4 min read

Finding the Right Talent During the IT Skills Shortage


In the midst of an IT skills shortage, companies must rethink their approach to recruitment. No-code can help.


Thanks to trends like the rise of IoT and a renewed emphasis on digital transformation in total, there’s never been a higher demand for tech talent. The surge in demand has been so strong that many technical jobs still remain unfilled even as unemployment rates skyrocket as a result of the still-ongoing pandemic. Indeed, in some instances, COVID-19 has even exposed a need for more technical skills to upgrade outdated legacy systems.

As the demand for skilled tech talent continues to climb, organizations are forced to compete to pull talent from a rapidly dwindling pool of capable candidates. Many companies respond to this challenge by offering extravagant perks to entice prospective hires, but we believe there’s a better solution. Here’s how Unqork’s unique approach to recruiting helps us find, hire, and retain top talent during the IT skills shortage

How to Recruit (Like Unqork) During the IT Skills Shortage 

Unqork has a unique vantage point on this issue because see both sides of the story—we straddle the line between code and no-code. We need to hire people who can code in order to build our platform, but we’re ultimately working toward a no-code solution which we believe will eliminate code and close the skills gap altogether. As such, we don’t hang our hats on coding ability during the recruitment process. Ben Caggia, our Director of Talent Acquisition, provides a no-code perspective on dealing with the IT skills shortage.

Break Away From Coding Languages

One of the biggest mistakes tech recruiters can make during an IT skills shortage is to over-emphasize traditional coding experience. According to Ben, “many recruiters look to hire people who are exact matches for their stack because they don’t have the bandwidth to train people on it themselves.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the best approach during a time where IT skills are in short supply—it only serves to further limit your talent pool. What’s more, the tech industry is already shifting away from coding and toward newer knowledge bases, meaning the codebases you’re looking for in candidates might be obsolete very soon. 

Recruiters should either break away from coding languages altogether or place them on the backburner in favor of other skills. Instead, prioritize a candidate’s overall aptitude and think about whether or not they’ll be able to easily align with your engineering values. Use referral networks to find the strongest candidates instead of relying on whether or not a prospective candidate has certain skills listed on their profile.

Rethink How You Gauge Talent

Along those same lines, try to shift away from standard methods of gauging talent like coding exercises. Contrary to popular belief, algorithms and writing code are very small parts of what it’s like to be a software engineer. 

We believe that spot tests are unfair and inaccurate representations of the key skill sets necessary to succeed on the actual job. When we want to see how well a candidate can make their way around complex technology, we opt for take-home exercises that mimic a real-world working environment. This way we’re able to assess skills that are particularly relevant to the role at hand.

Look for Key Soft Skills 

If we don’t prioritize coding or live coding exercises, what do we look for in potential hires? At Unqork we’re less interested in what you know and more interested in how you think. We want creative, optimistic, and fearless problem-solvers who come from a variety of diverse backgrounds. We want people who are proactive, collaborative, detail-oriented, and love digging into new challenges. Looking for soft skills allows us to look at candidates holistically and assess what they bring to the table beyond applicable technical expertise.

Tenacity and curiosity are Ben’s favorite soft skills to see in a potential candidate. “I look for people who love learning—and self-motivated learning, at that,” he says. “I want to see the type of people who will exhaust every single resource they have to try and solve a problem on their own before they go and tap their neighbor on the shoulder.”      

Focus on Retention 

Once you find a qualified candidate during the IT skills shortage, it’s important to do everything you can to keep them. In addition to analyzing where the market is and offering competitive salaries, focus on building out an organizational structure that has learning and career advancement built-in. 

Ben’s advice: “You want to make sure that people have the potential to grow and are given a lot of learning and development opportunities. Speaking to the skills shortage, I think companies try to fill a rack with all of the exact skills they need, but they’ll have a harder time retaining these developers. Even if the company’s vision is super exciting, engineers will always want to be challenged. The more you can provide opportunities to work on different problems or different parts of the stack, the better off you’ll be.”

The No-Code Solution

Unqork-style recruiting ensures that you hire candidates who can go the distance in your company and help you improve, not just candidates who tick a lot of boxes on an IT skills checklist. Still, these types of steps stop just short of the fundamental change we need to resolve the skills shortage entirely. 

We understand the value of code—we’ve built our product with code, and we don’t ever intend to replace engineers. However, we also recognize that reliance on code is a big driver behind the IT skills shortage. As long as companies over-emphasize code, they’ll continue to recruit for skills instead of capabilities, which is increasingly hard to do when certain skills are in short supply. Your organization willingly sets itself up for failure when it limits its talent to those who only meet your exact language requirements. 

Unqork’s no-code platform makes your developers’ jobs easier and helps your company innovate. With no-code, roughly 75% of technical problems can be tackled with a component library, eliminating the heavy-lifting and allowing your engineers to focus on work that actually furthers your competitive advantage. Moving to a no-code platform will help your recruiters look for true cultural adds to the company and build a forward-thinking organization that will survive the IT skills shortage. 

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