With 84% of 2,500 CIOs from 25 major US markets surveyed indicating they expect to hire technology workers in the second half of the year, IT managers are facing steep competition in the search for top tech talent.
John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology, noted in a recent blog post that tech leaders are frustrated with the lack of qualified candidates responding to their IT job postings. The solution, he noted, is to have postings stand out. He offered three steps to increase their effectiveness:
1. Attract attention. Use eye-catching words and phrases, such as challenging, rewarding, progressive, and industry leader. Also, highlight not only the health and medical benefits, perks such as free massages or unlimited vacation time, but also any benefits specific to the physical location where they will work, such as a 30-minute drive to hiking in the Rocky Mountains or surfing in the Pacific ocean.
Additionally, it is important to get the job title right without being gimmicky, Reed advised. Rather than put out the call for a database administrator, drill down and specifically advertise for a "SQL databased administrator in a rapidly expanding healthcare organization," for example, he notes.
Infuse keywords into the listing that prospective candidates would likely use in their job search like Red Hat certified, Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), iOS developer.
2. Give the specifics of the job. "Detailed IT job descriptions differentiate your posting from competing firms and will attract skilled candidates," Reed said.
In addition to listing the minimum technical and professional requirements for the job, consider presenting information in a way that describes how applicants will use their skills in the position, rather than the skills themselves.
For example, consider stating, "Use your .NET programming knowledge to create a state-of-the-art inventory management system," rather than "Must have 5+ years of .NET experience."
3. Add the final touches. This step includes creating a sense of urgency. It may pay off to include such prompting as, "Submit your application today for immediate consideration," or listing a deadline for applications to be submitted.
Also, providing a phone number or an email address to an individual, rather than pointing applicants to the company's career website or corporate email, may separate your listing from the glut of others online.
However, in creating a sense of urgency, job candidates may expect that the hiring process will also move at a fast pace.
A recent Robert Half survey found that nearly a quarter of tech job candidates lose interest if it takes more than a week to touch base after an interview and that 46% lose interest after two weeks.
"Spending a little extra time and attention in creating a more thorough IT job posting that will stand out online is critical to your success in attracting qualified candidates," Reed advised.