Remote hiring wins have CIOs rethinking recruitment, post-pandemic

IT leaders at NetApp, CommScope and DocuSign have taken to recruiting talent virtually, which may become permanent practice even after concerns about the coronavirus pandemic subside.

Wary of missing out on top talent during the coronavirus crisis, IT leaders are hiring everything from junior staff to senior technology managers from afar. Their modified courtship tactics — incorporating video conferencing software and virtual whiteboards in lieu of in-person meetings — have proved so effective that CIOs are rethinking their hiring strategies for the eventual relaxation of social distancing practices.

“A lot of companies are taking a cautious or reserved approach to hiring,” says Bill Miller, CIO of NetApp. “We flipped that and said there is an opportunity here.”

That opportunity includes snapping up coveted IT leaders, managers and rank-and-file engineers during and in spite of the pandemic. The talent is out there; although U.S. employers added 28,000 technology workers in May, the U.S. tech sector experienced a net decline of 33,800 jobs, including both technical and non-technical business positions, according to IT trade organization CompTIA. Yet software and application developers are still in high demand, with an estimated 69,300 job postings, CompTIA reports. Among the other specialists in hot demand: systems engineers and architects and Web developers.

On that score, CompTIA expects the tech job market to bounce back with a vengeance and it's incumbent on IT leaders to leverage the opportunities. Remote recruitment removes many of the logistical challenges associated with traditional practices, which includes flying in candidates and having them sit through several back-to-back meetings with key stakeholders. The modified process, in which hiring managers and candidates meet via Zoom or its equivalent when it’s convenient, removes much of the logistical jujitsu associated with multiple meetings between hiring managers and candidates, CIOs say.

NetApp netted a CISO

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