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Amsource 12 Days of Christmas: Attracting, Engaging & Retaining Tech Talent in 2020!

Wednesday 4th December 2019
It's almost the end of 2019, which is the perfect time to be looking towards 2020 and planning your growth strategy for the year ahead. The landscape for tech talent is challenging as ever, so how are you going to attract retain the best talent for the year ahead?

According to research conducted by Korn Ferry the labour skills shortage in the tech sector is expected to reach 4.3 million by the year 2030. 

The market for tech professionals is extremely competitive and candidate driven. This means candidates with in-demand tech skills often have their pick of 2-3 job offers at a time!

Organisations looking to invest in technology or expand their tech teams are having to work harder to attract, engage and retain the best tech talent.

If you're a manager who is hoping for the gift of growth this Christmas, we've compiled some of the best tips, especially for you... 

Day 1: Harness New Ways of Working...

Companies that offer flexibility and are open to trying new things in ways of working are often very appealing for job seekers, especially in the tech market.

It’s important to candidates that their potential employers demonstrate their dedication to promoting a healthy work-life balance to their staff. Do you have policies in place which enable employees to have the flexibility they need to go about their lives with minimal stress? 

This can include working from home if needed, working different working hours to compliment out of work commitments (e.g childcare).

According to HRDirector there are many benefits to be reaped by employers who embrace flexibility, including: employee satisfaction, greater productivity and success. Employees who avail of flexible working arrangements are provided with a greater sense of control over their working day and are likelier to work harder to increase their outputs.

Day 2: Embrace the latest Technology...

We talk to hundreds of tech professionals daily operating in a wide range of different technical fields. Something that is apparent and a common trait among many of those we speak to is that they are eager to work with the latest tech, tools and systems. 

According to research carried out by Salesforce 71% of employees surveyed want their companies to provide them with the same level of tech they use in their day to day lives.

Forbes says the technology a company uses can say a lot about them. Investing in your tech stack so that it is current and interesting is key in the attraction for tech candidates. While a piece of tech may work and be functional, if it’s not interesting or something that captures the minds of tech staff then you stand at risk of being viewed as outdated of a place that doesn’t offer quality career progression. This could also result in being the deciding factor in rejecting or accepting a job offer. 

Day 3: The importance of having a vision...

If somebody asked you where you saw your organisation in three years, would you be able to tell them? Do you know how to reach your goals? AND ultimately, do you know how new team members can help and contribute to this vision? 

A great way to attract the best talent to your business is to get them to buy into your business vision and to clearly see what a career would look like at your organisation, should they join it.

Day 4: Be active in the tech community

The tech community is extremely sociable and collaborative. Tech professionals are passionate about the work they do and often take the opportunity to upskill and expand on their knowledge outside of work by attending meetups, workshops, events and seminars.

These events offer countless opportunities for businesses looking to attract tech talent.

Why not immerse yourself in the scene and host some of these events, this could be a great opportunity to showcase some of the innovation you are undertaking and give attendees (prospective candidates) a taste of what a career at your organisation could offer them. 

By hosting events, sponsoring events or even ensuring your team actively attend events, it shows that your organisation is passionate and interested in building the local digital community, something that most tech candidates are also passionate about.

Day 5: Invest in training

If you’ve read our talent attraction piece you will know that training prospects are a major driver for tech candidates. 

Training should start from your employee’s first day of joining your business and should continue all the way through their employment with you.
Sir Richard Branson famously said ‘Train your staff well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’

Training makes staff feel more valued by their organisation. It shows that the organisation is dedicated to investing in their employees’ skills and providing them with the correct resources and knowledge needed for them to continue delivering a high level of work.

Day 6: Pay your employees what they're worth

According to a 2018 report by ‘Hired’ 55% of tech workers surveyed listed salary and benefits as the biggest factor they consider when looking for a job of evaluating an offer.

This also ties into the point we made regarding policies in place which show the companies dedication to a healthy work life balance. Companies can also show this dedication through company benefits such as health car allowances, free healthy lunches, workplace fitness all of which are a staple part of everyday working life at the Silicon Valley giants we’ve heard about. While you may not have the budget that Google has, it’s important for your candidates to see that you want care about offering your staff a good pay that is market value or above and that you also want to add value to their lives through benefits they can use on behalf of the organisation.

Day 7: Celebrate Success

Celebrating success is really important when it comes to keeping your employees engaged.

Your employees want to feel a sense of involvement in the business they work for and that are a part of it's success. As an employer it's important you remind your team of their importance to the business by celebrating when things are going well as a result of their hard work.

This makes your employees feel valued but also makes them excited for more success at your organisation.

Ways you can incorporate this include, monthly team meet-ups where an over view is given of what's going well and motivate and guide where improvements need to be made.

Day 8: Ask you employees for feedback

How often are you asking for genuine feedback on your employees working experience? How often are you asking for suggestions from your employees on how they might have a better working experience at your organisation?

Employees want to know that their voice is heard and that they are instrumental in the growth of the organisation. This is a great way to keep them engaged.

Feedback and suggestions can be taken frequently in the catch-up sessions we mentioned earlier. 

Why not implement a feedback box that you can prompt your team to use that is checked by management regularly?

There are also plenty of online resources you can incorporate into your organisations operations to get more detailed valuable feedback (e.g. Office Vibe) .

Day 9: Have a clear progression path...

The tech professionals we engage often express to us how internal opportunities for growth are a major pull factor when considering a job offer. 

The majority of tech candidates are extremely driven and motivated they want to work for organisations that compliment these traits.

Are you currently offering your employees a clear route for progression? Are you willing to invest in your employees’ skills to ensure they continue to learn and progress on the job?

If a prospective candidate feels that there is not much room for progression or personal growth this may be a deciding factor in the rejection of a job offer.

Day 10: Promote an equal and diverse working environment

CIPHR says that Supporting employee networks for specific demographic groups – based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion, for example – has a direct link to employee retention and engagement, a 2017 study by Women Ahead found. On the report’s launch, Women Ahead founder and CEO Liz Dimmock, said: “Networks aren’t just a nice thing to talk about. They’re a really key business enabler that leads to bottom line performance, productivity and innovation.”

We recently were joined by equality experts 50:50 Future for a Q&A here’s what they had to say about why equality should be high on the agenda for all businesses at the moment;  "The UK economy will need two million new managers by 2024 – and 1.5 million will need to be women to achieve gender balance. Diversity and Inclusion plays a huge role in attracting and retaining the right talent, company culture, employee well-being and belonging.

In our experience, many companies point to recruitment as their biggest challenge but it actually goes much further than this. Thinking about your organisation holistically rather than just focussing on one aspect will help take into account your employees whole life cycle. For example, first impressions - are you using gender neutral language and formatting in your job adverts? Does your company website have diverse imagery, are family friendly policies available to view publicly? Recruitment, if you use recruiters or you have an internal recruitment team - have they had Unconscious Bias training?

What is your interview process and what are the first impressions of walking in to your Company? Do you have clear progression routes and female leaders within the organisation?

What is your company culture really like and is it consistent across all departments? What is your organisation’s reputation for investing in D&I initiatives?"

Click here to find out how 50:50 can help you achieve equality!

Day 11: Promote a positive working environment

Working environment is a massive factor for prospective candidates evaluating your business.

You want your digital team to be creative and to drive innovation at your organisation. Does your working environment promote these behaviours? We’re seeing more frequently the importance of our clients investing in their working environment. Those who invest in their working environment see a higher retention rate in their staff alongside a higher application rate for their roles.

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 mentioned earlier incorporate ‘break out’ areas, where employees can get space to be creative and embrace new ideas. 

Our client 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.

Day 12...

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