Recruiters across the USA have been battling against the shifting sands of post-pandemic candidate expectation and experience in their fight to attract top tech talent to their enterprise.
But the recruiting landscape has changed, for many permanently. In the tech sphere, the demand for skilled operators is hitting a fever pitch, and many recruiters are stepping into unchartered HR territory as they ask themselves: how do I attract top tech talent in our disrupted new normal?
Here at Focus GTS, we believe the IT and Tech sector is at a crossroads – rapt with rapid industry developments, but facing critical talent shortages in crucial tech roles. We’ve made it our mission to be able to offer tech and IT employers across the US insights into the changing nature of talent acquisition in our recruitment niches.
- Attracting Tech Talent Amid the Great Resignation.
- Attracting Tech Talent in the Post-Pandemic World.
- The Power of Employer Branding and your Tech Talent EVP.
- Tech Workforce Skills Development and the difference between Learning and Training.
- Optimizing your Tech and IT Talent Recruitment Process.
- Top Tech Talent Strategy Summary.
Attracting Tech Talent Amid the Great Resignation.
The great resignation continues to have an outsize impact on tech talent acquisition and long term recruitment planning. However, we’ve spotted some cunning IT and tech recruitment strategy inroads that can help mitigate the worst of this generationally defining recruitment crisis.
The driving forces behind the great resignation were employers refusing to meet the expectations of a workforce scarred by economic turmoil, rapid digitization of services and the rise of remote work, and the ever-present threat of mass ill health.
We urge tech employers to take time to revamp their recruitment processes to meet the moment: candidates are more willing than ever to remove themselves from the labor pool if they feel their new, post-pandemic workplace demands aren’t being met. As studies have shown, prospective employees desire more than an income – they desire meaning to their work.
Focus GTS Top Tip
Your prospective talent demands that businesses are more ethical; they demand employers communicate and proudly bare their ESG credentials; they want to be treated well and have employers prioritize mental health support, and they want employers to provide ample opportunities to develop careers.
The facts bare witness:
- “People want purpose in their lives — and that includes work…They want employers to recognize their value and provide value to them on a human level. Monetary compensation is important for surviving, but deeper relationships, a strong sense of community and purpose-driven work are essential to thriving” – Gartner.
- “80% of US and Canadian workers surveyed stated it was important that company values were consistent with their own” – BBC.
- “Employees need and expect sustainable and mentally healthy workplaces, which requires taking on the real work of culture change” – HBR.
- “92% of employees think having access to professional development is very important or important” – Wharton.
Attracting Tech Talent in the Post-Pandemic World.
To build an attractive workplace for tech candidates, employers need to curate and successfully market an envy-inducing workplace culture, built on a foundation of career opportunities, whilst focusing on how their tech skills can make a genuine difference to the world.
The business of recruitment has become more human-centered, even in digital careers. Candidate expectations are now clear – tech employers have to learn to communicate this human centrism throughout the recruitment process, and how it ties into employer branding, employer brand propositions, and career growth.
In light of these changes to recruitment and talent retention we advise all recruiters to assess the three most important post-pandemic talent attraction criteria for hiring tech talent:
- What is your employer brand and tech talent employer value proposition?
- What are you doing to develop your tech employee’s skills?
- Is your recruitment process optimized for our post-pandemic working environment?
The Power of Employer Branding and your Tech Talent EVP
Despite their often overlapping areas of employer marketing, it’s still worthwhile reminding ourselves of the crucial differences between employer branding and an employer value proposition:
- Employer Branding: activities that promote the unique set of qualities, ethics, values, or assets of an organization, and what the experience is like working for that organization. Employer branding messaging and promotion endorses the credentials of working for an organization and is used as an external reputation management tool as well as a magnet for talent.
- Employer Value Proposition (EVP): This sits behind employer branding. What do you, a company owner, offer an employee? An EVP is your core promise to your employee – this is what you get for giving your labor, skills and expertise to us. Part of an organization’s EVP will be employer brand messaging, but it also incorporates benefit structures, pay, company culture, career development, and linking candidate perceptions of the company to the strategic goals of the company and employees together.
Focus GTS Top Tip
Your frames of reputation, brand, and work culture management are most effectively communicated through aligning your people with your company’s purpose and mission.
This alignment creates cultural direction, mutual goal setting, and a sense of professional community.
As Business Matters put it succinctly in their report Why culture is so important in the tech industry:
- “Employees feel more wanted and happier to sign in each day, managers find their teams more motivated and productive, and the organization is likely to benefit from easier talent recruitment and lower employee turnover rates”.
This well-communicated culture is like an EVP lighthouse – your culture becomes the vehicle on which employees see what it’s like to work with you, up close and personal.The success of your unique employer brand and EVP hinges on how and where you leverage your people, and the culture they create, in telling your brand story. Your people are what new recruits will attach themselves to and your working culture is what new employees will project themselves onto.
Consider the primary complaints of tech workforce unhappiness, such as increased levels of burnout, and the lack of distance between home and work when working remotely. These factors are, mostly, mitigated by a supportive and understanding workforce culture.
Tech Workforce Skills Development and the difference between Learning and Training.
Tech skills and career development are all important for tech talent. More than ever, employees want to see well-curated development programmes within workplaces.
Beyond the obvious improvements to your own business operations by having a highly-skilled tech workforce in-house, your candidates want to be upskilled.
- “49 per cent of employees want to develop their skills but don’t know where to begin” – SRHM.
- “Workers rank professional development and training opportunities highly among their list of criteria for evaluating prospective employer” – HRDive.
As this LinkedIn guide to attracting and retaining talent explains, there is a key difference between training and learning.
Training is uniformly delivered with the aim of improving wholesale business outcomes, while Learning takes a more holistic, personal approach to skills development.
Focus GTS Top Tip
Good IT and Tech L&D programmers need to take stock of both schools of developmental approach.
Effective tech talent retention strategies demand you personalize learning programmes to elevate new, digital skills in targeted ways that benefit the staff member, first and foremost. This is an essential part of what Robert Walters calls Personal Fulfillment – that one of the most effective ways of recruiting and retaining talent is showing your employees their career development is a priority.
But business leaders also need to ground any employee training in the context of the wider tech business environment (how is your personal development helping your tech team?), and the wider industry (how are your tech skills utilized to help our business grow in our specific market?).
By linking IT and Tech training and learning together into a unique, personalized, context-led L&D culture, you will develop workforce loyalty and bucket loads of trust between peers and management hierarchies – and after all, trust between colleagues is the fuel of talent retention.
Optimizing your Tech and IT Talent Recruitment Process.
Your recruitment process is where you turn cold prospects into future company stars. But employers run the risk of this process being too slow, too impersonal and too labor-intensive.
Focus GTS Top Tip
Optimization does not mean compromising on relationship building or quality of recruitment process – it simply means investing more time and effort into impact points of contact with your candidates.
It’s best to look at these criteria through the lens of what tech candidates most complain about during the recruiting process: what our teams here at Focus GTS call recruiting pain points.
- Candidates want recruiters to work faster. Speed should be your priority when it comes to moving prospects through your recruitment funnel.
- Candidates expect your employer brand to be present in the places they reside – and expect employers to pivot messaging accordingly, so make sure relevant messaging reaches them on the platforms that matter.
- Communication is key. Candidates bemoan impersonal connections and want recruitment communication to be frequent, honest, truthful and consistent.
Other future-proof optimizing strategies are:
- Leverage your tech credentials: build a powerful recruitment tech stack, replete with ATS tools, virtual onboarding, automated sourcing tech and referral automation. Tech candidates will appreciate targeted tech-centered efficiencies.
- Curate your tech talent network: a legacy recruitment practice that matters more than ever in a candidate-led market. Your tech talent network is the sum of your referral and advocacy network. Use them, leverage them, and stay consistent in keeping on top of them.
- Be trend-led: tech trends are fast-moving and industry-defining, and recruiters need to be one step ahead of the tech trend game if they are to turn the heads of the best-in-class tech and IT professionals.
The Focus GTS Top Tech Talent Strategy Summary
Successful recruitment strategies need to be personal, persistent, patient, and above all else focused on the continual development and elevation of your people.
Focus GTS has spent years helping IT and Tech companies create well-curated tech talent acquisition strategies. We value speedy, sustainable processes, personal service, and brand-led, person-centric messaging, all of which will make sure you attract the right sort of talent for your tech firm.