How to Recruit Top Talent in a Competitive IT Market

Technology is advancing, the IT industry is booming, and more professionals are needed to keep pace with the growing field. As competition for the best candidates tightens, how can recruiters still find the right professionals for their open health IT positions?

Here are some tips to overcome recruitment barriers and beat out the competition for top IT talent.

Plan for Passive Candidates

One of the biggest challenges facing recruiters is finding IT professionals with the skills and experience needed for open positions. Going after passive talent could help bridge the skills gap.

A majority of professionals are open to switching jobs, creating a large opportunity to recruit top talent. About 75 percent of professionals surveyed by LinkedIn identified themselves as passive job seekers, and 72 percent of U.S. employers said finding these candidates is a top priority.

But hiring passive candidates is easier said than done. Recruiting these professionals will require a specialized strategy.  Among companies who saw at least 11 percent top-line growth last year, 63 percent changed their recruitment process to target passive candidates, a survey conducted by the Novo Group found.

Employed professionals will be looking for new opportunities to advance their careers. In our salary survey of health IT workers, the top 2 influencers of job satisfaction were the ability to learn new skills and the ability to advance their career. Highlight professional development programs the position offers and explain opportunities for growth and upward mobility within the firm.

Offer Perks

In a competitive recruiting market, IT talent, especially passive candidates, will be asking “what’s in it for me?” How does the salary of the position compare with competitors?

Our salary survey found that 56 percent of health IT professionals think that salary potential is important to job satisfaction. Include salary ranges and benefits information in job postings to attract top talent. Communicate if there is room for growth and explain how compensation typically increases.

In addition to health and investment benefits, creative perks can help attract the IT talent you’re looking for. Flexibility is a major benefit to highlight in job postings and when communicating with candidates. Among those surveyed in the salary survey, 53 percent cited flexibility as a top factor of job satisfaction. More and more IT employers are offering the choice to telecommute and other flexible work arrangements.

Employees who were given the choice to work from home or in a traditional office setting were better focused, had more effective collaboration with their team members and were more satisfied with their jobs and workplace, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Gensler.

Other companies are offering 30 hour work weeks and the flexibility to start early or late to fit the different lifestyles of their employees.

Know What You Want

 If your job posting is failing to attract the right candidates or any candidates at all, the  description may be the problem.

Job seekers want to apply to jobs they will be engaged in and won’t waste their time on job postings with unclear responsibilities. According to our salary survey, 52 percent of health IT professionals said that the opportunity to do what they do best plays an important role in job satisfaction. What’s more, in a survey of working Americans, 68 percent would take a pay cut to work in a job that better allowed them to apply their personal interests in the workplace.

Although your job description should be detailed, too much detail can be just as off-putting. Instead, focus on the information job seekers are looking for. According to a Jobvite survey, 77.3 percent of job seekers said the job description was the most useful information in a job posting. The responsibilities and expectations for the position should be clearly outlined. Understanding what skills are needed for the position will also help you to identify to the right candidate.

What other challenges do you face recruiting IT talent? How have you overcome these barriers?