Is your city becoming an IT talent magnet?

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312 Week Business Vision Tim Elkins CIO Enterprisers

I wouldn’t have said this even a year ago, but Dallas, specifically North Dallas, the metropolitan area where I work, recently has turned into quite a hotbed of corporate activity. Many large enterprises are relocating here. That’s a challenge to us because we’re not recruiting industry-specific talent, but IT and technology-specific talent. One of our competitors moved their technology center from San Antonio to Dallas because they were struggling to get talent in San Antonio. They tapped the market.  Two insurance giants and an automotive leader have moved in. And they just keep coming.

So what comes with this influx of new neighbors? A lot of employers that pay competitively and offer good benefits. We’ve had some positions open for months at a time where we just have to hire contractors and third-party companies to come in to fill roles because we can’t find full-time employees. Then when we do find a person, the salary that they’re looking for is $50,000 more than we’re offering, even though what we’re offering feels like very competitive rates.

This is true from database administrators to Salesforce developers to everything in between. And it has all happened in a year.

So what do you do if you have more positions than ready talent?

1. Study up. Look at salaries, look at benefits, look at how positions are evolving. What can you offer that makes you stand out?

2. Partner with HR. Your HR lead should be able to offer insight into broader trends that are shaping your industry and your region, and brainstorm ideas for how to attract new candidates.

3. Make a great impression on everyone. Whether it’s a contractor or temp or even an intern, do everything you can to prove that your work culture is healthy and thriving. Sometimes that counts a lot more than a few thousand dollars on a salary agreement.

Tim Elkins joined PrimeLending in November 2008 as Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer. In October 2012, Tim was promoted to executive vice president, chief information officer, and he is responsible for information security, IT operations, and technology initiatives.

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