We’re constantly reminded that there’s a shortage of IT skills in the local and global economy.
The EU warns us we’re facing a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020. The reality however is that companies who know what they’re doing are getting the people.
Here are some tips for finding and hiring the best.
There are over half a billion EU citizens within a short and cheap flight of Dublin or Cork. They don’t need a visa. Many are happy to move here because of higher wages or as a lifestyle choice. Companies like Google and Facebook already hire the majority of their new employees from abroad. There’s no reason smaller companies shouldn’t look outside the local talent pool.
Don’t be afraid of getting a work permit
Most companies still believe that getting a candidate from outside the EU is a difficult and long drawn out process. It’s not. Getting a work permit for software developers takes less time that the interview process and costs about €1,000. There are amazingly talented developers with prized big data, development and analytics skills in countries like Ukraine who would jump at the opportunity of moving to Ireland. Companies who secure a visa for a candidate are more likely to keep them because the visa ties the candidate to the company.
Most companies still believe that getting a candidate from outside the EU is a difficult and long drawn out process. It’s not.
Posting a job for a big data engineer on a job board and getting ten qualified applications doesn’t happen. The world has changed. There is an excess of demand for key tech skills. Employers need to recognise this reality. Highly skilled engineers will typically receive three or more offers when they’re changing jobs. Companies need to sell themselves, not just through higher pay, but through honest employer branding. If you want to see what people are saying about your company take a look at Glassdoor.com. It’s where developers go before interviewing with you.
Don’t rely on just one person to hire
Finally, internal bottlenecks can be the real skills gap. The ability to identify technical skills and assess competences is difficult. Too many small and medium sized companies expect one person in HR to know it all. It’s completely unrealistic to expect one person to be able to properly source and screen for software development, online marketing, data analytics, UX/UI and product management roles. Recruitment in the tech sector has become increasingly specialised with the old methods simply not working.