Everything is going digital – and with the booming tech industry the shortage of skilled professionals becomes a serious problem for both startups and well-established companies. The shortage of qualified employees in IT and digital is only expected to grow, which means that companies will have to compete for the best human resources on the market. So, how to attract and retain the best employees in tech? Let’s dive in.
The tech industry is booming, and this trend is only on the rise. With the industry growing at a whopping rate of 6% per year only in the US, accounting for the second place of driving the country’s economy, it comes as no surprise that such a thriving market needs qualified professionals to create and support new products. However, the brick-and-mortar institutions, such as universities and colleges can’t keep up with the pace of the industry anymore, and there is a reported shortage of approximately 1 million skilled professionals in IT only in the USA. This means that companies in need of qualified employees in IT and digital will have to compete for the best in an oversaturated market. And most of the companies (especially start-ups) don’t have the ability to offer the best paychecks in times of economic crisis. The situation may seem grim, but in reality there are strategies that companies can use to attract and retain the best talent to keep their projects moving.
The Most Competitive Areas for Tech Hiring
Even though tech companies can be operated remotely, the industry (and thus, the talent) tends to concentrate in certain geographic areas. Many times, founders would be eager to start a company in a place, where it is easier to recruit a team – thus, it’s important to know these places.
Recently Glassdoor has released a study on 25 best paying sites for software engineers, where they’ve listed the most competitive cities for hiring tech talent. Commonly, the compensation correlates with the demand for specialists in the area. While the list has some obvious locations, such as San-Francisco or Seattle, it also has some surprising tech hubs, such as Hunsville, Alabama. Therefore, it is definitely worth looking outside of the usual top-of-the-list locations while scouting for tech talent.
The Global Talent Shortage: What Does That Mean for Employers?
The shortage of IT professionals is real and it can seriously harm a company. For instance, according to Forbes, by 2021 the deficit of skilled employees will reach a whopping 40 million people. And that shortage is expected to double by the year 2030. As a result, businesses will face a loss of $8.4 trillion in overall revenue.
What does it mean for companies? It means that with the obsession with startup culture, need to show traction to attract investments into the company, there will be a crucial deficit of qualified, trained employees. With tightening budgets it will be more difficult to attract qualified employees that are in high demand, and it will take a significant amount of time to train and educate the newcomers in IT. Therefore, there will be competition for scarce yet valuable human resources in IT. However, there are ways to make your company stand out among competition even if you don’t operate with the budgets of a multinational corporation.
What is Important When Hiring Tech Talent?
Before looking for the best talent to hire and attribute resources to scouting, hunting and negotiating, it is important to figure out what qualities are critical for the perfect candidate. Here are a few traits of a valuable specialist that we believe are worth mentioning:
Deep understanding of the technical skills and tools needed for the role
This is the cornerstone of hiring a developer or an engineer for the role – they have to have the right combination of knowledge and tools to perform within your organization. While hiring, you as an employer need to know which hard skills are critical for each position, what separates a middle-level programmer from a senior specialist, and you have to be able to screen candidates efficiently from the start. Whether it is through personal technical interviews, test tasks or written tests, you have to be able to weed out the best talent quickly. Additionally, while interviewing a candidate, it is always a good sign if a professional offers you several ways of solving one problem – it shows you how well-versed and experienced the person really is.
Ability to communicate their knowledge effectively and work collaboratively
Hard skills are essential to get the job done, but no matter how brilliant your candidate is in terms of hard skills, it is important that they are able to work in a team. It takes a strong team to build a viable product, so it is critical that your perfect candidate has the soft skills it takes to communicate with their technical and non-technical stakeholders. They also have to be able to solve the right issues in a timely manner. Open communication is critical for the good atmosphere within the team. And having people who enjoy working with their colleagues is the recipe to success in the long term perspective.
Problem-solving approach and sense of ownership
The most wanted professionals on the market are the people who are contributing to the business as if it was their own. This is why most startups offer stock options and shares in their companies, because they want their employees to have a sense of building something together. A strong candidate is someone who goes above and beyond their role and takes responsibility for everything that they do.
A desire for continuous learning and improvement in their field
It is impossible to move forward in such a fast-paced industry as tech without continuous improvement. Technologies evolve fast, so talent has to evolve faster. A strong candidate is someone who is always on the lookout for new technologies, new updates – this makes them able to adapt quicker and develop products that are viable.
10 Effective Strategies to Attract High-Quality Tech Talents for Your Company in the Most Competitive Areas
The list of requirements for the perfect match goes on and on, because the right candidate will make your team stronger, while the wrong persona can drag the whole team down. So, how to attract the right talent in a reasonable time? Here are 10 strategies that you can use to do that.
Define the problems you want to solve
The key to success when hiring tech talent is making sure you know which areas need to be covered, and what kind of competences are needed for each area. This will help you as an employer to share the profile of the perfect candidate(s), and define the budget for the role(s). Trust us, the candidates that you will be interviewing will be thankful for your clarity of intentions.
Determine the overall recruitment strategy
While hiring talent, it is best to know what your company’s plans are for the next year or more. This helps to distribute the resources, define the growth stages and have an idea of what team you are building. Having a strategy is also appealing for the candidates, because they will know from the start that they are entering a company with a plan. And moreover, qualified IT specialists no longer want a job, they want a career. If you help your employees grow, they will stay with you for longer. It is always good to let the people know from the start that they are entering a nourishing environment that will make them stronger as a professional.
Be realistic about your expectations
This is a direct consequence of having a realistic strategy. If you know your plans for the next year or so, you are sure to know what kind of employees you are looking for at the moment. This helps you leverage your expectations and sieve out the professionals that you need the most at a given moment in time.
Identify the job description and the criteria needed for hiring
Writing a great job description can be trickier than it sounds. It is always appealing to squeeze everything you’d like to find in a single post, but it can scare off potential candidates. It is worthy to mention what are the “must haves” and the “good to have” qualities for the candidates, so they know if they are a good fit for the role.
By the way, when writing a job description, it is always good to ask for advice from the professional community. Apps like Intch allow you to do that in a matter of minutes: you can simply post your request and an AI algorithm will come up with 5 people who can help you write the perfect job ad.
Hire tech-specialized recruiters who speak the right language
There is nothing worse than having a qualified professional show up for an interview with an under qualified HR. A great HR has to be able to clearly communicate the job requirements for the position, has to be able to provide details about the job, tell the candidate more about the team and be able to answer all relevant questions about the position. Having a tech-specific HR helps you make a great impression on the candidate and even if they do not end up working with you, they will spread the word about you.
Carefully interview candidates
It is best to separate the technical interview from the interview with the HR – that way the candidate won’t be overwhelmed with questions in one sitting. While a technical interview is meant to check whether or not the candidate is able to perform the tasks, the interview with the HR team is meant to check if the person is right for the corporate culture. It is best to ask open-ended questions and invite the person for an honest conversation.
Look for candidates in the right places
Where you look for candidates makes a great difference while hiring. There are several sources where you can find the right people:
- Job boards. Places like GitHub, Dribble, Angel list and others are the magnets for candidates who are looking for jobs. It takes a great deal of sieving through them, but many times it is worth the time.
- Social media. Intch, Linked In, Facebook and even Twitter can help you find the right person. Make sure your company has a presence on social media and you are transparent about your values and your corporate culture – this will attract people towards your brand.
- Local networking events. Hackathons, meetups and conferences are great places to meet promising candidates for your organization. Meeting people in person and establishing relationships with them is a great way to attract candidates for your positions. The pandemic made offline networking more difficult, but you can always broaden your network online. We talked about how to do that here.
- Recruit from your existing network and contacts. If you are in tech for a while, it is most likely that you already know someone who might be perfect to work for your company. Make sure you make the best use of your personal network before you look any further.
Establish a presence in the local tech scene
Networking is critical for establishing the right connections and attracting the right people. Wherever you are, you need to be known for the product that you create and for your corporate culture. Make sure that your company is well-known, and if it isn’t yet – get to networking!
Marketing is another asset for hiring professionals
Marketing is meant to attract customers, but if your organization is transparent about your company values, and you are not afraid to show your corporate culture, it is likely that such transparency will attract potential candidates. You might not be the biggest player on the market, but if your mission is appealing to people, they might want to join your team. So, when planning your next marketing campaign, keep in mind that your potential employees are your target audience too.
Make your company attractive for employees
This is the most difficult yet the most important strategy to save money and time on attracting talent in the long-term perspective. Building an HR-brand n an oversaturated market is rather challenging, but here are a few steps you can take to become more attractive for candidates:
- Make your current employees your brand ambassadors. Make sure your employees are happy with what they do, so they will go and spread the word on how good it is to work for you. Taking care of your team will have several benefits: it will make your current employees more productive and will make them stay with your company for longer; and it will also make them want to spread the word about your company. Another step you can take is to introduce a referral program to attract your employees’ friends and acquaintances. By the way, building a team through effective networking is the best way to create a comfortable environment within the team.
While spreading the word about your company, you might want to talk to people outside of your information bubble for advice. Or, you could want to discuss potential for hiring with professional HRs. For that, you can use the power of networking. An app like Intch can help you solve your problem with the power of community.
How does it work? It’s pretty simple:
- You post a request;
- The AI algorithms suggest 5 people who can help;
- You start networking!
Overall, the situation with qualified professionals in tech is not optimistic. The demand is growing rapidly, while the supply can’t keep up with the needs of the growing market. As a result, qualified specialists are able to choose between potential employers, while companies are forced to compete for talent. However, even with the tightening budgets, it is possible to attract qualified employees in case the company is clear with the job requirements, clear on requirements, transparent in marketing and open to communication. And, of, course, networking is an important tool for getting to know the right people and making sure you hire the best possible team for your project. Inch is here to help, whether you are seeking advice from HR specialists, you’d like to post a job ad or ask where to find the most promising talent in tech. Join us today and start networking!
That’s a good point that a qualified candidate offers multiple solutions to one problem. Great tip!
I wonder how the recent wave of lay-offs has changed this situation. Will it correct the lack of qualified tech professionals? Or will the situation worsen due to budget constraints? It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 6 months.