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How Can Companies Attract Top IT Talent in a Candidate Short Market?

Published date: 2018/06


Hiring the best people isn’t easy. Before identifying and assessing potential employees, you need to attract the right candidates, whilst staying ahead of the competition. However, as the talent market tightens, how can employers attract the very best people to their organisation? Although each candidate will differ in what they look for, we’ve narrowed down a few essential takeaways to help your company address the skills shortage and attract the top IT talent you need to keep things moving.

In today’s candidate-driven market, it’s becoming increasingly common for IT professionals to be presented with multiple opportunities at any one time. Digital Business Analysts, Software Developers (Full stack Java and .Net, Android, iPhone, PHP, React Native), Cyber Security Specialists and Technical Automation Testing Analysts are just some of the roles that are increasingly impacted by this.

The Importance of Preparation

To attract the right kind of talent from the start, preparation is critical. Before even starting the recruitment process, define what you need using job descriptions. Don’t just use the same generic job description, adapt it for each individual role to highlight the gaps that the role needs to fill.

Often, we notice clients don’t plan enough from a resource perspective, which can lead to things coming unstuck down the track. Think about what roles you need and when you need them by. What does the role need to achieve? What will the selection criteria be to help shortlist candidates promptly? It’s also important to understand what the market is paying. Do you want to attract the top 20% of talent by paying above the medium rate/salary range or are you happy with the median?

In today’s competitive IT recruitment market, speed to hire is essential in reducing as much of the competition as possible. Companies that take too long reviewing CVs and progressing to interview stages will miss out on the top IT talent. So, ensure there is a structure in place with someone taking ownership of the process. This person should coordinate and drive the decision makers to make swift and efficient choices against the selection criteria.Take a look at your current hiring processes – how long does it take to reach the first interview and from there, how long to the offer stage? At the moment, we’re finding efficient companies are responding to CVs within 24 hours and the first interview within 2-3 days. On the other hand, companies who take two weeks to reply to a CV are missing out. Remember, candidates will be judging organisations on their recruitment process as it can give them an insight into how efficient and flexible an organisation might be. Poor, drawn out recruitment practices can also damage a company’s brand. If a candidate experiences this, it may harm the organisation’s reputation as an employer of choice. Remember, bad news travels fast, especially with social media these days.

Another key aspect is ensuring the interview panel are as flexible as possible when it comes to interview times. Candidates in high demand will likely have a few interviews, so it is hard for them to always be available during business hours. The more available you can be with interview times, the more likely interviews will be secured before your competition.

This is where a specialist IT Recruitment Agency can help. They’ll take care of the early screening phases and provide you with access to the market’s top available IT talent as and when you need it.

How To Attract IT Candidates

Define Your Organisation's Unique Selling Points and Highlight Them

If your core business is not IT, how do you stand out in the technology space against the Googles of this world, as an ‘employer of choice’? This is the question to keep in mind when highlighting the unique opportunities that your business offer that will appeal to candidates.

Consider things like: Are you implementing any new cutting-edge technology like AI or machine learning? What is your strategic vision for your technology stack and what impact will this have on the business / industry sector? Look for things which are innovative and may be game changers and explain the time frame for these.

It’s also important to look at the business goals for the next two to five years and see how this could impact a candidate’s career. Do your goals align with theirs and are there career development opportunities you could offer them further down the line?

Employer Brand and Employer Value Proposition

More and more, we hear that salary isn’t the main driving force in the job search and the importance of an employer’s brand can’t be overstated. Companies need to look at what they offer here and the benefits that can be provided.

A great way to get a glimpse into your employer brand is to look on Glassdoor and see what kind of feedback is being left. This is what candidates are likely to look at when researching your company and negative reviews from employees and former employees can easily turn top talent away.

What makes a good employer brand? Look at the specific benefits on offer such as training or allowing staff to attend meet ups and conferences. Is there any financial support for employee’s self-education (for instance an MBA). What is the culture like e.g. how do teams work together? For example, a lot of Software Developers love to brainstorm and are looking for collaborative teams where the sharing of ideas is genuinely welcomed, followed through and celebrated.

Increased flexibility in the workplace also needs attention. Whether that takes the form of early/late starts, remote working or time off to complete further education, there is no doubt that flexibility is becoming more and more important in a candidate’s job search criteria.

Finally, look at the company values and how this may benefit potential recruits. Company values and culture that align with a candidate’s own values are more likely to be a good fit and thus attract and retain the kind of IT talent you want. For example, does your organisation enable their employees to support charities by encouraging fundraising or perhaps allowing staff to have a paid day off work each year to volunteer for a charity of their choice.

Closing Thoughts

To avoid losing out to competitors, preparation and a timely recruitment process are key when it comes to successfully attracting top talent in IT and for roles within Business Transformation. If you’re looking for support in IT recruitment or for a Business Transformation project, get in touch with the team at Enterprise IT Resources and we can lead you through the process of onboarding top talent.

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