Patience and Persistence Are Key
While that hire has worked out for Rogers, Hedges cautions against being lured by the discounted salaries some candidates are willing to accept. He says falling in love with the low bid can be a trap, which is why he zeros in on the attributes he values above all else: flexibility, positive attitude, great communication style and, of course, technological savvy.
Finding people with those traits, regardless of price, can help an IT department maintain its focus on growth and innovation throughout the recession, rather than merely performing help desk and maintenance functions. "Growth and innovation are going to be critical to keeping your company where it needs to be when things improve," Hedges says.
Hedges has found that one of the best sources of people with his desired qualities is the contractor community. Because there are fewer of those gigs to be had, growing numbers of IT contractors have begun looking for permanent work. And because they've tended to work in so many different situations, accumulating experience with multiple companies and technologies, they offer the jack-of-all-trades capabilities that can be so useful in an IT environment driven by business results.
Regardless of a CIO's chosen strategy, finding the right IT talent in today's cluttered market requires persistence, diligence and a clear idea of what an organization's needs are. Ultimately, though, the most successful strategies will not only yield good hires today, they'll also ensure that companies emerge from the recession with the strongest possible team in place and positioned to attract the best candidates during the inevitable upswing in the economy.