Many companies despair when it comes to filling positions in the IT sector. Whether software developer or DevOps engineer – these tasks are often crucial for growth and corporate strategy. Out of necessity, expensive advertisements or personnel services are resorted to – not always with success. Hiring and HR managers are left behind and ask themselves: Why can’t I get the position filled?
The high demand combined with a significant shortage of qualified IT professionals is no longer a secret – that companies need to create excellent working conditions for IT staff to get them on board, neither is it. But what are the reasons why IT specialists decide to get a job – what makes an IT job attractive?
At alpha codes, we have identified four defining characteristics in 7 years of personnel consulting, the “pillars of employability.” Before we can help our partner companies actively fill a vacancy, we work together to determine where the company is already doing well and where it needs to do even better to recruit staff on the market successfully.
In the following, we roughly present these pillars of occupancy in the hope that it will help you answer the question: What can I do to make my IT vacancy more attractive?
Whether the company manufactures a dedicated product or offers a service and whether the IT specialist you are looking for is directly involved in its production or distribution or has a support function, the question always applies: Is the product an identification area for a sufficiently large target group attractive? Many variants are conceivable: Is my target group a user of my product and regularly experiences its benefits? Does the product have a sustainable “purpose” that adds social value to work in the company? Does the product or service solve a particularly challenging technical problem and thus serve the “tinkerer gene”?
Of course, you will not change much in your product just because of the target group’s affinity. Still, agencies for PHP online shops, for example, have to come to terms with the truth that their service itself only offers an actual identification area for a small target group. That means, in most cases: the other pillars have to fix it!
The Employer Brand
The company often has more leeway here, even if it needs to be strategically planned and does not represent an immediate measure.
Word gets around quickly and sustainably within the tech scene when a company is also a popular employer. If many software developers and IT specialists work in the company, information like “our teams work completely autonomously and with agile methods, that’s fun” quickly spreads by itself. This, in turn, attracts new candidates!
Especially in small or medium-sized companies, which are less known as tech employers, this effect often has to be achieved more consciously: Hosting MeetUps, sponsoring local dev conferences, or employee recruiting programs can help.
Potentially interested IT specialists also regularly look around on portals such as Kununu or Glassdoor to get an idea of the mood in the company. But the reverse is also true here: where many people speak badly about the employer, there is a need for action!
The Tech Stack
The third pillar often brings the biggest surprises: hiring managers and department heads notice again and again that the best choice of technology for their development projects is of little use if there is no one around who can master it.
This sometimes has strange consequences: the first companies include personnel-strategic considerations in their technology decisions. Sometimes the second-best development technology is the better choice if there is currently an exciting market for software developers.
Since not every company is on the “greenfield” and has the opportunity to redesign its technology landscape to taste, the following considerations may help: Are there medium-term changes in the software architecture or new products in development? Is there scope to “try out” new technologies in less mission-critical contexts? Can developers have working hours available to work on open source development projects? Anyone who can say yes, here scores.
For most companies, the last pillar is the red rag and, at the same time, the adjusting screw that can be turned the most: Candidates have a wide variety of requirements for new jobs, but they are almost always high. Whether it’s a competitive salary package, lots of vacation days, or the opportunity to work 100 percent remotely from anywhere in the world varies from case to case.
Those who demonstrate flexibility and tailor what each employee needs to feel completely comfortable and productive have an advantage.