Competition for top talent in any industry remotely technology-based is stiff, and the demand for highly skilled workers remains high. The holy grail of hires is an employee who has a desire to learn as well as a background in multiple disciplines. For example, a salesperson who learns and continually adapts to technology, while also having effective information technology skills. The question confronting the IT industry is simple: How do we find and attract this type of employee?

Changing tactics

The answer is less simple. Traditionally, recruiting top talent has been achieved through a simple combination of an ample benefits package, a modestly high salary and employment flexibility. But considering the fast pace of development in the working world today and the shifting desires of employees, this strategy is rapidly losing efficacy. Many workers are most interested in gaining real experience, even if that means working in a contractor position rather than full-time employment.

They are hyper-aware that industries are undergoing a glacial shift, so they seek to obtain the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure they will always be able to find a job. Therefore, one manner in which companies can attract eager learners is through assisting employees in pursuing education and development; this can take the form of providing financial assistance for attending a university, or offering in-house courses for skill development.

Inside men

Of course, an outsized number of outside hires increases the risk of altering or ruining the culture of your company. Most companies choose to mitigate this risk by further developing their current staff instead of replacing them with newer and/or younger workers. This can be a wise move, as it is hard to develop loyalty in a company if employees are passed over for promotions or transfer. Second, a current staffer’s strengths and weaknesses are already known, and you know they work well with everyone else; all that is left to do is aid them in updating their skill sets.

Always be educating

The path to attracting the best talent thus relies heavily on education and helping employees achieve career security. Here are three recommended tips:

  • Synchronize the work done on the job with learning, thus equipping employees to achieve long-term job security.
  • Use mentor-apprentice relationships, as these provide effective training and guidance for newcomers.
  • Consider alternatives sources of experience – i.e., how a philosophy major could possess the best background for important creative positions in the company.

While this approach towards attracting and retaining talent may seem unusual, the landscape has drastically changed. The workers of the future, especially those in IT, can no longer focus on one specialized aspect of the job. They must have top-notch skills in data collection and analysis, along with the social skills necessary on the job. It is in the best interest of any company to thus supply every resource to meet those demands.