Developing Your Own Technical Talent

I hear from many clients that it is still quite hard to find experienced technical talent for IT or web development and administration work. What to do when you can’t afford to lure away an experienced technical employee? One alternative is to develop your own.

The key to success is to design your positions and professional development program to enable you to develop an entry level person and then promote them in place. This eventually develops the skill set you need while enhancing your chance of retaining the person after they have been trained.

Design an entry level technical position that you will fill. Also design a more senior position, based on the original job description, that includes higher-level responsibilities and the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities. As your entry level new hire is developed, promote them into the higher level position which you have created by design. It’s good to have two to three of these junior to senior path positions in place, if you can afford it, so that you can have new talent in the pipeline before a trained person does eventually leave.

This does a couple of things. It offers the realistic chance of relatively rapid promotion for the entry level person once they have learned how to do the more advanced job. They don’t have to wait for someone more senior to leave, they can simply be promoted in place. This will help to acknowledge the value of their new skills to the company and contribute to keeping them with you longer than they would have stayed for a dead-end entry level job. It also creates a senior position that you can fill directly if you happen to find that perfect candidate (it does happen now and then!).

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