The miserable depths of the Covid 19 pandemic made simply staying solvent a company’s top priority.  Now though, organisations are back in hiring mode.  This upturn is of course welcomed, however, the demand for talented tech candidates far outstrips supply.

The shortage of skilled candidates is perhaps the worst kept secret in recruitment, and we are experiencing a race for talent like none we’ve seen in a long time.

This is all great if you are a talented tech job seeker. Starting salaries are at an all-time high; your skills are at a premium.  Companies of all shapes and sizes are doing all they can to tempt you to work for them.

But what if you are a business leader looking to hire now? What can you and your leadership team do to ensure that the tech candidates who are looking to move on, come and work for you rather than a competitor?

Here are a few tips if you are looking to hire amid a tight labour market.

Tips for hiring in a tight labour market.

Embrace flexible working.

The government mandated ‘Work from Home’ policy has quickly become the working model most favoured by candidates. What began as a necessity is now the norm, with many workers eager to maintain this model as the status quo.  So strong is this assertion, that those companies who are attempting to enforce a return to the office will likely inadvertently push mass resignations.

Data from the job-seeking community backs this up. In a recent survey, 56% of employees said remote work options were their top priority and 66% highlighted that they wanted flexible schedules.

When putting together your package, it’s important to remember that companies that accommodate flexible working will have an advantage over those that don’t. However, if yours is an organisation that can’t function efficiently with 100% remote or flexible options, then perhaps you could think about what other arrangements you can facilitate.  Could you offer a 4 day week instead, or window working? Or perhaps you could operate a hybrid model instead to give employees the flexibility they want.

Just offering flexible working isn’t enough though.  Remote employees still need to be managed, guided, and made to feel part of the team. Communication will be key to this.  Zoom or Teams calls won’t have the same camaraderie as in-person meetings, however, a virtual room of friendly faces can still help people feel connected.

Here are some more tips to help you keep your remote workforce happy.

Review your salary structure.

A competitive remuneration package is key to both hiring new employees and keeping the ones you do have happy.  This may seem obvious, but many employees are unhappy with their salaries.  In fact, the data would suggest that nearly half of workers would consider themselves underpaid for the work they do.

Some demographics are more likely to feel dissatisfied than others.  52% of women and 57% of GenZ employees believe they don’t receive adequate compensation for the work they do.

In terms of keeping your team happy, wage dissatisfaction cannot be underestimated. In the same study, a third of those asked said that they would leave a job if they felt their salary was unfair.

To try to make sure you are offering a fair wage, employers should research local market averages and adjust their package accordingly. To be competitive, you should seek to match or exceed these.

Are you looking to attract GenZ candidates? Here are some ideas on how you can attract and retain GenZ candidates.

Support inclusivity, diversity, and equity for all.

Rightly so – diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) have never been more important in the workplace.  Embracing this is not only the right thing to do, but also a critical draw for candidates everywhere.

If this is something you know you offer at your organisation, then you need to shout about it.  Your job descriptions, your website and your social media posts should have this as a headline, front, and centre.  A rich and diverse organisational culture is a company’s ace card. Offering a space where everyone has equal access to opportunities to be heard and the space to be themselves, can be critical to your recruiting and retention efforts.

If you are unsure about your DEI policies and practices, then now is the time to figure out how you can do better. It may be you need to hire a consultative service to help you.

Assessing your organisational diversity will help you create a workplace culture that houses an array of professionals with a variety of lived experiences. A diverse workforce will both enrich your organisation and has been proven to be a feature of successful businesses.

Read more about implementing a more diverse recruiting strategy here.

Offer learning and support opportunities.

The pandemic has done nothing for people’s career plans.  Career progression has pretty much stalled over the last 2 years.  Feeling a loss of momentum is a catalyst for encouraging employees to look elsewhere for new opportunities.

Firms that offer formal development programs are attractive and have the edge in attracting and keeping top talent.

Some ideas you may like to consider are

  • Mentorship
  • Paid learning days
  • Reimbursed certification fees
  • Subsidised education
  • Internal promotion policies

Refine your hiring processes.

From posting a job ad right through to interviewing, much of the hiring process is now online. Covid 19 has forced organisations to go virtual pretty much overnight. Although bumpy at first, virtual hiring has been a hiring managers best friend. This is particularly true when it comes to speed and efficiency.  In such a candidate-driven market, speed is critical.  Skilled candidates are likely to have options…it is fair to assume that yours is not the only potential offer on the table.

If you have any doubt over the importance of a slick and speedy candidate experience, consider this. Recent research shows that 62% of professionals lost interest in a job if they didn’t hear back from the employer within two weeks after the initial interview. This number jumps to 77% if there was no status update within three weeks.

In short, be quick to make contact and move to interview quickly by using the online tools open to you. Make a swift decision and then communicate this to your candidate.

Speak to Ignite.

At Ignite, our recruitment model is one of true partnership and collaboration.  Our professional, resourceful, and knowledgeable recruitment partners have a huge wealth of industry expertise. We will be able to advise you every step of the way.  We can discuss the skills you need for the role you are hiring for, what you ought to be paying them and how you can refine your hiring model to maximise your efforts.

Our extensive network includes passive candidates; those with whom we have long-standing professional relationships.  This untapped resource may house your next hire. Reach out to us today to make sure you kick off your 2022 hiring efforts with a bang.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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