The deficit in the IT job market is vast. The most optimistic scenario assumes that the shortage of programmers in Poland will cease only in 10 years, around 2030. The specificity of the IT community is also of great importance. According to the report by bulldogjob.pl, 90% of employees are men, of which almost 25% are under 25, and the average age does not exceed 30 years. Therefore, we have the absolute domination of the Z generation, i.e., extremely mobile people, reacting quickly to changes, and having a pragmatic life approach.
In this situation, the role of the HR manager changes dramatically. In the first place, he must understand the business, be an innovator and driver of change, and only finally a human being. So, what are the biggest challenges?
How to cope? Meet 10 of them:
Building the employer’s brand
The constant demand for high-class IT specialists forces strong competition in the industry. Publishing a job advertisement is no longer enough. Candidates choose consciously – they want to know what the company has to offer, what projects implement, and its values. Therefore, to be effective, the recruitment process should be supported by many activities that build a company’s positive image and its recognition. And Employer Branding is in the first place among them.
- Maintain regular communication in social media, on a website, blog, and industry portals.
- Act pro-ecological.
- Launch CSR initiatives, and support locally.
- Show off your awards, industry achievements, and customer testimonials.
- Take care of Candidate Experience, i.e., positive experiences with the brand at the recruitment stage – monitor the opinions of newly recruited.
- Think and plan every step of the onboarding process.
2. Attracting talents
Ensuring the right level of staffing is a crucial task for an HR manager
and one of the most significant challenges. In the demanding labour
market, acquiring valuable candidates means multidimensional activities
at the junction of social selling strategies, employer branding, recruitment
marketing, and new technologies.
- Acquire candidates through social media, employee recruitment platforms (e.g., candidate search engines), and image campaigns (e.g., sponsored activities on the Internet).
- Take advantage of Recruitment Process Outsourcing services offered by specialized companies that comprehensively manage the process.
- Create referral programs that activate your employees to attract valuable candidates.
- Develop your talents by organizing apprenticeships and internships. Participate in recruitment events such as conferences, fairs, and meetings at universities.
Learn from the best and use custom recruitment techniques:
3. Adaptation to work and organizational culture
The HR manager’s recruitment task is to select the best talents tailored to the organization’s needs, i.e., the position, project, and culture. It is not an easy task, so it is worth using well-known techniques and tools. Of course, there is no one perfect method. It is worth using several that best fit into your organization’s recruitment assumptions, which will provide you with a reliable forecast of a potential employee’s behavior and capabilities.
- Telephone interview – short selection interview, used at the initial stage of recruitment.
- Selection tests – checking the level of intelligence, personal characteristics, abilities, tendencies, and achievements.
- Behavioral interview – can be conducted, e.g., using the Predictive Index tool, which gives a picture of the examined person’s personality, natural abilities, and motivations.
- Retrospective interview – combined with the „problem solving” method to check the candidate’s deduction and technical capabilities.
- Task tests – work samples that allow you to check specific technical skills of candidates.
- Assessment Center – often 1 – 2-day meeting, integrated assessment based on simulating exercises, free discussions, practical tasks, or case studies define the candidate’s behavior in a given position.
4. Attractive salary, awards, and benefits
It is difficult for small and medium-sized companies to keep up with well-known brands’ salaries and benefits. The recruiting manager must therefore find ways to stand out and effectively encourage his potential employees.
- Offer performance-based compensation – clearly defined OKRs. Create an attractive reward program that will be realistic.
- Present the most successful benefits – development and training
programs, flexible working hours, remote work, healthcare,
and well-being programs.
5. Continuous development and retention of employees
Upgrading skills and continuous learning are critical to the development and success of any organization. Employees know that their chances of getting and keeping a good job increase as they continuously improve their skills and adapt to changes. Therefore, they favor companies that provide them with the best conditions.
- Ensure great flexibility in designing employee development and take into account their expectations when creating succession plans.
- Create individual professional training and certification programs. Organize mentoring programs and in-house training.
- Provide access to e-learning platforms.
6. Leadership and development of leaders
Leaders have a significant influence on the success of the organization and employee satisfaction. Therefore, the development of competencies and skills concerns not only employees but also the managerial staff.
- Develop and update the leadership succession plan.
- Take care of training and mentoring for managers – especially in soft skills, such as building trust, motivating through modelling and good self-example, conducting difficult conversations, or providing feedback on development.
7. Motivating IT specialists
Building the motivation and commitment of IT specialists is not easy. Companies are racing in the proposals for benefits, but you must remember that the fitness card or medical care is now a standard, not a distinguishing feature. Currently, the employees’ expectations concern the quality of projects and the work environment.
- Inform about interesting projects implemented from scratch. Show how the company invests in new technologies.
- Convince yourself that the quality of project management is at a high level.
- Demonstrate high technical and soft competencies of managers. Offer flexible forms of employment.
8. Change management
Continuous and dynamic changes in the market stimulate enterprises to adjust to substantive knowledge and soft skills. That embraces integration, flexibility, and willingness to change, but also communication skills and teamwork.
- Be a business partner who anticipates changes and prepares employees for them.
- Communicate clearly and transparently about changes, the need for change, the benefits of change, and maintain regular communication before, during, and after the change.
- Plan training courses to help you cope with change and work on it for your employees.
9. Diversity management
Organizations are proud of their support for diversity, but it also poses new challenges for HR departments. Now they must face a diverse group’s supervision in terms of age, gender, nationality, or disability and create a space for cooperation between people who prefer different styles of work and forms of employment.
- Communicate clearly and openly a set of organizational values and standards of behavior in the workplace.
- Make new hires sensitive to the culture of different people already at the onboarding stage.
- Conduct thoughtful communication and team-building activities.
10. Data security and integrity
In a digital world, employees use mobile phones and other devices at work, putting organizations at risk of data leakage and misuse. It is the HR manager’s responsibility to find a way to maintain data security without violating the freedom and privacy of employees.
- Make sure that new employees are familiar with the policies and procedures of data protection and integrity standards (passwords, desktop rules, phishing messages, etc.) at an early stage of onboarding.
- Organize regular training to update knowledge in this field.
- Create an exit policy that ensures data security and integrity – intellectual property and confidentiality statements, and checkpoints.
The IT job market situation and the industry specifics in which the average age does not exceed 30 years, i.e., generation Z, do not make work easier for HR managers.
If you want to be successful in recruitment, you have to understand the business and its needs. Support yourself with tools that facilitate and accelerate work and allow for thorough analysis and selection of candidates. It is worth using both standard and unusual recruitment techniques to attract the best candidates in the shortage of IT specialists. Behavioral tests, work samples, Assessment Center, hackathons, or gamification are just some of them. It is also essential to be aware that an HR manager’s challenges also include managing the development and retention of talents, change management, diversity management, and taking care of data security and integrity. That is because no employer can afford to give up projects and business development due to a lack of resources.