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© 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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WHAT’S INSIDE 03 6 Ways You’re Killing Your IT Recruiting Efforts

09 Quiz: What Kind of IT Hiring Manager are You?

15 Catch Them if You Can:

How Hiring Managers Win the Top IT Talent


Hate to the bearer of bad news. If you think it’s tough attracting quality IT talent right now, just wait. A month. Six months. A year.

According to every indicator, after the worst recession since the Great Depression, IT recruitment is getting competitive. Real competitive. Already, we at Yoh are feeling the heat. The Yoh Index of Technology Wages, a regular temperature check of the IT employment market, experienced its highest increase in six years at year end 2013. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for systems administrators are expected to grow 28 percent between now and 2020; twice the expected average growth rate for all occupations. A recent Dice survey on tech hiring trends for 2014 found that nearly three out of four respondents (73 percent) planned to hire more technology pros in the six months ahead. In addition, 24 percent of respondents indicated their additional hiring will be substantial, as compared to 19 percent who felt that way six months prior. So your job just got a lot harder. In addition to all the internal IT issues—you know, the budgeting, © 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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the maintenance, the troubleshooting, the CIO’s shiny new toy, the unreasonable user expectations—your year-end bonus just became all the more difficult to achieve. That’s because you have real numbers to hit and head counts to fill as positions go begging and competitors move quickly to sap a rapidly depleting talent pool. Don’t despair. Lots of it can be overcome simply by understanding the changing IT labor market and avoiding these six most common mistakes.

1. REFUSING TO CHANGE WITH COMPETITIVE NEW TIMES. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a jobless recovery. 10.5 million Americans are out of work. Don’t believe the hype. While the world might have been your recruitment oyster for the last few years, the shell has drawn closed. Talent with the right skills—the skills that are going to propel growth initiatives such as cloud and big data—are difficult if not impossible to find. A recent McKinsey study says it all: “We project a need for 1.5 million additional managers and analysts in the United States who can ask the right questions and consume the results of the analysis of big data effectively.” And even bread and butter talent is all but toast. “Today, it’s nearly impossible to find a skilled Java developer in many parts of the country,” says Damon Stagliano, a Yoh manager in Philadelphia. “Three years ago, an $80,000 per year salary would have shaken the © 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

trees empty. This year, if you can find someone, you are going to pay much more.” The corollary is clear: Understand the market; set your budget accordingly and work with workforce pros who can tap into non-obvious sources of talent to make them available to you.

2. THINKING OF “RECRUITING” RATHER THAN “WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT.” Finding the right person is never a one-off search done in isolation. Instead, it needs to be a natural extension of all your workforce management workflow, which includes building connections inside the appropriate talent communities long before you need to fill a single position. It’s these very connections that often populate the first segments of your recruitment pipeline. Fail here and no one will ever trickle out at the other end. And this is often the most potent talent, professionals who may not be ready to move quite yet or who you might not even need quite yet. But they are there. The silent underbelly of tomorrow’s job market. A mass of human potential, unseen, untapped, and if played well, available only to you for your work upfront in building a process that leads to a result.

© 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

3. FAILING TO POSITION THE JOB. When candidates face multiple opportunities, it’s up to IT hiring managers to differentiate, separate, and clearly delineate their advantage. “Candidates are attracted to jobs that are going to move them forward in their career,” explains Ann Bonner, senior IT account manager at Yoh. “Jobs that involve a new technology, a forward-thinking project, the longevity of a project— all these factors will be attractive to the right candidate and help sell the position if it’s smartly positioned and communicated and not just taken for granted.” It takes an opportunity that speaks to people’s passion to get people to move, as Bonner notes: “We’re having to work more closely with our hiring managers to help them be more creative in positioning the opportunity.” In part, that means highlighting an organization’s latest and greatest technology as an opportunity for learning and growth.

4. FAILING TO BE REALISTIC. Hiring managers often fail to confirm their assumptions about the budget, staffing levels, and timeline needed to complete a project. “Many times, managers think they might need five people for a project, but in the end they’ll need 10 people,” says Bonner. “Or they think it’s a six-month project and it turns out to be nine.” p. 5

Talent is also hard to find for new skills, and it often isn’t local. “Looking for someone with a year’s experience with a technology that is only a year old is difficult,” says Stagliano. It pays to take the extra time to dig into your talent needs and develop a realistic list of the staffing you need. This saves time and budget in the end.

5. WORKING SCATTERSHOT IN YOUR OUTREACH. In a tight labor market, it makes sense to think strategically about how you manage your outreach to potential candidates. This is especially true if you decide to work with an outside firm. Experienced IT recruiting managers know they need to work with a provider who understands the complete pipeline and the logistics of workforce management. Such firms can help you articulate an employment brand and surface that brand with your contacts in the talent community. This process is more than just announcing, “This job is open.” “If companies took a more strategic approach, outside firms can take the time to conduct a thorough screening, vet candidates and do their background checks, reference checks, and technical screens,” says Stagliano. “That way, the hiring manager ends up seeing the best candidates, not just the first available candidates.”

6. IGNORING THE VALUE OF NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIP. No matter how good you are as a technologist, finding good people is a people skill, and that involves building a strong network of contacts that can connect you to the right talent. This can include your own personal network or you can leverage the networks of outside placement firms. “I had a recent conversation with a VP who told me that early in his career he didn’t realize the importance of networking. The older he got, the more he realized that as a VP, his success was all about his relationships and who he could bring into the company,” comments Stagliano. “What vendors could he align with? Who could © 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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provide the services the firm needed? The more wellnetworked he was, the greater success he would have in bringing in people that he trusted in helping me accomplish our goals.” “You want to look for people and providers that you can build a partnership with,” concludes Andria Erkers, senior account manager at Yoh. “It’s not just a transactional relationship, but someone who has subject matter expertise in various fields that can work as a trusted advisor on topics such as business transformation or agile development.”

THE NEW PARADIGM OF IT RECRUITING Sorry, but recruiting IT pros won’t get any easier any time soon. For now, the geeks have inherited the earth. If you want your share of the top IT talent available, it’s going to require more focused, strategic approaches to connecting with talent. And eliminating these six mistakes is the first step in taking control of your IT talent needs.

© 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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LAMB OR LION? Š 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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WORKPLACE PERSONALITY QUIZ What kind of IT hiring manager are you? Hiring managers play a critical role in ensuring their company’s success by finding the right employees to make the magic happen. But every manager has his or her own strategies when it comes to attracting and retaining that top talent. Some strategies are better than others. So what kind of hiring manager are you? Take our quiz to find out your true workplace personality and what strategies you can use to take your recruitment process to the next level. Q1: Do I have quick and easy access to the people and skills I need, both inside and outside my company? A. Yes! B. I have easy access to internal resources, but not external, or vice versa. C. No!

Q2: How quickly can I find and on-board someone with needed skills? A. I can have someone here this week and easily on-board them. B. It takes weeks. C. It takes months.

Š 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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Q3: How do I decide which duties are best taken on by core staff, and which should be taken on by contingent staff? A. I work to find a mix that ensures my FTEs are engaged in the company’s core projects while minimizing the amount of resources spent training contingent staff on new projects. B. I base it strictly on how quickly I need the support and by what type of talent I have available. C. It’s a mix of guessing and finding whatever talent is available to fill the current need.

Q4: What networks and staffing partners do I connect with when making hiring decisions? A. I consistently use the same trusted resource that acts as my consultative partner in the process. B. I use variety of different partners based on their niche focus. C. I don’t have a staffing partner, I use job boards and internal networks.

Q5: How accurate is your workforce planning? A. Within 10% of my budget. B. Within 20% of my budget. C. Within 50% of my budget.

© 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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Q6: Do you know what sort of IT skills you will need in 9 months,

Q8: Over the past year, were you able to anticipate the IT trends and

and do you know how that will affect your budget?

technology that affected the skills and people you needed in your


I know both what skills I need and what budget I will need to attract the right talent.


I have a good sense for the skill sets I need, but not necessarily what budget I need to recruit or retain that talent.


I feel unsure about both.

organization? A. I put Gartner to shame in my ability to predict IT trends and technology. B. I was able to prepare and adapt for some, but I could certainly do better. C. I had to play catch-up and lacked the skills and pipeline of talent needed.

Q7: Have you been able to find the people with the new and legacy skills you need? A. I have been able to find both the legacy skills and the new skills I need. B. I have been able to find new skills, but finding people with the legacy skills I need is a challenge. C. Today, it is hard for me to find either.

Q9: Have you been able to cut budgets effectively while meeting increased demand? A. Yes! My bosses are pleased with my ability to meet demand and cut budgets. B. I have been able to achieve one or the other, but meeting both goals has been difficult. C. Managing this has been a big challenge for me.

Q10: How do you attract and retain the top talent you need while remaining within budget? A. We have great added benefits that talent are drawn to, such as amenities and tremendous room for career advancement. B. We try to offer competitive salaries. C. This is a challenge for me.

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THE BREAKDOWN Mostly “A”s: You’re A Hiring Rockstar! You have a firm grasp of your IT talent needs for both upcoming and ongoing projects, and are able to act accordingly to the benefit of your company. You are able to balance managing budgets, addressing workflow issues, hiring IT professionals, and looking ahead to understand how changes in the industrymight impact your own workforce. But even a smooth system can benefit from process improvements, especially in the increasingly fast-paced IT industry. Today, the IT workforce has more opportunities at its fingertips than ever before, so it could be difficult to attract and retain the talent you need to keep your company at the top of its game. Continue to look ahead and communicate your needs accordingly to your internal networks – it’s working! But also be sure to acknowledge how full your plate already is. Ask yourself: Can you continue to manage it all on your own? Or could you benefit from improved processes or increased access to quality talent? © 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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Mostly “B”s: You’ve got a loaded gun, but you’re trigger shy. You understand how important having an able workforce is, but you face challenges in your current environment that sometimes make it difficult to stay ahead of the project pipeline, stay within your tight budget, or attract the talent (and skills) you need in this highly competitive market. Just remember, you aren’t alone. These are all common challenges in the industry, and they are compounded by one another. What would help ease your burden is designing processes for evaluating your workforce needs, communicating the realities of the m a r k e t p l a ce a c ro s s yo u r co m p a ny, a n d creating a system to act quickly on snatching up top talent, when necessary. In this day and age, staffing partners are no longer the luxury service they once were fabled to be. Learn to lean on a valued partner and trust their insights. They’ll give you the support you need to refine and improve your processes. It’s a big challenge to tackle, but if done correctly, it can provide marked results on your own performance, and that of your company.

Mostly “C”s: You’re swimming hard, but struggling to stay afloat. You are a committed hiring manager, but sometimes you feel as though all you’re doing is trying to catch up, rather than focus your efforts on strategic workforce planning as you’d like to. Your company’s project pipeline is consistently changing or being re-prioritized, and it’s difficult to predict (and prepare for) what might happen next. Plus, you’re challenged to do more with less, but yet are still somehow expected to bring in top talent, on demand, no questions asked. Every day you strive to provide the best results given your limited resources or support but you find yourself asking, how can I get ahead of it all? The reality is, talent is hard to find these days, and the skills you needed last week likely aren’t what you’ll need in six months. It’s important to monitor those trends and communicate those patterns to your internal networks. What you need is a trusted resource that can not only serve as your partner, but your advocate and your advisor. Right now, it might not be best to go it alone.

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CAST YOUR WEB Š 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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HOW HIRING MANAGERS WIN THE TOP IT TALENT The times they are a- changing for IT talent. What was once a seller ’s market has quick ly pivoted in favor of buyers, placing the balance of power in the hands of those with talent—coders, administrators, systems analysts, and big data engineers. And the reality is that what IT talent is looking for in the marketplace has vastly changed after five years of deep recession, when demand waned and wages flattened. Here’s what ever y IT manager needs to know about where the talent market stands today and how you can build a world-class IT team.

STABILITY OVER SIZZLE One thing that IT professionals learned in the last recession is that the value of a permanent, long-term career opportunity trumps flash-in-a-pan, © 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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option-rich job offers with some high-flying, shiny new startup. Consequently, the IT pros we spoke with for this article are now looking for more bedrock opportunities where they can hone their talents and add to their portfolio of skill sets, languages, or technologies. “The recession was tough for many IT professionals, who had once considered themselves invincible and their skills permanently in demand. At this point, stability is a real attraction,” says one IT professional who suffered two layoffs over the past four years. Even on short-term projects, companies that can offer a roadmap for longterm employment are better positioned to win talent now that the race is on to ramp up long-stalled development projects.

MAKE ‘EM BETTER Technology evolves at a pace fast enough that IT professionals need to have access to the latest systems, tools, and devices if they want to stay current and valuable. IT candidates are keenly aware of the need to keep their talents sharp and gain exposure to the latest and greatest technologies in order to stay relevant and remain employable. Those employers who understand the drive to learn, advance, and evolve, and put in place training and certification programs, have a unique advantage in winning the IT talent war.

© 2014 Yoh Services LLC | A Day & Zimmermann Company

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KNOW YOUR MARKET What positions do you need to fill? How long is the engagement? What’s the budget? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer to find the right IT talent. But introspection is only half the battle. You also need to know the playing field. How competitive is the market in your geography, industry, and technologies? What’s the going employment rate in dollars, benefits, and incentives? Can you recruit locally or will you have to import talent from around the country, maybe from around the world? By understanding the market, you can more effectively apply your recruiting dollars against real-world expectations and objectives.


The ability to build that culture and communicate it through the recruitment process represents a strategic advantage overlooked by most employers. Wow. What a difference a few years make. In t h e t h ro e s o f th e r e c e s s i o n , w h e n jo bs were at a premium and there wasn’t much wiggle room, employers could dictate terms. But today, IT talent again has claimed the upper hand as more companies seek to grow than simply sustain. And remembering the new wants of IT talent, employers can acquaint themselves well, and pursue their next hire in sync with the market’s changes.

“ The recession was tough for many IT professionals, who had once considered themselves invincible and their skills permanently in demand. At this point, stability is a real attraction.”

Don’t believe for a minute that recruitment is all about the money. Study after study suggests that it’s the intangibles of leadership, vision, and sense of purpose that attract talent and keep them in their seats. And in IT, that sense of purpose is often a shared experience, a team that congeals talent into a cohesive, effective unit that drives a project forward. What is the culture of your IT mission? Do individuals feel valued and appreciated? Do they work collaboratively, in support of one another and for the greater good? p. 17


Yoh is here. Yoh is there. Yoh is virtually everywhere. All in and busy going all out, doing everything it takes to take you where you want to go – forward. How? By foregoing the talent pool in favor of our own sea of talent, helping you find just the right person for the job or just the career you’ve been searching for.

Yoh magazine april14