According to recent figures from the Agoria trade association, companies are suffering from a serious lack of IT professionals. Tech companies alone are already lacking 8,000 digital experts. Other companies are also seeking quality IT professionals thanks to digitalisation and robotics. In total there are 16,000 vacancies (!) for IT professionals in Belgium. How can you still find suitable candidates given this situation?
Finding good candidates given the scarcity in the labour market has turned it into an elite sport. It is no surprise that HR services and company managers are turning towards experts to find candidates for their IT and digital profiles. At Amon, we have 12 years of experience specialising in recruitment for niche markets in the IT and digital sector, which means we are the preferred partner for many leading companies. But how do we go about it?
It all starts with writing up the job description. Interested candidates get their first impression of the job and your company/brand purely based on the text. If the vacancy doesn’t get their attention straight away or the quality of the text is substandard or mundane, then you have already lost your candidate. Making sure you have a good job description is crucial to successful recruitment, and our customers prove this every day.
Each new vacancy registration is done with noticeable care and detail. It is not just about passing on a job description, but also asking the right questions, including questions about our company culture. It is not often you get a recruiter passing by in person to get a taste of what the company culture is like.
Peter Thijs, CIO DELA
Since IT professionals have plenty of jobs to choose from, you really need to convince them as a company or recruiter. “That won’t work with a purely descriptive ‘we do x, y and z’,” says Amon consultant Lien Declercq (photo). “A candidate should feel like they would be of added value to the company, and they want to know what values and vision the company endorses.”
Employees now value their employer’s societal value and internal company culture far more than before. They want to see their own values reflected in their work and they want to feel good and valued. Lien: “We will also always tell them what the company is aiming towards and how the candidate can contribute to that goal. The candidate should be able to see what role they would play within the company right from the start.”
An IT professional looking for a new challenge should get a very clear image of the job from the vacancy description. They should be able to imagine themselves doing the job already. “As well as a detailed job description, the vacancy text should also mention how the IT department or digital team work,” explains Lien Declercq. “Talking about a ‘challenging job’ or ‘flexibility’ won’t convince anyone. It only really works if you tell them exactly what is challenging or flexible about it.”
By stepping away from unanimous vacancies and by really going into more detail about the real job content, with possible case studies, we can find the most suitable candidates.
IT professionals and technology profiles will always scan which specific technical knowledge is necessary, and if that knowledge matches up with their skills. “We describe the role the person will be playing as clearly as possible in the job title,” explains Lien.
One of the reasons why people change jobs is because the new role offers interesting perspectives. “We give potential candidates an idea of what is expected in the near and long-term future, and where they can expect to be in a month, six months, a year,” says Lien. “Besides that, we also clearly describe where they will end up in the company, who they will report to, and how the company structure works.”
Amon matched my profile directly with the job, but also with the company culture. You can tell that the Amon consultant really knows the company.
I got tips from Amon on how I could prepare for the first interview at Sofico. It might seem trivial, but I used it as a handy checklist. I went through the whole application process with follow-up that never came across as pushy. Very professional!
Dirk Geiregat, projectmanager Sofico
The advantage of recruiting with Amon is that we always have personal contact with the candidates interested. That way we can tell what information is important and crucial to a certain candidate. Then we send a very detailed job description by email. “On our website we post shorter job descriptions, with the most important information. Such as the company’s USPs, because that way you can get the right candidates’ attention,” concludes Lien Declercq.