How can CIOs get the most out of IT recruitment agencies?

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Will Astbury
by Will Astbury 20 October 2016

With the widely publicised skills shortage in the IT sector, it is more important now than it has ever been before that, as a CIO, you take ownership over your department’s recruitment strategy.

Many of you may think that your valuable time might be better spent focusing on other pressing issues. However, you need to remember that your team is your one of your most valuable assets. If you want the best team possible you need to constantly considering its strengths and weaknesses and look to elevate its expertise at every possible opportunity either through training or through hiring new skills into the team.

The experts from Crimson’s IT recruitment agency have put together these tips to help you to refine your approach to recruitment, maximise the impact of external recruiters, improve your on-going development of staff, and ultimately build an excellent IT team.

  1. How to find the right IT recruitment agency: It’s all well and good looking online for a top class consultant, but how do you know they will deliver the goods? We recommend that you check out their online case studies and analyse these carefully and ask yourself whether they have delivered for positions into companies similar to yours. More importantly, you should delve into your professional network. A real life recommendation from someone you respect is much more likely to be relevant and trustworthy than a website case study, especially if it is verified by more than one person in your network.
  2. Remember that recruitment is a continuous process: Writing for Forbes.com, CEO advisor Joel Trammell argued that leaders should remain on constant alert for talented individuals. In most circumstances, when a position opens-up within your team you are in a mad rush to find the right person in time for the beginning of your latest project or initiative. Nine times out of ten this is too late and you miss the deadline. You need to keep your eyes constantly peeled for top performers, build a relationship with them, and act fast to make space for them in your team when they are available. A good way to meet these people is by attending relevant industry networking events. IT recruitment agencies like Crimson run a lot of informal get-togethers, seminars, and innovation conferences where you will meet the right people.
  3. Recruitment is a two-way street when it comes to sales: It’s obvious to all hiring managers that potential additions to your IT team must sell their skills and experience to you in the interview. But don’t forget that you need to sell the benefits of working with your organisation to the candidate. You should enlist good IT recruitment agencies to help you understand industry standards when it comes salary rates, corporate benefits, and company culture. They can also help you pitch to these candidates, so make sure you give them as much information as possible about why your organisation is great to work for.
  4. Set the bar consistently high: Trammell also recommends having one person with top-level experience and vast technical knowledge be part of all IT team interviews. This will ensure that there is a constantly high expectation within every interview and that every new staff member has been judged according to same criteria. You’re worried that this person should be you now, aren’t you?! It doesn’t have to be the CIO conducting every interview but it should be a trusted, intelligent, high-up member of the IT team that has been around the block a few times. Remember poor appointments are expensive. You need to get this right.
  5. Disruptive events are a good source of talent: As a CIO, I’m sure you know other CIOs. Use your network to your advantages when major events happen. When companies go bump, recessions take hold, and political anomalies like Brexit change the economic landscape, chances are there will be a lot of skilled individuals looking for jobs. If you know a CIO of an organisation that has recently folded, call them for a catch-up, offer your condolences, and ask them if they have any good people that might be looking for a job. In most circumstances, they will recommend good people. IT recruitment agencies will be doing the same thing, so speak to your consultant and ask them who they know and hat is happening in the market place at present.

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Crimson is an IT consultancy, an IT solutions provider, an IT recruitment agency, and a Microsoft Gold Partner with offices in Birmingham and the City of London.

Topics: IT Recruitment