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How to Dodge the IT Talent Shortage

November 19, 2018
iCIMS Staff
4 min read

The IT Talent Shortage

iCIMS research indicates that nearly half (49 percent) of tech hiring professionals find it more difficult to fill skilled technology positions than they did two years ago because of a shortage of applicants who have the right skills or experience.

When a business isn’t well-staffed, its operations and results suffer. The business risks being poorly-staffed when it hinders the candidate pipeline. Therefore, given the current IT talent shortage, recruiting and retaining capable employees with top IT skills must be top of mind for every organization – not matter what industry they’re in. In fact, the fastest growing industry for tech roles is not the tech industry. In fact, he retail industry hired 79 percent more tech employees in 2017 compared to 2016 while manufacturing and financial activities hired 14 percent fewer.

So, how do you dodge the IT talent shortage?

Recruiting and Retaining Capable Employees

Specialized recruitment efforts help organization to identify IT skills in demand.

Two strategies to consider:

1.     Hackathons:

A hackathon is marathon-styled coding event. They can be open to internal employees, students and external tech professionals who want to flex and challenge their skills in computer programming.

·         Internal hackathons allow the organization’s professionals to collaborate and brainstorm in an all-day event. This allows employees to step outside of their daily routines and work towards new, innovative ideas that may lay outside of their team and/or department.

·         External hackathons give organizations an opportunity to continue to build their reputation as a top place to work and create stronger relationships with the local tech community. To further enhance the event, some organizations, like iCIMS, add prizes, educational workshops and presentations from industry leaders.

2.    Focus on Top IT Skills:

Hire for top skills and forget about merely focusing on degrees and GPAs. Today, skills-based hiring is becoming more popular for Tech roles.

iCIMS’ recent survey notes that three in five (61 percent) tech hiring professionals state a four-year college degree alone does not prepare job seekers to be successful in today’s workforce.

According to CIO, the most demanded skills for tech roles include:

·         Artificial Intelligence (AI): Talent with the ability to augment human intelligence through AI will help push innovative strategies in machine learning.

·         Data science: Data scientists utilize statistics, math and computer science skills to drive business decisions. This sought-after role is one of the fastest and hottest roles today.

·         Python: Talent who understands and leverages python (an object-orientated programming language) can apply clear syntax and readability to your organization’s developers.

·         IoT (Internet of Things): Understanding how IoT connects all devices, AI, blockchain and IoT technology is a niche skill set. People with this skill set move technological innovation for your company.

·         Data security: With data breaches and new data compliance regulations, data security is top-of-mind for every organization. These trends have made data security skills a top commodity.


An innovative, fun way to retain top talent is to make sure to encourage employees to participate in internal and external Hackathons, and to also provide mentorship opportunities to showcase and share their skills. Top tech talent wants to continue to grow their skills and yearns for an opportunity to show-off their skills to their peers. Hackathons and mentorships allow them to do just that.

To learn more about hiring tech talent, read Shifts & Trends in Tech Talent Qualifications and Needs

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