3 new and creative approaches for hiring technology talent

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CIO News Week In Review

In this week’s news roundup for IT leaders, we bring you articles on the scope of the IT talent crisis and three new creative solutions for tech hiring.

The cost of the tech talent war

Writing for CIO.com, Sharon Florentine looks at the impact of the IT talent crisis on individual companies and the United States economy as a whole. Citing research from Glassdoor, she writes, “In IT, a combination of rapidly changing markets, high demand for and short supply of talent means thousands of open, unfilled roles are costing companies – and the economy – money every day. In fact, the value of the approximately 263,586 unfilled IT jobs posted by employers in the U.S. adds up to $20.1 billion.” Quoted in the article, Glassdoor community expert Scott Dobroski says, “These unfilled roles don't just represent money left on the table, they represent lower productivity and morale and, potentially, missed market opportunities for innovation and sales.”

What are tech companies doing to win the IT talent war? A few more articles this week shine a light on the problem and some of the creative solutions.

1. Why this tech company hires people with no experience

[Fast Company]: Stephanie Vozza profiles a company, JumpCrew, that intentionally hires employees who lack experience but bring a desire to learn. She writes, cofounder David Pachter “looks for people who are collaborative and coachable. Candidates who have been on formal teams, such as college athletes, are at the top of JumpCrew’s recruiting list.” To make it work, JumpCrew fosters a culture of continual learning, with “ongoing training as well as monthly lunch-and-learns that help employees develop expertise and gain well-rounded business exposure, which helps them relate to the entrepreneurs they approach.”

2. Facing tightening labor market, CIOs get creative with hiring tactics

[Wall Street Journal]: “Competing for scarce technology talent requires creative, sometimes steely tactics from chief information officers,” writes Kim Nash in the Wall Street Journal this week. One such example cited in the articles was from Oliver Bussmann, former CIO of UBS. Nash writes, “When the bank sought cryptographers to test blockchain technology, UBS posted encrypted tweets about the job. ‘If you could decrypt them, you knew where to go,’ says Mr. Bussmann, now a fintech consultant. Forty to 50 applicants showed up, he says.”

3. Get free flights to New Zealand, y'all. But only if you accept a job interview

[Mashable]: Johnny Lieu reports that a “program called Looksee Wellington is giving 100 people free flights and accommodation to check out the city for a week” if they agree to pre-arranged interviews with tech companies in the area. Lieu writes, “They're looking to fill roles in software development, as well as hiring new digital producers and creative directors. At the end of the week, you'll get a job offer from one of the companies.”

For more answers to your toughest IT talent acquisition, retention, and development questions, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide – articles, resources, and advice from CIOs and Harvard Business Review.

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.