With the surge of baby boomers making their way into retirement (up to 10k a month, according to ComputerWorld), recruitment efforts are more important than ever before in the IT community. What once was a thriving market filled with people eager to find a lifetime corporate “fit,” is now… frankly kind of the opposite.

Instead, new generations (neither as large as the boomers nor as committed to the idea of working at one place forever) are the new potential hires and, unfortunately, interest seems to have waned for the field of IT.

Or so you think.

In my experience, the reality is a bit different. We live in the information age, after all; everything we do is digital. And while, admittedly, ideas about employment have changed, the experience of myself and my colleagues tells me that people are really psyched to work in digital, in tech. What you may actually be battling, then, is how your recruitment efforts mirror the “unsexy” portrayal of IT in the media.

How Media Portays IT

Dorks. Spazzs. Recluses. An army of fat guys who play War Hammer and have never kissed a girl. 

Over the past decade, the media has been pretty unkind to IT, painting a picture that’s somewhere between a desperate group of nerds and an hourly-wage-help-desk-nightmare. And, while IT does tend to come with a pretty homogenous set of interests, it’s anything other than how it’s been represented.

Some of the smartest, most skilled people I know work in IT and love it, love working with the technologies, growing their skill sets, and making it happen.

And this is the image that IT needs to carry.

Unfortunately, IT professionals don’t often moonlight as marketers and need a little help redefining their image for potential hires.

Marketing Strategies To Boost IT Recruitment

 With these strategies, you’ll have a much better shot of attracting the talent you want:

  • Segment Your Audience: Who are the people most likely to take this job? What are they like? What do they look for in work? Build out a few personas and, rather than just recruiting for IT, recruit specifically to the kinds of people you want.
  • Work with Marketing to Advertise in High Impact Areas: Knowing how and where to advertise to engage your desired recruit segments isn’t something you’re going to figure out overnight. Work with marketing (and maybe HR) to determine the best places for (digital) ads, the right marketing copy, and the right look.
  • Focus on “Big Thinking” and “Everyday Life”: Because millenials are less interested in working just any job, target your ads and your efforts toward what their looking for: the ability to be part of something important and a great work/life balance.
  • Participate in your Company’s Content Marketing Efforts: Content marketing, blogging specifically, is a great way to get potential recruits interested in what you’re doing. Write pieces that focus on neat IT-specific efforts your company’s undergoing, share team-member success stories… in short, make IT look as good as it really is.
  • Refine your Efforts: Because ~90% of marketing is trying, tweaking, and refining, ask for access to (and a quick overview of) the analytics reporting tools that will measure your advertising efforts. If you see something working, do more of it. If one ad/ad placement isn’t working, do something else.

Because potential employees are now looking for the “right” job (as opposed to, simply, a job), any recruiting effort is also a marketing one. And, while IT has gotten the short straw in media representation, there’s no reason that you can’t attract high-quality recruits. Just engage in a little marketing-think (or just grab your CMO and have them take care of it for you), and you’re very likely to start hearing “I had no idea IT was this awesome” during interviews.

What’s been successful in your IT recruiting strategies?

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