Best News: How IT People Are Attracted In The Conditions
Memes And Compromises: How IT People Are Attracted In The Conditions Of Personnel Shortage
Memes And Compromises: How IT People Are Attracted In The Conditions Of Personnel Shortage
With the search for programmers, as with an entry into a nursery: there is no specialist yet, but the place has already been prepared. Kristina Sokolova, director of the HR department at T1 Consulting, tells how approaches to recruiting IT People/specialists have changed
According to the latest estimates of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, the shortage of IT personnel in Russia fluctuates between 500 thousand and 1 million specialists. The shortage was felt even before the pandemic, but with its onset, when businesses faced the need for accelerated digitalization, the situation dramatically worsened. Another factor was the trend towards remote work, as now Russian employers compete for employees not only with local but also with foreign companies. In the new realities, the old recruiting tools are no longer enough to meet the need for staff, HR departments have to look for new, more creative approaches.
Old Tools – Modest Results
The transformation of approaches does not mean that the old recruiting tools have stopped working. The main sources of search also remain HeadHunter, LinkedIn, and Telegram. Professional online communities, referral programs, and internships have not lost their effectiveness either. But if the referral program used to close, for example, 3 out of 10 positions, today it is 333 out of 1,000 – catastrophically little, although nothing has changed in percentage terms.
The same with internships: a few years ago, companies recruited 60-70 interns a year, and now this figure has grown to 400 – there are practically no free specialists on the market, so you have to grow them “inside”. Moreover, today there is still an opportunity to form an internship group of university graduates – but in the near future, HR specialists will have to work with those who are just starting their studies. It is like enrolling a child in a nursery: he has not yet been born, but he is already in line for a place.
But approaches to recruiting in the IT sector have changed not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. This is not about some kind of global transformation of search sites: I repeat, they have remained the same – perhaps only the placement of vacancies in the print media has disappeared. But the tactics that HRs use to attract candidates have changed dramatically.
Previously, the main search strategy on HeadHunter was to work with responses to vacancies. In IT, this method no longer works: recruiters have to search for specialists on their own, and the search principles have also changed. Firstly, companies are no longer limited to resumes that were updated within two weeks: now HRs even write to users who have not visited the site for years – as long as there is a relevant experience. In other words, now HR is forced to work not with those who are looking for a job, but with those who already have one – and convince them to go to themselves.
Secondly, the wording of key skills for the applicant has expanded. And not only skills, but even the names of professions. For example, to search for a developer, it is not always necessary to include the word “developer” in the query itself: sometimes a person with the required expertise is found using completely unexpected phrases.
For example, programmer – programmer, developer, software engineer. You can also deliberately insert errors or typos like “programmer” – this will help slightly, but expand the search funnel. After all, someone could accidentally make a mistake in the title of the position. In addition, there are juniors who have not updated their resume for years, and now they have grown to a higher-level candidate.
The search in professional IT communities also took on an active character – in Telegram, VK, on Habré. It is no longer enough, as before, to post a vacancy announcement in a group and wait for responses: you need to write to specialists directly. And it is to write, and not to call – since this is a call through a natural habitat for a person. At the same time, it is important not to overstep boundaries:
sometimes “cold” candidates react aggressively to an attempt to contact them via Telegram, as this is perceived as a violation of personal space. Because of this, recruiters also try not to write to a person on Instagram or VK. And that is why the focus in HR has shifted from the very search for employees to how to get them interested in your offer.
During the pandemic, the role of the human-to-human approach has noticeably grown, and especially noticeably in the field of IT recruiting. Therefore, it is important from the very first contact to try to build a trusting relationship with the candidate. Contrary to stereotypes, for the most part, IT people really appreciate live communication. So, it happens that twenty-minute calls drag on to an hour – simply because a person saw a cage with a parrot on the recruiter’s screen, and they started a conversation about pets. One such conversation – and the interlocutor is already located to you.
But to make it possible, the HR manager must set the appropriate tone of communication. The formal style of communication is no longer appropriate: it immediately erects a wall between the recruiter and the applicant. The employer must speak the language of the developer and be able to adapt to his discourse. IT people do not sit for days on Habré:
The second point in communication is related to the fact that the search for employees has shifted towards “cold” candidates – those who are not currently looking for work – therefore, recruiters’ messages often go unanswered. Demanded specialists receive offers almost every day and have already stopped responding to them. Therefore, it is now becoming popular not to offer a person a job directly, but to come in from the other side – for example, to ask for advice or find out an opinion on a topic close to him.
It is quite possible that a recruiter comes to the developer he needs with a request to talk about popular Java frameworks in order to help with the job description. There was a case when rectors asked experts to explain the difference between ASP.net and C++. There was a long conversation, after which the specialist came for an interview and eventually joined the team.
Of course, some candidates feel that there is a catch in this approach – but more often than not, we are met with a willingness to help and a generally positive attitude. In addition, it is easier to establish a trusting relationship with a person, and even if he does not come to you himself, he will be able to advise someone he knows.
Money And Conditions In IT People
The critical shortage of specialists in the market has led to the fact that the question of money in Information Technology is not worth it now: if a company urgently needs an employee, it goes to any conditions. Even the approximate salary has practically disappeared from job descriptions: firstly, its level is growing every month, and secondly, sometimes you have to focus solely on the wishes of the applicant.
Businesses also make compromises in terms of other employment conditions. For example, if a person is ready to join the team only after the annual bonus at their current place, the new employer may offer him to pay this bonus at his own expense. Or another option – the company assumes the cost of VHI from a previous job. Such practices help make the transition from one company to another almost seamless and preserve those elements that are important to the employee.
That is why, during an interview, recruiters try to understand all the needs of the applicant and satisfy them to the maximum. So, if the specialist is important, the company can even change corporate rules – for example, the frequency of bonus payments.
Another practice that has recently appeared on the market is an instant offer: the head of the department or recruiter conducts an interview, understands that the person is suitable, and immediately makes an offer. Now the company can no longer afford multi-stage interviews because, after the second phone call, the candidate will be lured away by competitors.
As a rule, in-demand specialists look for work for no more than a week – there are more than enough applicants for them, so it is important to stake out a person for your team. Of course, there is a risk that he will not join the team – but, firstly, there is a trial period, and secondly, in a company, IT People/specialists are most often required by several departments at once. If it was not possible to “embed” an employee into one, you can always try with others.
In general, it has become very difficult to surprise IT people, with an attractive offer – therefore, the ability to be loyal and flexible, to listen and hear a person becomes more important. And this relationship does not end at the moment of signing the contract – it is important to maintain it during the entire period of cooperation.
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