How to solve hire-level problems

Recruiting IT pros in high-demand markets like South Asia requires ingenuity

Recruiting: it’s fun and it’s an adventure…until you have more jobs than people to fill them. Too often this imbalance is the case in IT, as the demand for end-to-end IT services continues to grow worldwide — but there isn’t always local talent to cope with the needs of specific markets.

This graphic from Monroe Consulting Group tells the story: the delta between candidates and skilled positions is enormous.


In some cases, supply and demand are so out of sync from what we think of as “traditional” hiring, in which the employer has her pick of candidates, that the most in-demand candidates don’t even use job portals. They are already targeted by so many companies that they simply choose which job to take.

While that certainly gives new meaning to the phrase “IT girl” (or “IT guy”), it doesn’t necessarily help a recruiter narrow the gap when it comes to filling senior positions. At Dell we’ve tried different approaches, particularly in Asian developing countries, and here’s what we’ve found works:

  1. Hire talented people with potential who are willing to be trained rather than finding a 100 percent fit. We offer extensive career-development programs that include hiring fresh graduates and putting them through a three-, six-, nine- or 12-month internal development program.
  2. Define the talent pool in the broadest sense. The most critical part of the hiring process in an extremely competitive market is being able to identify all the available talent. Our talent acquisition teams conduct talent mapping exercises and suggest positive solutions. For technical roles, the talent mapping really helps the hiring manager to see the best options available HOW. In developing countries, subsidizing technical certificates also helps expand the pool of available workers and close basic technical-skill gaps.
  3. Be a stronger competitor. Employees want money, speed, and satisfaction. The cost of competing in an overheated local talent market can be substantial, as the lure of more money means average tenure also drops for these roles. In addition to paying competitively, we strive to make the hiring decision-making process as fast as one to two weeks. We also invest in effective localized employment-branding practices and offer a strong employment brand. Our focus is on creating an environment where individuals can do their best work in service of our customers. 
  4. Put down deep roots. With its impressive consumer size, Southeast Asia represents a great opportunity for global IT services providers. But Jakarta, like Rome, wasn’t built in a day. Here at Dell, we’re partnering with institutions (schools, colleges, and universities and training centers) to help us build a strong interpersonal network in the Southeast Asian talent market. Our mission is to develop and grow the best talent in Asian developing countries and thus be an ideal company to join — and stay.

You can do the same.

Zakir Hossain
Zahir Hossain works on Asia Pacific & Japan talent acquisition for Dell.
Zakir Hossain
Tags: Business,Business Management