The exponential growth of the human resources, the changing political and economic conditions, the expanding business needs and functions today, in effect, have also implicated the role of Human Resource in the corporate environment. Once a service provider, HR management today has become a business partner that has a direct impact on all the needs and business processes while driving the strategic choices at the centre of the business.
HR managers today face the gruesome task of not just training and managing the available resources but also to find the skilled workforce present in the market. This is because there lays a gap between the skills developed in the educational institutes and the ones the workplaces demand. Analyzing the recruitment perspective for the IT-skilled people, this gap widens further because the academic world for the IT professionals is different from the practical world of the enterprises. Hence, we will examine how recruitment is done today and how it should be done to produce a valuable workforce.
Taking the right approach/Navigating the right channel
In recent times, where IT has become an integral part of the business environment, HR managers demand professionals with both business and technological skills. But when it comes to recruiting, the criterion may not be the same for all the organizations.
The problem here is not the availability of limited resources always; but a major problem lies in finding and approaching the right talent. As the technological dependence in corporate sector is increasing, the IT-related hiring is expected to be increased in next few years. Even in our local industry, the IT graduates which are expected to be hired in are 70% and 55% for the next two years.
Finding and approaching the cream of IT skilled professionals from the market is where the recruitment and the efficiency of HR come into play. This can be achieved while implying some of the following suggested practices, rather than going for the conventional practices found in the industry.
It has been found that the conventional methods of Newspaper ads, employment agencies, walk-ins, and friends and family yield have resulted in producing some of the poorest performers. On the other hand, Employee referral and former employees were found to be a more feasible option, leading to some of the best performers produced.
Besides this, it has been found that most of the organizations rely on one channel for job advertisement while giving less consideration to the other. Today, Internet has become a major part of every individual’s life but still most of the individuals give it less priority for Job searching versus regular job advertisements. (Zall, 2000).
Hence, it is best for the enterprises to navigate all the available channels for job advertisements, if possible. Otherwise, the most popular channel should be adopted in this regard which is accessible by the majority of the population. In this way, it will bring increased skilled professionals to the company.
Paralleling the industry and academic skills
The demand for the IT professionals is ever increasing in the enterprise market. According to the findings from the CIO IT related hiring trend survey of the local industry, the IT strength has doubled in 2010-2011 locally. Keeping this in mind, the IT-related academic programs have increased both locally and internationally to produce more skilled individuals.
But here the dilemma is: the academic training is insufficient to match the practical life requirements. Hence, the most efficient of the graduates are found to be less significant if not provided with necessary training.
Therefore, most of the organizations prefer technically viable professionals than the degree holders. Today, most of the top level executives i.e. 71% considered IT certifications and technical expertise in evaluating personnel, as found in CIO IT related hiring forecast survey conducted among the top 30 senior IT executives in the local industry.
Since technical knowledge is mandatory, it is good that local IT executives consider it an important evaluation criterion. This will not only facilitate in utilizing fewer resources for training but also yield a more productive workforce for the organization.
Moreover, the recent demand of business knowledge in IT professionals – IT supports businesses development and operations to about 79% and 73% respectively –requires them to have business related knowledge and certifications also. While the technical knowledge will help them to understand new or complex technologies; the business knowledge will help them better understand the processes and increase their productivity for the business while adding value to it.
In addition to this, the IT managers can also consult IT-related Human resource contracting firms which can provide them with more technically-efficient resources. This will help in reducing both the time and costs for recruiting purposes.
As the business processes become more integrated and inter-related, the need for bringing the right talent to the respective business function has become more imperative. The knowledge and skills both play an important role in assessing the performance of the individual and this should be done before welcoming the new resource to one’s organization. This will help in providing the resource for the longer terms, which in effect, will add to saving time and cost for the business while reducing the training and searching of the human resources.
 Boxall & Purcell, 2000
 According to global survey, conducted by McKinsey Quarterly in 2006 and 2007, finding the talented people is the single most important challenge for organizations.
 According to the survey findings of CIO IT related hiring trends 2011.
 Found in Wiley’s review of literature on recruiting methods (1992).
(The article was written for Rasala Publications Group’s Brand, CIOPakistan)