With a war for IT talent well underway across America, and a global recruitment market that doesn’t look like it will stabilize any time soon, our IT industry is likely to be in a state of flux for some time.

One of the biggest challenges facing today’s employers is skills shortages. A lack of available talent is threatening to slow business growth and performance, and will continue to do so if the organizations in need of that talent fail to take action.

When it comes to recruitment, the need for a swift and seamless onboarding process is all too often overlooked – but if you want to attract and retain the industry’s best IT talent before your competitors, you can’t be reticent.

current IT trends infographic
current IT trends infographic

Candidates have found the confidence to clearly demand their terms, and employers will need to act quickly if they don’t want to lose out.

ineffective onboarding processes could affect your recruitment efforts

In our experience, one of the biggest pain points for candidates of late – and the reason so many companies lose out on top hires – is an overly long interviewing and onboarding process. You need to move quickly, and keep your communication constant. Otherwise, you’re not going to win in the fight for talent.

Let’s paint the scene: you’ve advertised for a role, conducted interviews (maybe even several rounds), and found the perfect candidate. They’ve accepted, and all that’s left to do is to get them onboarded and up to speed. But communication is lacking, the whole process is too slow, and in that time, someone else makes them an offer – and off they go.

Sound familiar? Then your onboarding process probably needs some work.

In today’s hyper-competitive job market, you can’t afford to take a beat. Once a candidate is in your sights, it’s crucial that you act, and even more critical that you keep those lines of communication open. When people accept a job, they want to know what to expect from their first day; what they don’t want is to be left out of the loop, and without any sort of touchpoint.

top tips for improving your onboarding process

The onboarding process is your chance to convince your new hire that they’ve made the right decision; get it wrong, and they might just get cold feet. Not to mention the fact that hiring can be really expensive, and you don’t want to waste your investment.

If you need any more convincing, Harvard Business Review estimates that organizations with a standardized onboarding process experience 62 percent greater new hire productivity, and up to 50 percent greater new hire retention. Reason enough to get your onboarding process down pat.

With that in mind, here are some tips to get you started.

involve key stakeholders

Decide who is going to be part of the process, and how you’re going to prepare them. Onboarding should involve as many relevant stakeholders as possible, including senior management, immediate supervisors and any key co-workers. Relationships are at the heart of any successful team, so start building them right away.

get organized

Decide which materials you’ll need to get started with your onboarding process; this could include an itinerary, a welcome package, and company information. At this stage, you need to be providing information that clearly illustrates what your new hire should expect in terms of culture, responsibilities and workplace behaviors, as well as what’s expected from them in terms of job performance.

make it a team effort

When you take on a new hire, it’s important to let your current employees know. They might have some important input to offer from their own onboarding experience, while colleagues from your new hire’s team or department may have specific insight that can make the whole process more tailored and relevant. You should also choose someone to mentor your latest recruit, as this will really help them to feel at home.

keeping an open mind is key to filling IT skills gaps

Another factor to consider when it comes to recruiting IT talent and filling any skills gaps is the need to think outside the box. It’s especially important to keep an open mind when finding the right solution proves challenging.

Many employers tell us that they don’t have time to hire someone they’ll need to train, but hiring at a lower level and swiftly upskilling can actually take less time than holding out for the perfect candidate when the market isn’t forthcoming. But even with this approach, you need to be quick to act, as you won’t be the only employer capable of spotting potential.

how Randstad can help

The onboarding process shouldn’t be an afterthought of the recruitment process; it should be factored in with as much thought as your job ads and interview questions.

Our team of IT recruitment experts can advise you on the best approach to onboarding your new IT talent – or we can manage the entire process for you to make sure you don’t lose out on top candidates.

Get in touch to find out more about how Randstad can help to fill your pressing IT skills gaps.