IT hiring: 4 things you're doing wrong (and how to fix them)

IT organizations may be their own worst enemies when it comes to effective strategies for sourcing, screening and hiring IT talent.

Hiring 60 new Java programmers in a year is a challenge for almost any IT organization, but it's a near Herculean task when your company is based in the Midwest rather than the heart of Silicon Valley.

Undeterred, Orbitz, the travel site, tried out-of-the-box methods such as attending and hosting Meetup events and deploying talent-sourcing software to help meet its ambitious recruitment targets.

With only 40 Java programmers hired by the end of 2014, the company did fall short of its goals, but it had managed to fill two-thirds of the open positions and was better-positioned to meet future hiring requirements.

"Hiring is one of those things that won't go away," says Aishah Belin, a sourcing recruiter at Orbitz, headquartered in Chicago. "We can never get caught up because we're growing so fast. But we're now trending positive, and next year, we are in a much better position to hit that 60[-hire] goal."

The so-called IT talent crunch may be a source of hot debate, but there's no disputing that companies like Orbitz are increasingly struggling to find qualified candidates, particularly in red-hot skills areas like mobile development, Web programming and advanced analytics.

Companies typically blame the skills shortage for their hiring woes, but at least some experts suggest that IT organizations may be getting in their own way when it comes to effective strategies for sourcing, screening and hiring IT talent.

"In general, hiring restrictions and talent shortages are very industry-specific. Often the hiring challenges are really self-induced," says Scott Whisman, general manager, corporate services at Jack Henry & Associates, a provider of IT services to the banking industry.

Computerworld asked Whisman and several other hiring managers and IT recruiters to identify missteps that IT shops routinely make that can have a negative impact on sourcing new talent. Here are four hiring mistakes -- and details about how to avoid them.

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