HomeSitemap This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leadership

Strategies, advice and opinions helping to define and develop the role of IT leaders and their staffs.

The IT Hiring Challenge

Despite the many tools, approaches, philosophies, and processes available to human resources, identifying and hiring good IT people very much remains a challenge. Whether you are a candidate or a hiring manager, the overall experience continues to be lengthy and often frustrating with questionable results.

Although hiring has always been a challenge in IT, it appears to have become even more difficult due to the growing list of requirements imposed by HR and the organization. There is a significant misalignment between hiring rules and departmental hiring requirements within most companies today. This is highlighted by the size of the staffing industry. In 2015, the staffing industry in Canada had a market size of $8.5B and it is expected to rise to $8.9B in 2017.

Education and experience used to be the main factors weighing into the hiring decision, but today, many other aspects are being looked at to evaluate a candidate’s suitability. These can include soft skills, cultural fit, social media presence, volunteer work, and the list goes on. This has effectively become the new norm for all positions.

The intent of this more elaborate hiring approach is to better identify well rounded candidates who are an immediate fit with the organization’s culture and who are more likely to have long, productive careers with the company. The actual result, in most cases, has been increased overhead and bureaucracy in a world where disruption requires rapid action. This is particularly an issue within IT where the current average tenure of new hires (including CIOs) is around two years.

This complex hiring approach only works well for organizations who are already leaders and visionaries in their respective segments, and where a successful core culture has already been instilled into the very fabric of the company. Examples include Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix – all relatively new enterprises. This approach does not work for the majority of companies who are trying to prosper as they regularly go through leadership changes, which in turn translates into the introduction of new or evolved cultures. Unless an organization is a member of an exclusive club of segment leaders, it’s best not to mimic their hiring practices. The likelihood of successfully competing for the same talent pool is low. It’s best to take an approach that is more likely to produce positive outcomes. This means focusing on short to medium term skill requirements, as opposed to long term ones.

I have witnessed these hiring challenges first-hand as both a hiring manager and a candidate over the last eight years. As a hiring manager, I consistently found myself having to rely on my personal network and third party staffing firms to fill open positions. HR was not able to identify and attract suitable candidates within the required time frame. Red tape also caused significant delays during the approval and onboarding process. It could take the HR department more than two months to internally approve and onboard a selected candidate for a critical position. The processes weren’t aligned with the rapid transformation required to be successful.

As a candidate, a common theme I’ve observed is the unnecessary focus on potential shortcomings as opposed to established and proven strengths. When anyone involved in the hiring process thinks they have identified a weakness, there is a rush to eliminate the candidate and move on to the next one. More often than not, this leads to the search being unsuccessful or the company selecting someone who is unsuitable because hiring managers become frustrated or have run out of time and need to move forward.

The misalignment between HR and IT, combined with increasing demand and competition for good talent, is one of the main challenges for CIOs. It frequently leads to companies failing to meet their IT objectives and increases the reliance on IT outsourcing. There is a critical need within many organizations to shift from “dictate and impose” to “collaborate and adapt”. This requires HR to take a more client focused approach by having a dedicated representative for the IT department who works closely with IT leaders to be constantly in sync with staffing requirements. This allows HR to adapt to the needs of their constituents as opposed to pushing them towards a fixed framework. Moreover, HR needs to have experienced IT specialists on the team who are familiar with IT positions, sources of candidates, and the current recruiting landscape. By combining this approach with executive and HR leadership support, organizations can solve the IT hiring challenge

 

Ali Moghadam is a Senior IT Leader with over 20 years of experience leveraging technology to add value across all facets of the business. He has successfully led transformations for national and international organizations in manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors.

 

Past Attendees


ADP - VP Architecture & Infrastructure

AESO - VP, Information Technology

Agnico Eagle Mines - VP, IT

Agrium - Global Mgr., IT Security

Agrium - Senior Director IT Shared Services

Aimia - SVP & Global CIO

Ainsworth Engineered - Director IT

Air Canada Vacations - Director IT

Alberta Energy Regulator - Director, Office of the CIO

Anthem Properties - VP IS

AON Risk Solutions Canada - Head of IT

Aviva Canada - VP, Architecture & Strategy

Bank of America Merrill Lynch - CTO

BC Ferry Services - VP & CIO

Bellatrix Exploration - Director, Information Technology

Bentall Kennedy - VP IT

Black Press - CTO

BlackBerry - VP Corporate IT

BMO Financial Group - Head of Services Delivery

Bombardier Aerospace - CISO

Bonavista Petroleum - Head of IT

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Global CIO

Bow Valley College - Director, IT Services

Bridgewater Bank - Head of IT

BuildDirect - VP IT

Bulk Barn - Head, IT

Burnco - CIO

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec - VP, IT Planning, Architecture, Governance, Operations

Calfrac Well Services - Head of IT

Canada Mortgage and Housing - VP, Information & Technology

Canadian Depository for Securities - CIO

Canadian Direct Insurance - CTO

Canadian Payments Association - VP & CIO

Canucks Sports - Head of IT

CAPREIT - CIO

Cardel Homes - VP MIS

Cargojet - CIO

CCS Corp. - VP IT

Centerra Gold - Director IT & Comm

CIBC - Senior Director, Infrastructure Planning & Engineering

CIBC - SVP & CIO, Retail and Business Banking Technology

CIBC Mellon - AVP, Enterprise Architecture

CIBC Mellon - SVP & CIO

Cineplex Entertainment - CTO

City of Brampton - Senior Manager, IT Architecture & Planning

City of Toronto - Director of Strategic Planning & Architecture

CN Rail Service - Chief Information Security Officer

Coast Capital Savings - VP Technology

Concordia University - AVP & CIO

Crescent Point Energy - Head of IT

Dairy Farmers of Ontario - Head of IT and Administration

Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie - VP, IT

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP - Director, Information Technology

DealerTrack Canada - Director, Technology

Defence Construction Canada - Corporate Manager, IT

Dentons - Canada CIO

Devon Energy - Director, Integrated Business Services

Direct Cash - VP IT & Security

Dynamic Tire Corp - CIO

eHealth Ontario - VP, IT Systems & Services

Encana - Director, InfoSec

Enerflex - CIO

Enerplus - VP. IS

ENMAX - VP, IT & PMO

Essential Energy Services - Director, IT

Expedia Cruise Ship Centers - VP IS

FGL Sports - VP, Information Technology

Fix Auto Canada - COO & SVP

Flightnetwork.com - CIO

FT Services - CIO

FundServ - CIO

Genus Capital Management - CTO

Genworth Financial Inc. - VP IT

Golder Associates - CTO

Gran Tierra Energy - Director IT

Grant Thornton LLP - CIO

Greenwin Inc - VP, Information Technology

Groupe Dynamite - Director, IT

GSK Canada - IT Director

GTAA - Acting CIO

H&R Block Canada - VP IT

Hewitt Equipment Ltd. - VP & CIO

Hitachi - CTO, Americas

Home Trust Company - CIO

Home Trust Company - CTO

Home Trust Company - VP & CISO

Horizon North Logistics - CIO

Indigo Books and Music - CIO

ivari - SVP & CIO

JP Morgan Chase Canada - Executive Director, Information Risk Management

Keyera Energy - Director, Information Technology

KnowledgeOne - CIO

LaFarge Canada - Director, IT

Landmark Cinemas Canada - VP, IT

LCBO - Director, Applications Systems

LCBO - SVP & CIO

Leisureworld Senior Care Corp - VP IS

Lightstream Resources - Head, Information Services

London Drugs - GM IT

Loto-Quebec - Corporate Director, InfoSec

Magna International Inc - VP & Global Leader, IT (CIO)

March Networks - VP Professional Services & CIO

McCain Foods Limited - Manager InfoSec

McInnis Cement - Director of Information Technology

Medical Pharmacies Group - VP, Information Technology

MEG Energy - Manager, Information Technology Solutions & Services

MMM Group - CIO

Montreal Police Service - CIO

Morguard Investments - CIO

Moulding & Millwork - CIO

National Bank of Canada - Information Security Officer

National Capital Commission - Chief, IT infrastructure & Support Services

NHL Players' Association - Head, Security & Technology

Northbridge Financial Corp - CIO

OEC Group Canada - Vice President, Information Technology and Client solutions

Oildex - VP, Architecture & Infrastructure

Olympia Financial Group - CIO

OMERS - SVP IT

Ontario Pension Board - CTO

Ontario Trillium Foundation - CIO

Ottawa Police Service - CIO

Pacific Western Transportation - CIO

Packers Plus - Global IT Director

Patient News - CTO

Peel District School Board - CIO

Pengrowth Corp - Director IS

Penn West Exploration - Snr. Manager, IT Operations

Peterson Investment Group - Head of IT

PFB Corp. - CIO

Pizza Pizza - CIO & VP, IT

Precision Drilling - VP, IT

Precision Drilling - Director, IT Infrastructure & Security

PSP Investments - Snr. Director, Internal Audit & Business Infosec

Public Works and Government Services Canada - Director, IT Security Directorate

PwC - Managing Director, Real Estate Technology Advisory

Qantas - Global CIO

Queen's University - Director, Information Technology

RBC Royal Bank - Head of Application Security, Data Protection & Security Consulting

Regal Lifestyle Communities - CIO

Revera Inc. - CIO

Revera Inc. - Security Architect

Ricoh Canada - VP,IT

RioCan Property Services - VP IT

Rogers Communications - SVP, Customer Experience IT

ROM - CIO

Russel Metals - VP,IS

Scotiabank - VP - International Systems Technology

Scotiabank - Director, Architecture & Engineering

Sears Canada - Divisional VP, Information Technology Services

Secure Energy Services - GM, IT

Shaw Communications - VP, Technology Operations

Shaw Communications - Director, Risk Management

SMART Technologies - Director, IS Corporate Services

Smartcentres - Director IS, IT

Societe de Transport de Montreal - Division Head - Security and Compliance

Street Capital Financial - CIO

Sun Life Financial - AVP, Data & Business Intelligence Services

Sun Life Financial - VP Application Ops & Services

Suncor Energy Inc. - Director, Application Portfolio Optimization, I&PM, Business Services

Symcor - CTO, VP Technology Services

Talisman Energy - SVP IT & Business Services

TD Bank - Enterprise Architect

Teknion - SVP, CIO

TELUS - Chief Security Architect

Tervita Corporation - VP, Information Technology

The Hudsons Bay Company - VP Technology

The Hudson's Bay Company - SVP & CIO

The Source - VP, Information Technology

TMX Group - VP, CISO

Toromont Industries - VP & CIO

Toronto District School Board - Chief Technology Officer

Toronto Hospital for Sick Children - Director of Technology

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - Chief Enterprise Architect

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - CIO

Toyota Canada - National Manager, IS

Transamerica Life Canada - CIO

Trican Well Services Ltd. - Director, Business Information Systems

Tridel Corporation - CIO

Trillium Health Partners - IT Director, Applications & Clinical Informatics

UFA Cooperative - VP & CIO

University of Calgary - Executive Director, Development Services

University of Ottawa - CIO

University of Ottawa - Senior Director IT Services & Infrastructure

University of Waterloo - Director, Technology Entrepreneurship

Vancity - VP Technology & Solutions

Viterra - Director Enterprise Technology

World Health - Director IT

Wolseley Canada - CIO & COO

Yellow Pages Group - Director - Enterprise Data Management

York Region District School Board - CIO

Leadership Archive