The accelerating shift to cloud computing by businesses across industries has made cloud roles some of the most vital positions in today’s IT organizations. As more companies look to adopt multicloud and hybrid cloud strategies, embrace edge computing and serverless computing, use cloud platforms to deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning models, and more, the demand for skilled cloud professionals will continue to rise. Research for Robert Half’s e-book, Building Future-Forward Tech Campaigns, found that cloud projects are one of the top five priorities for technology leaders in the U.S. this year. Tech leaders at companies of all sizes surveyed for the e-book reported that they want to expand their teams this year to help support priority initiatives. However, 55% of tech leaders also said they expect staffing constraints to put their organization’s priority projects for 2024 at risk. And more than half (51%) anticipate that a lack of candidates with required skill sets will be a significant hiring challenge for them this year. So, if you want to staff cloud roles, you’ll need to move swiftly with your hiring process so you can secure this specialized tech talent in high demand. Whether you need to recruit talent for cloud architect, cloud engineer, cloud administrator or other roles, the following tips can help you evaluate candidates and make hiring decisions with greater speed and confidence.
Certifications are typically a strong indicator of a tech professional’s expertise in cloud technologies. In-demand IT credentials such as the following can help to demonstrate a candidate’s proficiency and commitment to their craft: AWS certified solutions architect –  professionalCertified cloud security professional (CCSP)Cisco certified network associate (CCNA)CompTIA cloud+VMware certified professional – cloud management and automation
Certifications can be important, but relevant hands-on experience is often even more valuable. So, be on the lookout for candidates who have worked on real-world cloud projects and have practical experience in deploying, managing and optimizing cloud environments. To determine the extent of a potential hire’s previous hands-on experience in cloud roles, ask candidates to describe specific projects they’ve worked on, challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve addressed them.
This tip aligns closely to the one offered above about the importance of assessing practical experience. Cloud roles often require tech professionals to engage in complex problem-solving and troubleshooting processes. Gauging the strength of a candidate’s problem-solving skills can provide insight into their ability to handle challenges they’ll likely face on the job. Consider using scenario-based questions or practical assessments to evaluate a potential hire’s approach to solving problems and their ability to think critically and innovate.
Cloud computing encompasses a wide range of technologies and concepts, and the field evolves rapidly. Technical assessments and coding challenges can help identify candidates who are not only technically proficient but also current with the latest trends, tools and best practices. Consider using platforms that offer cloud-specific challenges to test candidates’ relevant skills. 
Effective communication, teamwork and adaptability are also vital to success in cloud roles — and can be even more important than technical skills in some situations. Cloud professionals often work in cross-functional teams and need to communicate technical concepts to nontechnical stakeholders. So, look for candidates who exhibit strong interpersonal skills and possess a collaborative mindset.
Even if your company has a stellar reputation, client roster and cutting-edge tech stack, you’ll likely struggle to attract and retain top talent for cloud roles if your salaries for cloud professionals don’t align with what your competitors offer. Use resources like Robert Half’s Salary Guide and Salary Calculator to benchmark midpoint salaries in your market. Then, be prepared to sweeten the offer to land a standout candidate. If budget constraints prevent you from being generous with baseline pay, assemble a compensation package that includes perks and benefits IT employees value most. Flexible work arrangements, paid time off and employee discounts can all help to move the needle when hiring tech talent, and benefits such as subsidized tuition or financial support to earn certifications can offer long-term value for candidates and your business.
Because skilled candidates for cloud roles are so challenging to find in today’s labor market, you may want to consider working with a specialized talent solutions firm like Robert Half to help you cover more ground. Our highly skilled and experienced recruiters will take time to understand your business and identify your specific needs. They act as trusted advisers, providing knowledge and insight that can help you navigate the hiring environment and compete effectively for in-demand talent. Find out more about Robert Half’s technology staffing specialists
Robert Half’s e-book, Building Future-Forward Tech Teams, offers this food for thought for tech leaders seeking to expand their teams and prepare to meet future challenges: “Don’t fixate on dream hires who meet every single one of your requirements. You can waste valuable time waiting for these unicorns to materialize, especially in a tight labor market.” A smart approach is to keep the door open to hiring high-potential professionals. These candidates may not have all the skills or knowledge desired for the cloud roles you need to staff, but they are eager to learn. By providing targeted training to these hires, you can grow your own talent and overcome recruiting challenges for many positions in your IT organization. A willingness to hire and develop high-potential candidates can help you build a reputation as an employer of choice — that, in turn, will allow you to attract more of the people you need for cloud roles and more. For additional strategies to overcome tech and IT skills gaps and create agile and adaptive teams, download our e-book.
Read Robert Half’s free e-book, Building Future-Forward Tech Teams, for more tips on hiring and developing skilled technology talent in a highly competitive labor market.