If you’re planning to add to your tech, digital or data teams this year you’ll need to react to an ever-changing landscape.  At present, the market is tight and competitive; unlike anything we have seen in recent years. The well-documented tech talent shortage has sparked employers to come out swinging; all vying to attract and secure the top tech people to drive their digital transformations forward.

Candidates seeking new roles are also becoming more demanding, safe in the knowledge that they are holding all the cards.  Our monthly recruitment commentary confirms that starting salaries are higher than we have ever seen, while our conversations with active candidates highlight that flexible working, remote roles and a healthy work/life balance are more important than ever.

This post outlines what today’s candidates are looking for and the dynamics that are shaping the job market right now.

4 factors shaping today’s job market.

High demand for location and scheduling flexibility.

Employers who welcome flexible working arrangements are at an advantage. Job seekers today demand flexibility in where they work. Through our chats with potential candidates, it has become clear that remote or hybrid working is now the number 1 priority.  They are asking questions about this before they enquire about salary or benefits, for example.

Additionally, just offering candidates remote or hybrid options is not enough. They also are demanding flexibility in their schedule, wanting more control over when they work. Enforced remote working has taught many that they are as, if not more, productive in their own homes. And of course, a flexible schedule affords us all a better work/life balance.

Those employers who are unwilling to consider flexible scheduling along with a hybrid model will be at a significant disadvantage when hiring.

Clarity over critical policies.

Companies that are laser-focused on key policies will enjoy a greater level of success when it comes to hiring and retaining staff. Equality and Inclusion policies are critical in attracting new hires, with Gen Z candidates citing this as possibly the number 1 determinant in whether they accept a job offer or not.

On top of this, the pandemic has added a new layer to internal policy. The Covid 19 vaccination requirements and peoples’ reactions to it are evolving, adding more complexity to recruiting, hiring, and retention.

Read our recent blog on the Covid 19 Vaccination debate here.

Companies wishing to hire must communicate their policies clearly, respectfully, and with transparency across all channels. It’s important to be upfront about these policies with your potential hires. Candidates can then decide whether they’re comfortable with those requirements and if they are still interested in working for your firm.

Competitive salaries.

In this post-pandemic era, salary has become less critical in determining the decision of candidates. However, the tight candidate market has been a catalyst for high starting salaries. It has also sparked competitive counter-salary battles if 2 offers are on the table.

Employers wishing to hire in this market should make sure that they are doing their research and are offering competitive compensation for the role on offer.  They should also consider other ways candidates are seeking to be rewarded.

Many organisations are now offering tailored benefits packages, personalised to suit individuals.  This is in itself a benefit, with compensation packages such as these being used to make or break candidate decisions.

For more on the importance of the benefits package, read our blog.

Candidate desire to work for a stellar employer.

In today’s hiring landscape, potential employees will also scrutinise a company’s leadership and culture.  Early impressions will hugely affect how an employer is perceived. Companies must ensure that their recruitment process is seamless, professional, and conducted within reasonable time frames.

If you are concerned about your candidate experience, our recent blog may help.

After this, companies must ensure that they meet the criteria of a standout employer.

Business leaders should consider

  • How financially secure is my company?
  • What are the learning or development opportunities on offer at my company?
  • What makes us unique within the industry and the market?
  • In what ways do our products or services change lives or businesses?
  • What are we doing to be responsible corporate citizens?
  • In what ways is our business sustainable?
  • How are we providing and promoting a diverse and inclusive workspace and company culture?

The answers to these questions ought to be compelling reading for potential hires. The effective communication of this information can be transmitted across many platforms, such as corporate websites, job descriptions, and social media channels.

In so doing, not only will you catch the attention of active job seekers, but also those passive candidates who are not proactively seeking new roles. A well-scripted communication strategy will whet the appetite and encourage their interest in applicable roles and the company itself.

In conclusion.

Today’s hiring market is dynamic. Hiring and growing your business is possible. Employers must be aware of the complex environment and make sure they are doing all they can to attract and retain top talent.

Competitive salaries, transparent communication, prioritising policy, and strategic self-promotion are essential components in making sure you are a force to be reckoned with amid this changeable hiring environment.

Here at Ignite, we talk to the best tech, digital, and data talent the UK has to offer.

Every day, our highly respected recruitment partners are in conversation with your next hire about what they are seeking from their next tech job.

Do you need help in sourcing the tech talent for your business? Reach out to us today and find out more about how we work and how we can help you.

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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