In a candidate-driven job market, the demand for a specific group of professionals is higher than the supply, i.e. the number of suitable jobseekers. When working on recruitment projects for the IT sector, I noticed that in some cases the shortage of candidates was quite visible.
The shortage of suitable candidates has several consequences:
- IT experts take longer to recruit, which means that the average time required to fill a vacancy goes from a month to two or three, depending on the job description;
- Extended recruitment may indirectly lead to delayed project launch, causing the company to lose potential revenue because of such delays;
- Candidates dictate the terms of employment, have higher financial requirements and take longer to consider competing offers;
- HR departments are stepping up short-term promotional drives, but also plan for the long term by seeking to improve terms of employment. In this way, they attract jobseekers’ interest and reduce employee turnover. Some companies also adapt a more novel approach by launching employer branding campaigns designed to enhance and build their positive image among potential workers;
- Business departments seeking to fill the vacancies with newly recruited experts often operate under pressure related to project risk management. In doing so, they use temporary solutions, for instance seek to reduce risk by imposing overtime on existing employees or renegotiating the terms of running projects. In addition, they are becoming increasingly open to IT outsourcing and try&hire, whereby the client may decide to hire a contractor once the project has finished;
- The practice of hiring Sourcing Managers or Sourcing Coordinators, typically responsible for seeking out and employing IT specialists for planned projects, is becoming more common even in more traditional organisations;
- Customers are becoming increasingly interested in offshore IT experts. In Poland, the best candidates are still our Eastern neighbours. Their suitability follows chiefly from a combination of good training and financial expectations consistent with the employer’s potential. Furthermore, the hiring formalities are becoming progressively simplified. The Voivodship Offices – or more specifically, the Work Permit Departments or the Department of Foreigners – are swarming with applicants. For the purposes of issuing work permits, the Voivodship Offices are compiling lists of most sought-after professionals, which substantially accelerate the decision-making process by eliminating the need to test the market.
The deficit of IT expert in recruitment is a serious problem for many companies running several parallel projects. Such companies often choose to outsource their personnel or the entire IT process, with the final decision depending on the degree of specialisation required by the customer, the quality of the outsourcer’s offer and the desired end quality of the product.
Statistically speaking, most customers choose competence outsourcing or contracting, chiefly because they are uncomplicated and easy to monitor and manage. An expert hired by traditional means – through HR or IT outsourcing carried out by business departments – is basically treated the same as any other employee at the workplace.
Outsourcing is a highly efficient hiring tool for projects lasting 12-18 months, as specialised outsourcing companies manage project risk more efficiently. A reliable external partner is priceless, especially in the case of unplanned employee turnover, prolonged sick leaves or new projects attributable to the company’s growth. Furthermore, highly specialised outsources offer more attractive products and excel at delivery.
To verify the outsourcer’s professionalism, one should review the quality of candidates put forward to fill the vacancy, the degree to which their competences match the requirements, as well as the time required to perform the service. After all, any reliable service provider respects its employer’s time and money, as well as the company itself.
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