(Photo by Neal Santos)
There are many barriers when it comes to hiring tech talent across the country — notably in Philadelphia. The market in Philadelphia is booming — so much so that 24 percent of CIOs planned to increase hiring and expand their teams in the second half of 2017, according to a recent survey conducted by our firm, Robert Half Technology.
There are many factors driving that push: companies say they’re looking to increase digital marketing initiatives, as well as cloud and big-data projects. But they also say more tech firms are moving to the area, adding to the demand for local talent.
On the surface, that might sound peachy — companies are hiring and business is good. However, there are barriers when it comes to finding and securing top tech talent. According to the survey of CIOs, the three main barriers in landing top candidates in technology-specific fields are:
- Candidates want higher salaries than we offer (44 percent)
- Not enough qualified applicants (33 percent)
- Company is not seen as an employer of choice (21 percent)
Some of those barriers fall on the candidate, sure. But if you are a CIO based in Philadelphia, the biggest barrier might be one that you control: the time it takes you to make an offer. Forty-one percent of CIOs said the hiring process for staff-level IT roles takes longer than they would like. Even worse, 47 percent said it can take their company three to four weeks to make a decision.
In Philadelphia’s increasingly competitive tech market, that is far too long. The best candidates in today’s tech market have options — they are likely receiving offers from multiple companies.
In short: Holding up the hiring process can cost you money and a chance to bring in top talent. Candidates won’t wait around to hear back from you before moving on to another opportunity.
If you’re in Philadelphia and looking to improve your hiring process, consider the following:
- Manage the process directly. Work directly with your recruiter or HR department to speed up the timeline. Communicate directly with the candidate on their timeline so you are in-sync when it comes to expectations.
- Update your processes annually. Business changes, and with that so does your team’s needs. Talk to employees you’ve recently hired who can give you constructive feedback on what the process was like for them and how you might be able to improve.
- Have a contingency plan. Sometimes candidates will delay the process themselves or call out of an interview last-minute. Have another candidate ready to go in the event of a snafu.
- Communicate with the candidate. Keep in touch with them during the interview process. In a competitive tech market, your company likely isn’t the only company on their radar. A phone call here and there can help you stand out.
- Move quickly. Don’t allow too much time to pass between interviews, internal discussions and the final offer. Have your key staff members meet top candidates so you can make a speedy and well-supported decision.
The hiring process is your first interaction with a potential employee, as well as their first interaction with a potential employer. There are ways you can ensure the experience is encouraging by making a well-researched, competitive offer. But more importantly, shrinking that three-to-four week window and locking in the candidate quickly seems to be increasingly key.