The right technology talents can be hard to find. McKinsey New York, Chicago and Silicon Valley offices have provided four suggestions for companies trying to augment talents externally.
- Buy whole teams where feasible.
Some companies use M&A to gain access to talent much more quickly than they would have by building internal capabilities. For example, Allstate’s acquisition of Esurance provided Allstate with capabilities in developing online customer channels and systems.
- Rethink location strategies when necessary.
IT organizations created tremendous value over the past decade by relocating functions to less expensive locations. Some IT organizations are now refining their location strategies to enhance their ability to attract critical talent. In many cases, this means operating a portfolio of locations that includes lower-cost sites to perform transactional activities and locations in city centers or near universities to attract technologists with cutting-edge skills.
- Draft the best athlete.
Large, complex technology requires dozens or hundreds of specialized skills, and needs can change rapidly: this year customer analytics and enterprise mobility may be pressing requirements, but other issues may be more critical in a few years. However, talented technologists can learn new skills quickly, so some IT organizations have focused recruiting on finding great problem solvers and communicators, with the expectation that they can pick up the skills required for a particular role.
- Leverage the network.
Talent attracts talent, especially in technology functions. Investing in high-profile hires, potentially from nontraditional sources (for example, recruiting high-tech talent for enterprise IT roles), can help build buzz on the recruiting market. One company hired an experienced CTO and a senior software-product-management executive from a successful Internet player. Once these people came on board, the recruiters worked with them closely, leveraging their professional networks to identify additional candidates and using their reputations as a selling point.
Author: Selina Gao, Plusser Marketeer based in Manchester
Source: James Kaplan, Naufal Khan, and Roger Roberts. “Winning the battle for technology talent”