With IT job opportunities so competitive right now, professionals are leaving their roles more quickly than recent grads are able to fill them. But even on small teams, it is possible to compete with big players and attract and hire top talent.
These days, employees are prioritizing flexibility. Having proven that they are just as productive (if not more) working from home, many folks are unwilling to go back to in-person full-time. Building out flexible work policies, focusing on upskilling, and offering competitive benefits should be a part of your plan to create a work environment tailored to the 2021 employee.
But how do you get the right candidates in the door? Here are five ways to attract top talent that might also land your organization on the Best Places to Work list!
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1. Make remote work work
Just 18 months ago, few business leaders could have predicted how long remote work would last. IT leaders quickly discovered which combination of virtual technology tools worked for them as they led their teams through our new digitally connected reality.
By now, perhaps your organization has its remote work environment down to a science. Ask yourself what resources you can promote to potential new hires that will instill confidence in their decision to move forward with your company.
Especially for recent graduates just entering the workforce, a commitment to help them transition and build success from the start can help move the needle in your organization’s favor. Earlier this year, for example, social media software company Buffer found success by offering new hires $500 to set up their home office. According to one employee engagement blog, Buffer also offers its employees coworking space stipends and internet reimbursement. To increase engagement and productivity, consider what portion of your resources you can allocate to designing a premium onboarding experience for new hires.
[ Want more hiring advice? Read IT hiring: 5 signs of a continuous learner. ]
2. Emphasize the potential for growth
A strong career growth curve is a must-have for recent grads. Making your career advancement initiatives clear in the early stages of the recruiting process is a win-win for organizations and employees alike. Even as employee tenure continues to shrink, a clear path to growth can draw applicants to your organization and entice them to stay longer.
Mentorship programs, time devoted to upskilling, and frequent dialogue with company executives can help young employees feel like they are on the right path. These initiatives can also promote conversation and connection, which strengthen your company culture and increase team satisfaction.
3. Host a hackathon
Hackathons require significant planning, but the return on investment can have a long-lasting impact on your business. Along with attracting a large number of talented professionals to your organization, hackathons are a relatively easy way to foster relationship-building and facilitate networking among rising stars in the industry. Consider using virtual technology to create the same kind of collaboration that once happened on the conference floor.
The most successful hackathons happen in two phases: ideation and development. In the first phase, which can last up to 30 days, developers submit ideas for review. The strongest submissions are then invited to participate in a month-long development phase. Two-phased, self-paced hackathons encourage more innovation because busy developers can work at their own pace.
Another potential benefit: A hackathon may yield your next business solution. Set the guidelines of your hackathon to solve a challenge or pain point within your organization. Potential job candidates will be more motivated to join an organization dedicated to growth and optimization – especially if they have contributed to it. A hackathon is a great opportunity to showcase what makes your business stand out.
4. Go the extra mile in the interview process
A memorable interview process can make the difference between a stellar candidate choosing your organization over a competitor. This does not mean you should fly every candidate to your office and treat them to a five-star dinner. Small gestures that show you’re interested in making a strong professional connection with your candidates can make a big difference. Simply sending a handwritten note can foster a relationship between you and the candidate you are recruiting.
5. Examine your social presence
Remember, Gen-Z candidates are constantly active on social media, even making it part of the job hunt. Earlier this year, TikTok launched a #TikTokResumes campaign to connect top brands with applicants. While you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in social media, building a searchable digital presence can help you stay connected to your target audiences.
[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]