5 Tips to Help You Hire for the Hottest IT Jobs

Your IT Jobs Search Checklist

It’s a blazing hot market for certain IT specialties right now, making most hiring managers’ jobs just that much harder. Here are five hiring tips to ensure you nab the best person for the IT job.

In a recent Robert Half Technology survey, 68 percent of CIOs said it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals. Networking, database management and technical support positions were the most difficult for CIOs to fill.

With no sign that demand for IT professionals will slow, it can be hard to find the right talent, let alone seal the deal by having them accept your job offer. That means it’s time to take your hiring efforts up a notch. The following tips can help you recruit top technology professionals:

1. Pay up. According to the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide, salaries for IT jobs are forecast to increase an average of 5.6 percent next year, with even bigger gains for the hottest specialties. Base compensation for business intelligence analysts, for example, is expected to increase 7.4 percent.

Has your company been keeping up with these changes? Pay may not be the only consideration for job seekers, but you can put yourself out of the running if you’re offering less than your competitors.

If you aren’t able to adjust salaries, think about the entire compensation package. A signing bonus, profit sharing, tuition reimbursement and performance bonuses are a few incentives that can stand out to candidates.

2. Bring the charm offensive. Make sure applicants know all that your company has to offer so people want to apply to your opening.

Which of the following job descriptions are you most likely to respond to? “Healthcare company seeks an experienced network engineer” or “We’re looking for a network engineer who is passionate about using the latest technologies to help us transform the healthcare industry. If you’re interested in working in an innovative and fast-paced environment, come join our team.” Have a similarly enthusiastic pitch ready in case you happen to meet people who could be prospects.

Keep that enthusiasm going during the interview. While you need to listen to candidates, also take time to share what makes your workplace special. Do you offer unique benefits, like paid time off to work for charity, or a generous yearly professional development stipend? Tout these with prospective hires.

3. Network. This is the time to actively participate in technology associations and social media sites devoted to IT issues. You’ll be able to meet prospects and give them a chance to know you, too.

Also use your existing network to gather leads. Let your contacts know you’re hiring and what types of qualifications you’re seeking.

4. Get outside help. Consider using a specialized staffing firm to help find skilled candidates. These firms can be particularly useful in a difficult market because they often know of people who aren’t actively looking for new IT jobs but who might be willing to consider the right opportunities.

5. Make it fast. Think about streamlining your screening process – not skipping important steps, but instead looking for ways to make it more efficient. For instance, you might have promising candidates meet with several managers and employees during one interview visit, rather than scheduling multiple appointments.

Once you’ve identified the best contender, make an offer immediately. Wait too long these days and you’ll find your top choice has already joined another company’s IT team.

One thing is clear: An increasingly competitive market for candidates means you can’t get by with the status quo for a hiring strategy. The steps above can help you find those elusive applicants to fill IT jobs.

If you’re wondering about starting salaries for IT jobs in your market, check out our Salary Calculator.