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5 ways to attract top IT talent
Attracting and retaining the most talented IT candidates takes a little extra creativity. Consider this expert advice on cause, community, passion, and more
In a world of rapid innovation and technological breakthroughs, enterprises are scrambling to attract – and keep – top talent. The future of technology lies with the boldest and brightest minds – those that won’t settle for a cause they don’t believe in.
Building a compelling brand that attracts talent may seem like a daunting task: How do you stay ahead of the competition? How can you ensure your culture is attractive to the younger generation while also attracting those with more experience?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to attracting and retaining top talent, these five tips can help position your business to recruit the best talent the industry has to offer.
[ Are you hiring with an eye to the future? Read also: 5 flourishing and 5 fading IT careers. ]
1. Connect your tech to a compelling cause
Now more than ever, young talent is savvy to social and world challenges, and candidates want to work for an organization that mirrors these ideals. Many feel a stronger sense of purpose when their everyday work is helping to make the world a better place for future generations.
[ Want onboarding advice for today's remote work environment? Read LogMeIn CIO: How to onboard new hires during a pandemic. ]
If your organization isn’t already aligned with a specific initiative, take this opportunity to find a natural connection between your brand and the outside world. Perhaps your company protects data while also leveraging it to solve challenges such as helping buildings achieve carbon neutrality.
No matter what industry you’re in, tech can make a difference in the world, and highlighting that connection is important. However, don’t make up the connection if it doesn’t exist — disingenuous social responsibility is easy to spot and can do more damage than good.
2. Communicate your passion
The generation of tomorrow understands and is drawn towards authentic passion.
That’s why we’ve seen more video communication: It provides more opportunities for people to openly share what inspires them. Younger generations want to not only believe in what they’re doing, but also be driven by it. They strive to do more for their company, for the industry, and for themselves.
Businesses can echo this by fostering a culture of passion and authenticity across the company. But it means walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Encourage employees to pursue their passions in the workplace and create environments that allow them to do so. Everyone should be rewarded for speaking up so long as it embraces diversity, inclusion, and company values. Passion is infectious and communicating this to potential new employees helps convey a sense of commitment and excitement.
3. Engage with the community
It is easy to get so focused on our work that we lose sight of the larger business community. Community has different meanings – it can refer to the broader local business community in your town or city, for example, or to the industry community. With younger generations looking for organizations that align with larger social issues, engaging with local communities is a natural way to embrace a culture of giving. If your company doesn’t already have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, consider how you can implement one, even if you start with small initiatives like wrapping gifts to support local hospitals during the holidays.
Engagement is more than a digital marketing exercise. While Twitter and LinkedIn are important, engage in real events. Whether your efforts involve volunteering at a soup kitchen or hosting a coding session or hackathon at the local high school, there are countless ways to give back. This type of engagement should be encouraged both individually and as a team — group initiatives can help build comradery and foster team bonding.
4. Don’t stagnate – innovate
Large brands are often perceived as slow-moving and stuck in their ways, which unfortunately tends to scare off younger generations of talent. To avoid this perception, find natural opportunities to highlight how your organization is embracing change and leveraging innovation to stay at the forefront of the competition.
Use social channels, company blogs, and other channels to highlight innovation within your business and spotlight employees who think outside the box. Be sure to connect this innovation internally with innovation externally — as an extension of community engagement, recognize that innovation can happen at the intersection of open source and partner communities.
Additionally, innovation is more than just external IT delivery. It also applies to personal technologies and internal processes. Be progressive and innovative with benefits: offer work-from-home options, flexible hours, etc. Embrace newer work innovations; they can help attract young talent.
5. Make it fun!
Just because we’re all grown up doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. Creating a culture of fun makes work more enjoyable and helps foster team bonding and company pride. Baby Boomers, Gen Z, and everyone in between wants to look forward to the workday, so solicit ideas from all generations for inclusive fun — who knows what great ideas you might find?
Work should not just be about a paycheck. Brands that can showcase a fun work environment are sure to attract talent, no matter the age!
There isn’t one surefire way to attract top talent, but these five tips can help create a culture of passion and purpose within your brand. When IT brands stand out amongst the competition, talent will find them and stay because their company meets their needs both professionally and personally. In the quickly changing world of technology, building a compelling brand that attracts young talent begins from within.
[ How will IT skill requirements evolve over the next decade? Get the report: IT talent strategy: New tactics for a new era. ]