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Inside The Current Recruiting Market—Business Needs & Changes

Four Things to Consider

The world has gone through a lot of changes recently. The changes are the result of a rapid digital transformation the world is going through due to our consistent advancements in technology, as well as the pandemic that has been running rampant since early 2020. There is a war going on currently, and that war is not a physical one, but rather a war for talent between all organizations within all industries. This has created a key challenge for all businesses.

The Great Resignation is also extremely prevalent within today’s job market. Essentially, ‘The Great Resignation’ has been the result of individuals realizing that they can have more control and autonomy over their careers rather than following the status quo put forth by traditional working standards from the past. With the number of resignations at an all-time high, comes increased demands from prospective employers for critical skills along with it.

The people/businesses who are looking to recruit talent with Information Technology skills (both technical and functional) in particular are experiences the starkest shortages. If some businesses don’t look to overcome these shortages soon and find the talent they need, they will be at a large risk of putting digital transformation strategies, which are critical to stay competitive in the market, on hold.

Priorities are Changing

We have seen more of a digital transformation going on within the past 18 months than we have within the past 5 years, and a digital transformation of a company is often an ever-evolving process with no end game. In fact, most businesses (at least in the Des Moines area) are still playing catch up as they look to overcome the new challenges that have been created with the difficult balance between managing pandemic guidelines, as well as the attempt to continue adopting a business approach to digitizing.

The outcome of all of this has been an increased demand for more and more specific high-demand technical skillsets like developers or project managers, and when there is only so many of them who are local and willing to go into the office, the competition in businesses/industries skyrockets. In order to lure in potential new talent some places have turned to increases in salary, for example, but in some cases we have seen that people may want more – employees seem to now value flexibility on par with, if not more than, their salaries.

This is said to driven by some of the successful results companies have had whilst under lockdown, and vise-versa, the freedom employees experienced with a heightened work life balance. What this means is that with so many businesses hiring from the same pool (that gets smaller with increased requirements like having to be in the office once a week), organizations might need to think outside the box in order to get the people they need to drive the futures of their businesses.

Some of the Struggles

When we talk about the specifics of recruiting on some of the recent IT roles we have seen, there has been a massive uptick in highly specialized skills, and at short notice. Often these openings are a result of either someone leaving last second in the midst of a project, more-and-more common especially with the ‘Great Resignation’ going on; or the skills are needed for specific/individual projects, which put both HR and management teams under pressure to fill the gaps quickly.

Along with the specificity of roles that are getting filled and the short timelines everyone is working on, we are also seeing an increase in need for full-time employees rather than contracted talent (that helped widen the talent pool companies are working with) that we saw increase initially during the height of the pandemic in 2020-2021 and helped soften the blow of the pandemic originally. With full-time employees now being forefront in the end-goal for most employers, they have decreased the potential applicants and caused the potential cost for filling new roles to be higher. That isn’t the case with all local companies though; some companies are taking it in stride and making their workplaces even more desirable in a variety of ways whilst they learn to attract top talent in these new times.

Embracing New Changes & Learning Along the Way

Not all of the hiring needs for local businesses are difficult and involve a struggle. In-fact, we had some great partnerships and worked with some fantastic local businesses. Some of that success we have seen with local businesses generally derives from them being a little bit more agile when it comes to what they consider when looking to fill a position. These companies seem to be getting the most out of the local talent because they have transitioned their way of recruiting/hiring to be flexible, and not sticking to a companywide on-size-fits-all style plan.

This encompasses many different things like varying wages and type of hiring they are open to. One of those large fundamental changes is that they not only consider full-time & on-site employees (although that might be the preference), but have also been open to accepting applications for candidates that might be non-local or tapping into the “more flexible talent pool” that is contracting, even at a local level. Another way companies are learning to be more agile when it comes to recruiting talent is their ability to be flexible in pay.

To clarify, we do not mean you need to shell out a quarter of a million dollars when looking at hiring a developer, but urge you to note the market around you (by even utilizing whoever your account manager is) and make sure to keep raises above the rate of inflation (currently at 3% yearly). I know this isn’t always a possibility (or realistic) for companies, but when looking at highly technical and specific openings, this might be the only way to attract top talent in this market.

Reach Out for More

As we start off 2022, there are many ways businesses can change or adapt their way of hiring in order to attract talent needed for digital transformation projects going on rapidly in all industries. Adopting more flexible approaches that respond to how the hiring and recruitment landscape is changing is going to be key. If you happen to be struggling on hiring, I recommend consulting with Ryan Gaffney or Thomas Peterson here at P3. Their experience within the industry can shine a light on what other companies are doing both locally and non-locally which will help give you a leg up on the competition!

Connect with Hunter Haws on LinkedIn.

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