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Forbes: Unconventional recruiting methods to help fill the tech talent gap

Women programming on computer

By: Tracy Kemp

The demand for tech talent is outpacing traditional recruiting practices. Facing industry growth as new technologies emerge, companies are competing to hire while they struggle to fill tech and information technology (IT) roles. Compounding the shortage, baby boomers—who make up around 20% of the U.S. workforce—will all reach retirement age (at least 65 years) by 2030, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Filling vacancies amid these challenges requires thinking outside the box.

Hiring managers will need to tap into new candidate pools. My own organization is starting to adopt methods aside from the traditional job posting or use of a recruiter. We’ve started offering apprenticeships and training opportunities, considering candidates with nontraditional educational backgrounds, partnering with local schools and nonprofits to build talent pipelines and creating “bench roles.” Conventional recruiting methods like offering competitive salaries and benefits, flexibility and remote or hybrid work options won’t be enough to be competitive as those practices become standard across the industry.

Globally, there’s a 78% talent shortage in the IT and tech sectors, according to the results of a survey by ManpowerGroup, a workforce solutions company. Job vacancies will continue to outpace the number of available candidates. Projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)show that IT jobs are expected to grow 15% by 2031 and will result in nearly 700,000 new jobs in the U.S. The 7% replacement rate for existing tech jobs will require roughly 400,000 new workers a year, or about 4 million by 2033, according to CompTIA’s State of the Tech Workforce report.

To bridge this gap and ensure your company can hire the best talent—especially for early career roles—consider taking some of these innovative approaches to hiring.

Candidates With Different Education Experiences

Including specific degree requirements or required knowledge in job descriptions can restrict the number of candidates who apply. Companies should consider candidates who have taken boot-camp-style courses, obtained a certification or attended a technical school, for example. For new talent, determining whether someone has the aptitude for learning a skill is more important than finding someone who already has the skill.

Being willing to train a new hire is a great way to tailor the development of your employees to your company’s needs, making way for growth opportunities. Companies that invest in the professional development of their staff are more likely to retain them.

With much success, we began hiring individuals with different training backgrounds in 2017. The retention rate for those individuals is higher than 75% at Allegion, and several have moved into higher positions.

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