Follow these four steps to fill key technologist roles with highly-qualified talent, even amongst fierce recruiting competition.
There’s no question that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud automation, and internet of things (IoT) are the future of innovation. Fortune 500 companies and leading startups are clamoring to hire the best talent in these areas of expertise. And as the competition for recruitment continues to heat up, executives are often forced to put major projects on pause until key jobs are filled.
Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that U.S. jobs related to computer science will reach 1.4 million by 2020, but just 400,000 candidates will have the necessary qualifications to fill these roles. That’s a shortage of 1 million technologists.
With demand so far exceeding supply, even aspirational tech companies like Amazon and Google are struggling to source experts with AI, DevOps, and IoT credentials. The same traditional recruitment methods employed in the past fail to produce quality candidates with skills to shape the future.
At TheoremOne, we help clients staff key roles in emerging technologies all the time. We recommend that executives employ the following four steps to fill critical talent gaps, ensuring that their company innovates faster than the competition.
1. Understand the necessary skillsets
If machine learning were easy, everyone would be doing it. Few people have the necessary background in emerging technologies to recruit for these roles. Without out a working knowledge of the job, how can you properly vet candidates?
The answer is that, unfortunately, you can’t. Internal hiring team and traditional staffing firms typically lack the expertise to tell the difference between a qualified candidate and an unqualified candidate.
You need to involve a practicing AI developer, for example, to understand the required attributes of a potential artificial intelligence hire. However, you do not want to take time away from existing AI team members to help with recruiting when they could be focusing on mission-critical technology projects. Many executives elect to work with consultants to define the hiring criteria for this reason.
2. Focus on training and certification
Leaders sometimes underestimate the potential of existing staff members to fill emerging technology roles. If the company is willing to provide current FTEs with the time and resources to complete the necessary training, people will frequently jump at the opportunity to further their careers.
These types of learning programs appeal to current and potential employees alike, meaning they can help with recruitment and retention.
Certification can also act as a litmus test when reviewing applicants. For example, if you’re familiar with the certificates required to run DevOps effectively, you can screen candidates more efficiently by looking for those markers on resumes.
If someone has many of the qualifications you seek but lacks a couple of essential training courses, you can make a job offer contingent upon completing certifications before their start date. This way, you don’t miss out on potentially strong contributors who offer 95% of the desired competencies.
3. Start with contractors instead of FTEs
Companies choose to contract certain skillsets for a variety of reasons. Perhaps a project will only take six months to complete, or they want more time to assess fit before making a long-term commitment. If an emerging tech function is new to your organization, this approach can take some pressure off of the process.
Most of our clients augment their staff with contractors and then shift some of these individuals into permanent roles as needed. In-demand candidates benefit from the arrangement as well — they get to see what the culture and work are like first-hand before climbing aboard for the long haul.
4. Engage an agency with the right expertise
As mentioned, many staffing agencies lack the specialized knowledge to find, vet, and onboard candidates in roles like cloud automation and AI. Without this background, you end up receiving a slew of unqualified resumes and the internal team ends up doing the heavy lifting (which they may not have the time or expertise for either).
As custom software developers, we didn’t expect to launch a staff augmentation service. It happened naturally. TheoremOne clients saw the high-performance digital products we produced and asked if we could help them find equally-qualified innovators for their internal teams. The need for recruitment led by actual practitioners was clear, so we offered a solution.
The right hiring partner can make all the difference when trying to fill key roles with the best and brightest. You want a firm that specializes in technologists, specifically innovative tech.
Our talent pool comes from our 10+ years of industry connections as practitioners. We don’t send out anyone who wouldn’t pass our internal hiring standards. As a result, our candidates have twice the placement rate of competitors and start work in days or weeks, not months.
We’re also unique in that we can help companies understand what’s possible and hire for the future. We look at what makes sense both today and five years from now. When we see an industry need that can be solved by a competency like AI, we source the right individuals to allow our clients to stay ahead of their competition.
It’s not going to get easier to find top-quality candidates in emerging tech, but you don’t have to face the challenge alone. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we can help staff critical technology positions at your organization: firstname.lastname@example.org.