I’m Dan Schellhorn, a Tech Recruiter for Client Resources, Inc. As part of my role, I review current job openings and the candidate pool every day – I can confidently say that there is a disparity between the two. The number of local tech opportunities available can sometimes be at a 10 to 1 ratio when searching for a candidate.
If you look at the Nebraska market (simplyhired) today there is a wide range of positions and approx. 10,000 jobs listed. Now when you look at the ratio of 10 to 1 that means there are 10,000 positions, but only 1,000 qualified people to fill those positions. In order to start filling these open positions, not only are candidates going to have to start to be more flexible and learn more technologies, but employers are going to have to be willing to train their employees and help them grow. If corporations large and small do not make these and other changes, there will always be a substantial shortage of tech talent. Also, since IT departments have transitioned from being viewed as ‘cost centers’ to assets that can create a good ROI, flexibility will be the key to take advantage of the countless number of available opportunities.
From the candidate’s point of view, the best thing one can do to find the right opportunity is to network. Over 60% of the people our company, CRi, hires come from referrals from trusted contacts which allows us to reach out to our network to fill roles vs. post jobs on job boards. When networking, whether it is with others that are directly involved in development, or working with a recruiter like me, it is best to listen with an open mind. You do not have to currently be seeking a job to network, but sharing your skills, expertise and updates on what you are working on with your network will help you lay the groundwork to prepare for and identify a new role when the time comes. In the tech industry, the average employee sticks with a position for 2-3 years on average. With this in mind, networking will be an important key to your success. Additionally, you never know when someone you worked with in the past will end up in a decision making/influencing position with a company you want to work for. I always encourage our talent to strive to keep positive relationships and open lines of communication with those in their network.
As far as the “ideal” candidate goes, it is hard to say how one needs to be or act since every company has a unique culture. It is safe to say a good trait to develop is collaboration. I hate to use such a cliché phrase like “team player”, but a person that is willing to help others learn and is willing to learn themselves, will make a position much more fulfilling for not only for themselves and colleagues, but for the company overall.