Finding work as a fresh graduate in New Zealand IT and tech isn't always easy. Many employers are looking for senior staff only, or require years of experience even for their junior roles.
And yet, there's a widening skills gap in the local industry – so can you, as an employer, truly justify writing off junior candidates? Let's examine why you should hire juniors, whether developers, engineers, architects or analysts.
1. Create a positive company culture
By hiring juniors you can encourage professional growth and mentorship from your existing senior staff.
Quite often, the reason for hiring seniors only is that juniors are more prone to making mistakes. Of course they are – they're still learning.
However, building this fear of failure into your hiring strategy has the potential to send a strongly negative message to your staff: "It's not okay to make mistakes."
Whether you intend to communicate this message or not doesn't matter – refusal to hire staff who might make errors is likely to broadcast this message clearly. Instead, by hiring juniors, you can demonstrate a healthier attitude, encouraging professional growth and mentorship from your existing senior staff.
2. Boost senior productivity
Seniors typically take on the lion's share of work, including more responsibilities and more complex code. However, there will always be "glue code" that can be completed by those with junior-level skills. This code is essential to the basic function of your products, but is generally low-risk and straightforward, albeit time consuming. Hiring junior programmers to take on these lower-level coding needs frees up more time for seniors to develop iterative improvements to the product as well as contribute to department-wide professional development.
3. Position your company as a career partner
Creating career progression potential can help you attract and retain staff.
By hiring juniors and providing mentorship and training, you're showing a genuine investment in your staff's professional development. Not only does this help you build a loyal, passionate team, it shows potential future candidates that you're a great company to work for.
4. Grow the industry
New Zealand is seeing an 11 per cent annual increase in software programmer jobs, but only a 3 per cent increase in computer science and information technology students, according to the Digital Skills Report.
The skills gap in New Zealand tech and IT is widening, and as specialised skills grow more and more in demand, it's important employers are willing to do their bit to help developers gain the right abilities to grow our industry.
No one is saying you should only hire junior developers – but your hiring strategy needs to consider a diverse range of skill levels to truly help your business thrive. For more information about finding NZ tech and IT talent that can transform your company, reach out to 920 Career Agents today.