The rapid digital transformation of businesses has created an unprecedented demand for technology workers. Even before the pandemic, companies were already in a global war to attract and retain talented IT employees. In the post-pandemic world, accelerated digital adoption has increased the demand for highly skilled IT professionals. Furthermore, the Great Reshuffle or workers leaving for better opportunities has intensified the talent war. HR teams are trying to meet the challenges of this new workforce reality. They are evaluating and revising their HR practices to devise effective IT talent acquisition and retention strategies.
The demand for IT professionals is increasing across all industries. Besides tech companies, industries that were traditionally less dependent on technology like government, health care, education, and administrative services are also hiring tech workers. As a result, both tech and non-tech companies are competing against each other to recruit and retain IT professionals from the same talent pool.
The talent pool has also expanded. In 2020, tech workers accounted for 4% of total employment compared to 2.9% in 2001. But even with an increase in tech talent, HR professionals face a continuous challenge to find and hire the right people. According to an IEEE Global Study, around 73% of IT leaders are concerned about recruiting and filling open tech positions. Also, recruitment is not only about finding candidates. It is about finding quality candidates.
Here are some ways HR teams can improve their chances to attract high-quality technology workers:
Companies create their brands to attract customers. A cohesive brand story helps businesses gain visibility and build long-term relationships. You can use the same principles to build an employer brand to attract IT professionals. If your company has a reputation of a tech-friendly workspace where IT workers can innovate and contribute, it will improve the possibilities of attracting more talented individuals.
Financial incentives are not the only reasons tech workers change jobs. However, financial incentives play an essential role in the attraction phase of recruitment. To entice potential candidates, be prepared to mix financial incentives like base salaries, annual bonuses, sign-on bonuses, and long-term stocks. Research and learn about technology compensation trends, so you are always prepared to provide the best deal for your potential IT employees.
In today’s competitive market, highly-skilled IT professionals have more job options than before. A lengthy interview process that lasts for weeks can be a turn-off and reduce your organization’s appeal. Invest in improving your hiring processes to provide fast, timely feedback to potential employees. Even if you don’t hire a candidate, you want to maintain a reputation as a great company that respects the candidate’s time.
Take a systematic approach to recruiting candidates. You need to monitor HR metrics like time to fill, time to hire, source of hire, quality of hire, cost per hire, retention rate, etc., so you can make more informed decisions about where and how to find appropriate candidates. Regularly compare your metrics against IT industry benchmarks to determine your hiring and retention efficacy.
People in the same profession tend to cross paths in professional and social circles. They meet each other in forums, chat rooms, seminars, and conferences. So, use your IT employees to advertise open positions and engage potential candidates.
Acquiring highly-skilled IT workers is one half of the battle; keeping them long-term is the other half. Company culture, practices, and policies will play an essential role in retaining your current technology employees.
Here are a few HR strategies that can help:
A successful IT professional is an intelligent, ambitious individual with an inclination towards enjoying new challenges and learning continuously. Lack of professional development is the most cited reason for leaving a job. Professional development for IT workers can be especially challenging in non-tech companies. The career paths for tech professionals might not be clearly defined in a non-tech business. So, ensure avenues of professional growth for your IT employees.
Routine IT work can be repetitive. It can lead to boredom and result in attrition. HR and IT managers should work together to monitor employee engagement. Allow your IT employees to use downtimes to improve and innovate. Employees who feel like they contribute to the organization are happier and more likely to stay.
Modern workspaces are a mix of on-premise, work-from-home, and hybrid models. Moreover, businesses of all sizes are using global multicultural teams. Traditionally, IT staff have worked in their silos. But segregation of IT staff can lead to a feeling of alienation. HR teams should help IT teams become more integrated into the organization. Engagement with others and inclusion in company culture can help increase IT job satisfaction.
Experienced IT workers are older with more family responsibilities. Even though sprints might be necessary sometimes to address challenges, they should not be a way of life. It can lead to burnout and attrition. Provide opportunities for remote work and better work-life balance to let IT professionals thrive for years in your company.
Let your IT staff help you implement technology-driven policies and practices. IT engineers can help you automate processes and improve your business initiatives. Align your company culture to appreciate IT support. Company-wide appreciation of IT efforts can make your organization a great place for tech workers while improving the performance of all employees.
Businesses need to rethink their approach to finding, hiring, and keeping highly-qualified IT professionals. A great IT worker wants to work in a place where they can contribute through challenging projects and be part of a team. Building a technology-centric work environment that accommodates IT needs will improve your chances of recruiting and retaining the right IT engineers for your business.
If you want to learn more about attracting and retaining top IT talent, please feel free to contact Flugel today. We have years of experience finding and working with highly-talented IT professionals worldwide. Our experienced Delivery Managers and HR professionals are ready to help you build your dream IT team.
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