Attract and Retain: How Not to Fall Victim to the Technology Skills Gap


There are a record number of IT professionals entering the job market each year, yet many South Florida companies have difficulty sourcing and hiring qualified tech talent. These divergent trends are a result of a skills gap. While firms are reporting that they must field hundreds of applications for some IT jobs, they are not attracting the caliber of candidates they need for their open positions. IT skills with the highest documented gaps include cloud, social media, mobile, and big data.

So how can South Florida firms avoid falling victim to the skills gap? There are several ways to begin sourcing and connecting with highly skilled professionals.

 Step Away from Automated Resume Screening

There has been a trend in hiring to move toward automation. Resume-scanning software was designed to alleviate the burden of overworked HR departments. The software scans incoming resumes for keywords and phrases, instantly rejecting documents that do not match up with the chosen criteria. How does something so simple go so wrong? For example, a job post may ask candidates to state their salary requirements. Job seekers who choose a range that is too high will be instantly rejected. Those candidates, even if they are highly qualified, are not ever given the opportunity to negotiate or learn about opportunities for bonuses that could turn their heads.

Failure to meet a single requirement can kick a candidate out of the system who might have been right for the job. While resume screening software can certainly save time, they are not perfect. In a job market with a significant skills gap, employers should make every effort to humanize early decision making to avoid rejecting candidates who may fit the bill.

Develop Employees From Within

A savvy way to avoid the IT skills gap (and reduce turnover) is to develop and promote IT professionals in your current workforce. When employers give high-potential employees the chance to grow with them, it not only increases employee engagement and improves retention; it also allows employers to develop a workforce that has the precise skills and qualifications that are needed to get the job done. Tuition reimbursement, on-the-job-training and other development opportunities help cultivate a pipeline of skilled, loyal professionals. When new positions open up, managers have a deep talent pool to draw from among their own team members.

Develop a Strategic IT Recruiting Partnership

Strategic IT recruiting partners can help South Florida companies avoid the skills gap. Firms that have established themselves in the Florida tech market bring with them a pipeline of candidates who have a variety of skills and expertise to choose from. They also maintain a pipeline of passive candidates – highly skilled IT professionals who are happily employed, but who are also willing to make a change when just the right opportunity comes along. Rather than casting a wide net on job boards or approaching job searches like cattle call auditions, these firms work directly with pre-qualified, vetted candidates to match them up with employers.

If your South Florida organization is looking for innovative ways to avoid the skills gap and recruit and retain talented, highly skilled and pre-trained IT employees, Cutting Edge can help. We are a nationally recognized recruiting and consulting firm based in the South Florida area that works with companies to help them develop and execute strategic hiring processes. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and source qualified candidates for your open positions, contact the team at CERS today.

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