There’s something different about IT people. Sure, we like our salaries like everyone else, but a job is more than that. Seeing technology bring people together, make their lives easier and help the company grow is a great thing to be a part of.

There’s a certain level of investment IT folks make in their systems, a pride. When we look for jobs, we are looking to improve and grow, or maybe we’re forced to. Well, sure we also look for the same reasons as other folks, too.

Having said that, there is one thing though that will scare off talented IT job seekers. It is an outdated system. I’m not talking about the last major revision. I’m talking about software 5 years old+.

Reason 1: Its a Career Killer
You could be a fantastic company with a great reputation, but seeing that you are on an outdated piece of software will kill my career. Companies come and go and just because you are awesome today, doesn’t mean I won’t be looking for a job again soon and need those technical skills.

If that happens, I will be taking a step backwards technically. If you don’t use it, you lose it applies to me here.

Reason 2: It Reveals Your Investment Strategy in IT
Having an outdated system shows me your hand. You’ve revealed that you don’t (or can’t) keep your systems updated. IT is nothing to you except a commodity. Maybe you’re stuck with a legacy system for compliance reasons, but I’m still judging you.

Reason 3: You Are at Risk!
Something strange that you might not be considering – by putting outdated software versions on a job description, you just told the internet which exploits that they can use to hack your systems!

Not only that, but if I come on board, I am responsible for everything that happens to this system. An older system is more difficult to maintain and keep secure. Chances are I will be hosed in the near future.

How to Fix It
Focus on the technology family and not specific versions of the software. Consider the risks of your outdated software and, if you are truly looking for top talent, put a plan together to get the software updated once the new person starts. This is a great challenge to mention during the interview and could entice top talent to join, especially if it is something we’ve done before.

Consider this, your top talent candidate is confident, has been through this before and can modernize you AND get a quick win for themselves shortly after they join. It’s a win-win!