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How to Recruit the Best Technology Professionals

8 months ago - Mark Ashton

As I’ve spoken about in some of my previous posts, the tech industry in Cambridge is booming and is set to continue that way for some time.  One of the most challenging aspects for businesses and HR Managers in the technology sector is attracting and keeping hold of the best technology professionals in what is an increasingly competitive sector.

With around 60,000 digital technology businesses in the UK alone, and the uprising of the digital transformation we’re experiencing here, there is an elevated need for the top tech talent. In this post, I will share with you a few tips I’ve picked up throughout my time in technology recruitment, that will help you and your business stand out from other companies who are chasing the same talent that you are.

Career Prospects

Taking a genuine interest in the desired career path of the candidate can go a long way.  It is especially good to discuss this at interview stage if the individual is successful and you hire them; make sure their line manager knows of their desires to progress so that they can work this into a personal development plan or similar.  Something as small as this can go a really long way in gaining loyalty from a good candidate.  Showing them that the Company cares about their future is a great way to get loyalty from your employees.

I have recently read about a career progression program that has been implemented by Rackspace called TCT. This gives their techies a career path that could lead them to executive level positions within their business.  It serves as an attractive program for those who are applying to work at the company but who might not neccesairly want to go down the management route, it also doubles up as a great tool for retention as well.

Learning Culture

As with the above point, and the rest of the details mentioned in this post; whatever perks or positive you implement with the intention of recruiting top tech talent, is also great for retaining that talent as well.  Offering training programs to your staff is a great way to demonstrate to those who are going through the recruitment process that you care about their development.  Following up on this once an employee starts to work with you is equally as important.  It shows you are willing to invest in helping them be the best they can.  More and more, I get asked about this when talking to candidates about companies I am recruiting for. So, in this respect, I know it is an important deciding factor that those who work in technology consider when joining a business.

Even for those who aren’t necessarily too concerned with a career path or progression into management.  Helping individuals to hone their skills and flourish in their roles is a real turn-on for tech talent today.  It will also serve as a way to get the best performance out of the individual as well as giving back value to the business and elevating the quality and the levels of work delivered.

A final point to mention here is not to forget your existing team members.  Don’t leave them out.  If you promise new starters that you are going to give them training and development, and deliver on that too, this is great news.  However, you must also ensure that your existing staff members are treated equally and also get opportunities to progress.  Something else I have come across during my time in the industry is employee disgruntlement which relates specifically to new-starters being given better training and development opportunities.  In order to keep things fair and equal, training courses that are offered to new recruits should always be offered to existing staff members too. Or, at least discussed with them in a PDP or appraisal.

Employee Perks

Gone are the days when a standardised compensation and benefits package of healthcare, childcare vouchers, dental and holidays were enough to entice an individual to come and work you.  Don’t get me wrong, these are still important of not essential, but they are now expected.  If you want to attract the best tech talent to your business, you need to offer a little but more than that.

Working from home and flexible hours options are two major plus points when it comes to employee perks.  One of the great things about working in tech is the actual technology that allows people to work remotely with ease, and the fact that the services they can provide from the comfort of their own home is exactly the same as they could if they were in the office.

I don’t know anyone who enjoys sitting on the A14 or M11 in the Monday or Friday traffic. Being subjected to an extra hour on the commute to or from work can be a major headache, it’s just a waste of time.  Often, allowing employees who can perform their jobs remotely, the opportunity to do so, can result in better productivity and better morale all round.

I think almost everyone has heard of duvet days, but some organisations are going as far as offering bring your dog to work days, free breakfasts, free childcare, a gym at the workplace and more; just to be different and to try and stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

The above points to me, are what can really help your business to stand out, they are all things that candidates are asking about, and things that matter in the technology sector.  One final point to mention about recruiting the best technology professionals that I think is quite prudent, is to harness the power of your company network.  Make sure you are asking for referrals and incentivising people to bring that top talent to your doorstep.  If you haven’t got a referral program in place, it is more than worth considering and could help you find that ‘needle in a haystack’ you have been searching for, much quicker than you might otherwise had been able to do.