How to Recruit, Develop and Retain IT Talent

With the increasing digitalization of the business world, IT has become an ingrained aspect of every business strategy. As such, it should come as no surprise that the demand for top tech talent is at an all-time high, forcing employers to become more creative and determined in not just recruiting new IT talent, but in also developing and retaining new and existing IT talent.

The following is a look at a few key strategies companies can employ to improve their own recruitment and retention numbers:

Strategies to Better Recruit, Develop, and Retain IT Talent

Build and Promote a Dynamic Company Cultures

What makes an applicant choose one employer over another? While money is certainly a primary motivator, close on its heels is the company culture itself and its reputation. IT professionals are increasingly looking beyond just the numbers and at the entirety of what a company can offer.

However, building a positive and enticing company culture is not something that can easily be done overnight. Begin now by increasing your wellness and wellbeing programs. Get feedback from current employees about existing programs and work with HR to improve and create more attractive options that offer good work/life balance. Doing so not only will help companies better attract new IT talent, but it will also improve retention rates and help keep employees more committed to the company itself. Strong company culture requires employees committed to adding to that culture.

Set Clear, Obtainable Expectations & Empower Employees to Meet & Exceed Them

Once you have hired and retained top IT talent, the next key step is to develop their skills by challenging them with new tasks. To begin, establish ambitious and yet obtainable expectations and clearly define those expectations for your employees. Take time to learn the learning strategies of each IT talent you have on-staff and adapt how you give those expectations to individual strategies -- i.e., some employees might require detailed parameters while others prefer to take their own creative approaches to meet goals.

Furthermore, when recruiting new talent, it is important to give applicants desired and defined milestones that the company itself is looking for and list how the company expects new employees to fit into the timelines and methods for achieving those milestones.

Highlight the Company's Social Impact

Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 millennials would consider taking a pay cut in order to work for a company whose values and mission align with their own? While pivoting your entire brand to an entirely new social mission is likely impossible, what is possible is to rethink company values and consider ways in which the company itself can make a difference in society.

For example, a company might look to invest in energy-saving technology in their buildings and, if they produce products, consider creating lines that are built with more sustainable and/or eco-friendly materials. Companies should also consider ways in which they may participate and support the local community, such as purchasing from local suppliers wherever applicable and sponsoring local youth leagues -- perhaps even promoting a company team for a fun sport league like kickball.

The Best Talent Comes and the Best Stays When You Think Outside the Box

While some of these strategies may seem out of the box when it comes to how to recruit, develop, and retain top IT talent, they are effective. Remember, there is only so much the employer themselves can do to encourage future and current employees, such as paying for a new certification class. Therefore, the bulk of what companies can do is to create a positive company culture and workplace in which employees enjoy being a part of and a company for whom employees are proud to work for and work hard at.

At Valicom, we are proud to have a zero turnover rate over the past two years as we retain the top talent in the industry.

About the Author: Nancy Peckham

Nancy began her career in telecommunications in 1983 as an account executive with Republic Telecom, a regional long distance carrier. She was named district sales manager for the Wisconsin region in 1987 when Republic Telecom was acquired by Mid American Communications. She recognized a need for independent, objective telecommunications consulting which led her founding Valicom. Since its launch in 1991, Valicom has been a leader in providing telecom expense management solutions and serves enterprise and mid-market clients in a variety of industries and verticals across the U.S.

Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, founded and served as president of the Telecommunications Professionals of Wisconsin (TPW) from 1989-1992, and was executive vice president on the board of directors of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC). Nancy is also a founding member and executive council chair of the Independent Telecommunications Expense Management Association (i-TEM).