Business owners have known for years that digital transformation will help organisations stand the test of time. Many businesses have faced, and continue to experience, challenges when trying to transition into a digital way of working; whether it’s for employees or customers. However, the COVID-19 crisis has forced this digitisation upon us in ways no one could have predicted.
Consumers that weren’t always the most digitally savvy have found themselves forced to use digital options to minimise human-to-human contact. Organisations are having to adopt remote working strategies to keep employees safe while ensuring business continuity. But more significantly, technology has become a fundamental part of daily life; it’s how we talk to friends and family, it’s how we keep entertained, it provides ways of learning, and it’s been adopted for health and fitness purposes.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, we can’t expect a business, or our lives in general, to return to normal. Being forced into a digital way of life will have a significant impact on consumer behaviour, business priorities and even employee expectations.
Businesses need to prepare for a digital transformation more than ever before, which means recruiting the best tech talent to stay ahead of the curve.
Why attract Tech Talent?
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, skilled tech employees are still popular. Reports claim that demand for “search engineers” have increased by 137% in the last year while demand for “machine learning engineers” increased by 89%. In 2017, it was reported 1 in 10 available jobs were tech-related, fuelling a war for talent between established companies and startups.
After the coronavirus pandemic, we can expect this demand to increase even more. However, the number of skilled developers and tech experts looking for work may not grow at the same rate, making the market even more competitive.
So, how can you attract tech talent, and how can you utilise their skills to stay ahead of the curve?
Stage One: Create a Robust Digital Strategy
The first stage in recruiting the best tech talent is understanding how your business will transform digitally. It’s no good hiring developers or other digital specialists if you don’t have a plan in place for your organisation. Study competitors to see how they have adapted to the digital age. Look at trends in your industry and how it has evolved. Also, review how your business has adapted to COVID-19, what do you wish you could have done had you been prepared? Take the time to plan a digital customer journey or lifecycle as this will help you to identify roles that you need to fill before you begin trying to compete.
Stage Two: Prepare to Upskill
Just because we’re becoming more reliant on technology and digital capabilities, it doesn’t mean your existing workforce is redundant. Before you start searching for new talent, take the time to review the people in your business and the abilities they have. If you have talented people already working for you that you can upskill, this will save money and shows that you’re a loyal and dedicated employer. A lot of transferable skills will still have relevance as you digitise your business; things like creativity, communication, commercial awareness and organisation can’t be taught. Find ways to utilise existing employees and develop new skills as this will help their progression too.
Stage Three: Understand Who and What You Need
Next, if you realise there are some roles your existing people can’t fill, you need to understand the types of tech talent. It’s no longer enough to say you need someone who can build a website for you; you must ask questions. What is the purpose of your website? What coding language will it be written in? What skills will a developer need to build and maintain your site?
Tech talent, like all talent, comes in many different varieties. You need to understand who your target candidates are, what they want, and what you can offer them. Make sure you do your research and even reach out to experts in tech recruitment if it will help match an individual to your needs.
Stage Four: Talk the Talk
Once you’ve defined the kind of individuals you need, you must speak their language. It’s vital to craft job descriptions with the accurate terminology, obvious requirements and a clear picture of what the job will be. Techies want to know that you know your stuff, so they aren’t going to work in a place that’s behind the times, but they also need to know that they’re up to the job from the get-go.
Many people have a stereotype of tech talent in their minds which is outdated and borderline offensive, remember you’re talking to people, not machines. Tech talent comes in all shapes and sizes. Write your job descriptions and communications in the same clear and concise manner you would use with any other role; being talented in technology doesn’t mean everything has to be complicated.
Stage Five: Refine your EVP
Offer the same benefits you would provide the rest of your team. COVID-19 has shown us tech talent can work from anywhere with an internet connection, and 53% of developers said remote working was their top priority when looking for a job, so keep these things in mind.
Consider what makes you stand out as an employer and why these individuals would want to work for you over every other business. With increasing competition for tech talent, you must review your offering to make sure you can not only compete but stand out from a crowded market.
Stage Six: Put Them to the Test
You need to be confident that the people you’re hiring to help with the digital transformation of your business are legit. Ask candidates to demonstrate their expertise and show you what they’re made of. Top techies like to be challenged, so give them a task that’s fun and interesting as well as relevant to your business.
This task doesn’t even have to be in the middle of the recruitment process. Companies such as Quora and Stripe offer challenges online; once the problem is solved, users have to submit their solutions by email to find out if their answer is correct. This lead generation technique is a creative way of building the company’s talent pool, which will be invaluable if you’re not in a position to be recruiting just yet.
Finding the right tech talent for your business is no easy task, particularly during a pandemic. By following these six simple steps and providing a great candidate journey, you should position yourself as a viable employer of choice. If you need guidance in sourcing tech talent, reaching out to potential candidates, perfecting your candidate experience or enhancing your employer brand, our experts are ready to help.
We all know that digital transformation is more significant than ever as technology has become a an even bigger part of our daily lives. Don’t risk your business falling behind, plan and prepare for the inevitable changes that COVID-19 will bring.