New tools such as social networks are changing the face of IT talent management. But some time-tested techniques continue to work well, according to IT labour experts.

Signing bonuses have experienced a resurgence over the past two years as certain types of IT skills have become more scarce. And as CIOs pay more for new talent, they’ll have to consider offering “stay” bonuses or risk losing valued IT workers.

Many smart CIOs establish and maintain solid relationships with a handful of local or respected universities to create a talent pipeline and to instruct academic officials on the types of skills they need.

Most IT professionals are hungry for new training opportunities, and they look for employers who are dedicated to providing IT staffers with a variety of educational options. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are great for identifying prospective employees. But nothing beats attending industry events and hobnobbing with peers to identify new sources of talent.