The solution for the shortage of IT staff? Recruit close to home

Published on: 7 February 2019

There is an increasing shortage of IT staff. Christoph Maassen, director of iStorm, spoke recently about this problem in Het Laatste Nieuws. Indeed, this IT recruitment company is increasingly receiving requests from clients who are unable to find the right candidates. This is why the company has now extended its terrain to Ghent and Antwerp.

“If you wish to find candidates in a particular region, you need to be active there too,” explains Philip Nijns, business unit manager at iStorm in Antwerp and Flemish Brabant. He aims to extend iStorm familiarity in Brussels into Flanders. iStorm has been part of Select since 2018. As a specialised generalist, Select provides expertise on all HR fronts. Ranging from recruitment to outplacement, and with consultants who are experts in their particular professional fields. Thanks to this support it is now simple for iStorm to search for candidates across a larger area. Moving from a single office in Brussels, to a total of three. “We are maintaining our high-quality service, but now just doing it more locally, from both Ghent and Antwerp.”

IT people don’t wish to spend hours in traffic

By expanding its local implementation, iStorm is managing to remain close to Flemish candidates. The solution to cope with the shortage of IT profiles is to work on a more regional level, in Philip’s opinion: “One way to ease the search within a small pool of IT specialists is to work closer to home. IT people know they are in great demand and will therefore not jump at a job that involves spending hours in the traffic. We also noticed that at iStorm. For example, it was becoming increasing difficult to motivate IT people in Antwerp to take on a new challenge in the Brussels region. Now that we are able to use a wide office network thanks to Select, we can meet candidates in a much larger area and propose an exciting professional challenge closer to home.”

Bridging the gap between different departments

Besides working locally, Philip, like Christoph, believes in a new image as a solution for the shortage. “IT needs to work on its sex appeal. It must become clear that IT people aren’t simply there for coding and programming. These days, an IT person must have great communication skills and an appropriate knowledge of the business culture and processes. After all, IT bridges the gap between the different departments in a company.”

Furthermore, the IT market is evolving. “While IT people used to be recruited to facilitate telephone and internet services, there is now an increasing need for professionals in specific domains. Such as e.g. data mining, combining different data sources in order to gain better insights into the company itself and its interaction with the market. Besides such analysts, security has also become a priority within IT services, for example with GDPR. At iStorm we therefore work with recruiters who are specialised in each particular function. This allows us to approach IT people in their own language and, in doing so, find the right candidate. And, more recently, now also closer to home.”