Brian Glass has over 20 years of professional IT recruiting, sales and human capital management experience. He’s worked in the Des Moines market for 19 years and is passionate about people and technology. As one of Palmer Group’s directors, Mr. Glass oversees our Information Technology department. We sat down with him to discuss what trends he is seeing in this industry so far in 2019.
What trends or changes have you seen in your industry so far this year?
Currently, many conversations are addressing the topic retention, as Iowa has such a low unemployment rate. Companies are spending considerable effort in keeping their talent. For example, they are changing their benefit plans, offering more flexibility with PTO, insurance, and hours. They are also investing in trainings and becoming more open and creative with prospects. For example, certain candidates may not have the desired skill set, but if they have the potential, companies are willing to invest in them, especially if they are a good fit for their company culture.
With the low unemployment rate, companies are using strategic IT service companies for strategic projects. They might need something tested or have a quick project that’s not critical but still needs to be done. Instead of hiring full-time employees, they may opt to give that project to a company to do it for them and keep their internal employees working on more strategic projects.
What types of candidates should hiring managers be looking for? What type of certifications or experience is key in dependable employees?
It is all over the board. Developers are always in demand (Java, Python, etc.). We have also seen an increase in security positions. Companies want to ensure they can protect their internal data. Other key skill sets that companies are looking for in candidates are project management, business analysis, and data analytics experience.
DevOp skills are becoming more prominent as well – this is a blend of programming and infrastructure. These skills are often learned on the job, and there is an increasing amount of user groups that will teach on this skill as well.
How can your division help companies especially in their hiring needs?
Palmer Group can help educate and give advice on hiring plans. The companies that succeed are the ones who have a well-thought-out hiring plan. We encourage companies to offer qualified candidates the position as soon as possible, as the IT industry is very fast-paced with several job opportunities available.
What types of changes in requests/expectations are you seeing from the candidate side?
It’s the candidates’ market right now; they have a world of options available to them. Job seekers need to know what their goals are and research prospective companies well. Candidates have more resources at their fingertips than ever before. They can be more methodical in their search and are focusing on a company’s culture as key search criteria.
How much do companies value soft vs. hard skills?
Professionals must have soft skills. Great communication and the ability to talk well with other business professionals is essential. IT candidates that have both technical skills and communication skills are in high demand. Companies are looking for someone who can take the technical and explain it in a way that someone without an IT background will understand it. Managers want someone who understands their industry as well. If they have a lot of financial services experience, for example, then working for an Ag-based employer might not be the best fit. Companies want their employees to have a good understanding of their business has a whole, along with IT expertise.
What is your favorite/most valuable interview questions?
What are your career goals? Individuals want to work with recruiters who know their skill set and career aspirations. If candidates aren’t quite sure yet, I like to ask them what their passions are to see if we can help them start to pinpoint their goals. Often, I will follow up by asking if they are looking to work in a large or small environment, and based on those responses, our recruiters know how to connect them with the right company.
If you are looking to make the right hire for your IT department or have further questions on how Palmer Group can help you with your employment needs, please connect with us today. Our team of professionals is committed to making lives better through our services, and we would look forward to the opportunity to assist you in any way possible.
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