Hiring entry-level workers is becoming more challenging every day, especially in the IT industry. According to LinkedIn Economic Graph research, 65% of newcomers can’t land IT entry-level jobs because they don’t meet the qualifications required. This is very worrying in the current U.S. economy where more than 10 million job openings are sitting unfilled.
This hiring challenge shows that there’s a discrepancy between how employers and job seekers view the term, “entry-level.” Job seekers see an entry-level job as an opportunity for newcomers to find a position. However, employers have a list of experiences and skillsets that are required to obtain the position, and many young professionals are struggling to meet these requirements.
If you’re looking to build a strong tech team, these best practices will benefit your organization when hiring entry-level workers.
Hire Transferable Skills
At first glance, when looking at the talent pool, you might find it difficult to attract someone with the right resume or background for the role you are trying to fill. But just because the candidates do not have experience in a specific industry, doesn’t mean that they are not qualified. Focusing on hiring transferrable skills can not only widen your talent pool, but also attract diverse talent.
Depending on the position you need to fill on your team, the skills needed will be different. But when looking at transferable skills a great place to start is soft skills. Sometimes, however, transferable skills are intangible. To understand which skills are necessary, you will need to look at the responsibilities and goals for the position. Are you looking for someone that can manage a team? Or maybe this person will be responsible for customer relations?
Label your job postings correctly
In some cases, you might decide to label a position as “entry level,” when the reality is that based on the amount of experience needed, the role is more of a mid-level job opportunity. Although this approach can attract good candidates, it can also mean that most of the candidates applying are not the best match for the position due to components like salary expectation and career advancement opportunities. If experience is essential to the position you might want to drop the entry-level title.
Be flexible on candidate backgrounds
When you are adding years of experience as a requirement to a position, you are hoping to find a very specific candidate. But sometimes focusing too much on this qualification can be counterproductive. Excluding candidates based on degree or years of experience eliminates an entire subset of prospects who have worked in unique situations or have skillsets and characteristics that can actually make them more qualified than someone who seemingly matches up perfectly to a job description.
Candidates from different backgrounds can bring incredible value, and create a strong diverse tech team. For instance, liberal arts and other non-tech degreed candidates might not have the technical experience you are looking for but are creative and will bring a different perspective to the table. Veterans are also great workers, that might not have traditional experience, but will bring a strong set of soft skills.
Be willing to invest in training
Lack of skills are a concern for IT leaders. But for many, upskilling and reskilling are strong strategies to close the skills gap. Providing additional training and education to enhance current skills is a great way of creating a workforce that is dynamic, diverse, and qualified.
Additionally, training has proved to save money on recruiting, onboarding, and employee retention. A good training program will create a well-defined corporate culture, one that has a talent pool that is always striving for self-improvement.
If you are not sure which of the strategies are the best fit for your organization or how to get started with implementation, SkillStorm can help! Through our work with university partners, veteran associations, and women in tech groups you will have access to a huge talent pool. If upskilling is needed, our team of expert trainers is ready to deliver training that will make sure your tech team has the skills you need.