Recently, CIO.com published an article titled “IT’s ‘war for talent’ is a losing battle“.
Let me get one thing out of the way first. The title sucks. It is clearly clickbait, like all titles that use this phrase. Very few in IT actually think it is a war. Same for HR. Competition? Yes. Tough competition? Absolutely! War? Don’t be stupid. Go tell the Ukrainians that your search for talent is analogous to their war. I’ve been involved in organizations with other IT leaders for years and no one ever talked about employee relations as a war. I’m sure there are a few out there, but they are a clear minority, in my opinion.
The article itself is decent. There are two points that are particularly strong.
- Remote work is here to stay. We can argue about what percentage of employees need to be in the office how many days of the week but that doesn’t change the point. Personally, I think the pendulum will swing back to more in-office in a few years, when both employees and employers realize that new employee connections to the company are weaker in remote situations. But I also believe that IT leaders must offer, support, and enable remote work as a permanent change. Provide the tools, HR policies, and management techniques to support remote workers as full members of the team.
- Build a pipeline. Intern programs with local post-high-school education entities are an excellent way to see a handful of upcoming graduates. Get involved in local technical groups to spot talent that becomes available. Find out the local IT certificate programs to find the diamonds in the rough without a college degree. Even smaller IT departments with a dozen or two employees can benefit from these techniques.
As always, remember that retention is more important than any of this. The position that doesn’t come open is the easiest to fill.