How to Find (and Keep) Your Best Tech Talent in a Competitive Market
Hiring in technology has been tumultuous: from the pandemic in 2020 to The Great Resignation in 2021 to the current rounds of tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Apple announcing massive layoffs and hiring freezes. Tech startups also feel the pinch – with the current markets creating pressure for investors and reducing valuations for companies.
According to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, more than 50% of all US companies are planning to lay off employees as they brace for an economic downturn, 52% of companies have already enacted hiring freezes, 4 out of 10 have rescinded job offers or signing bonuses for new hires, and about half have started laying people off or are preparing to cut headcount.
All of this research suggests that technology companies must carefully assess their current staffing levels and hire or promote strategically. There is good and bad news for those companies in the market for growth. The good news may be that with an influx of otherwise unavailable talent, some companies may benefit from a glut of competent and trained job seekers.
The flip side is that some companies are taking these hiring freezes and economic indicators as a negative sign – following suit and establishing hiring freezes. Companies that do this will have to make do with the talent they have and promote from within to meet sales, revenue, and other KPI targets.
Tech companies move quickly, making it challenging to identify the best talent, especially during times of change, disruption, and rapid growth.
Some of the most significant challenges are:
- How to identify new hires with the right skills for your company?
- How to identify internal talent ready to journey to the next level?
- How to ensure DEI during layoffs, promotions, and hiring?
- How to reduce cost per hire?
We have put together some best practices to help you. Want to dig deeper? Here is a link to our 2023 Guide to Hiring & Retaining the Best Tech Talent.
1. Hire & promote quality people without paying more in recruiting fees.
Eliminating bias, guesswork, and the high costs associated with recruitment firms start with new tools and technologies that allow you to identify the best people based on objective data and successfully develop those individuals with continuous assessments and development plans.
Thanks to AI and cloud technology, hiring, recruitment, and development do not have to cost a fortune. Tools are available to:
- Identify the best hires via objective assessments.
- Develop employees for their success in any role; and
- Continuously monitor progress and potential to keep employees engaged, motivated, and on track.
2. But don’t rely solely on standalone personality assessments.
While personality tests provide a scalable, low-cost solution for organizations with high-volume recruitment needs, there are pitfalls to be aware of if used as a standalone assessment during selection.
Personality results don’t tell the whole story. Assessment centers offer a more accurate method for measuring an applicant’s abilities. Together, behavioral observations, personality assessments, and measures of learning capability can increase the accuracy and predictive ability of selection processes – and can better predict performance.
3. Hire smarter and be strategic about promoting current employees.
Tech businesses move quickly, and companies need talent and leaders who are ready to step-up and step-in. Predicting leadership potential is becoming more critical with the anticipated post-pandemic economic growth, unpredictable economy and labor market, and continued acceleration of digital transformation.
The employees you hire now need to grow with your company quickly, and current labor shortages may force you to promote your existing employees into management sooner than anticipated. Accurately predicting leadership potential with assessments and other predictive tools can create a cost-effective and competitive advantage for your organization – eliminating bias and helping you make the best choices to suit you.
4. Establish community and culture from day one.
Talented people who fit your company culture are hard to find. Once you find them, there is a risk that while waiting for them to join your company, another employer will make them an offer. In this competitive and uncertain job market, ensuring your newest and current employees feel welcomed and appreciated is crucial to success.
Tech salaries may still be on the rise, yet according to PwC research, money isn’t enough to retain your best workers, who were almost as likely to cite intangible factors related to meaning. Job fulfillment and the ability to be one’s true self at work were ranked second and third among employees considering a job change.
While new hires cannot begin working before their start date, they can be introduced to the company, learn about their role and the organization, and be included in team activities.
Ensure frequent communication with all your team members – whether in person, virtual, or via HR apps to ensure your employees:
- Understand your company, its values, and its culture
- Feel supported by team structure, team projects, and priorities
- Have the tools to stay engaged, interested, and excited about the work they’ll be doing
5. Ensure compliance with DEI initiatives during layoffs, promotions, and hiring.
Unconscious biases are stereotypes people don’t know they have (i.e., they are unconscious beliefs). These biases have real-world impacts on behavior and develop early on in our lives. For example, a current research study found that, on average, managers are three times more likely to select men as having potential for leadership than women. And when it comes to race, managers are two times more likely to choose white men as having leadership potential than black men.
Given that an overwhelming majority of organizations rely solely on subjective decisions made by management to select future leaders, it is vital to utilize objective tools and assessments to identify a high-potential candidate. This is not just a diversity issue but a business imperative to put the most capable people in leadership positions where they can have the most significant impact on the business, employee well-being, and the overall economy. Not only will this improve DEI, but it also ensures managers and executive leadership are not unconsciously limiting the potential of their best people.
Want to dig deeper into this topic?
Click to download our 2023 Guide to Hiring & Retaining the Best Tech Talent and learn proven, cost-effective and timely strategies to help technology leaders identify and onboard the strongest candidates when hiring and promoting from within.
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