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HOW TO ATTRACT/RETAIN TECH TALENT IN A CANDIDATE-DRIVEN MARKET

Thursday 12th May 2016
Candidates in the technology market at the moment are spoilt for choice with the sheer number of great companies looking to hire quality digital talent…

It’s no secret that adopting a solid digital strategy and expanding through various technological channels is pretty high on the list of priorities for the majority of businesses. Therefore, ensuring they have the right employees with the relevant digital skills is becoming extremely important.

Where talent pools across many industries are extremely competitive between candidates, with candidates having to tackle thousands of other applicants to fight for one role, it would seem that this is slightly different in technology. The digital skills gap has been a hot topic in the industry for a while now - the roles are there, but the top talent to fill the roles simply are not. This means that quality digital job seekers are often presented with 2-3 job offers from different companies at a time, taking the competition from candidate VS candidate to hiring companies VS each other. 

So in this ‘candidate-driven’ market where job seekers are seemingly having their pick of the top digital jobs available, what would make a technology candidate pick YOUR company over the two or three other companies offering them a role? And equally importantly, what is going to make them stay?

Techies want a deeper meaning...
According to Inc.com techies are looking for something to work on which matters.“A mission, a narrative, a way to dent into the universe”. Does your company have a clear view of where it wants to be and by when, and can new recruits envision being a part of driving the companies success? Are your recruits bought into your company’s mission and objectives? More to the point, is your mission worth investing in? You can’t just pitch techies a role and hope they’ll drop all other offers with ‘yep, that sounds great, count me in’. You need to paint a story of how their work will make an impact in what you are trying to achieve.

Genius attracts genius…
Team means more than you think. Inc also states that "who you work with appears to be nearly as important to software engineers as what you’re working on. The most talented and interesting people in the world want to work with the other talented and interesting people. Genius attracts genius." It’s important for tech professionals to be inspired in the workplace and have other people in the office that they can gain experience and wider knowledge from.

Up to date, cutting edge…
Techies want to work for companies that are continually improving and are current. Forward thinking companies that candidates want to work for are exactly that – forward thinking. They’re always looking ahead for ways to continuously improve what they’re doing and ensure they are keeping up to date with all the latest technologies, which keeps things fresh and exciting for their employees. If you’re using a tech stack that’s five years old whereas your competition is constantly upgrading their tools and technologies, you’re likely to put yourself in a difficult position when trying to attract the right people to your organisation 

Company culture…
One of the biggest attractions for tech staff is company culture. Companies like Google and Airbnb are praised for their amazing company culture. A positive working environment is a key priority for these companies and in return their employees enjoy working for them and tend to stick with them for the long haul.

Tech professionals are innovators, therefore their working environments should reflect this. The Silicon Valley giants we’ve mentioned incorporate ‘break out’ areas, where employees can get space to be creative and embrace new ideas.

Our client FinancialForce.com has embraced this into their working environment and company culture. Financialforce staff are encouraged to use the break out rooms located around the offices, including free vending machines, play stations, and themed meeting rooms, moving away from the dryness of a typically corporate environment.

Google states that "Focusing on output rather than hours worked and treating employees well, with on-site facilities like allowing pets in the office and up-to-date technology, all helps to create an engaged, motivated and happy workforce and there is no reason why these kinds of perks can’t be introduced at smaller tech companies too."

Can you offer your employees an attractive company culture? And a space where they are going to continue to innovate and perform?

Incentives and company perks…
While the projects and culture may be what initially attracts technology candidates to a role, the ‘perks’ and the benefits of working for your company are what will make them stay with you.

Hard work needs to be recognised. Techies, along with the majority of other professionals want to feel like they are appreciated for work and that their company recognises and respects their life outside of work also. For example: “The opportunity to work at Google attracts professionals as it provides an industry-leading maternity package to its employees. Intel offers its employees compensation for completing their MBA and offers free tutoring services to employees’ children.”

Understandably, smaller companies may not be in a position to offer all the same perks as those at Google and Facebook, but other perks such as flexible working opportunities and extended annual leave days are some of the things that definitely do not go unnoticed for technology professionals looking for a new company to join.

Tech jobs were found to be the best for work-life balance following feedback from UK and US employees: web developer ranked highest in the UK, joined in the top 20 by data analyst, software engineer and design engineer. In the US, data scientist, SEO manager, social media manager and UX designer (user experience designer) led the pack. With the majority of companies hiring tech professionals seeming to be taking into consideration the above points, the results are paying off and  clearly not to be ignored.

Are you a tech professional? Do you agree with the points we've discussed? What attracts you to an organisation, and what makes you stick around? It would be great to get your thoughts, tweet us @AmsourceTech.

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