Just like any market, the IT resource market is swayed by supply and demand. To make the most of hiring decisions, you must be aware of the current market and how candidates react to it.

The Current State of the Market

The IT market is experiencing a “stalemate.” Employers feel there is enough talent in the market that they can be highly selective about candidates they choose. Candidates are also particular because many already have jobs.

Salaries are increasing in the market overall, but these are not dramatic increases, nor are they anywhere close to their peak. Less-traditional benefits like work-from-home options are becoming more popular as salary “supplements.”

Candidates who have been out of work for more than 6 months are considered less desirable by many employers. If you are willing to gamble, you may be able to hire these candidates at a bargain.

Further Factors to Consider

Before jumping head-first into hiring, be aware that there are recent and upcoming changes regarding H-1B workers and their spouses that may affect your available hiring pool.

Firstly, at the end of May, the Department of Homeland Security extended eligibility for employment to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants. This means that the spouses of many H-1B workers can now also be employed, which is great news for employers. A fair number of H-1B spouses are highly trained IT professionals with high-level degrees in Computer Science or similar fields. The inclusion of these candidates will not tip the market fully in employers’ favor, but it does increase the pool of skilled IT candidates.

The candidate pool increases again in October of this year, when many H-1B workers will be granted employment authorization cards. These cards will allow them to change to a new U.S. employer, where they were previously locked into jobs with the employers who sponsored their work Visa. H-1B employees are already in high demand, and the artificially low cap on how many H-1B employees can be hired makes the workers with employment authorization cards even more in demand. You may still benefit from trying to hire H-1B employees away from their original company, but should be aware that competition will be fierce.

Advice to Employers

When looking at candidates in this market, remember to keep a balance between what your company needs and what the candidate will want. Begin by reviewing multiple candidates to understand what skill sets are available, then decide which skills are crucial for your position.

Remember that most candidates are changing jobs, so your offer must be attractive enough to woo them away from their current position. Talk to your recruiters to get a better idea of what individual candidates expect. If you can, be flexible about salary and benefits. For example, if a candidate for a permanent position is amazing but is outside of your price range by less than $10K, it is usually better to meet their price rather than letting them ‘get away’. The same goes for contract employees out of budget by $10 per hour or less.

Benefits are another way to improve your offer. Signing bonuses, quarterly bonuses based on performance, trip incentives, paid training, extra paid time off, flexible hours, remote work abilities, and even gas bonuses or other small rewards can make a huge difference in attracting the right candidate.

To find and win the best candidates, you need to work with the best recruiters. Contact us at [email protected] today to get started.

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