Half a Dozen Points for Staffing Success
By Andrew C. Jackson
We’re headed into another positive year for business growth. For the technology sector, this equates to a continued period of low unemployment and the associated scarcity of skilled talent. For CIOs and other IT leaders, the challenges of finding and retaining qualified people will also persist. Companies may even be forced to manage teams that are not fully staffed. Below are half a dozen tips to help reduce recruitment stress and avoid burnout on your IT team.
- Hold on to existing staff. The Golden Rule of human resources has become paramount in the current environment. It’s much easier, less expensive and less risky to keep skilled people than to find their replacements. If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to do the following:
- Evaluate your team to ensure they are being compensated at their fair market value.
- Put additional time and resources toward maintaining positive team morale. Schedule new team-building events, create or refresh recognition and reward programs, conduct blind satisfaction surveys, etc.
- Conduct one-on-one meetings with team members to improve and update your understanding of their work-related needs (flex-time, work from home, etc.). Marriage, an aging parent, the birth of a child and divorce are examples of life events that may require a change in work arrangements.
- Proactively recruit for key positions. It will take longer to find key players. Define current and anticipated needs, allot for some turnover and engage recruiters early. In the current environment, a continuous-recruiting mindset is required.
- Evaluate your employment package. You may have to elevate current employment packages to attract and secure talent that is already working elsewhere. The days of posting jobs and reviewing piles of resumes are gone, contrary to some current well-funded job site radio campaigns.
- Be realistic about your company’s attractiveness. Logo’s don’t secure talent. Your company is most likely a great place to work, but there are many other firms with compelling stories and fun work environments. Do not let your individual corporate story keep you from making a competitive financial offer to your key recruits.
- Aim correctly. Many managers bundle too many skills into job descriptions, which makes the candidate pool minute. This problem often surfaces when companies replace a valuable employee, because they are attempting to replicate someone who learned many of their current skills on the job. Start by requiring the skills necessary to accomplish 80 percent of the work. You can train for the remaining skills.
- Be aware of timing. Like expert anglers, employers need to reel in a fresh catch quickly or it will get away. When you find a good candidate, don’t hesitate. Start the interview process. If your company has a tedious hiring process with multiple interviews, streamline it where you can. Land the right candidate with a great offer, and stay in touch daily throughout the interview and onboarding process so they aren’t distracted by other offers.
Let me know if you have a comment or have found a creative way to recruit and retain team members in this challenging environment.
Andrew C. Jackson | President