How To Attract And Retain Top IT Talent (Part 1)

5 min

With the technological revolution continuing to develop at pace, attracting and retaining to...

With the technological revolution continuing to develop at pace, attracting and retaining top-tier IT talent is essential for companies looking to stay ahead in the digital age. The demand for skilled professionals to fill all-important IT jobs continues to rise, making the recruitment retention of these individuals a top priority for organisations looking to secure long-term success. 

Though closely related, talent attraction and retention are two distinct aspects of managing a workforce, both requiring unique approaches. Attraction strategies should be geared toward convincing exceptional talent to apply for a role within your organisation, while retention methods are designed to motivate and incentivise employees to remain within the team. By implementing the right strategies, your company has every chance to hire IT specialists with the expertise to ignite innovation and growth. 

As successfully attracting and retaining IT talent involves many aspects, we’ve decided to split our guide into two parts. In part one, we’ll explore the most effective strategies companies can deploy to attract tech talent. Part two will take an in-depth look at strategies tailored to ensure that your outstanding IT professionals stay at your company. 

Key Talent Attraction Strategies for IT Talent 

Recruiting high-calibre candidates with IT expertise is crucial for ensuring that your company is well-equipped to thrive in today’s ever-competitive digital landscape. With the emergence and development of trends such as an increased reliance on technology, growing cybersecurity concerns, and the rise of remote work, the demand for IT talent is greater than ever. However, research shows that there is a scarcity of available IT professionals. 

According to the International Monetary Fund, the tech talent shortage is projected to grow to over 85 million workers by 2030, potentially resulting in a lost revenue of over $8 trillion annually. To overcome the IT talent gap and attract stand-out professionals, organisations set themselves apart from their rivals by implementing effective strategies. 

Here are the key methods for attracting top tech talent:

1. Develop a Strong Employer Brand 

In the increasingly competitive IT recruitment space, companies are constantly looking for ways to make their brand all the more appealing to would-be candidates. Having a strong and unique employer brand is a sure-fire method of piquing the interest of IT talent, not least because it demonstrates that your firm has a clearly defined set of values and a transparent outlook. 

According to figures compiled by Apollo Technical, 75% of job-seekers will pay close attention to the brand of an employer before deciding to apply for them. Their analysis also shows that companies with an exceptional brand identity are able to attract up to 50% more qualified candidates. These statistics highlight that developing a strong employer brand is an effective strategy for attracting outstanding talent. 

So, how can your business bolster your employer branding strategy to draw in top IT talent? Let’s explore the key actions you should take: 

  • Define Your Employer Value Proposition: At the outset, you should identify and articulate all the characteristics that make your company an attractive place where the best and brightest IT experts would wish to work. Ensure you clearly define your values, mission, culture, and what you can offer to employees. 
  • Showcase Your Company Culture: Highlighting your workplace culture is a surefire way to attract tech talent, so be sure to display your commitment to a positive, inclusive work environment via your website, social media channels, and employee testimonials. Key cultural aspects you could showcase include your work-life balance, development opportunities, and incentive schemes.
  • Utilise Social Media Channels: Use platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other relevant sites to promote your employer brand. Engage with your audience by sharing content about your company's achievements, events, employee spotlights, and industry-related insights.
  • Provide an Elevated Candidate Experience: A positive employee experience can significantly enhance your employer brand. Focus on creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, provide opportunities for skill development, and gather feedback to continuously improve.

2. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits Packages 

One of the most important talent attraction strategies for companies that want to recruit IT talent is offering competitive compensation and benefits packages. With the demand for tech talent becoming ever-more intense, it is unsurprising that salaries for IT professionals are on the rise. A recent survey found that salaries for IT workers in UK companies increased by as much as 30% in the past year, an eye-catching statistic that highlights how tech companies are refining their compensation offerings to attract top candidates. 

With so many tech companies upping their financial packages, it is essential that you refine your compensation packages to retain your edge over the competition. Ensuring that your base salary is as competitive as possible is key, so be sure to research industry standards by using resources like industry reports and job market analyses to determine appropriate pay levels for levels of IT jobs. In addition to a competitive base salary, other financial benefits include performance-based incentives, stock options, and sign-on bonuses. 

It is important to bear in mind that having attractive compensation alone won’t be enough to draw in the highest calibre of IT talent. For that, you must also ensure that your packages offer a number of non-financial perks that enhance the overall work experience and make your business stand out. These could include: 

  • Flexible work schedules that include flexitime, compressed workweeks, and the option to work remotely
  • Employee wellness programs designed to emphasise mental well-being, offering benefits such as gym memberships, meditation classes, and ergonomic work equipment
  • Perks that support a healthy work-life balance, including generous annual leave, opportunities for sabbaticals, and parental leave
  • Company-sponsored volunteering to give back to society and boost staff morale 

3. Foster an Inclusive Work Environment 

As we alluded to earlier in the guide, a work environment promoting collaboration and inclusivity is vital for attracting high-quality candidates. In the last section, we addressed the importance of innovation and how it attracts top IT professionals, and there are few better ways to enhance innovation than by boosting workplace diversity. In fact, according to Boston Consulting Group, businesses with above-average diversity scores generate 19% higher innovation revenues. 

A lack of diversity has been one of the tech industry’s top challenges for a long time. While progress has been made, research informs us that the number of female and ethnic minority IT employees leaves much to be desired. Statistics compiled by LinkedIn show that only 26% of the computing workforce in the US is female, while just 8% is made up of Black employees. 

By implementing the right DEI policies, you’ll be able to create an inclusive environment where highly talented IT professionals will want to work. Here are our top tips for fostering an inclusive workplace culture: 

  • Offer EDI training programs for all employees, covering topics such as unconscious bias and cultural awareness
  • Establish policies that promote diversity and inclusion, such as anti-discrimination policies and guidelines for respectful behaviour 
  • Encourage open dialogue between employees 
  • Review hiring practices to ensure that bias is eliminated in the recruitment process 

4. Vary Recruitment Methods

Varying recruitment methods can dramatically improve the chances of attracting top IT candidates. Given that there is fierce competition for placing top-quality candidates into critical IT jobs at the moment, employing a mix of hiring techniques can help your company stand out and appeal to the very best candidates. Rather than merely focusing your candidate search on job boards, you should focus on leveraging other hiring methods to reach a wider audience of potential candidates. 

Although traditional online job boards can connect companies with top talent, research shows that modern recruitment methods can elicit greater interest from top-notch candidates. Research shows that 86% of job seekers look for new jobs via social media channels, an insightful statistic that underlines how cutting-edge social media can be a powerful tool in the war for talent. 

Developing a diversified recruitment strategy is necessary for maximising the number of top candidates who choose to apply for your IT jobs. Not only will you be able to draw in active job hunters, but you’ll also attract passive candidates who are already in employment but may be open to new opportunities. In addition to advertising on job boards like LinkedIn and utilising social media, other recruitment methods include employee referral programs, direct headhunting, and networking. 

Part One Of How To Attract And Retain IT Talent: Key Takeaways

Attracting top IT talent involves a multifaceted approach that should include a number of important strategies, including cultivating a compelling employer brand, offering competitive compensation and benefits, fostering an inclusive work environment, and diversifying recruitment methods. By pursuing a combination of these strategies, companies can heighten their chances of appealing to some of the industry’s most impressive candidates. 

Now that you have in-depth knowledge of the most effective ways to attract IT professionals, we urge you to check out part two, where we examine the best strategies for retaining exceptional IT talent. Here’s what part two covers: 

  1. Invest in Innovative Technology and Projects
  2. Provide Development and Learning Opportunities 
  3. Facilitate Flexible Working Arrangements 
  4. Establish a Recognition and Reward Program

Experts in Delivering Market-Leading IT Recruitment Services 

With a deep understanding of IT recruitment, our consultants are specialists in connecting tech talent with IT jobs throughout Europe. Our vast candidate network includes ambitious and highly skilled individuals with the ideal skills to deliver exceptional results for your IT department. Whether you are looking for an entry-level graduate or a seasoned IT specialist, we have the means to support you. 

Reach out to us today to discover more about how we can help your business achieve your recruitment goals.