The recruitment: mission (not) impossible
After turmoil on the labor market of IT specialists caused first by the emergence of pandemic, and then by the geopolitical situation related to the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, the latest industry reports again show anticipated increases in employment and industry development.
“Software developers were in particularly in high demand, according to CompTIA. Job openings had dropped by more than 2,700 positions in May, but in June software development positions rose by more than 15,700 openings. Job openings for IT project managers and data scientists also kept in June, up by 8,633 and 3,929, respectively.” – as stated in the article How many jobs are available in technology in the US? By Lucas Mearian published on 7 July 2023 at https://www.computerworld.com/ 
These forecasts are confirmed by the percentages (for the US market) mentioned in the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) report “State of the Tech Workforce” of 2023 , regarding examples of professions for which the largest increase in employment is assumed in 2023. These professions include i.a.: Data Scientists and Data Analysts (increase by 5.5%), Software Developers and Engineers (increase by 4.7%), Software QA and Testers (increase by 4.1%), Systems Analysts and Engineers (increase by 2.6%), IT Support Specialists (increase by 2.4%) and finally CIOs and IT Directors (increase by 3.4%).
On the Polish market, specialists observe a growing number of job advertisements in the IT sector as well. According to the inhire.io report “IT Market Snapshot” of 2023 , the number of companies publishing job advertisements increased by 14% in the first quarter of 2023.
Graylight Imaging is one of the companies that actively seek employees (Join us). HR Specialist at Graylight Imaging, Joanna Czerny, talks about what the acquisition of IT specialists from the market looks like today, the preparation and course of the recruitment process, as well as good contact with the candidates.
Agnieszka Klich-Dubik: Current reports on the situation regarding the labor market of IT sector agree that – after a temporary deterioration of the situation – the increase in the number of vacancies and open recruitment reoccurred. Are you noticing this trend as well?
Joanna Czerny: For some time, the labor market was not easy for employees. First, the pandemic, then the uncertain situation related to the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, had a negative impact on investments, and thus also on the recruitment policy of companies. The negative trend was still visible at the beginning of 2023. Currently, however, the number of job offers in the IT industry is slowly growing again. There are many specialists on the market, but let’s remember that there is also a lot of competition. Currently, there are lots of organizations in competition for qualified employees.
Agnieszka Klich-Dubik: Remuneration is an obvious factor for employees to consider when planning a job change. However, I would like to ask you about other factors that determine whether you will send an application to a company you are interested in. Is remuneration the only thing that matters?
Joanna Czerny: In my experience, the type of project they are going to work on is also very important for people applying for a new job. Currently, projects in the field of artificial intelligence are very popular. We recruit employees for the position of Senior Machine Learning Engineer. AI-related jobs are of great interest to applicants. These are demanding, but interesting, unusual projects, and therefore very popular among candidates.
But not only artificial intelligence projects matter. From conversations with candidates applying for the positions we offer, it is clear that a significant factor affecting the sending of applications is the fact that they will have the opportunity to participate in projects dedicated to solutions that have a real impact on the reality they live in.
This factor is clearly visible during interviews with candidates. Graylight Imaging creates solutions dedicated to medical imaging based on AI solutions. Our candidates unanimously believe that working in a company that uses advancements in the AI technology for the needs of the medical industry will give them the opportunity to positively affect people’s lives and health. After all, they will be working on projects aimed at supporting the work of doctors and improving the significantly overburdened health care system. Which, in turn, translates into an improvement in the functioning of health care services. And they want to try their hand at the industry that has a real impact on the reality they live in, in which – as they say – non-trivial solutions are created. I realize that this may sound idealistic, but it is the possibility of working in the medical field that is emphasized by the candidates.
Agnieszka Klich-Dubik: The Remuneration and IT Trends Report 2023 by the Grafton Recruitment company shows that “Proper performance of the recruitment process has a very significant impact on the image of the company in the eyes of candidates and the effective acquisition of a qualified specialist.” Do you think this statement translates into reality?
Joanna Czerny: Absolutely. Professionals who apply for a position in a selected company expect it to be well-organized. This also applies, and perhaps above all, to the recruitment process. After all, recruitment is the first contact with the employer. Graylight Imaging is currently recruiting for three senior positions (Senior Machine Learning Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, Senior Software Developer).
The entire recruitment process must be thoroughly prepared. When there is a need to expand the team, a meticulous profile of the employee should be created. The recruiter must summarize all expectations and responsibilities. The next step is to create an ad. Even at this stage, great effort must be made to ensure that what was previously agreed upon with regard to the position in question is precisely and clearly described. A person who decides to apply for a job at a company can’t have any doubts about the offer made by the future employer and their expectations. Having thoroughly conducted the preparatory stage, you can start recruitment by use of all available channels. After all, we want to reach the widest possible audience and find a very good specialist.
Constant contact with candidates is a very important element of the recruitment process. Notifying them about the course of the process, providing feedback and building relationships even when we do not decide to establish cooperation with a given candidate at the moment. Mutual respect is very important, and a candidate should not be left without a response. Who knows, maybe there will be an opportunity to cooperate in the future.
Agnieszka Klich-Dubik: We already know that a number of factors are important for a candidate when choosing a company to which they want to apply: The type of project and company profile, as well as organization of the recruitment process based on mutual respect. What about aspects such as the atmosphere at work? The Randstad report on jobs in the IT industry reads: “Factors related to well-being in the workplace are highly-positioned among the aspects affecting the employer’s brand. These include, among others, a sense of security, work-life balance, or support from the employer. Friendly atmosphere at work is important for almost 70% of employees while work-life balance to 61%.” These are high figures.
Joanna Czerny: I would add more. For a modern employee, it is the flexibility of the employer what’s important – the possibility of hybrid work, flexible working hours, conditions for professional development – in the case of our company, it is the possibility of developing a scientific career as well. Also worth mentioning is the organizational culture based on mutual understanding, the opportunity to express one’s own opinion, space for creativity, proactivity, and implementation of one’s own ideas. People want to be active in the life of the company, to contribute to its development. And the employer, who aims at building a valuable team, must be aware of this fact.
Agnieszka Klich-Dubik: Acquiring a very good specialist is a difficult and complicated process.
Joanna Czerny: Recruitment in the IT industry is a very difficult mission, but not mission impossible. What is important? Awareness that we are supported by an organization that meets the standards of a demanding labor market and the willingness to act. If you want to acquire a valuable employee, a specialist in their field, you can’t sit on your hands and wait patiently for them to come to you. This is the time to take action. And then – and I am sure of it – you will acquire an employee who will make a significant contribution to your team.
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