Tech talent is scarce — here’s how to beat the competition (Part One: Build the Pipeline)
A step-by-step guide of how to find and keep tech talent for your business
Tech companies need good technologists to grow. The shortage of tech talent in the UK job market is one of the biggest problems tech companies face. This four-part series will tell you how to acquire and keep the best tech talent out there. We’ll cover the entire process, from developing the pipeline through to employee retention – we’re with you for the long game.
Part One: Build the Pipeline
First, you need a solid pipeline. A good pipeline feeds you a collection of engaged candidates who could fill your openings now or in the future.
A good pipeline takes time to build. Take the trans-alaskan pipeline (which carries 1.8 million barrels of oil per day) – this gargantuan pipeline wasn’t built in a day, and neither will yours be. Use these tips to make sure yours flows as smoothly and you’ll have reliable sustenance for your recruitment effort.
1 – Motivate your team to get involved
In recruitment as in life, what you are looking for might be right under your nose.
If you have an existing tech team, chances are they are connected to a multitude of peers. Exploit and nurture this – help them see it’s part of their job and the future of the company relies on it. Setting up a paid internal referral scheme can be an effective way to do this, with the additional benefit of netting candidates who are pre-vetted by a current employee (the two-year retention rate of referrals is 46% compared to 20% for applicants).
Go one step further by making sure your employees are in the right room to meet potential candidates. Invest in the learning and development of your team so they’re in spaces where they’ll meet like-minded individuals. Encourage your team to go out there and network by sharing relevant events with them and supporting them as they skill-up. Learning and development is also fantastic for job satisfaction, aiding retention, which we touch on in part four of this series.
2 – Lean on the professionals
Recruitment professionals do this day in and day out, and possess the market knowledge to do it in an informed manner. They can also offer you tailored advice based on their experience. In addition, most are paid on a contingent basis, meaning that if they fail to find you the right candidate, you don’t have to spend a penny. If they do find you what you need, the fees will pay for themselves. Think quality not quantity here. Enlisting thousands of disparate agencies creates a massive administrative headache for your team and may damage your employer brand. You run the risk of looking desperate if a multitude of recruiters are hitting the same candidates, and desperation isn’t sexy.
3 – Write job adverts that sing
Time and time again companies overlook the job advert. Job adverts often end up being glorified to-do lists which offer little in the way of encouragement to join the company.Don’t forget the job ad’s purpose – to sell the job and your company. Check out our guide for tips on how to write a winning job advertisement.
4 – Look where no-one else is looking
Be innovative in ways to reach the candidates you want. Proactively think about unusual channels available to you – be creative! We’ve seen everything from hosting Meetups and engaging on GitHub to swiping right on Tinder. We don’t condone the latter… but whatever works.
5 – Offer purpose, not perks
In a saturated buyers’ market, the desire for workplace fulfilment is more prominent than ever. We’re not talking pool tables and free lunch; we’re talking work that enables people to engage with innovative ideas and products, and/or makes a positive and palpable impact on society.
6 – Cut through the noise with a strong USP
Articulate loud and clear what makes your tech and product unique and exciting. Engineers are inundated with ‘exciting opportunities’. Show how yours is different to stand out.
7 – Consider your employer brand
Your brand matters – not only to customers but also to prospective employees.
Ensure that you have an appealing careers page with a dedicated engineering section which emphasises your USP. Let prospective hires hear it first hand by encouraging existing employees to write blogs, LinkedIn posts and just talk openly about their experiences.
8 – Don’t wait for the right event to come along
If you can’t find your talent – create the space so they come to you. Arrange meetups or host discussion panels on topics that might interest them. This will be hugely beneficial to your employee brand long term. Engage your employees. If you lack the capacity, collaborate with other companies (preferably not direct competitors for your stack) to maximise exposure. These simple and organic marketing techniques can be highly impactful.
Be creative and stand out from the crowd
If you follow our steps above, you’ll find you have a far greater pool of applicants to choose from. Like any competitive scenario, you need to think and act differently to everyone else to stand out. Get your team involved – your success is their success.
But it’s not just about getting candidates through the door – part two in our series discusses how to create a top-notch process for a great candidate experience.