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Ten Vital straegies to hiring (and retainging) tech talent that your clients need to know


 by Kate Smedley

The growth in big data and fintech is driving an unprecedented demand for tech talent. Morgan McKinley predict that the number of digital technology businesses will reach 45,000 in London alone and employers are under pressure to hire the people they need before their competitors.


Tech talent is ready to respond. The Developer Survey 2016 from Stack Overflow found that nearly three quarters of developers are either actively looking for a new employer or open to exploring a career move. The biggest obstacle to engaging talent is the failure of some recruiters to understand their community or what tech candidates want from their next job.


Our ten vital strategies will help your clients to attract the tech talent they need :-

Change your perspective : The developers in the Stack Overflow survey described themselves as partly ‘self-taught’ and 71% considered their qualifications to be ‘non-traditional’. Advise clients to change their screening filters to broaden their talent pool. The tech market is candidate driven. Traditional hiring methods won’t work.


Get innovative (1) like Uber: Uber developed a ‘Code on the Road’ challenge within its Rider app to attract passive talent. If the unsuspecting user accepts the offer, they are faced with three coding problems. Each one must be solved within 60 seconds and an application form is e-mailed to successful participants. This innovative recruiting tool provides potential new hires with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a unique context. Uber’s ‘Codefights’ challenge also gives people the chance to face the ‘Uberbot’, enabling Uber to identify the talent with the relevant skills for their core business.


Get innovative (2) like Google’s Foobar: is Google’s secret weapon for sourcing passive talent. Unwitting Googlers searching a number of designated keywords in the right order are redirected to Google’s clandestine recruitment tool, where they participate in a number of problem solving tasks. The results enable Google to engage directly with candidates who possess key competencies and experience.


Recognise that culture, not cash, is (nearly) everything: You don’t have to be Google or Uber to attract the best tech talent available. Competition is fierce, with fintech companies luring tech candidates away from sectors such as banking and finance. Culture, flexible working and salary are the top three priorities for tech talent – but cash won’t have the final say. Fintech companies are successful because they offer a relaxed culture, a chance to innovate, on the job learning, career development and flexible working options. Compare that with the unrealistic expectations and unspecific requirements of many employers that turn tech professionals off.


Create the right environment: As well as career development and on the job learning opportunities, nearly all (96%) tech professionals thrive in the ‘right’ working environment, according to online tech careers site Dice. That’s one that allows them to be creative and offers those sought after flexible working options, whether that’s working from home or from shared office spaces. Less than half (48%) of tech professionals claim to be offered the right type of environment to promote creativity and 52% believe their working space is not ‘fit for purpose’ for a tech company.


Prioritise digital skills training: A new survey from Barclays UK found that the average business spends just £109 per employee per year on digital skills training. Most rely on hiring young talent with the requisite skills in areas such as cyber security and coding. This is not a workable hiring strategy. 70% of developers in the 2016 Survey stated that learning new skills is a priority. Employers must offer continuous learning opportunities to attract tech talent.


Tap into the Gig Economy: The CIPD predicts that the growth in the flexible labour force or Gig Economy will help to offset skills shortages throughout 2016. The rise of the ‘portfolio’ career is becoming more acceptable to younger people and for high earning tech professionals it offers a way to constantly learn new skills and enhance their market value.


Build an effective employee referral programme: The Stack Overflow survey found that the preferred method for finding a new job for tech talent is through an introduction or employee referral. In an ideal world, 40% of clients new hires should be sourced via referrals. Suggest they priorities all of their referred candidates by tagging them in theri applicant tracking system to expedite their progress.


Expand your sources: Tell clients to broaden their online recruitment sources beyond standard social media platforms to attract young talent. Recruitment analytics will provide insight into where your best hires come from. If those sources are no longer effective in the tech market, look further afield. Both Snapchat and Tinder have proven to be useful recruitment marketing tools. A candidate persona will help you to identify the most appropriate social recruitment platforms for their business.


Review your recruiting systems: The most effective talent acquisition strategies are supported by sophisticated HR technology enabling HR to source, identify and hire talent quickly. Clients should support their recruiting strategy with modern recruitment software used by some of the world’s leading organisations to help them hire tech talent faster.


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