Short-staffed? Tips for hiring tech talent

October 17, 2021 - Read 5min

We know you've been there: in the process of hiring tech talent there comes a point where people last longer being selected than they do within your company. A better offer, a position abroad, or tailored possibilities cause them to leave without having met your expectations. That's if you were able to find the correct person in the first place, because in today's environment, simply finding available workers in technology is becoming an increasingly difficult task.

In the U.S. alone, the IT market has been requiring more than 13,000 job openings every month so far in 2021. Add to this the growing demand for technology staff from the rest of the world and the growing possibility of hiring tech talent remotely, and you will reach the point where your company is in the midst of a frantic bid to attract the few qualified professionals.

For this reason, we have compiled a series of tips and best practices for companies in the IT sector to make their technology recruitment process competitive, aligned with current market standards and effective in the long term. This way, they will avoid running out of staff to develop their projects in the future and will have a good name in the industry to keep attracting and retaining the key people they need.

The challenge of finding talent in a hyper-competitive market

The first step to success with a tech talent recruitment strategy is knowing where it is. And no one can tell you where to look better than your own employees. Reach out to your technology department and make a connection with HR so that common channels, behaviors, and sites are easily identified. If the problem is time sensitive, do this survey yourself. Here are some questions you can ask: “On a day-to- day basis where do you spend the most time online?”, “are you active on LinkedIn?”, “when looking for a job offer, which media do you use?”, “which news portals do you consume?”, “are you active on any forums?”

Go a step further when making this inquiry and avoid falling into whether your staff prefers one job search site over the other. The way to find the right talent has changed and your company can't afford to make mistakes in technology recruiting.

Once you have these questions answered and an initial picture of the behavior of the tech talent, it's time to go a little further. The information you or your human talent team has gathered is the basis for creating a detailed profile of the people you are looking for. Start by giving them a name, so it will be easier to see them more human. Continue with their demographic information, their interests, their online and offline behaviors, their family background, their dreams, their aspirations, and every detail that is useful to you. The more information you enter, the better results you will get.

This profile of your ideal candidate will now be the raw material for your human talent team (integrated with marketing in an ideal environment) to start searching for them. As the leader of the process, add key comments to the profile and focus the search on what makes sense (if your profile calls for a senior frontend developer, highlight the importance of asking as early as possible for years of verifiable experience). As companies around the world are doing, don't rule out looking for the technology personnel you need in other countries. Perhaps the candidate you need sees your foreign company as an opportunity for professional growth. All this information should be clear to you before you start the recruitment process or launch marketing campaigns.

The information you gather in this process, in addition to optimizing your technology recruiting strategy, will give you a solid foundation for where to focus your retention efforts in the future. For example, if in your research you discovered that you would need young tech talent (interns or recent graduates) and when you ask an intern in your company where he spends his free time, he answers that in a video game streaming platform, you can include in the offer an hour of weekly break to play Mario Kart or a monthly HALO tournament between departments. With actions like that one, you can attract even more tech talent and improve the retention of the current one.

Stand out in the market for flexibility and compensation

Continuing along the line of retention, we want you to know the importance of standing out in terms of internal customer. There is little or no point in conducting research to profile the tech talent you need, if once you find it, colleagues of that candidate tell him that in your organization they did not have a good time in the past or share him a negative experience they had when they were part of your staff. When thinking about a technology recruitment strategy, you should also keep in mind that the "word of mouth" of your employees and the reputation of your company are vital.

This situation is not foreign to the leaders of large global technology companies, who are modifying their hiring models, considering the welfare and needs that the market is demanding. For example, Rob Alexander, CIO of Capital One, communicated that, to differentiate themselves from other companies, they are implementing a continuous learning model at Capital One, in which their tech talent is kept updated, relevant, and trained in the latest software development practices. Imagine that a future candidate is between your offer and one of your competitors, but in the vacancy you offer, he read that in your company the staff have access to continuous and free training. The decision becomes much easier to make.

The trend of the moment, thanks to last year's pandemic, is moving towards flexibility in terms of work models. Technology personnel are seeing more value in offerings that allow them to work from home or that handle hybrid methodologies that means more freedom to them. This means that, in the near future, this aspect is going to stop being seen as a benefit and become the norm. Keep in mind that the world had to undergo a digital transformation too quickly and the rules of the game have changed forever.

Thinking ahead, you can stand out for your flexibility not only by having an attractive work model. You can also employ reward strategies based on results, ability to change roles or departments based on skills, promote monthly days off based on performance, or any other action that turns your process of finding tech talent into one that highlights your flexibility from the beginning.

Speaking of rewards, the second trend that is being a fundamental part of best practices in technology hiring around the world is a better compensation. The average salary for tech jobs is rising year-over- year, and the covid-19 crisis only made the speed at which compensation is growing in the industry more accretive. Map out what salaries your competitors are offering and start by adjusting your offerings accordingly. Perhaps it's been a long time since you've changed your economic offerings and that's one of the factors why you're not attracting and retaining tech talent.

If you already have your salaries adjusted, think about performance. We all like to receive an unexpected bonus that validates the quality of our work. Talk to your team leaders and structure performance-based compensation models. Survey your technology staff and ask them what type of compensation they would value most. Since not all your employees will value the possible rewards they can earn in the same way, be flexible and give them a variety of options to choose from that are in line with what your teams need (financial support for further education, a traditional bonus, a role change, a promotion, days off, or other benefits can be part of the compensation options).

Whatever the form in which you decide to attract and retain your tech talent, we recommend that every action you take is data-driven. We are living in a world where guessing is no longer a plan and companies that put the data at the center of their decision-making, are the ones who will lead the conversation in Technology and Innovation. At Dream Code Software we know the importance of informed decisions and we know firsthand that knowing the people behind the positions is of vital importance when making a technology recruitment strategy. It is for this reason that we have gone from just 2 employees in 2013 to over 100 in 2021: we understood from the beginning that flexibility and well-compensated work are the keys to hiring in the technology sector. If you want to work with us click here.

Likewise, if your plans include the development of technology projects and you are finding it difficult to hire qualified personnel, don't hesitate to count on us. We have more than 8 years developing projects for the future of the Americas and we have more than 100 trained professionals who speak your language and can lead you to success in technology. If you want to know more about our Nearshore development offer, click here.