Is hiring tech talent the key to business continuity in 2021?

In the past, a business’ main priority has been to grow and try to become the biggest and best version of itself. However, right now for many, that doesn’t seem feasible. It’s enough of an achievement to stay afloat and take care of your existing people. Hiring new ones isn’t the biggest priority. Business continuity is the biggest aspiration; we’re all striving for our business to run as usual despite the challenges that have been thrown our way. Business continuity is the new goal for many entrepreneurs whether you’re running a startup (and scaling ambitions are being put on hold) or a larger corporation.

However, does business continuity mean continuing with the same old or could hiring the right people and planning for strategic hires be the key to maintaining business as usual?

What is business continuity?

To be able to strive for business continuity, leaders must first understand its true meaning. Business continuity is described as an organisation’s ability to ensure operations and core business functions are not severely impacted by a disaster or unplanned incident. Therefore, it is not about keeping things the same and avoiding change but instead adapting and adjusting to change. As the last 12 months have proven, many businesses struggle to survive without adjusting and embracing digitisation. Sticking to the same old will not ensure your business can remain profitable and productive in a changing world.

Can hiring tech talent be the solution?

It seems odd to think about maintaining business as usual and hiring new people at the same time. Understandably, some companies are reluctant to hire, as they’d rather take care of their existing team. However, in a world that is changing so rapidly, it could be the only solution. Otherwise, you could be putting the entire company’s future at risk.

2020 and 2021 have accelerated the use of digital in all industries. Although many businesses already had digital transformation on their agenda for the next few years, 2020 ensured it was an immediate priority. With a rise in remote work, video calls, ordering online and basically relying on tech to carry out even the simplest of tasks, businesses that are not embracing digital are suddenly out of the loop, losing business and unable to continue as normal. It’s tech businesses or those who have already taken the steps towards digitising that have been able to continue as usual, while those who have remained stuck in old habits struggle to survive.

The last two years have also made it clear that businesses must be prepared for change. They need to be agile and ready to adapt, digital skills can help this.

It’s one thing to take care of your existing team and ensuring you put their needs first, but an entire hiring freeze may cause more issues. Furlough schemes will not last forever, and by the time they are over, the world may have moved on with shopping habits, consumer behaviours and even ways of working changing by the day. New candidates will expect flexibility that comes with having access to cloud computing and working from home. In contrast, customers will expect smooth user journeys and a seamless user experience online as they would from in-person interactions.

Of course, there is an argument for reskilling and retraining your existing team to embrace the world of tech. After all, we all use technology daily, so how hard can it be to learn to store things in the cloud, right? In some instances yes, teams must be retrained to embrace this digitisation, but it will take skilled and talented tech professionals to help implement change for the long term. Plus, it takes time to reskill, and time is something businesses no longer have. The world is changing around us, and to be left behind could be detrimental to businesses. With the urgency to digitise operations and move online growing, hiring talented people is the only viable option for many companies. Having tech talent on board can keep your team working safely and remotely, ensure customers can still access your services and keep you innovating, ahead of the competition.

Therefore, the battle to attract the best talent it’s becoming harder than ever to source the talent needed to ensure business as usual. Everyone is fighting for the same technical skillsets. More and more companies are now competing to attract developers, data scientists, DevOps engineers, cybersecurity professionals, and AI engineers in all industries. Roles that were previously considered a specialist for tech companies are suddenly the most in-demand across all sectors. Suddenly tech is in everybody’s best interest.

This raises the question; how can we ensure businesses can run as usual in a changing world when the competition for the people which can provide this continuity is so high?

Be Strategic

Firstly, businesses need to be strategic about the hires they’re going to make. It’s no use going after data scientists because you’ve heard it’s the most in-demand tech role for the year. You need to hire people that will be truly beneficial to your business and what you need. Otherwise, you’ll have expensive team members with very little work to do or create a much bigger project for yourself than needs to happen.

To plan for the talent you wish to attract, you need to understand your business goals and requirements as well as what you will need to do to function correctly in the digital age. Think about your existing business model and working environment, then consider how can this be digitised before you get ahead of yourself with big ideas for online takeovers.

Look inside your organisation

Talent mapping your exiting talent is a good idea, as it could provide a short-term solution while you hire but also can lay the ground for long term plans. Maybe you have someone that can be trained up quickly and has the basic knowledge of coding to suffice until you hire a full-stack developer.

In doing this, you can also create long term plans for the tech roles that may take your business to the next level. Sure, you may not need a cybersecurity team right now. Still, if your business will be working from home for the foreseeable, it may be worthwhile to think about protecting your data and taking your businesses online security more safely. These long term goals may not be crucial to business continuity now but could be later down the line, so it’s a good idea to have them on your radar and prepare for hires.

Get emotional

Then, it comes down to a matter of what your business can offer that others can’t. Think of the emotional drivers for your workplace: maybe you have a great mission that could appeal to talent. Perhaps you provide generous maternity and paternity packages, or perhaps you have a great team that you feel anyone would be lucky to work with. Whatever these emotional connections to your business are, you need to broadcast them. It will be these elements that will set you apart. Use them to build your employer brand. If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that work is so much more than just going to an office for a few hours a week; we want to enjoy it, have a purpose and feel motivated every day. Finding these motivations for work and promoting them creatively will allow you to resonate with candidates.

Outsource recruitment

Finally, if you’re desperately seeking tech talent and are struggling to compete with the big players, outsourcing could help you. You’ll have access to recruitment experts who can connect with candidates and sell your business. They will know the market and know the best tactics to communicate with tech talent and raise awareness amongst these professionals. Using flexible RPO means that you can make the urgent strategic hires that will ensure business continuity and then scale back your efforts until you’re ready to progress. A good RPO provider can reduce the time to hire significantly, helping you to continue as usual in no time. They come with a robust network of candidates that allows them to find tech talent faster.

If you’d like Talent Works’ help adjusting your tech recruitment strategy and finding the talent that can allow you to continue as usual no matter how much the world changes in the future, get in touch. Our team of recruitment, digital marketing, creative and market research experts can use their knowledge base to help you find the best tech talent to continue business in the digital era despite the high competition levels.

We have offices in Manchester, Northampton and Boston in the US to allow us to deliver a flexible, global approach to RPO. Get in touch today and start your conversation to find out how our agile approach to RPO can help you.