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Tech Talent Acquisition: 10 Ways to Secure the Best IT Talent

It’s a challenging time for those in the tech talent space. Candidate competition for roles remains high – as do your average candidate’s expectations from employers in terms of perks and flexibility.

And the cost of hiring the wrong person is much higher than you might think - REC research revealed that the cost of a bad hire can be as high as three times the salary paid.

With IT being such a critical part of doing business nowadays, sourcing, screening, and securing the best IT talent is essential for businesses – especially those striving to stay ahead of the curve. Therefore, forward-thinking organisations need to adopt effective strategies to attract the best available talent. Let’s explore ten such methods.


10 Practical Strategies to Attract and Secure the Best Tech Talent in 2024


1. Know the Market

Once you’ve identified a need for a role, it’s essential to research the current market and going salary rates for that role, even if you’ve sourced talent for an identical role in the past.

After creating a basic definition for the required role:

  • Seek to uncover the current benchmarked salary range for that role, using resources like Crimson’s Salary Survey.
  • Try and find similar recent job postings to establish what other companies look for and what applicants expect in terms of responsibilities, pay, and perks.
  • Stay aware of market trends and economic conditions that might affect this particular role.
  • Establish how commonly available that skill set is. Is there a shortage of those particular skills? And if you need that role to be on-site, is the talent even available in your local area?


2. Create a Strong Employer Brand

Nowadays, candidates are savvier than ever. They don’t just want a role that uses the skills they are trained in - they want to know what it’s like to work for a company before they apply.

The modern candidate will research an employer thoroughly; looking at their website, checking out their social media presence, and reviewing sites like Glassdoor to understand the ins and outs of a company’s internal culture.

Creating a strong employer brand is the name of the game here. Talent and marketing teams need to work together to create brand awareness campaigns which champion the positives that come with working for your organisation; giving candidates a peek behind the curtain at what it’s like to be a part of your team.

However, this employer brand shouldn’t just be externally facing, your team needs to feel it too - see point number 4 for an important related tactic.


3. Create a Concise and Clear Job Description

Now you understand what talent in this corner of the market is looking for, it’s time to create the job description. Again, look at your research to see what job descriptions for this type of role generally include. If you need inspiration, Crimson has numerous job description templates available for you to use – please just ask when you speak to our team!

Job descriptions should be much more than mere “title, definition, and salary”. They should include key expected responsibilities; required qualifications and experience; reporting lines and structure; and continual personal development too.


4. Consider an Employee Referral Scheme

Simply by having employees, you already have access to a powerful network of professionals you can trust. So use it!

This can be as simple as keeping your employees aware of your current talent gaps and available roles as you speak to them about personal development. However, you can also take it a step further by actively rewarding employees for recommending suitable candidates from their own network. It’s something we use at Crimson to great success!


5. Ensure Compensation is Competitive

The total package of compensation is a top priority for IT professionals, so ensure you are offering a fair and competitive reward for their time and effort. Good compensation doesn’t just get high-spec talent through your doors, but it helps to keep them in-post too.

Look at it this way: good talent knows their worth. When you set your salary bar too low, you won’t send the right impression to high quality talent, and may end up with a lower calibre of candidate than you were expecting. And once someone is in the role, if they do realise they are being short-changed, they may well move on to pastures new. It’s a lose-lose situation all round.

We’re sure that none of our readers would have that attitude to compensation, but it does illustrate the importance of getting compensation right. Employers therefore need to stay in the know about relevant salary standards and be willing and able to provide a competitive suite of benefits, including flexible working arrangements, health perks, performance rewards, development opportunities, and more.


6. Create a Clear, High Quality Job Advert

Creating an attractive, effective job ad is the key to getting great talent looking your way. In fact, according to JobServe, a well-written job advertisement can receive 71% more applications than a poor one!

Your job ad is your opportunity to win over the hearts and minds of potential applicants, so it needs to stand out. This can be simpler than it sounds - our guide about how to create an effective IT job ad is a great place to start!

Let’s explore four important pointers from our guide:

  • Never hide salary expectations behind it being “negotiable” or “competitive”. Providing a salary range is fine but know that modern applicants want to know compensation specifics from the off.
  • Detail what perks and benefits the successful candidate will enjoy, including practicalities such as whether the role is hybrid or remote. Don’t forget to discuss your excellent company culture too!
  • Encourage diversity by carefully thinking about the language you use. Could it appear biassed against any protected characteristics like gender, race, or disability?
  • And finally, always end your job ads with clear instructions as to how to apply - make it crystal clear what you want the ideal candidate to do next!


7. Optimise Your Recruitment Process

We’ve all heard horror stories about recruitment processes that go on for multiple rounds of interviews and testing. However, the time that this approach wastes and the presumptuous attitude it shows towards applicants’ time, and energy can discourage keen candidates who generally want to cut the rubbish and get on with their next employment opportunity. It should come as no surprise candidates enduring these long and arduous recruitment processes are often able to secure employment elsewhere during the time it takes!

Aim to keep your entire recruitment process as lean as possible, whilst keeping it well-structured, transparent, and respectful. Quick and effective decision-making is beneficial in all areas of business, but not least here where it pays to expedite the experience for both candidates and hiring managers.

And don’t forget to develop a strong onboarding process too!


8. Focus on Skills-Based Hiring

Skills-based hiring is where employers focus on each candidate’s practical lived work experience, their performance, and the skills they bring to the table. Contrast this with more conventional, binary processes that simply ask whether a candidate has a certain degree, a certain skill set, or a certain type of experience - yes or no.

Be as flexible as you can be around specific qualifications, experience, and accreditations, especially when those factors are non-essential to a role. The goal here is to see each candidate on their abilities, their initiative, and their potential, rather than what letters they have after their name.

This more skills-based approach can also help you attract and hire more diverse talent too as it doesn’t immediately shut the door on people who’ve had less conventional career paths.


9. Network, Network, Network!

Attention all hiring managers - never underestimate the power of a good professional network!

Aside from building relationships with others in your company’s niche, it can be useful to build partnerships with academic institutions, professional membership organisations, and networking groups - informed by your specific talent needs, of course.

Maintaining a good professional network can help you get quick access to potential talent too. For example, if you know that a company is cutting back and laying off staff, you may be able to approach skilled workers who have been let go with a relevant offer if you need their skills.


10. Use a Specialised IT Recruiter

Whether you have all the above pointers in place or not, there’s always the option to team up with a specialist IT recruitment agency like Crimson.

Not only do agencies like ours have access to permanent talent, we can also partner you with well-referenced contract talent which can be immediately available. Crimson has been a reliable member of the IT community for over two decades, and as such we have built up a vast, diverse network of available talent and resources.

So let us take the sting out of filling your next IT role. Simply share a few details here and we’ll help you on your search.