From smart cars to smart homes, the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly embedded in our personal lives. Companies are scrambling to keep up with the rapid pace of IoT development and adapt their hiring process to recruit and retain specialized tech experts. From smart cars to smart homes, the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly embedded in our personal lives. Companies are scrambling to keep up with the rapid pace of IoT development and adapt their hiring process to recruit and retain specialized tech experts.

Sourcing talent for complex positions like 3D printing can be difficult. There’s a limited talent pool with the desired skill set. Adding to the challenge: the creation of new positions, like “Chief Internet of Things Officer” (CIoIoT) and IoT Business Designer, which some companies aren’t quite sure how to fill.

As Lucas Group’s Managing Partner for IT recruitment in Cincinnati, I’ve recently worked with several companies that are just beginning to build out their IoT capabilities. Making the right first hire is critical and a “business as usual” approach to recruitment wouldn’t get the job done. That’s why I follow a consultative approach to recruitment that assesses the company’s needs and marketplace opportunities before tapping into a large, passive network to identify that ideal first hire.

These best practices can help shape your company’s IoT recruitment process:

1. Understand your internal needs. Your first IoT hire sets the tone for future program development. This hire will not only be responsible for managing day-to-day tasks but also establishing company-wide best practices. Strong technical skills are just one piece of the puzzle. Leadership excellence matters, too. When I recruit a company’s first IoT hire, I start by sitting down with the hiring manager and making a list of the new hire’s responsibilities and duties. Oftentimes we find that the job description is overlooking critical leadership and interpersonal skills. By refining the job description, we can narrow our focus on the right candidates.

2. Proactively address candidate concerns. If your company is building out its IoT program from scratch, candidates may be unsure what to expect. Existing institutional barriers to change could make it difficult to build a new program and impact their ability to succeed in this new role. Assuage their concerns by framing this as a unique opportunity for them to put a personal mark on the program. Emphasize your company’s commitment to providing them with the necessary resources and autonomy for success.

3. Be realistic about the market. At the moment, Cincinnati is very much a job seeker’s market– and job seekers know their value. They expect to receive multiple competitive offers and are unlikely to consider any offer below the industry standard. This is especially true for IoT-related roles where talent is in-demand and hard to find. How does your proposed compensation package compare with the competition? While a competitive offer may be enough to get your foot in the door, you still need to deliver the full package, including professional development and advancement opportunities.

4. Work with a recruiter to ask the tough questions. In a tight talent marketplace, companies are cautious about asking direct questions regarding salary and relocation. One problem that Cincinnati-based companies occasionally face is a candidate’s perceived willingness to relocate. I’ve found that some candidates will say they’re open to relocating but ultimately get cold feet once the offer is on the table. A recruiter can ask tough questions about compensation expectations and relocation willingness, including the impact a move might have on a candidate’s family, that a hiring manager can’t ask.

If you’re struggling to source IoT talent, a recruiter can help identify opportunities to enhance your current hiring process. We deliver the right candidate in the right salary range who is genuinely interested in the position and excited to build a new program from the ground up. For more information on recruitment best practices, visit https://www.lucasgroup.com/executive-recruiting/it-recruiting/.


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