Hiring good employees can be tough: just ask IT departments. Only eight percent of hiring managers see newly graduated students as ready for workplace demands. Given the demand for technical talent, that’s a likely reason why IT employee poaching is on the rise.
According to a Dice.com study, 54 percent of hiring managers and recruiters surveyed expect IT employee poaching to increase this year. Among consulting or technology industry companies, 62 percent expect fights over employees to get particularly heated. Only a few percent thought poaching would slow. Furthermore, companies are responding to poaching by offering perks — more flexible hours, cool new technologies, and raises — to those they fear will leave. And only 11 percent of managers would not allow an employee who had defected to return.
That’s potentially good news for those who have a information systems degree and some experience under their belt. If you have what IT managers want — “multi-skilled, experienced technology professionals with industry-specific experience,” as Dice puts it — then you will be in demand, both by new companies and your current employer.
However, there’s an art to being considered an attractive candidate by other companies, and your own employer, without tipping your hand. Forget posting resumes on job boards. The most powerful form of communication is demonstration: showing, not telling, what you know to the people you want to impress. In IT, there are a few ways you can do this.
Technology conferences are a natural destination for IT people. You learn more about technology, making you more valuable at work. At the same time, you network not just with peers, but managers who will eventually need help. Keep in touch with them. You can never tell when in the future someone might know of a job or lead.
Speak on Panels
Whether at a technology conference or even an informal assembly of local IT people, give a presentation. It offers a marvelous opportunity for improving your career and growing your network. Not only do you instantly become a known expert, but explaining solutions to others is a great way to learn more yourself. Developing poise in public speaking also adds to your roster of business skills.
Write an Article
Many IT publications constantly search for authors. Even if your writing isn’t of professional grade, editors can help develop your content, which burnishes yet another important business communications skill. Get in the right publication, whether print or online, and you’ll begin to be known by a much wider audience of potential employers than you could find any other way. You can also pitch IT-related blogs for guest columnist opportunities.
As you make a name for yourself, consider what would prompt you to leave your current job for another position, aside from just money. Would it be the ability to work with new technologies? That surely can strengthen your career. Or maybe you seek a better-defined path for advancement or the flexibility and support to pursue a master’s in information systems. Knowing in advance the skills and benefits you desire, prepares you to better evaluate an opportunity when it comes your way.
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