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The Big IT Question: Recruit New Hires or Develop Internal Employees?

At the recent Twin Cites Business sponsored CIO Forum, a panel of CIOs was asked about their greatest issue and how they planned to handle it. The common issue for all four panelists was finding and retaining top IT talent in the Twin Cities. Those who offered solutions on this problem were generally split as to whether companies should find completely new talent or grow talent from within their organization.

All four CIOs on the panel eventually agreed they would need to do both to keep pace with the market. The question then became: When is the right time to recruit outside talent and when is the right time to grow talent from within?

So, how do you determine if your IT Department should recruit new talent? It’s time to take the next step if your company is experiencing the following situations:

  1. The company is looking to change organizational culture by infusing new talent.
  2. The organization does not have the time to let someone grow into a position.
  3. The company wants quick turnaround on a project, which is more often accomplished by outside hires.

As for growing talent, if the following situations ring true for your organization, it’s time for your IT Department to focus their attention on the talent it already has:

  1. Your organization wants to build their brand by showing potential candidates they will be rewarded with career development.
  2. You understand that poaching candidates from other organizations means other companies can also poach from your talent pool.
  3. The company knows that growing talent from within can solidify succession-planning issues.
  4. Your organization’s inside talent is a known commodity – you are aware of the current strengths and weaknesses, and can direct that talent to different areas of the company over time.

A good exercise to determine if you need to hire new talent or work with your existing team is to make a list of the key strengths and limitations of each member of your IT staff. Chart which employees have the capability to become future technical experts or people managers, and have that list available when new jobs open.

IT companies in the Twin Cities will always need to recruit externally, but it is also important to have a strategy for growing talent from within.

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Content provided by Joe Janasz