According to industry analysts, the high tech job market continues to improve, a fact that’s indicated by faster hiring processes and higher salaries. In his Forbes article titled “Tech Job Market Is Strong,” Stuart Anderson points out that in January 2015, the ratio of vacancies to unemployed “computer and mathematical science” professionals was five to one. Moreover, the number of online job ads for this sector increased by 12 percent from February 2014 to February 2015.
However, while there’s no lack of candidates for lower-end IT positions, roles that require niche skills are proving more difficult to fill. That means that in areas such as mobility, cloud computing, social media, data analytics, consumer digital products, and medical devices, employers need viable talent acquisition and management strategies in order to remain competitive. What follows are some strategies for attracting niche talent:
- Improve compensation and adapt the work environment: This proven approach can definitely help attract qualified workers, especially when it comes to filling permanent roles. Employers can evaluate the ROI of offering higher salaries and better benefits while implementing changes that make the company culture and work environment more interesting to high tech talent.
- Engage alternative labor types: Today’s high tech talent isn’t necessarily looking for permanent positions. Many prefer contract or project work that allows them to hone their expertise with increasingly challenging assignments. By being open to alternative labor types such as contractors, outsourcing solutions, and temporary staffing, employers can get the talent they need when they need it.
- Offer remote work options: With increased globalization and improved communications, talent doesn’t always have to be on-site. Employers are sourcing talent from other locations when their own areas have a paucity of the right skills.
- Partner with educational institutions: There’s an increased focus on educating new STEM talent with new niche skills. To that end, employers can partner with colleges, vocational schools, high schools, and universities to create a pipeline of new, qualified talent.
- Provide training: Hiring lean talent and providing training specifically in the necessary skills offers employers a qualified and often loyal workforce.
- Offer internships and apprenticeships: Offering internships and apprenticeships to young talent can help establish a reliable source of engaged, qualified talent.
Though the competition for high tech talent with niche skills is fierce, employers can proactively enhance their talent acquisition strategies in order to attract the people they need.
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