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Buddying up to HR to solve your tech hiring headache

The future is now — and it’s wreaking havoc on tech hiring.  

Here’s an example of what we mean. Back in 2010, the Corporate Executive Board Co. (CEB) pulled out its crystal ball to summon a five-year forecast (it was the big crystal ball) for corporate IT. What it saw for 2015 was that IT organizations would be radically different from those at the dawn of the decade. Good for CEB: Those predictions were pretty right-on. Bad for those involved in tech hiring: They’re already coming to pass, whether you’re ready or not.  Here’s what CEB identified as “radical” shifts in IT way back then:

  • Information over process: Information management skills will rise in importance as competitive advantage from IT shifts from process automation to customer experience, data analytics and knowledge worker enablement.
  • IT embedded in business services: Centrally provided applications and infrastructure will be embedded in business services and delivered by a multifunctional shared services organization.
  • Externalized service delivery: Delivery will be predominantly externalized as vendors expand service provision and internal resources become brokers instead of providers.
  • Greater business partner responsibility: Business unit leaders and end users will play a greater role in obtaining and managing technology for themselves in areas where differentiation has more value than standardization.
  • Unbundled IT: Some IT roles will be embedded in business services, evolve into business roles or be externalized. Remaining IT roles will be housed in a business shared services group, and IT staffing needs will change significantly.

With all this flux, it’s no wonder that, as CEB research director Shalini Das puts it, tech hiring “is like chasing a moving target.” IT is facing rising demand for business intelligence, mobility, and restructuring to deliver end-to-end services for higher speed and efficiency. And it must partner with increasingly tech-savvy business users willing to self-manage IT projects, she said.

So what to do? Leaving it up to HR doesn’t work; you have to do the opposite. As many of the experts we spoke with for our latest piece on help with tech hiring agreed, the CIO who wants the best people — the right people — must partner up with HR.

“CIOs must clarify and communicate new or changing definitions and skills requirements to hiring managers and recruiters so they can update job descriptions, résumé screening filters and interview questions as needed,” Das said. “In addition, they must work with their HR peers to correspondingly update staff competency models, training and development programs.”

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