A good IT expert is hard to find, and competition for them is becoming fierce.
The fast march of technological progress means companies are constantly looking for new talent capable of implementing the latest innovations or of forecasting future investments based on current trends.
This also means a lot of headhunters are looking for ways to poach staff, which can be ruinous for a company if the wrong employee walks away at the wrong time.
A company concerned about hanging onto its IT staff would be wise to think about how headhunters operate and start looking for ways to counteract their methods. Hanging on to good staff is critical for success today.
Hunting for IT Talent
What methods do headhunters use to encroach upon another company’s IT talent? There are at least four, all of which are detailed here.
1 – Social Networking Enticement
Professional headhunting firms often rely on social media to make contact with potential targets. It’s approached as a slow courtship: the hunter first joins a group or otherwise becomes connected to the target. Then, what follows are conversations and vague “feelers” about having “a great opportunity.” These are used as the jumping-off point for more specific pitches.
These processes can often be disrupted with non-compete agreements, which usually make it unproductive to chase currently-employed workers.
2 – Passive Job Search Sites
A new breed of hiring sites have cropped up, such as “Poachable” and “Switch.” These are deliberately anonymous and are designed explicitly for employed workers to post their resumes in hopes of snagging a better job.
Some of these may be legitimately disgruntled, and others are simply opportunists looking to advance their career quickly. Some may merely be looking for leverage in their own wage negotiations.
Increased incentives may reduce participation, but eliminating all employee usage of these services will be impossible in all but the most security-restrictive environments.
3 – Better Health Benefits
Poaching techniques aren’t always underhanded. With so much uncertainty these days involving insurance and health care, a robust benefits package by itself can often lure an employee away. This is especially true if, through other interactions, a headhunter has learned that employee has a specific need for health or dental services.
A company that skimps on benefits for its mission-critical staff is making a very dangerous gamble. From an employee’s cost-benefit standpoint, sometimes even a lower salary makes sense if it comes with a robust benefits package instead.
4 – Better Salaries
As IT becomes ever more-critical to business operations, IT experts are going to recognize their own increasing value as employees. A good worker with provable experience or success in their past will have a lot of power to demand a higher wage from potential employers.
IT is now being recognized and given a place at the C-level in more businesses. It’s vital to remember that these responsibilities must have pay to match. An IT professional being pressured to perform management-level duties while still on a programmer’s salary is one who’s a prime candidate to be poached.
A Seller’s Market
The demand for on-call experts is growing, and the pool of qualified candidates is still a lot lower than the demand.
When a company has good IT staff, they need to take special care to keep them. Otherwise, there are many ways professional headhunters can lure them away with promises of better work, better pay, or better benefits.