s In Hiring Techserve 2016Earlier this month, I attended the 2016 TechServe Alliance Conference in Amelia Island, Florida. There, I was able to engage with industry peers and leaders and exchange experiences and ideas. I was also given the exciting opportunity to speak on a panel with Eric Gregg, CEO & Founder of Inavero, addressing some of the trends in hiring and staffing. Here’s a rundown of my key takeaways.

The Ongoing Skills Shortage

The talent shortage is nothing new; it’s always been around and it’s not going away. The rapid evolution of technology and the shifting market in response to economic recovery have made the shortage much more apparent, but it’s always existed. Finding the right people with the right combination of skills, expertise and experience – as well as a positive cultural fit – has been and always will be a challenge. It requires broad knowledge of the market and a deep network of people who can help identify the best candidates.

Furthermore, it’s clear that globalization in the marketplace is not slowing down. Although this trend comes with its own challenges, it does allow businesses to cast a wider global net in order to overcome skills shortages.

Tackling the Digital Evolution

Technology continues to charge ahead at an extraordinary rate, impacting best practices, workforce productivity, and operational processes in general. While the general objective of technological advancement is to boost efficiency and productivity, there’s the natural learning curve and implementation turnaround that companies need to be prepared for as they adjust to ongoing digital evolution.

There’s also a significant impact on talent acquisition, as many elements of the recruitment process become automated. The benefits of this are great, allowing recruiters and hiring managers to cut the burden of many time-consuming tasks. Once again, however, companies must carefully strategize to ensure they are leveraging new tools effectively. There’s no doubt that automation will be a massive disruptor to the staffing industry and to hiring managers across industries. Leaders who fail to tackle this challenge will inevitably fall behind, losing the benefits of technology as a business accelerator.

Managing Millennials

Millennials are still somewhat of a wildcard when it comes to the workforce. The biggest misconception is that they are lazy and demand unprecedented flexibility in regards to work hours and location. However, they love data and information, and have a positive competitive spirit in the workplace. This generation is huge, so companies need to work out the best way to manage them.

It’s also critical to realize that only about a third of Millennials will stay loyal to any one company for more than a few years. They see the benefit of a broad range of experiences and are constantly looking for professional development opportunities in their careers. Thus, retaining them becomes the biggest challenge. We’ve seen many companies solve this retention problem by shifting their employment model to a contingent or independent workforce in order to execute their projects using the best talent with specialized skill sets.

Navigating Hiring Trends in 2017

As the year slowly comes to a close, these trends are only strengthening their impact on hiring. The skills shortage, digital evolution, and the Millennial generation are all forces that business leaders will need to reckon with as they strategize for the New Year. The TechServe Alliance Conference 2016 was a valuable opportunity to see how other businesses are grappling with these challenges.

If some of these challenges sound uncomfortably familiar, we’d love to share our insight. Let us know how we can assist in your hiring initiatives today.

Jeff Dean


Jeff Dean is the managing director of MDI Group’s Dallas/Fort Worth office.  If you are interested in learning more about how to attract the best IT talent in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, contact Jeff directly at  jdean@mdigroup.com or call us 888-416-7949.  MDI Group also has offices and specializes in recruiting IT talent in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Greenville and Phoenix.