Why I’m supporting TechPoint’s plan to inclusively grow Indiana’s tech sector
Over the past decade careers in tech have risen considerably. Even if you’re not in the tech world directly, I’m sure most (if not all) of us have heard the not-so-soft-rumblings of highly lucrative tech positions.
Combining this with the new era of work that has been ushered in the wake of the pandemic, communities across the country see rising opportunities to become the next destination for tech.
Opportunities, however, don’t come without challenges.
The Great Resignation, labor shortages and talent gaps are some of the changes that prospective tech employers need to address.
So, what are we doing to find, hire and retain qualified tech talent? What do we need to do to help people thrive and break into lucrative tech careers?
These are some of the questions at the forefront of TechPoint’s Launch Mission41k which I attended recently.
I had the pleasure of interacting with many attendees and listening to a variety of talks in this event that my organization, Procom, sponsored.
During my time at the event, I was so excited to learn more about an organization whose mission so closely aligned with my own.
What is Mission41K?
TechPoint’s Mission41K is a collaborative movement to address the largest problem tech employers are facing today: finding, hiring, and retaining qualified tech talent.
It prioritizes skills-based hiring, provides more inclusive pathways into tech roles for significantly more people, and drives a flag into the ground around apprenticeship as a viable path to a successful and lucrative career in tech.”
Ultimately, Mission41K’s objective is to make careers in tech more accessible and inclusively grow the Indiana tech workforce to 41,000 by 2030.
Getting to 41k
From building inclusive pathways to tech through apprenticeships and bootcamps, to educating prospective employers about skills-based hiring, TechPoint has a plan to action this goal of making tech jobs more accessible.
What employers want in candidates typically falls neatly into one of three buckets: experience, education and skills. Fair enough, right?
Although this seems reasonable, the way in which they are prioritized can make tech jobs inaccessible for even highly qualified candidates. Education requirements or “degree inflation,” has shut out many qualified candidates from even applying for a role.
Amid a talent shortage, this simply does not fly.
From the seemingly inexhaustible repertoire of free knowledge that is the internet, to bootcamps and apprenticeships, there are so many ways to attain the skills necessary to pursue a career in tech.
Taking a skills-first approach in hiring will make lucrative tech opportunities more accessible for candidates while at the same time combatting the talent shortage.
If you want to find, hire, and retain qualified tech talent in the age of the information and the digital native, it’s time to rethink recruitment. Here are a couple of other important takeaways that I strongly support and encourage you to consider:
1. Rethinking the job posting
Job postings are often a candidate’s first interaction with your organization. As such, you need to be extremely mindful about arbitrary requirements if you don’t want to risk alienating promising candidates.
Does the position really require a 4-year degree? Because by including that requirement, you have already cut your candidate pool by 50%.
How about the language of the posting? Is it inclusive of minority groups and neurodiverse individuals?
Not only is being inclusive the right thing to do, but it also widens your talent pool while having quantifiable benefits to an organization.
Finally, think about the why.
Have you developed compelling reasons for a candidate to work at your organization? Are you offering a flexible work arrangement? Are you offering something unique by way of purpose? Culture? Career advancement opportunities?
Develop compelling reasons and communicate them clearly in your job posting as well as throughout the hiring process.
2. Revising the hiring process
Four words: get on with it. Gone are the days when companies could string along a candidate for months on end while searching for a “perfect match.” Despite economic uncertainty, the labor market is still tight and qualified candidates have options.
In today’s candidate market, organizations need to be transparent – and expedient – with their interviewing process. Set a target timeframe and adhere to it. For example, Procom’s target time to hire for Information Technology jobs is 14 business days or less.
A successful recruitment strategy is decisive and mindful of the candidate’s time.
Why I’m excited about the future of Indiana’s tech sector
I work as an account executive for Procom – one of North America’s leading I.T. staffing companies. Connecting companies with great candidates is what I do. Helping clients find their next great hire, and having a hand in assisting talented individuals to find the next step in their career path is something I take a lot of pride in.
I’m imagining Indianapolis – my home – as the next big tech hub, and I can’t stop smiling. I have extremely high hopes for TechPoint’s vision as well as the future of Indy tech.
I’m eager to continue working together with TechPoint to create new ways of connecting talent with great organizations. Even more so, I am excited to have a hand in developing the community here and to help grow Indianapolis into a top tech hub in the country.