Recruiting And Retention
Focus on closing the skills gap instead of trying to find unicorns

Focus on closing the skills gap instead of trying to find unicorns

by Carlos A. Vázquez   |   June 21, 2021   |     4 min read

It’s hard to find candidates for your company when there’s a technical skills gap, but it’s even harder to find software engineers with a crazy mix of skills or a jack of all trades. Looking for unicorns in the tech industry could be putting holes in your company’s pockets.

The work dynamics of technology companies have led to activities usually carried out by more than one person being carried out by that one employee. In most cases, this does not happen on purpose. 

For example, a Java software developer can enter the company mastering specific skills, programming languages, and frameworks. Still, when he has already spent several years working in a company focused on e-commerce, that employee now masters other technologies that he learned within the company to solve specific problems of that industry.

Now imagine that the employee in the previous example has to stop working for you. That Java software developer position now has a combination of a technology stack that is not very common in the job market.

When you try to fill that vacancy by looking for someone who has all the skills that your previous employee had, you will find yourself on a very long and challenging road.

It will seem that there is a skills shortage in the labor market, but in this case, there is not. The problem is that the skill mix you are asking for, may only be found in your competitors’ employees. Talent poaching is very common in IT, but let me tell you, it is one of the most expensive recruiting strategies.

Employees with certain skill combinations in demand are highly sought after, and recruiters at many companies are after that talent. They can offer remarkably high salaries and benefits to entice them to switch companies and bring their talent with them.

If you have the resources for a dollar war for this lateral hiring strategy, you may fill your vacancy. But if your resources are limited, keep reading because I will give you the best alternative.

Build your own unicorns: Reskilling candidates is the best strategy for tech hiring

At CodersLink, we always come across situations where it is almost impossible to find candidates for a vacancy with hard-skill combinations rare on the market. To counteract this false skill gap, we recommend that companies list the necessary skills for the position they are looking for (not those learned by the previous employee) to simplify the vacancy.

Once we have that list of must-have skills, we focus on finding candidates with extraordinary learning abilities. We provide courses in the technologies that the company needs, and we train them to have the foundations.

We know that you do not have time to train ponies into unicorns and that you are looking for solutions, not more work. However, cultivating and investing in talented software engineers is much cheaper than hiring an employee from a competing company.

For example:

  • Hiring a Python Developers will cost you 7,7K a month in the US (plus all recruiting expenses and time).
  • Hiring a Data Scientists will cost you 10K a month in the US (plus all recruiting expenses and time).

“With a bit of Python under your belt, you have options to work in data science, DevOps, API integration, app development – you get the idea! By sourcing experienced PHP developers interested in gaining new skills, you open up the market while lowering salary expectations.” – Peter Rowe, tech recruitment consultant.

What’s more, instead of focusing on the skills gap, you will be working to close the opportunity gap if you look at it from a social perspective.

Companies we work with have found “lost Einsteins” in our talent pool that only needed a little push are now significant contributors to the companies’ innovation where they work.

Conclusion: breed your own unicorns

Rather than waiting for a perfect candidate, technology companies cultivate a worker’s skills, knowledge, and experience. At CodersLink, we offer to train the most suitable candidates to enter the company with the necessary bases to accelerate their integration to the responsibilities of the job.

This training strategy has cut the time to fill a vacancy and reduced recruiting costs by more than 45%.

If you need help filling challenging positions, we can help you. We have worked with startups and multinational companies to find highly qualified candidates; we have even found one or two unicorns. Reach out to our team of IT talent specialists and start interviewing the best talent.

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