Video games and hackathons? IT leaders look beyond professional experience for tech talent

Dive Brief:

  • Tech-related hobbies such as website or app development, video game playing or development and participation in hackathons made job applicants appealing to IT decision makers, according to a new survey conducted by staffing company Robert Half Technology.
  • The survey found half of the 2,500 respondents, which consists of CIOs in 25 metropolitan areas, said website or app development increased a candidate’s interest to an employer. Almost a quarter of decision makers said they found video game playing or development a valuable skill. 
  • When it comes to background, IT leaders are also looking to areas beyond IT. According to the survey, 36% of respondents look for candidates with math experience, while 31% like to see a background in business and marketing. 

Dive Insight:

Finding a tech worker is no longer about looking for a college grad who majored in computer science. CIOs are changing their standards for what they look for in hires, searching for talent with a broader range of skills and experience than in the past. Like many other career paths, it is not just about a candidate's professional capabilities, but also their extracurriculars that can make them the right person for the job. 

It's a good strategy given the fierce competition for tech talent. Look where others aren’t looking and chances of grabbing a good tech worker may increase. Part of a candidates appeal can stem from both passions as well as curiosity for technology, which can help bring new, innovative ideas. 

Many of today’s tech roles require skills beyond straight coding and programming, so it makes sense workers should have skills beyond those areas as well. Taking a more creative approach toward recruiting may soon be unavoidable. By 2022, the tech industry will generate 1.3 million new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Filed Under: Leadership & Careers
Top image credit: Unsplash; Pawel Kadysz