Securing IT Talent in a Candidate Short Market | Techspace Consulting Limited
Securing IT Talent in a Candidate Short Market

Securing IT Talent in a Candidate Short Market

As a Client Manager at Techspace, I work with clients across many industries, sizes and technologies to find top IT talent. Over the past couple of years, all of my clients have felt the effects of Aotearoa’s IT candidate short market. New Zealand has always had a candidate short market, but the global pandemic has certainly exacerbated this problem. We didn’t know how good we had it before!

As much as my job is finding qualified candidates for my clients, it’s just as much consulting with clients to share my knowledge on the market — including what it takes to actually secure good talent. Below I’ve outlined the Top 5 Ways Companies Can Attract and Secure the Best IT Talent for the roles they’ve been struggling to fill.

1. Allow remote working / work from home (WFH) flexibility

It should come as no surprise that alongside a competitive salary, one key ‘benefit’ is the ability to WFH a few days a week. I put the word ‘benefit’ in quotation marks because remote working isn’t really a benefit anymore, but an expectation. In fact, Techspace’s own internal survey showed us that 99% of our candidates expect to WFH some or all of the time.

Techspace remote work survey

Covid lockdowns have demonstrated that there are few reasons why most employees can’t WFH. However, some companies have not adapted and believe employees must be in the office to be productive. Recent research suggests otherwise. One study showed a 5% increase in productivity during the pandemic WFH period. Another study showed that remote and hybrid employees were 22% happier than workers in an on-site office environment and stayed in their jobs longer.

I have found that a strict in-office work policy eliminates nearly all of the top talent you’re looking to attract — candidates have multiple other opportunities offering WFH and will move on if you do not offer this perk. If your business is still of the belief that people will not work hard when they work remotely, we encourage you to look further into boosting internal processes like setting performance expectations, increasing communication, providing learning and development opportunities – and supporting your teams to change and improve their WFH habits.

If you want to expand your talent pool even more, consider hiring fully remote candidates based anywhere in NZ. For many roles in technology, there is no reason why someone from another region can’t do the job just as effectively, fully remotely.

2. Acknowledge and accept market rate increases

Across many technology roles in NZ, we have seen significant increases in market salaries and hourly/daily contracting rates over the past 12 months. Many candidates are now asking for (and getting) $20k-$30k more than what they would be getting in 2020. It’s Supply and Demand 101.

If your company is still using salary/rate bandings from 2020 or even early 2021, you will miss out on hiring top talent. You may also lose your currently employed talent to other companies that are willing to pay them more.

Adapting to market rates and paying what’s needed will help you secure and retain amazing talent! If you truly cannot pay market rates, see #3 below.

3. Consider hiring less experienced candidates

If your company cannot afford the extra $20k-$30k required to secure a top-tier candidate, ask yourself if you really need to hire a senior-level employee that ticks all 97 boxes on the job description? Or could a less experienced candidate handle the job? What experience is truly critical to be successful in the role? What can the employee learn on the job?
Many of my clients are having great success by keeping an open mind and hiring junior or intermediate-level candidates. Such candidates may tick only 70% of the boxes on the job description, but they have a hunger to learn and grow, an ability to pick up new technologies rapidly, and a passion for what they do. These candidates can flourish within and with your business … and won’t break your budget.

4. Move quickly to secure good talent

In today’s incredibly tight candidate market, I guarantee that any high-caliber candidate you approach has also been approached by multiple other organisations, all vying for their autograph.
Gone are the days when you could build a shortlist over two weeks, interview in weeks three and four, and then make an offer. Top talent visible in the market will have three other offers within the first two weeks, and you will have missed out.
If you find a qualified candidate, book an interview within days. If you have a three-to-four interview process, condense that to two interviews within a week. A smooth, efficient recruitment process with no major roadblocks gives you the best chance of securing the candidate before someone else does.

5. Remember: The candidate is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them

Gone are the days of one-way interviewing — when candidates spent the majority of the interview explaining why they’re the right person for the job. Companies now must also prove their worth as an employer during the interview process.

More and more, candidates are deciding whether a company is a suitable employer for them by asking questions about the company’s culture, vision, policies, and values. Candidates also want to know if they will be working on a product they can believe in and get behind.

Every employer believes they are the best and that a candidate would be fortunate to work for them. But as an employer, you need to sell yourself as a worthy employer.

In summary, remember that hiring is a partnership — both parties need to choose each other to make the partnership successful. I believe that by embracing the five steps above, your company will have an advantage in attracting and securing top talent.

 You can also up your hiring game by working with us at Techspace Consulting. As technology specialists in the recruitment industry, we have access to skilled candidates and can help you hire for those hard-to-fill roles. Connect with me for more info.

About the author

Tyler Hunt is a Client Manager – Technology and Digital at Techspace. He is passionate about generating new business and developing a deep level of understanding, trust and credibility with his portfolio of clients.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn or send him an email.

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