IT candidates should shift career perspectives

Recruiting in the technology sector is strong, despite weaknesses and structural changes the economy has experienced over the past several years.

Enterprises seem to be capitalizing on the competitiveness of the candidate pool, increasing expectations and requirements of skills and credentials.

“While the overall unemployment rate remains relatively high, my sense is that the economy is doing reasonably well and companies are making money,” said Todd Weinman, president and chief recruiting officer of The Weinman Group. “Certainly, we have seen a strong rebound in the market for IT audit; security; and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) professionals.”

In fact, according to a survey by ISACA, more than half (52%) of the 3,700 respondents reported that their enterprises do not have enough IT staff and 44% of executive teams in the US are planning to increase their IT-related investments over the next 12 months.

This need for employees opens doors for candidates. However, Weinman cautions that while some candidates will have multiple companies competing for their talents, others will find a tougher job market.

“It is clear that companies are raising the bar for production and contribution, and candidates need to change their mindset to be successful in this competitive environment,” Weinman explained. He shared three perspectives he suggests today’s workers need to understand:

1. There needs to be a paradigm shift – a new way of planning for life and career. In the past, most Americans tended to assume that they would continue to earn more each year of their career until retirement, and that it was unlikely that they would face any periods of protracted unemployment. These assumptions are no longer accurate, and they necessitate a different type of planning around life and career.

2. Building and maintaining a personal network is of critical importance. Today’s destabilised economic environment and the ensuing lack of long-term job security with any organisation have greatly heightened the importance of building and maintaining one’s personal network, both digital and face-to-face. Many individuals don’t start to think about building their network until the economy crashes and they are out of work. By then, it is too late.

3. It is no longer acceptable to be average. Companies are looking for a different caliber of employees. In addition to strong educational credentials and certifications, companies are also seeking individuals with tangible accomplishments, a history of adding value and a passion for and dedication to the profession. If you cannot clearly articulate the value you (and your projects) bring to an organisation, you could be vulnerable over the long haul.

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