their career. How about recognizing and acknowledging that by offering more PTO? The most progressive companies are offering unlimited PTO – what??!!
  5. Pay
    This is important but not most important by a long shot. You can’t just be competitive to get the best talent – you have to put together the best compensation plan that you can to get and keep them. When you use our firm to hire the best talent, you will get our expertise on market salaries so you know what you’re up against.

That’s it – those are the top five ways to compete and hire the best talent in the market place. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments, I would love to visit with you more about this and hear any success stories.

Linda Aughenbaugh
Linda  has been in the recruiting and staffing industry for 30 years. Linda has been with Aureus Group’s IT/IS division for more than eight years in several different capacities, including Account Manager, Recruiter, Recruiting Manager, Branch Manager, and Executive IT Recruiter. She has held different positions with other firms as well, including Franchise Owner of a franchise staffing service for nearly 12 years, Director of IT Contract Staffing, and Branch Manager. She has received numerous awards and has achieved President’s Club seven times. She has a true passion, determination, and drive in helping people improve their career situation and for finding the right talent at the right time for her clients.

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