HR Strategies for Finding--and Keeping--IT Talent

Today, young IT pros aren’t checking job boards and submitting resumes. They’re hanging out at social media sites, waiting for employers to find them.

Meanwhile, AT&T online experts use SEO  to ensure that jobs are displayed to target candidates on the first page of search results and that AT&T job ads relevant to keyword searches appear in the sponsored ads section using SEM.

At Experis, a division of ManpowerGroup, Michael Barker, too, is discovering that IT people are expecting his people to find them, to perhaps pull their profile off LinkedIn or their Facebook page. As a result, some of his best recruiters are using social media to hunt them down.

“The recruiters are setting themselves up with a tweet, getting followers among the IT talent and creating their own communities. That’s really new,” says Barker, who is senior VP and general manager of Experis North America.

Starbucks’ Hendrickson has two additional tips:

·         Veterans are a great source of IT talent for Starbucks, which partners with such veteran-serving nonprofit groups like Hire America’s Heroes. “Large numbers of transitioning veterans are entering the marketplace with cutting-edge skills that companies are looking for, and they are eager to be hired,” he says, “and aren’t as frequently in stealth mode like many already working in corporate jobs.”

·         An internal Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) platform is an excellent way to build a pipeline of talent for the future. Create and use a CRM to manage and maintain contact with prospects.

But given the competition for the best people, how are recruiters determining salary levels?

Trisha Zulic advises using salary surveys to ensure good salary practices--and then to be firm. Zulic is regional HR director at Efficient Edge, which is based in San Diego, and a special expert on the technology panel at the Society for Human Resource Management.

“If you don’t, in your eagerness to attract great talent, you’ll find yourself always competing with other companies willing to pay a dollar more,” Zulic says. “Then you raise it, they raise it, and the next thing you know, you’ve inflated yourself out of a good employee.”

She recommends having a good compensation package in place that’s compatible with the culture and bottom line of your organization. And, she insists, remember there are many ways to lure good people in addition to attractive salaries, many of which are frequently overlooked by employers.

They include:

·         Health and welfare benefits

·         Tuition reimbursement

·         Learning and development programs

·         Being able to telecommute

·         Awarding a few days off after finishing a project (and the days off don’t count toward vacation time)

·         Being flexible about work hours; many IT people work best in the evening

·         Supplying fun extras, like snacks and meals, video games, a gym and game rooms.

Compensation is the carrot, say HR experts, but the other benefits are deal sealers. And don’t forget the biggest components of all–what the prospective employee will actually be responsible for doing, the interaction they’ll have with their boss, and the opportunities for an engaged employee experience at the company.

This article was originally published on 02-27-2013
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