What Employees Want: How to Attract the Best Tech Talent in the Tech Industry

In the age of “The Great Resignation” and talent shortages across the tech market, it’s never been a more important time for businesses to establish themselves as an employer of choice. While IT salaries are surging, with pay increases of 20-30% now common, it’s also essential to consider different mechanisms to reward employees.

In-demand talent who know their worth are also drawn to businesses offering benefits such as security, flexibility, strong leadership and work with purpose. This is in direct response to a period of isolation and burnout brought on by the pandemic and digital transformation projects that are already under-staffed.

We’ve devised some top tips around how you can become first choice for the best tech talent in the market.

1. Prioritise Flexibility

As remote and working from home (WFH) becomes the norm, more job seekers will expect to see companies offer a full range of flexible working options. It’s now accepted that top tech talent decided during the pandemic they wanted to prioritise their family and outside interests as well as careers.

A global study of office and IT professionals by Ivanti confirmed the importance of flexible working arrangements, with 71% of respondents saying they would pass up a promotion in return for being able to work from anywhere, at any time. Further, 87% of employees don’t want to work from the office full-time and 24% will quit their jobs if they are forced to return to the office full-time.

In response, businesses should reconsider the traditional definition of the “workplace” and think about workdays, work hours and work location. Recent research out of Iceland has shown the benefits of a shorter work week, while Belgium introduced a four-day work week earlier in 2022.

If your business is reluctant to introduce some measures, consider the idea of a pilot within a specific team or department. You can gather data and build a business case to roll out the policy across the rest of the organisation.

2. Increase Mental Health Support

Creating a culture that supports employee mental health and wellbeing can not only help retain existing staff but also be a key talent attraction strategy. A recent study by Yerbo with more than 63,000 IT workers across 33 countries found that two in five are currently at risk of burnout and 62% of IT professionals feel “physically and emotionally drained”.

The best place to start is by consulting with your employees to find out their views about the current workplace culture and what needs to be changed to help them feel better supported. Given the sensitive nature of the topic, you might wish to undertake an anonymous survey and then use these findings to inform new HR policies.

Some mental health and wellbeing policy ideas include:
• increasing the number of paid time off (PTO) or mental health days
• increasing the number and length of breaks during the day
• creating solid feedback loops between staff and their supervisors to identify stress and anxiety early
• educating all staff around mental health and wellbeing to address issues of stigma and discrimination
• creating a culture of mutual respect and trust

The Black Dog Institute has a Workplace Mental Health Toolkit containing practical suggestions and resources to help employees and businesses.

3. Create and Promote an Engaging Employer Brand

Introducing a flexible and supportive workplace culture will not only bring immense benefits to your business and employees. It can also help to build your positioning as an employer, which in turn can help you attract and retain top talent.

Just as building a brand is crucial to selling a product or service, being able to define what makes you an attractive destination to potential employees is crucial to securing them. Part of this appeal will rely on your Employee Value Proposition but building your brand as an employer requires thinking and communicating about more than just the direct benefits to employees.

As we mentioned earlier, candidates are not just looking for good salaries or generous benefits packages– they want jobs with purpose and meaning.

Focusing not just on what your business does but why you do it will help you define your purpose to candidates. It is also important to have strong, clear values that are evident in your operations. Candidates want to see meaningful actions not empty words and want to know that their employer is interested in more than just the bottom line.

Just as consumers are choosing to spend with businesses that do the right thing, top candidates are choosing employers that demonstrate a willingness and ability to make a difference If you can show that your organisation benefits those around it as well as those within it, you will be able to consistently attract the best employees.

Summary

As the nature of work continues to change, employers need to adjust their strategies in order to remain competitive. Candidates are now looking beyond traditional benefits such as salary and towards businesses who can demonstrate a shift in values and employee care.

By focusing on flexibility, supporting the mental health of your employees and building your EVP, you can become the top choice for talent in the tech market.

As experts in technology and digital recruitment and with offices in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, we can support you on your journey. Give us a call today to talk through your hiring needs.