November 21, 2017
If you’re a small to medium-sized business (SMB), particularly in the Chicago area, you may have run up against this challenge. It is extremely difficult to attract top IT talent to your business. Despite good benefits and a welcoming company culture, you may still find IT recruitment a difficult, time-consuming endeavor.
It may not be anything your company is doing. There are factors impacting the hiring market that put your SMB at a significant disadvantage. The key is understanding why and figuring out what can be done about it.
SMB IT Recruitment Challenges
- Standard Infrastructure: Most SMBs do not require extensive IT infrastructure in order to stay competitive. More precisely, the IT infrastructure typically found in an SMB is several years old and does not include many of the advanced, cutting-edge applications in the market today. Experienced and new IT professionals tend to prefer to work in environments with the latest and greatest.
- IT Salary: The average IT director salary in the Chicago area is $144,750, and many of the large corporations in the area offer significantly more. For SMBs with tight budgets across the board, carving out that much for a single salary can prove a challenge.
- Technology Incubators: The Chicago technology scene is growing, and tech incubators are ground zero for innovation in the area. Technology incubators provide essential services to burgeoning startups while their idea gets off the ground. The opportunity to be part of the next great idea attracts many of the top IT professionals in the area.
- Mature Technology Companies: Part of understanding why you can’t hire top IT talent is knowing who can. Chicago is not lacking in technology companies. Both GrubHub and Groupon have offices in the city, and many other leaders in the industry staff offices in the area. These companies prove a major draw for experienced and new professionals alike.
Response and Alternatives
These factors are not to say that IT recruitment is impossible, nor does it mean that the IT staff you will find is “bad.” It means that the IT staff you are likely to assemble will have a few compromises along the way. Perhaps they require some on-the-job training. Perhaps they are not versatile enough yet to address the unknowns of a growing business. Whatever the complication, the likelihood of an ideal candidate is slim.
In response, an SMB has two options. They can either hire the best candidate available, or they leverage a managed services provider. Managed services offers a business the opportunity to utilize experienced IT professionals to support their environment. It can fill in gaps in the technical knowledge of your team, or you can offload repetitive IT tasks to free up management’s time. Many SMBs simply use their managed services agreement to keep their small IT team rested and happy. Instead of fighting over vacation time and drawing straws for overnight monitoring duty, managed services can provide 24/7 alert monitoring capabilities for you.
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Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.