Demand for IT talent continues to increase at a rapid rate, and a talent shortage within the industry is no longer an anticipated trend—it’s quickly become a problematic reality. A recent article from CIO confirms that in 2018 we face a serious shortage of tech workers, with verticals like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing in particular developing a growing demand for IT workers that far exceeds the current supply. Amidst this tech shortage it’s more important than ever to develop the strategies that will attract the best IT candidates to your company. If you feel like you’re not getting the IT candidates you want, be sure you’re not making one of these five mistakes throughout the application and hiring process.

  1. Vague Job Description

Having an unclear description of the job and your company as a whole can prevent you from attracting the best candidates. If your job description is too vague or filled with buzzwords that don’t actually address the day-to-day tasks of the role, for example, a candidate may not have a clear idea of what the job actually entails. It’s important that your job description is concise and to-the-point while still containing some high-level details about the role and what it’s like to work for your company. Use simple, industry-specific keywords to clearly communicate what the position entails.

  1. You Fail To Sell Them On Your Employer Brand

It also pays to have a positive company narrative throughout the hiring process that paints a clear picture of your organization. Top candidates are going to be evaluating your reputation, culture, benefits and more. What are the unique benefits of your company culture? What values do you stand for? What are the perks of working there? (Flexible work hours, competitive pay, etc.) Know who you are as a company and remember: throughout the application process you’re selling a potential candidate on your company brand as much as they’re selling their skillset to you. If you feel like your company currently lacks a clear employer brand, start with your current employees. Ask them what they value about their work environment most, and decide on a brief company narrative or a few short “selling points” about your company culture.

  1. Unclear Career Path

One of the biggest reasons people cite for leaving a job is a lack of growth opportunities. Throughout the hiring process, it’s helpful to outline some potential career pathways for a potential hire. Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) has explained in his career planning speeches that companies can vastly increase talent attraction—and retention—if they outline possible career paths available to potential employees. If IT candidates view a position as a potential dead-end, they may be less likely to follow-through and remain interested. You can communicate to them during the application and interview process various pathways for career development at the role; is there a potential for a promotion or review in a given amount of time? Will they have some agency in how to carve out their role in the future? Above all, candidates like to know that they’re not taking a dead-end job.

  1. Application or Hiring Process Is Too Lengthy/Slow

It should come as no surprise that a drawn-out interview and hiring process can be a major deterrence for in-demand candidates. When it comes to attracting and hiring the right IT talent amidst our current tech shortage, you need to act fast. According to an article in CIO called 7 IT Salary and Hiring Trends For 2018, “two thirds of IT professionals surveyed said they would lose interest in a job if there was no follow-up within two weeks of an interview.” Examine your hiring process and determine if you’re losing the best candidates to other competing job offers during the interview process. If possible, consolidate multiple interviews into one meeting; have a potential hire meet with multiple people on the same day to expedite hiring decisions.

  1. Can’t Offer Competitive Perks Or Compensation

Let’s face it: with today’s tech talent shortage, it’s more important than ever to focus on offering competitive pay to your new hire. Data from Robert Half shows that “44% of CIOs say they miss out on top talent because candidates are seeking higher salaries than they’re able to offer.” If you struggle to offer competitive pay, determine what additional perks you may be able to offer someone: maybe it’s flexible work schedules, remote work opportunities, tuition reimbursement, ample PTO, stock options, or other opportunities. You want to present an attractive compensation and benefits package to potential candidates early on during the interview process to keep them interested.

Above all, if you find you’re not able to attract or hire the top IT candidates your company is looking for, take some time to evaluate the five mistakes outlined above. It could be something as simple as clearly defining a positive employer brand or expediting your hiring process, and in the end you can end up with that in-demand candidate who’s going to become an invaluable asset to your company.