It’s no secret that the success of a business relies on the people within it. They make immeasurable decisions and actions resulting in one final outcome - a positive, or negative monthly, quarterly and annual report. The battle for talent in the technology sector is just as fierce as it is in any sector and as more and more businesses begin to realise the importance of their tech set-up, the battle will only continue to get tougher.

The key to success in a market of constant change, is adaptability. Businesses in the technological and digital industries, while typically innovative and forward-thinking, can find it challenging to source people with the right skills and experience. So the question is, what can technology leaders do to ensure that they have a fully staffed information security function and stay ahead of ever-changing threats and regulations?

1.    Identify the appropriate skills

Information technology is rarely a simple operation and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each organisation’s technology programme will be defined by numerous factors unique to them and as such, the approach to their set-up and staffing will differ. Two similarly titled technology professionals may have significantly different skill sets based on the type of work they have carried out throughout their careers. One may be ideally suited to your organisation while the other may have skills which do not gel with your requirements. It is important to understand exactly what type of skills and competencies are required in a role, and this cannot be identified by job title or function alone.

2.    Involve the wider team in the recruitment process

One of the best ways to ensure that you are identifying the rights skills and ultimately bringing on board the right people, is to involve your existing specialist function in the recruitment process. It is quite common practice for a job spec to be devised and then for the head-of or director to move forward with the recruitment process independently of the relevant team. By involving key members of the team throughout the process, you can not only get an idea of how a new hire may fit within a team but can rely on the judgement of a group rather than one or two individuals. Where specific and highly-technical skills are at play, it is a smart move to involve those who have a strong understanding of how they will interplay with your existing set-up.

3.    Invest in technology as well as people

Something which most people working in IT will have in common is an interest in technology. It sounds obvious but the people you are looking to hire will be tech-savvy and energised by the prospect of being at the forefront of their industry. Your chances of hiring the best people in your field are severely hampered should your IT set-up be outdated. The best people want to work with the best technologies and platforms, and are unlikely to accept a role in which they will be forced to work on an outdated set-up. To that end, it is important that you view your technologies as an ongoing concern in the same way that you would your staff.

4.    Constant training

Information technology is a field that is in a constant state of change and requires a dynamic skill set, one which evolves as quickly as technology and security threats do. By providing employees with constant training you are not only keeping your tech up to date and fit for purpose but bringing your employees along with it. One of the most cost-effective retention strategies across any industry or job role is a strong training and development plan. This is nowhere more evident than in IT where technology moves so fast. Professionals who are confident that their employer is invested in their future are far more likely to buy into long-term projects and to give their best towards the outcome.

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