Is it official? Is unemployment for cybersecurity professionals really at ZERO percent?
According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, over the past 8 quarters, unemployment has hovered between 4-5%, and has declined every month in 2017 – hitting a 10 year low of 4.1% in October. In the IT sector, unemployment is below 2.5%, and according to a recently published article on Monster.com some specializations, like cyber security, have a 0% unemployment rate with an estimated 1 million openings.
What does this mean for the IT Service Provider community?
Hiring the Right Talent isn’t getting any easier.
As the outsourcing of IT services continues to expand, successful IT Solution providers must hire the “Right Talent”. But simply relying on posting an ad and sifting through resumes won’t suffice with the “Right Talent” in such high demand. The best candidates may not be responding to ads anyway; they are too busy accomplishing their daily work.
Is there a solution? Potentially several; one performed exclusively by the hiring firm, and the other using a professional search firm that specializes in your industry to assist with the challenge. Odds are you will have to do both.
With unemployment in the technology sector at an all-time low, it is still possible in some roles to hire candidates with the desired years of experience, and still within desired compensation levels; although increasingly salary pressure is on the rise. With other technical roles, companies are going to have to rely on a “talent hire” with an eye on the future, and then invest heavily in training – unless of course you are willing to overpay for the scarce resource. But even overpaying does not guarantee success.
So how do you accomplish the “talent hire”, without assuming unreasonable risk?
- Understand the 80 / 20 rule as it applies to candidates. If a candidate has 80% of the experience for the open position, most likely it is the 20% of experience they lack, that makes your position attractive from a career viewpoint.
- The 20% “learning opportunity” in almost all cases, helps improve employee tenure. After all, technical professionals seem to be hard wired to learn new skills, and that is an attractive message to a good candidate.
- Have a few questions in your interview process that identify problem solving skills (don’t make it a Mensa level challenge – unless you can pay Mensa level compensation), rather than just specific experience level questions.
- Look for examples of how someone has overcome previous challenges in which they were not highly experienced. This adds concrete knowledge to help understand someone’s analytical and learning capabilities.
- Do not hire out of desperation, but for a growing number of technical positions, it is necessary to re-evaluate the criteria against which you will make your hiring decision. Have a clear definition of what skills need to be developed, and how your firm is going to support that skillset development.
When it comes to helping our clients hire the right talent for the right job; VAR Staffing works exclusively in the VAR and MSP community. Over the past 7 years VAR Staffing has worked with over 250 unique VARs/MSPs, in over 75 markets throughout the U.S. If VAR Staffing can assist in upgrading your talent level, we welcome the opportunity to share best practices and discuss your needs. Call us at 972-996-0966 or email Awilliamson@VARstaffing.com