Unemployment for IT occupations is less than half the national unemployment rate of 10.2%, according to The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). With more than 203,000 positions added during the pandemic, talent management for technology consultants remains a critical function for companies and agencies worldwide.
In this article, we explain how technology consultants can identify good talent management — and the value it provides. Additionally, by the end of the article, you will ask yourself, “Where can I find a genuine talent manager to help find my next project?”
As an IT Consultant, are you Prepared for New Workforce Trends?
Long before COIVD, workforce priorities shifted, paving the way for remote work and flexible arrangements. Before the pandemic, remote work grew 44% over five years, according to a FlexJobs report. After COVID, that number will be higher. However, this time, the number of remote-friendly companies will increase as well — Siemens, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Salesforce, to name a few.
If more people are working remotely, and more companies are attracting remote consultants, how will you get noticed? FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton recognized ‘Computer & IT’ as a top field for remote and flexible work patterns, citing a survey of 7,300 remote-work seekers. Technology tools and organizations experienced in remote work helped this sector transition faster than others. Additionally, IT professionals lead a company’s adoption of new technologies to make remote work possible.
Technology executives worldwide have shown support for remote work opportunities within their companies, and especially information technology leaders of ‘the new normal.’ This new landscape, partially brought on by COVID, has intensified companies’ search for experienced, qualified talent. Thus, talent management for technology consultants remains steady throughout the pandemic.
A Positive Candidate Experience
Good talent management for technology consultants starts with consistent communication. A positive experience is a result of honest and transparent communication from day one. And this communication flows both ways (i.e., from talent manager to consultant and vice versa). Does your relationship with the talent manager feel like a relationship-building exercise? If so, you’re in good hands.
Look up your ideal company on Glassdoor, Indeed, or Google, then read the employee reviews. Why would someone post detailed information on a platform for others to read? See these examples from our Glassdoor company page.
The short answer is their time was either respected or wasted. Everyone wants to maximize their time, energy, and resources. Even if a consultant doesn’t get the project they want, a positive experience influences them to make essential changes for the next application.
A positive experience makes a complicated process a little less stressful. Good talent professionals know that finding your next gig is never easy, so they have more empathy and appreciation for people’s time and feelings.
Here are a few ways experienced talent managers deliver a positive candidate experience:
- Clear and professional communication
- Timely updates
- Personal feedback or outreach
- Resume/portfolio feedback
- Proactive consulting opportunity assistance
Access the Hidden Job Market with Talent Management for Technology Consultants
How can technology consultants access the hidden job market?
Well, your IT talent manager can help. The “hidden job market” refers to opportunities that don’t get posted on traditional job boards — a mass audience doesn’t see them. Reasons can include budgetary guidelines, confidential search terms, partnerships with external agencies, and more.
But how do talent managers help IT professionals find their ideal project in the hidden market?
To start, The Carrera Agency consultants don’t have to participate in the standard, long application process when working with a talent manager; they can contact the agency directly regarding their credentials for consideration via multiple channels. A talent manager personally reviews every person’s background and portfolio documents. Essentially, the consultant can focus on networking to identify opportunities and build relationships.
It’s one thing to access the hidden job market, and it’s another to experience the benefits (i.e., receive the gig you want). However, with a trusted networking partner, you can access highly desirable consulting engagements and receive an offer in a short period. Good talent managers are your most valuable networking guides in the hidden job market.
So, how do you know if your IT talent manager is preparing you for a successful outcome? Answer the following questions:
- Do they proactively contact you with updates?
- Do they find projects that align with your goals?
- Do they work to secure the terms and conditions that make you happy?
- Do they provide a one-to-one experience?
Less Risk and Better Job Continuity
COVID-19 rattled the workforce. Technology executives adapted overnight to keep their people working; however, many technology professionals still found themselves jobless. So, how can consultants prepare for future risks and reduce the time between contracts? Once again, all signs point to IT talent management.
Even when unemployment rose sharply compared to previous years, technologist skills (e.g., project management, DevOps, systems engineering, information security, coding, and technical support) remained in high demand according to Dice Q2 insights. Essentially, companies continued to hire for critical roles. Finding those opportunities (and the right person for the job) is what IT talent managers do best.
Working with a good talent manager means having boots on the ground, uncovering projects that can fuel career continuity. Contrary to popular belief (risks versus rewards), you accept less risk and anticipate more rewards with the right talent professionals.
For example, The Carrera Agency fosters relationships with IT consultants that last well over six years, some even more. The relationships built over that period empower the talent managers to identify new opportunities, aligning projects from one to the next.
We discussed how good talent management practices include networking, which also creates continuity for consultants. However, you can look at an agency’s reviews to learn more about their long-term relationships. So, when choosing a team to help connect the dots between consulting opportunities and look out for you during a pandemic, first learn how they helped others before you.
And… Now you Know!
The COVID response surfaced an important lesson for technology leaders and consultants alike: The IT department is the driving force for business and digital transformation. Technology leaders recognize that success hinges on their people, all of them, including their extended workforce for their important project initiatives aka, technology consultants. And this mindset shift has never been more critical for growth.
Effective talent managers recognize the long-term value consultants provide organizations. Similarly, successful consultants thrive in partnerships with talent managers that provide a memorable experience, network proactively, and create continuity.
So, the question is, have you experienced good talent management?
(Image by Evan Dvorkin)