An article by Beth Stackpole at CIO looks into the hiring practices of IT organizations and concludes that many such organizations “may be getting in their own way when it comes to effective strategies for sourcing, screening and hiring IT talent.” She identifies four particular mistakes: maintaining excessively high standards, failing to diversify their hiring approach, neglecting passive job seekers, and neglecting internal staffing.
The CIO article provides some meaningful advice for hirers, but what is absent from it is the perspective of people who are currently enrolled in online IT training courses or otherwise striving to pursue placement in higher level IT positions. The question is, how can these people deal with the fact that their prospective employers may be making mistakes in their hiring practices? Should you select and organize your IT training strategy in accordance with those employers’ actual behavior or the behavior that CIO recommends for them?
Ideally, you can try to do both. It should go without saying that you ought to be trying to make yourself a perfect candidate, even if it is unreasonable for employers to hold out for that in every instance. Stackpole gives the example of Orbitz seeking to hire 60 java programmers in a year, and you should never forget that such organizations’ might initially want to hire only persons with the most extensive java training and certification under their belts.
They may settle for less after 10, 20, or 40 hires, and the most extensively trained persons may end up having more qualifications than are strictly necessary, but it’s always better to make the cut very early, as opposed to being the 60th hire. If you can find ways to utilize your most advanced IT training and certifications – and if you continue to pursue them while gainfully employed – you can use those qualifications to give yourself greater bargaining power later on, especially if your employers and prospective hirers follow Stackpole’s further advice.
By making it clear that you’re still participating in online IT training courses and pursuing professional development, you paint yourself not only as a valuable employee but also as someone who may be a passive job seeker. Although the CIO article implies that such job seekers are neglected by many IT firms, those that adopt diverse recruitment tactics are likely to offer particularly attractive positions to persons who haven’t limited their IT training to what’s needed in order to retain a current position or qualify as an active job seeker.
Advanced IT training courses also give you a better chance at internal promotions in the event that your employer reads the advice coming from sources like CIO and turns some of its attention to internal hiring. Although not every firm can be expected to be so forward-thinking, not all of them will make the mistakes that Stackpole has identified, either. By structuring your IT training in line with ideal hiring practices, you make yourself attractive to the organizations that come closest to those practice, whether they be current employers, headhunters, or the firms behind ordinary employment ads.