In Need of Tech Talent? Here’s How To Find — And Keep — The Best Employees

Good tech talent is hard to find. But it’s even more of a challenge to keep your top candidates once you get them through the door. Changes in how people view employee-employer relationships and what labor markets want out of jobs are impacting all industries.

At the same time, the demand for technical expertise is outpacing the supply. And in a sector where knowledge and skills require a continuous refresh, businesses struggle to meet current and projected needs. With these dynamics, holding onto and developing existing talent becomes just as important as bringing in new faces.

Employers must rethink how they recruit and create environments where people want to stay. It’s not only salaries and other financial perks that are under consideration. Leaders should examine and restructure the qualitative aspects of their cultures so that they support and nurture the best employees. For those who want to discover and keep promising tech talent, the discussion below outlines ways to accomplish these goals.

Build Partnerships With Staffing Firms

Working with staffing agencies does more than help fill open roles. When you form collaborative partnerships, an engineer recruiting firm can look at your talent gaps using a big-picture approach. For instance, your hiring goals might be out of sync with your recruiting process.

Say you have 100 positions to fill. These jobs are important to the organization’s success, but they’re not leadership roles that demand a lengthy process. However, many times there are still multiple hoops to jump through to submit an application. Submitting a resume can be tedious, especially when applicants have to fill out the same information on a form. Then they must wait several weeks to take online tests and record their answers to interview questions.

At this point, candidates haven’t had the chance to speak to an actual person. Candidates don’t get a warm and fuzzy experience when they apply for one of those 100 vacancies. When and if they get a call or email with a job offer, successful applicants are more likely to decline. The process takes too long and is impersonal.

Tech work can bring generalizations about certain personalities preferring to interact with a computer versus a person. But when it comes to recruiting, onboarding, and retaining employees, most want human-to-human contact. Otherwise, candidates may get the impression the company treats its employees as numbers instead of people. Technical staffing agencies can improve hiring and onboarding processes so employers meet expectations from the start.

Create Diverse Career Paths

You hire a brilliant software developer. They’re a quick study and execute their job responsibilities well. You can easily see this employee moving up the ranks and taking on more high-stakes projects. All that rising star needs is a bit more experience under their belts, and they could be the next manager.

But did you stop to ask what this talented software developer wants for their career? They may not want a managerial role or the stress that it brings. Too often, leaders zero in on employees who excel at their jobs and encourage them to pursue management. Yet, the skills individual contributors and managerial roles demand are vastly different.

Someone might be an excellent software developer, but it doesn’t mean they’ll make a great project manager or team lead. However, that same employee probably doesn’t want to stay in the same role doing the same thing. Businesses that provide m managerial and non-managerial career paths provide more fulfilling development opportunities. To keep tech talent around and engaged, you’ve got to give them more mobility options than traditional management tracks.

Increase Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Hiring and retaining diverse teams can boost creativity, problem-solving, and quality. When employees come from similar backgrounds and experiences, businesses increase the risk of succumbing to the dangers of groupthink. On the other hand, more heterogeneous groups can improve profitability and recruiting endeavors.

McKinsey & Company reports that gender-diverse organizations are 25% more likely to outperform less diverse companies. And businesses with ethnic diversity are 36% more likely to outperform those with more homogenous groups. Plus, when candidates see others like them among a company’s executives, they’re more likely to feel comfortable applying there.

Today’s tech talent doesn’t want to work in non-supportive environments. That includes companies that don’t seem to prioritize diversity and inclusion. These efforts can go beyond gender or ethnicity and include support for various personalities, professional backgrounds, and invisible disabilities.

Someone with non-technical experience might have transferable skills that turn them into a top cybersecurity expert. Likewise, your next great hire may be a candidate who lives with the effects of a mild traumatic brain injury. They’ve developed excellent attention to detail and soft skills. They can do the job with accommodations and want to know they won’t face pushback. Candidates pay attention to how inclusive companies are and close the door to those that aren’t.

Keeping the Talent

Organizations that attract and keep tech talent do something fat paychecks and financial perks can’t. Leaders at these companies give their employees meaningful work that allows them to grow in supportive environments. Another business can offer higher salaries. However, those financial rewards won’t look as attractive if they come with a toxic boss or culture.

Companies that successfully hire and retain good employees know that people need financial and non-financial rewards. Today’s tech candidates want more than a bunch of zeros behind their salary offers. They crave a place where they can be treated as humans, make impactful contributions, and work with diverse teams. Leaders who meet these expectations will experience less trouble gaining and keeping in-demand technical experts.