Are you finding it difficult to hire skilled IT contractors or employees? You’re not alone. The unemployment rate for technology professionals averaged 3.5 percent in 2013, as compared to 7.7 percent in the United States overall, so many of them are not hurting for work. Between new technologies and a high demand in specific industries, IT contractors with the right skills are hot commodities.

What are those skills? Right now, there is terrific growth in the mobile application development space, and the push to make meaning out of Big Data is creating a need for data warehouse architects. Web commerce and the growth in electronic medical records are resulting in more, and more complex, data that needs to be analyzed.

And our retail banking system relies heavily on outdated legacy systems. There’s a real need for people who can keep those systems constantly updated—and individuals who are able to work in both current and legacy technologies are particularly hot.

Companies are struggling to find qualified candidates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) positions. And more than one in four employers say they plan to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months.

If you see yourself needing these same types of employees, what can you do?

1) Create a Culture of Talent Development in Your Company

Invest in the development of your existing IT talent. This should include everything from on-the-job training to traditional training courses, to incentivizing efforts to improve collaboration.

2) Make Your Company Desirable to Top Talent

Ask yourself, “Why would a potential employee want to work here?” and address the following issues to attract great IT talent to your company:

  • Compensation. You’re going to have to offer competitive pay. Salary data for contract IT workers across the United States shows inflationary pressure. With a limited talent pool, and demand outpacing supply, you can’t afford to be cheap.
  • Environment. If your work environment is negative, even if you pay $10,000 more than the industry standard, people will leave. Focus on creating a positive personality and culture for your business.
  • Create Excitement. If you’re not in an exciting industry, are you starting something that has never been done before? Top talent enjoys a challenge.
  • Technology. Obviously, when trying to attract IT talent, you should be using the latest and greatest technology—or hiring them to help you get it.
  • Benefits and Perks. You can pay a little less in salary if you offer great benefits and perks, like comprehensive health insurance, telecommuting, flexible hours or more.

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to attract top talent, if you’re not sure what competitive wages are or if you’re just not finding the right people, call or contact the team at Smith Hanley. We’re here to help you close the skills gap in your company.

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