Recruiting IT talent in a diverse, candidate-led market

  • Richard Protherough
  • 04/11/2015
  • Recruitment
  • Insights

The way that people search for jobs is changing. The needs and desires of today’s job seekers are also changing; with advances in technology...

The way that people search for jobs is changing. The needs and desires of today’s job seekers are also changing; with advances in technology - and the IT industry at large - the very nature of recruitment is undergoing its own transformation.

Today’s heavy reliance on social media means that a plethora of new and exciting recruitment channels are at the disposal of employers across the globe - and even passive candidates are rendered accessible through these new approaches - but it also means that employers will need to know their audience, and how to appeal to them accordingly.

Job search deal breakers

With a shortage of IT skills and an abundance of eager-to-recruit organisations, today’s IT professionals have their pick of the roles. The only way to secure the skills your business needs to safeguard its future is to appeal to the preferences of the professionals you’re trying to attract - making the war for talent a battle of the benefits.

Recent research from Spring Technology found location to be the most influential factor in the new job decision-making process - acting as a deal breaker for 62% of the IT professionals surveyed (ahead of salary at 55%, and a clearly defined job description at 36%). But while there is little that employers can do where locale is concerned, advances in technology have made it possible to negate geographical confines.

Today, a quarter of the UK’s IT professionals work flexibly - a figure that’s likely to rise in line with the changing expectations of the upcoming generations. So for those in-demand professionals who may find the location of a role unsuitable, the promise of at home, remote or flexible working could tip the scales.

A tailored approach in a changing time

The key to securing IT talent in the midst of a skills shortage - and against stiff global competition - is being able to offer a package that’s relevant to the professionals you’re trying to attract; professionals whose needs differ according to their generation, and their duration in the industry.

Our research found that over time, factors such as job security, job description, quality of existing IT infrastructure, and use of new technology become less important; so while these may be promoted to those at an early stage in their careers, IT ‘old timers’ may be less susceptible.

Job security is particularly important for young IT workers, along with CSR initiatives (something that barely ranked with older workers). In fact, CSR initiatives emerged as a deal breaker for one in ten Londoners - a figure that is perhaps indicative of a growing trend and a changing mentality.

Recruiting for a transient future

In our recent discussions with IT Directors, it was interesting to find a consensus that a ‘great’ IT Developer doesn’t just outperform an ‘average’ IT developer by 20-30% - they outperform them 10-fold.

It’s clear then that attracting and securing the right skills for the developing needs of your business will prove essential as IT continues to advance, but for that to be possible, it’s crucial to assess and adapt the packages being offered to the most in-demand talent. Otherwise, you’ll be left wondering why your competitors are attracting the best staff, producing the best results, and ultimately leading the way within your market.