How to attract & retain top tech talent in 2022
Attracting the best talent in 2022, with the great resignation in full swing, is no easy feat. This is particularly true in the b(l)ooming technology sector, which is permeating every industry and where consequently the competition for top talent is particularly fierce.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some essential tips and tricks for attracting and retaining top talent in the technology space which will help you weather through the great resignation.
Personalize your outreach wisely
By now everyone seems to be doing at least the basic levels of personalization, but if you rely exclusively on a generic, automated approach, you might as well not be personalizing at all.
With automation, it can often happen that you reach out to experts in a technology in which you’re currently not looking for roles. This not only wastes time and money, but can also hurt your reputation, as you’ll give off the impression of being automated & inauthentic, which people will recall if you ever reach out to them again in the future.
Instead, use a combination of technology/automation and actual human input for personalizing your outreach efforts, supported by prior research-focused HR marketing efforts to ensure you’re communicating with your prospects in ways that they like.
Be transparent regarding the compensation and benefits
Let’s be honest here: with so much demand for the top talent, salary is very often the key differentiating factor, especially for the most experienced candidates. If you’re truly looking for the best of the best, be prepared to offer a salary that’s really competitive, and of course be fully upfront and transparent about it; all the better if you’re the one bringing it up rather than wait for prospects to ask themselves.
In addition, communicate other benefits and perks along with the conditions for obtaining them (e.g. extra vacation days after a certain period of time with the company).
Showcase a commitment to employee experience & healthy company culture
Prospective employees need to know what kind of company they’re applying for a position at. If they don’t, how will they know whether or not they’re a good fit for it? And, consequently, how will you be able to know this if the prospect is unaware of the culture they’re potentially entering?
A commitment to a good employee experience reduces the chances of burnout, and you need to make this clear in your job descriptions to showcase your culture. If you know you’ll most often be hiring for engineer/developer roles, make an effort to additionally streamline the developer experience, through strategies such as DevOps and development-focused activities and learning opportunities.
But tread lightly, as things like beanbags and “we’re all a family” have become somewhat overused clichés and can actually turn prospects off (plus, reading between the lines, this could also imply “you’ll often have to stay in the office and work overtime”).
Provide transparent info on career advancement opportunities
People don’t like feeling stuck in their jobs; in fact, it’s one of the main causes of burnout. Now, with so many options available to them and the ability to generally work remotely (from anywhere), they’re much more likely to look for new opportunities if they start to feel unmotivated and/or stuck.
Make sure to let prospective employees know about their opportunities and be clear on when/how they can advance. Don’t ignore factors like the prospects’ existing experience, seniority or above-average learning pace, and be ready to adjust your criteria in order to secure or reward those truly outstanding people.
Provide flexible working arrangements and/or remote work
Since engineering and other tech roles typically involve working on a computer, they’ll want the ability to work from home, especially if they are already more experienced.
Most tech companies these days specify that a role is remote in the job description, but some of them still limit hiring to local areas, or, in most cases, at least compatible time zones. Decide what works best for you and tailor your job advertisements accordingly.
If the role specifically requires in-person work, clearly communicate why (e.g. need for high-level collaboration) and to what extent (e.g. if it’s in-house full time, or just specific days, and how flexible this is). Also make sure that new hires receive all the necessary equipment and resources prior to starting to ensure an optimal experience.
“One of the secret benefits of using remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance.”
– Jason Fried, Author of Office Not Required
Showcase interesting clients & case studies
Prospects viewing your job ads will also want to check out what kind of work you’ve been involved with and for what kinds of clients. If you don’t specify this in the job description itself, at least make it easy to discover this information on your website.
The youngest generations in the workforce – millennials and gen Z – in particular like to work for brands with a vision they can align themselves with. Showcasing your most interesting clients will display prominence and leadership, highlight causes your prospects align with or, especially with case studies, point to industry/technology proficiency.
Create unique and insightful content within their areas of interest / expertise
In addition to clients and case studies, a surefire way to exhibit thought leadership is through unique in-depth content in their areas of expertise. This will not only help them solve problems, but also provide an incentive for them to want to apply if they know the types of projects and challenges they’ll be working on with your firm.
Moreover, if they produce content themselves, this will let them know that they’ll be able to write technical pieces for your brand as well if they so desire.
At Agiledrop, for example, we make sure to let potential and new employees know that they can share their expertise through an AgileTalk and/or a related article, with appropriate rewards, which also gives an additional feel for our company culture based on learning and recognition.
Provide and communicate learning opportunities
In addition to career development opportunities, you also need to communicate and enable learning opportunities more broadly. Namely, be clear about your onboarding process and what kind of additional learning processes and activities you have implemented (e.g. our AgileTalks and Agile Workshops here at Agiledrop).
If you’re active in an open-source community such as Drupal, you should also encourage contributions to the project, which will kill not two but three birds with one stone as it’ll be a win for the company, the employee and the open-source project itself.
Digitalize and future proof your HR
All of the above steps will be much easier to accomplish and much more effective if you wisely digitalize your HR processes, by future-proofing them and aligning them with other key departments.
Not only will your HR marketing be more efficient due to the stronger connection with brand strategy/marketing, your project management and employee engagement will benefit immensely from this as well, as you’ll be able to make use of the streamlined digital tools for conducting up/reskilling activities, for example.
At Agiledrop, we’ve developed an internal Dashboard app which connects our developers with their direct managers and with our project management. Employees are able to use it to keep track of their skills and perform skills review sessions with managers, schedule vacation days, access company documents, etc.
If your business is in need of a similar tool and/or a well-thought out integration with your existing ERP solution, get in touch with us and let’s talk about how we can help you develop the right solution for your needs.
With the unprecedentedly high demand for tech talent, you need to find ways to make your company stand out in the eyes of prospective employees and provide a great employee experience in order to reduce the rate of employee turnover.
If everything we pointed out in this article seems like too much to take on all at once, feel free to approach it step by step, starting with the lower hanging fruit and gradually progressing to the more complex steps, such as a full-blown revamp of your HR in order to better position yourself in the fast-moving digital landscape.