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10 ways to attract and retain the best IT talent

Right now, competition for technology professionals is fiercer than ever. At the same time, the economy has slowed down, leaving many companies unable to offer higher salaries and remuneration. So, beyond salary hikes, how do you secure the cream of the crop? Our team of specialist IT recruiters suggest these tips:

1. Prioritise. Clarify the essential qualities required in the new recruit, and be prepared to compromise on the “nice to haves”.

2. Be nimble, be quick. If you find a technologist who fits your essential criteria, move fast to secure them. Your organisation needs HR policies that allow you to make offers swiftly and get contracts signed.  

3. Build your online brand. Every IT candidate researches potential employers’ websites, so make sure you invest in your online presence (including social media). 

4. Make recruitment a priority. To snap up the best IT talent, you must clear your diary for interviews. You need to move as quickly as possible to secure the best professionals. 

5. Don’t over-promise. If you intend to move to a new technology platform in six months, then don’t hire senior people until it’s ready. Instead, consider hiring someone more junior today, training them up, and allowing them to grow with the organisation. 

6. Be willing to compromise. You may find someone without the technology experience you are hoping for, but who has the right attitude and enthusiasm to learn. If a candidate is a good cultural fit for the organisation, then technical skills can be taught. 

7. Think outside the box. IT candidates will often accept a role that pays less than others, as long as working arrangements are flexible. Could the role you’re recruiting for be done working from home? Or job shared? Or done in compressed weeks (e.g. working 37.5 hours over four days)?

8. Training = valuable currency. The technology space is changing all the time and everyone needs to stay up to date. Offer training to your people (to retain them) and promise it to potential recruits (to attract them in the first place).

9. Keep up with emerging technology. Working with outdated technologies is the stuff of nightmares for technology professionals. Conversely, working with cutting edge technology is what gets them out of bed in the morning. 

A technology talent strategy has to start with insight into needs, according to world-leading business consultancy McKinsey.

10. Offer career progression. A typical IT role lasts about two years. Hang on to your star performers by exposing them to new technologies, challenging projects, and/or new positions. 

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