Competing for Young IT Talent in the Age of Google and Facebook

With the perks, pay, and prestige offered by leading tech companies, how can your organization snag awesome IT talent?

Recently I attended a conference where a panel of seasoned CIOs discussed their top priorities for the next year. Security, sustainability, and digital transformation all topped their lists. But the hottest topic of discussion was…IT talent recruiting.

In today’s hyper-networked, digitalized world, every company needs a great IT team to enable employees with tools that facilitate greater productivity. That’s a tall order, and one that’s sparked a ferocious race between top tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Salesforce. In fact, many experts agree that this is the toughest environment for hiring tech-y talent, EVER.

The average time to hire an IT person can be anywhere from two to three months to an entire year, depending on the position. And starting salaries, even for junior employees, can reach into six figures (not counting signing bonuses and stock options). The competition is immense!

So how can your organization compete against the massive salaries and innumerable perks offered by these tech titans as you search for top IT talent?

Here are five quick tips to give you an edge:

1. Sell Your Meaning and Purpose

Over the past decade, many reports have touted Millennials (the largest generation in the current workforce) as being narcissistic, flaky, and disloyal. Consider this myth busted.

Recent studies indicate that Millennials pursue careers with organizations that instill a sense of purpose, provide growth opportunities, and show clear evidence of their impact—values that are sought after in all age groups

When meeting with prospective employees, drive home your company’s mission and vision and emphasize the impact that they, as an IT employee, can have on the success of the organization. IT talent will be drawn to the idea that they can actually make a difference—something that’s much tougher to accomplish at a larger, flashier organization.

2. Turn Your Team into a Training Machine

Junior IT staff often need extensive on-the-job training to become marketable…so open up and share your expertise with them!

Developing an internship program is one great way to create a quality pipeline of dedicated, well-trained IT staff for your business. By the time the newbies blossom into IT Pros who are marketable enough to be hired away by other companies, they’ll have built loyalty to your cause and your company.

Alternatively, consider recruiting people from the other end of the age spectrum. They may not be as savvy in the newest technologies, but every great IT pro loves to learn. And once they do, they’ll be committed, loyal employees who can provide great mentorship to incoming younger IT talent.

3. Make IT Team Members and Your Executives the Face of Your Recruiting

When IT candidates are recruited by Google, Facebook, and other tech giants, they face a labyrinth of recruiters before getting any time with potential colleagues or leadership.

Having members of your IT team reach out to candidates and making your executives available to them during the recruitment process is a huge differentiator, and something they’re definitely not getting from the big guys. You—and your company—will stand out as more personal and relatable.

4. Promise (and Deliver) Greater Opportunity for Career Growth

IT employees are serious about their career trajectories, that’s no secret. At a larger company where roles are much more defined, the chances a candidate would be able to wear many hats, work with multiple teams, and get facetime with senior leadership are slim. But at YOUR company, the world could be their oyster.

Make career development a standard part of your team’s culture and expectations, and highlight this program during the recruitment process. If a talented IT candidate can see a clear path to career advancement at your company, they’ll trade the perks and pay for faster career growth.

5. Speed Up the Hiring Process

It’s a simple matter of logistics—the first offer received is the one most likely accepted. How can you make this often bureaucratic process more efficient? Lean on technology here.

For example, a powerful document productivity tool like Nitro can make reviewing resumes and getting offer letters signed a matter of hours, as opposed to days or even weeks.

When you can fast-track your recruitment process, it shows the candidate that you value them and are willing to go the extra mile.

Hopefully, these essential tips will help you attract great IT talent. And remember: to hire and retain valuable employees, it has to be a two-way street. If they’re more excited about snacks and napping pods…they probably aren’t the right fit for your team. Let them go to Google, and snap up someone instead who gets excited about the work itself. Trust me, they’re out there!

Do you have tips or stories about competing for IT talent with  Google, Facebook, and others? Share them below!

P.S. – Browse open roles at Nitro – we’re competing for top talent just like you!