Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategies in Tech for 2022
Hiring teams need help. Especially hiring teams trying to figure out how to attract top talent. Tech recruiters everywhere are struggling to develop their talent acquisition solutions. But most of them are also engaged and worried about retaining the IT talent they already have.
Tech shortages coupled with the Great Resignation on top of COVID disruption have made for a tumultuous couple of years in the U.S. We’ve compiled some of the best talent acquisition and retention strategies to help you calm the storm.
What are Tech Candidates Looking for in an Employer?
Tech recruiters understand that your talent acquisition strategies are tied closely to retention. If you can keep the tech talent you have, it tells a compelling story about the corporate culture and benefits. But if you’re losing existing talent through a sieve, it will make your efforts to recruit tech talent a lot harder. But what is our tech talent looking for these days?
If you’re a hiring manager or are otherwise engaged in recruiting tech talent, there are a few talent acquisition and retention trends that will affect your strategies this year:
• Higher compensation.
• Flex work time.
• Remote work.
• Opportunities to advance.
Compensation remains at the forefront of most candidates’ minds. At $104,566, we broke records for our average tech salary in 2021. Yet developers say they are still underpaid. Over the past two years or so, job jumpers have increased their pay each time they leave a position for a new opportunity. White collar workers are also seeing the biggest pay scale jump they’ve had in 20-years. In this kind of market, this means that every single tech geek you have on board is vulnerable. It also means you’ll be in a bidding war for anyone you’re trying to hire.
Flexible Working Hours
Job flexibility is no longer a request; it’s a requirement. Perhaps remote work has spoiled us, but the genie is now out of the bottle for tech workers who are demanding work from home. Flexibility is huge for today’s workforce and if you don’t give it, your internal talent and external candidates are going to walk away. One study showed:
• 76% of employees say they want more flexibility in where they do their job.
• 93% of employees want flexibility when they do their jobs.
• 56% say they’re open to new jobs that offer flexibility in where and when they do their job.
With so much cloud software out there, is there really a need for on-premise developers anymore? IT doesn’t need physical meetings anymore for the most part and 75% of developers say they’re happiest working from home at least three days a week. Only 32% say they’re more productive in an office environment.
Employers have been taking note of these trends, and many are working to allow for more flexibility in their staffing arrangements. Today about 59% of employers are allowing flexible work arrangements to support their engineering and IT teams. DevOps.com points out, “Having had a taste of freedom from corporate settings, most developers now want remote work options in a post-pandemic future.” They say 86% of engineers are now working remotely 100% of the time. Engineers cite the work/life balance and the improved autonomy to work when they choose from home. Avoiding the commute is admittedly a time and money saver, as well. Without workplace distractions, 70% of developers say they are more productive at home. If you’re seeking to up your game on the remote offerings front, consider establishing a benefits package to promote remote work but that also supports it. For example:
• Offer a work-from-home budget to improve the candidate’s office space.
• Eliminate the 9-to-5 from our vocabulary.
• Pay for time off for personal and professional development.
Organizations seeking tech talent must adapt to these growing trends, or face a mountainous climb to reach their hiring goals.
Attention employers: Give your IT talent diverse and lucrative opportunities for advancement. Your workers want to evolve in their careers, and if you want to attract IT talent, that advancement needs to be a key part of the offer for new potential employees.
Consider establishing a new employee process that engages right out of the gate. Employees want career growth, so employers should work with the employee to establish goals for a long-term tenure with the company. These conversations should begin when orientation ends. Establish feedback sessions as a constant process to serve as the baseline for advancement. Talk about individual goals and aspirations as well as sharing what can be improved upon. The idea is to create a career roadmap with the new employee and keep them walking (or running) down that path.
Tech Talent Acquisition Strategies
Lever says there are a few talent acquisition trends this year that we should be paying close attention to when developing our talent harvesting strategies, including:
• An increased use of data-driven recruiting. This includes real-time data analytics to track funnels and time-to-hire along with candidate feedback scores. This data should be available as a single source of truth for recruiters and hiring managers to make the recruiting process more seamless for the candidate.
• Automated nurturing campaigns to provide an engaging candidate experience. Not only does this ensure a consistently good experience for any candidate you come in contact with, it improves the workflows of your recruiting team. Manually handling candidate communication is labor-intensive. In the coming years, we will see easy automated flows for candidate-centric communications that seek to keep them interested during the interview process.
While digital solutions can improve the hiring process and help TA, other, more manual processes can bring real weight to your talent acquisition strategies in 2022. Three that we like include:
• Promoting a tech apprenticeship program.
• Offer temp-to-hire and temp jobs to expand your candidate pool.
• Increase your on-the-job training processes.
Promote Tech Apprenticeships
No IT talent acquisition solution is complete without a tech apprenticeship program. Not only can these programs engage your current workforce by teaching and mentoring new IT talent, it attracts a steady stream of talent that you’re nurturing toward your company. Fast Company says, “smart companies don’t just search for capable employees; they create them.”
• Establishing a tech apprenticeship program can:
• Increase the IT talent pool.
• Build roots in your local community.
• Cut down hiring time.
• Promote diversity.
• Improve your culture.
• Focuses your team on generating tech capabilities you’ll need down the road.
• Teach you something about yourself.
There is an element of giving back during this process that can arm your tech recruiters with a compelling story to share with new recruits. This is why a tech apprenticeship program is a win-win for the company, its employees, and candidates.
You can develop a Registered Apprenticeship Program at Apprenticeship.gov. The website offers many resources designed to get you started.
Offer Temp and Temp-to-Hire Tech Jobs
Temp and temp-to-hire positions allow you to introduce contractors to your company. It gives contract IT workers a chance to try it before they buy it, but also it opens the door to all kinds of talent, even those IT teams that prefer contracting. The point is to offer as many lucrative kinds of jobs in your company to attract a diverse array of IT expertise. Vector Talent Resources can partner with you to make this a seamless, effective part of your recruiting tech talent strategy.
Emphasize On-the-Job Training
Hiring for soft skills and then providing on-the-job training is an important strategy for recruiting talent that will immediately improve your funnel. You can set up a mentoring program for more junior developers, for example, by pairing them with more senior engineers. This opens the door to talent that has the right attitude and cultural fit, but just needs some upskilling.
Actionable Employee Retention Strategies
Perhaps ironically, many of the talent acquisition solutions we’re suggesting will also help to build a culture that is effective in retaining your current teams. Higher compensation, flexible work hours, the opportunity to work remotely and advance are all offerings that will entice your IT talent to stay long term.
Your current tech teams will also appreciate:
• Professional development opportunities.
• A system of rewards.
Offering Professional Development Opportunities
If your tech team isn’t learning, they simply won’t stay on top of the latest innovations in the technology field. Creating a robust program with upskilling opportunities that could also lead to advancement will give your IT teams the education they need to improve themselves. That will build their loyalty for the long term.
Creating a Reward System
You may think your tech talent is self-effacing and potentially not interested in public recognition of their good work. You couldn’t be more wrong! Celebrating the wins both big and small will help your organization build bonds with your tech team. Recognizing achievements with financial rewards will encourage strong performance and improve company morale. Consider developing a compensation package with quarterly production bonuses to keep your teams motivated and on track.
Partner with Vector Talent to Attract and Retain Top Tech Talent Today
Competition for IT talent now stretches across industries. Job seekers are looking at new career paths. About one-third would consider leaving their current industry entirely. That means you’re competing for talent across all of those industries. With 50% of workers saying they want a job change and 33% reporting they’d switch industries to do it, your talent acquisition and retention strategies must account for these trends. Basically, you can’t count on the old talent pools that you used to.
The other issue affecting our ability to recruit tech talent is that the game of hiring has turned into a sales job. Job candidates, and especially tech job candidates no longer have to sell themselves to the interviewer. They (the job candidates) are interviewing us as much as we are them. That’s why your tech talent acquisition strategies should be rock solid to attract top talent to your business.
Vector Talent Resources provides talent acquisition solutions to supplement your existing efforts to recruit tech talent. If you’re wondering how to attract top talent, contact our team today. We can help.