Hiring and retaining the best talent is as tough as it’s ever been, especially when it comes to hiring the best IT talent out there. Despite recent trends in the workforce, it is possible to hire the best, but you’ll have to be one of the best to attract these candidates. The workforce is saturated by tech startups that have an idea that could be the next big idea, so the competition is tough. What’s even worse is that the technology sector has an unemployment rate that is half of the U.S. national average.

Supply and demand has kicked in, and with a limited number of professionals and much fewer highly qualified ones, hiring has become difficult. This is fantastic news for those in this industry, who are enjoying competitive job offers and higher-than-normal salaries, but for your HR department, it can be a nightmare. Tech isn’t just an industry or a job function; it’s a part of nearly every aspect of our economy. If your company isn’t able to hire highly-skilled tech professionals, you might as well close your doors because you won’t be able to keep up with the competition.

Have we scared you yet? Don’t fear, we’re here to help! We’ve come up with five ways to help improve your hiring of the top talent in the IT field. Some of these ideas are out of the box and some are more conventional. We believe that in order to have a strategic approach you must be willing to be a little less conventional—after all, these Silicon Valley startups are creating programs that are very new and different from what’s come before.

Hiring Perks

massage perks

This is one of those no-brainers. If you’re looking for talent that is the absolute best, give them something they can’t refuse. Offering free laundry services, on-site gyms and doctors, subsidized massages, unlimited vacation policies (i. e. Netflix), on-site daycare, lunches, dinners, recreation areas—and the list could go on—is one way to attract talent. They want it all—and with the type of demand in the field, they can pretty much have it all. Some of these perks don’t cost much to implement, but the company culture that’s built on them should show a pretty good ROI if developed properly.

Offer Skills Testing

Yes, we’re a skills testing company, but our reasoning for using skills testing in the IT sector will benefit your company. Let’s say you aren’t able to afford the perks or the high salaries that top IT talent is looking for. We say, build your own. Using skills testing allows you the affordability of hiring someone who might not be the best, but can still show that they have the skills needed to put your company on the top. And they can be trained to become even better. Our database of skills testing in this field is plentiful and you’ll be able to find whatever you need, and even use it as part of your in-house training program once you’ve hired them.

Develop a Niche Focus

Develop a strategy that focuses on social communities revolving around this specific industry. In other words, develop a niche focus when looking for top talent. Communities out there like GitHub, Dribble, and StackOverflow exist for every nook and cranny in the IT industry. Instead of posting on job boards that have a wide range of potential employee types, like Monster, be more specific where you are posting these job listings. More and more candidates are contributing to these online, peer-reviewed communities; this allows recruiters to get deeper and more targeted applications from candidates with stronger core competencies.

Give Rewards for Useful Referrals

Employee referrals are powerful recruiting aids. When you’re in a bind and need someone in this lucrative industry, incentivize your employees on a larger scale. From traveling perks to bonuses, giving employees a reason to reach out to their personal network goes a long way toward hiring top talent.  Statistically speaking, 46% of all hires at top-performing firms are all referrals and they also are the #1 source for new hire quality.

Poach From the Competition

IT talent poaching could reach record levels this year, according to Inc.com. A recent study shows that over half of the hiring managers and recruiters interviewed anticipate that IT talent poaching will get more aggressive in the years to come. The best employees are in high demand and top companies are going after them, no matter where they work. The most recent example of this is Marissa Meyer, who has been poaching top talent from Google, Apple, and other major Fortune 500 companies. You could even say that Yahoo poached Marissa Meyer for her expertise.

There is no doubt that this is a very lucrative industry. Those who are seeking employment have it made, and those who are looking to hire top talent have a battle on their hands. Take these five ways to recruit the best, and use them as a good jumpstart for developing a successful program.

What are some ways you’ve hired top IT talent?

Adina Miron


  • Avatar Connor O’Reilly says:

    Getting top IT talent is no longer about being able to find them, but being able to find a way to land them. As their skills are in so high demand today, it’s really easy for them to get a better offer and move to a place with better perks. So just figuring out what you can afford to offer them is a really difficult job.

  • Avatar Lance Perkins says:

    Indeed, being an IT professional these days is really profitable. But HR wise is a nightmare to be able to get the best ones. You have to be ready to offer them the moon and then some.

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