Retaining Top IT Talent

January 22nd, 2016

The most effective way to meet your staffing needs is to hire good performers and then retain them. In the IT industry, both parts of that are tough: There are lots of people with superficial knowledge of technology but fewer with real expertise. And there’s lots of demand for staff with real expertise, so top employees know they’ve always got the option of taking a new position somewhere else. In order to keep your best employees, you need to make sure they continue to find their jobs rewarding.

Financial Rewards

The bottom-line reward for many employees is simply their bottom line. Salary surveys are published in the technical press and by technical recruiters, so your staff will know if they’re being fairly paid and what kind of increase they can achieve if they leave. So it’s important that you provide competitive financial rewards, starting with base salary and an annual increase that bumps pay to keep up with inflation and industry trends. In some industries, bonuses and stock options may be routinely expected. Other financial rewards include retirement plans, insurance coverage, and paid time off.

Technical Challenge

Most technical staff enjoy working with current technology, so make sure they have the opportunity to develop new technical skills each year. This means letting people work on different projects; tempting as it is to keep the “expert” assigned to their current project, let them move to a new project. You’ll still be able to ask them questions, which you can’t do if they get too bored and move to another firm. Also budget for your staff to take training, and don’t limit training to technologies you have immediate plans to use.

Career Development

Make sure staying with your company long term aligns with your talent’s career goals. Don’t assume what those goals are; make a discussion of goals part of the year-end review process. Create a development plan that addresses the employee’s wishes, whether that means they want to become a technical expert, they want to understand the business better, or they want to develop leadership skills and move out of the individual contributor role.

Before you can retain top IT talent, you need to hire top IT talent. InReach IT Solutions has connections to a deep pool of IT workers who can meet your needs. Contact us to learn how we can help you hire workers you’ll want to retain.

Should You Consider Candidates With an Employment Gap?

May 22nd, 2015

A dense, multipage resume can indicate a candidate with a lot of experience — or it can indicate a candidate who’s padded their resume with buzzwords and projects they were only briefly familiar with. A thin resume that has gaps in employment can indicate a candidate who’s been unable to hold a position — or someone who’s taken chances and learned a lot from their experiences. You’ll never know the difference in either case, unless you take the time to interview the candidate and ask about it.

In today’s economy, gaps in employment are more common than ever. This is especially true in the tech business, where employees are often hired when a project starts up, and let go if the project fails. Startups can offer workers a rich learning environment that collapses overnight.

Questions to Ask About Gaps

When you see a resume with gaps, it’s important to find out whether they were voluntary or involuntary. If involuntary, was the employee let go due to failing to do the job, or was it the company that failed? If voluntary, what were the employee’s reasons for choosing not to work for that period?

Whether the candidate chose not to be employed or was unemployed voluntarily, find out what they did during that time and how they maintained their skills or developed new skills that will help them fill the position you’re hiring for.

You also should review the resume for a pattern of gaps and the timing of gaps. Repeated brief periods of employment followed by gaps raise questions about the candidate’s judgment, ability, motivation, and commitment.

Evaluating Answers About Gaps

When you ask the candidate to explain the gaps, pay attention to the answers. The candidate should have a clear, consistent story. If you like the candidate, but have concerns about their answers, doing a background check is worth it to verify the details. If the candidate is reticent to answer, this may mean the reason was personal, such as an illness in their family, but it may also mean the reason was negative, such as a period in jail.

Work With a Staffing Firm

A staffing firm like InReach IT Solutions can help you evaluate the resume of a candidate with gaps by doing preliminary interviews and checking references. Contact us to learn how working with an agency can help you find your next employee.