Big magnet attracts only the red balls

The demand for IT talent is high and candidates often have several options to consider. As a key decision maker and manager within your organization, you should be asking yourself, “Why do candidates choose one company over another and how can our organization come out on top?” In the below space, we tackle those questions and list the things your organization should be doing in order to beat the competition and attract top technical talent.

Here’s what can be done:

Offer Traditional Benefits – It’s best to start with the obvious. Just about every job seeker has one thing in common – they’re looking for the best opportunity to be able to provide for themselves and their families. This means offering a salary that matches or exceeds market rates. For those with families, however, an exceptional benefits package may be even more appealing. So if your organization provides that (medical, dental, short-term/long-term disability, paid time off, 401k matches, etc.) be sure you advertise it to them.

Beyond the more traditional benefits, however, today’s top talent is placing a lot of importance on striking a healthy work/life balance. Your organization can achieve this by offering flexible working hours or even work from home options. Studies have shown that a good work/life balance has helped employees avoid stress, mental exhaustion and burnout. Candidates, especially top talent, know this and this is what they’re seeking.

Understand What They’re Looking For – Top technical talent is different than most and sometimes it’s not the more traditional benefits that they’re seeking. In those cases, it’s important to showcase how your organization can provide for them by offering them what they really want (even if this means changing things up within your organization). A previous blog post of ours, “What Tech Talent Looks For,” tackled this topic. In that post, we linked to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Liechtenstein and the IT University of Copenhagen, which examined what workers look for in an organization within the IT industry. They found that top talent places emphasis on 4 criteria: A fast paced environment; a culture that fosters learning; a place that can provide a good offering of career opportunities; and an organization with a non-bureaucratic structure.

If you’re able to showcase that your organization is able to provide any of those 4 criteria, you’ll be well on your way to landing the best available talent.

Provide Leadership – Beyond looking at what your organization can provide, you should also be showcasing your own talent. More specifically, your managers. This is another topic we’ve previously addressed in a similar blog post, “How to Attract IT Talent in a Cluttered Marketplace.” As already mentioned, top talent is on the lookout for an organization that can provide them with a place to grow and further their skills. What better way to do that than by offering an exceptional management team who has the skills and leadership necessary to fast-track their careers. Employees flourish under great leadership and this is a point you should be driving home. Remember, people join companies, but they leave managers.

Always Be On the Lookout – Even if you don’t have an active need, you should always be on the lookout for exceptional talent – even talent that’s not actively looking (passive candidates). If given the right opportunity, they may just jump at it. So reach out to them and foster relationships. Treat them to a cup of coffee or even a lunch. Find out what they’re looking for and explain to them what your organization can offer. Keep those relationships warm. By doing so, your organization will be top of mind when they do begin their job search.

So while there are many different avenues an organization can pursue in order to land top technical talent, by following the advice listed above, you’ll be positioning your organization in the best possible place in order to do so.

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