sense is not always honored in practice. To the extent that some of the recommended actions are being implemented successfully by various individual stakeholders, the description here can be regarded as a description of “best practices” that others may wish to emulate.

8.3.1 For Employers of IT Workers
Change recruiting practices.

Today, IT employers spend considerable recruiting effort on college campuses in the search for top technical talent to meet their immediate needs for IT professionals. However, employers have also pointed to difficulties in finding good managerial talent for their IT projects. Because management requires a maturity and perspective not often found in recent college graduates, recruiting efforts directed at older workers with necessary technical skills and managerial experience might yield a rich return on effort invested.

Build deeper relationships with universities and other sources of talent.

While most employers do recognize the value of active recruiting at colleges and universities, it stands to reason—and is confirmed by experience—that the larger and more substantive the campus presence of an employer, the greater will be student awareness of that employer. An employer that sets up an employment booth at a job fair once or twice a year will naturally have less visibility than one that meets regularly with the IT faculty, gives seminars to the computer science department, provides financial support and co-op opportunities for students, and works to develop relevant curricula.

Make more use of structured assessment methods.

Unstructured assessment methods, such as informal interviews, are easy to use. They take little time to develop and less time to administer than more structured methods. But employers would increase the likelihood of identifying good performers if they used more structured assessment methods, such as structured interviews in which assessors pose the same questions to every applicant and score the results in a uniform manner.

One method of structured assessment that may be especially valuable for IT employers is the work sample or simulation. An employer could ask an applicant for a programming job to develop an algorithm to solve a particular problem—or even to write a program to solve it, either in a

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement