Building Great IT Teams Amidst Tech Talent Shortages

BrandPost By John Perkins
Sep 10, 2015
Consumer Electronics

With a half a million IT jobs currently unfilled, how do you connect the right talent with the right position?

online interview

Our IT team at PGi commits to three things for success: our philosophy of agile, our framework of scrum and our team of skilled workers. Today, though, it’s nearly impossible to find great IT workers unless you’re willing to really work at it.

About half a million IT jobs currently sit open, and because of the rapid pace of new digital developments, projections show skilled workers won’t keep up with the increase of new tech jobs created in the near future.

To find top talent amidst tech talent shortages, your IT organization must start looking outside the box. Future IT talent will look wildly different from today’s workers, starting by being located outside your region and even outside typical experience requirements.

Here’s how we build great IT teams by reinventing the typical candidate screening and interview process.

Go to the A-Players

IT organizations that go where the best talent already is are the ones that will be most successful.

Between PGi’s existing global workforce and new acquisitions, a distributed agile team just made sense for us, but remote work isn’t just for dispersed enterprises. It’s the future of IT. Millennials in particular prefer to work from home, if not from a collaborative space in the office.

You will encounter challenges with distributed agile teams, but for every stumbling block, there’s a collaboration solution. We build trust with daily stand-up meetings via video conference, and we create transparency using a cloud-based project management tool.

Meet Candidates in Person

It’s very easy for candidates to rely on notes to fly through rapid-fire questions on phone interviews. We’ve found that online video interviews produce better results on initial rounds of screenings and introductions.

We want to find A-players that strengthen the relationship between IT and the business and that fit within our IT culture of collaboration. So it’s not enough that a candidate gives me the answers I want to hear. They need to be able to intelligently have a back-and-forth conversation about technology and IT processes.

Watch Them in Action

I want to know a candidate can do what they claim on their resume. After we narrow down a list of candidates at PGi, we put them into a challenged-based candidate pit interview in our physical and video conferencing rooms where we ask them to perform the skills listed on their resume, and some not on their resume.

If they pass this interview, I know they’re good. They may not even be the most experienced person, but based on this, I know they can handle stress, work in a collaborative space, perform well in a team environment and solve complex problems.

If I ask them about something that’s not on their resume, and they use the resources at their disposal to find a rational answer, I know they have the right mindset to ignore what they can’t do and focus on what they can. And that’s critical to our agile philosophy: a rapid learning pace, an ability to execute and being able to add business value.

The future of business collaboration is at the heart of the future of IT, quickly evolving the way we work, the role of IT and what the ideal IT worker looks like. Download our free eBook today, “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition,” to look ahead at what’s in store.