Hundreds of thousands of IT jobs go unfilled every year, because demand for talent exceeds the supply. The challenge in IT hiring is often that recruiters need to find candidates with both the talent AND the personality to thrive in the role – they want someone who will fit culturally.
So what does a recruiter do when they have a ton of job orders to fill, but their candidate well has run dry? This article describes a solution that is on the rise with tech firms – hiring veterans.
While veterans typically move into industrial and operational industries, veterans’ skills and abilities (a strong work ethic, highly disciplined, driven, leadership, ability to work independently, and a need for challenges and a sense of purpose) are definitely transferable to the tech industry and make them good candidates.
In the article, the interviewee, a veteran named Eric Burleson, described that his desire to transition to a new career led him to apply to business school. Going back to school for technology would be a great first step for veterans – in particular, some of the skills in greatest demand are database management, desktop support, network administration, and cybersecurity skills. It can be worthwhile to get certified as well – teksystems.com suggests CCSK, CCIE, ITIL Foundation, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and CSSLP as the top 5 highest-paying IT certifications.
By learning skills such as project management and business intelligence/analytics – two of the top 10 most sought-after skills, veterans can put themselves in the competitive fold for tech talent.
Companies are planning to hire more in 2017 to keep up with an increasing demand for tech-driven innovations.
The article notes that veterans who have served since 9/11/2001 have an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in 2015, compared to a national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. So for veterans looking to transition back into the workforce, a career in IT could mean stability — the unemployment rate for tech workers is about 2 percent, according to reports on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There have always been recruiting firms geared towards veterans, but now more tech recruiting firms are creating programs and initiatives specifically for veterans. This is especially true in regions where there are a lot of military families, like Virginia Beach and San Diego.
As a recruiter, what do you do when you have a surplus of job orders but a shortage of candidates? Have you ever zeroed in on a specific group unrelated to your niche, such as veterans?