The US will have a shortage of 1.2 million software engineers by 2026, and the demand for cleared software personnel will increase by 22% between 2022 and 2030. Furthermore, over the next ten years, there will be over 180K job openings annually for software engineers.
As the demand for cleared skilled IT professionals grows, the potential pool of candidates in the United States becomes more limited. Cleared software positions require skill sets that are hard to come by in the market. These positions require extraordinary screening abilities and continuous monitoring to find the best candidates. The shortage of skilled, cleared software personnel is alarming. If this situation continues, broad technological advancements may come to a halt in the United States.
This blog discusses the key challenges Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) face while recruiting for cleared software positions and how to survive and grow in this era of labor shortage.
Challenges in Recruiting for Cleared Software Positions
Recent technology developments have created an unprecedented demand for cleared software personnel. Blockchain engineering, serverless computing, machine learning, big data, and software application modernization, which did not exist just a few years ago, absorb thousands of software professionals each month. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies in the software engineering industry to lay off employees or shift to remote work, due to which there is now an increased demand for cleared software professionals, often needed on-site. Although the higher demand has increased the compensation for the cleared software personnel, most potential candidates need more time to be ready to work and are hard to find.
Hiring technical staff takes 50% longer than hiring staff for other positions, and it typically takes 66 days to find the ideal cleared software specialist. Some of the challenges are:
- Fewer Software Professionals with Security Clearances: Most people with the required skills and certifications are non-US citizens (H1B visa and Green Card holders). Hence, finding candidates with the required clearances becomes very challenging.
- Technical Screening of the Candidates: Another obstacle while recruiting for these positions is assessing a candidate’s specialized experience, abilities, and knowledge; moreover, most companies do not have the technical expertise to screen a good-fit candidate.
- Unrealistic Salary Demands: The software industry has become a candidate-driven market due to the increased demand for professionals. Candidates demand higher salaries even for entry-level or mid-level cleared software positions, an added challenge for SMBs.
- Technology Advancements: The software industry demands professionals to be abreast with technological advancements like serverless computing, web portal development, and interactive web design and development trends. Hence, it becomes difficult for SMBs to find candidates up to date with the latest technologies.
5 Strategies for Recruiting for the Cleared Software Positions
The consequences of cleared software professionals shortages are significant, so it is critical to find solutions. Hiring great talent requires both creativity and patience. Technology simplifies the process of publishing job postings to a large audience. To engage with viable, cleared software professionals and develop enthusiasm about the role and organization, employers must discover methods to differentiate themselves from competitors. Below are five strategies that can help overcome the challenges when recruiting for such positions:
- Refining the Candidate Search: With the help of refined boolean strings, creating detailed and attractive job postings, and setting clear expectations of the roles, responsibilities, and qualifications, SMBs can stand out in front of potential candidates with the required skill set and clearances.
- Building Referrals: Networking is crucial for finding cleared software professionals. The software industry is closely knit; therefore, the chances of finding qualified professionals through references are high. Companies must dig deep into their referral networks to get top-notch talent on board.
- Use of LinkedIn: LinkedIn has become one of the most important recruiting methods, making networking easier and more streamlined. It opens up more opportunities to find the right candidates in less time. Employers can review a potential candidate’s profile to learn about their contacts, general personality, and degree of engagement in various groups, organizations, and associations.
- Proper Screening of Candidates: Proper screening of candidates involves conducting background checks, verifying educational credentials, and checking references. Depending on the position and technical requirements, develop a test or questionnaire to gauge the candidate’s technical knowledge. You might also want to include a technical interview or coding challenge to further assess the candidate’s technical proficiency.
- Potential Use of Job Boards: Job boards are crucial in identifying the top candidates. One should take a proactive approach while exploring new avenues and job boards to find the ideal candidate. For example, employers should use clear job titles and avoid jargon like “self-starter” or “team player” in their job descriptions.
With proper professional assistance, SMBs can become successful in fulfilling cleared software positions. With 18+ years of industry experience, iQuasar can assist in sourcing, hiring, and administering the cleared talent that every federal agency needs to survive in a cutthroat market. iQuasar has a database of over a million resumes and deep industry connections established over decades. Our recruiters have all the necessary skills to spot and attract talented, cleared software professionals while jogging through millions of cleared candidate profiles hosted on various job boards, social media platforms, and portals. Just share your requirements with us, and forget about the rest – we pledge to give you the best!