By Nancy Dahlberg

Recruiter and consultant Andre Penny worked in tech for over a decade, holding various IT Infrastructure positions such as systems administrator and site manager. He turned to recruiting about five years ago is now an Account Executive for Randstad Technologies in Fort Lauderdale, serving the South Florida market. “I help various organizations by providing solutions and flexible talent delivery including consulting, project outsourcing and staffing solutions,” he says.

We asked Penny for his thoughts about navigating the current tech hiring landscape – what he calls a “candidate-driven market” — and for his outlook from his ground level perch interacting with both corporations and job seekers.

What are a few of the trends have you been seeing in the greater South Florida tech talent market?

Digital Transformation.   Most of my clients are thinking “Digital Transformation” and they want people that have a holistic understanding of what “Digital Transformation”.  

Another trend constant in 2018 has been the fact that it’s been a “candidate driven” market.  Meaning Qualified Talent are harder and harder to hold onto.   

In what areas of tech are you seeing the greatest demand?

Cloud, Information Security, Application Development and Data Management. Cloud experience has spread across various industries & job verticals. More companies are thinking “Security” after the headlines with all the data breaches happening.   

What type of tech jobs are the hardest to fill with local talent?

Salesforce positions especially Salesforce Developers have been a challenge to fill especially when considering client budgets for the positions in this market.  Software positions requiring advanced JavaScript experience such has AngularJS & ReactJS have been a challenge too.   Other challenging  positions in this market  would be Java and Devops roles. 

If you had a magic wand, what would you change now about the market to put it on an improved course for 2019 and beyond? 

This is one of my favorite questions. I’d change 3 things.  

No. 1, how companies view IT in their organizations. I’d want companies to view IT has a strategic asset vs a liability.  

No. 2, I would change the “urgency” level regarding the hiring process — with both the candidates and the employers.

No. 3, pay candidates what they deserve.

Are salaries rising? Are they rising enough?

Salaries aren’t rising enough. If companies want to be competitive by attracting top talent, the salaries have to improve in this market. The few companies that understand this are winning the battle for talent.  

What’s your advice for a junior developer or designer hitting the South Florida tech market for the first time?

Have a sound strategy in place. Included in that strategy, I’d recommend developing a personal brand and community involvement such as networking events or meetups.   

What’s your advice for employers aiming to hire locally?

Employ a community outreach program.  Plug into local schools and bootcamps to find fresh talent you can groom and nurture.   

I’d also recommend a social marketing strategy to showcase your company and its culture to attract talent.  If companies are thinking about using a staffing company, I recommend working with a firm that can provide solutions such as Managed Resources, Flexible Talent Delivery and Direct Hire services. 

What can companies do to keep talent?

Many companies get talent but they are unable to hold on to talent.  Many companies struggle with attrition because they don’t provide enough programs and incentives for talent to stay.  Culture is everything. No matter the industry, culture can make or break an environment.  

From time to time, this blog will bring you views from startup founders, corporate hiring managers, recruiters and job hunters themselves about the needs, realities and outlook for tech hiring in South Florida. Have a suggestion for this series? Email me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com.

READ MORE IN THIS SERIES: Genius Plaza to #MiamiTech: ‘We need developers, lots of developers’ and ‘crazy activists’

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and send news tips and feedback to ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com.

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Nancy Dahlberg

I am a writer, editor and a leader with extensive media experience and a passion for journalism and serving the community. Most of my career has been spent with the Miami Herald in business news, and my expertise is writing about entrepreneurs. I'm also good at research and project planning. I enjoy running community-focused projects and utilizing social media. Contact me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com
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