Attracting and hiring tech talent is, without a doubt, challenging.

The pandemic caused a surge in demand for technology services and infrastructure that has remained at an all-time high. With so much demand for candidates, many are looking beyond big names and salaries and more towards other values such as flexibility, diversity, and generosity.

Competition for talent is greater than ever and speaking with a number of the companies we work with, many are relying on certain USPs and differentiating factors to get candidates over the line.

Here are 5 of the most popular ways they’re differentiating themselves to attract tech talent…

Start with your company story

It really is a candidate-driven market out there, with candidates scheduling interviews with multiple companies at once and receiving multiple job offers. The best have their pick of the opportunities right now.

Instead of jumping straight into asking technical questions, think about telling candidates your story. Communicate what makes your company unique and talk about your growth, culture and the impact you make on your customers and clients.

When you share your company story and get them involved in thinking about where you’re going as a business, candidates start envisioning themselves as a part of it and feel more committed to accepting a job offer and ultimately staying.

Be flexible with work hours and location

The tech industry has always been at the forefront of flexibility within the workplace by offering work from home options, but this has increased tenfold since the start of the pandemic. Working from home and the flexibility that it offers has become a must that many people are unwilling to give up – one report found that 65% of tech workers preferred to work from home at least 3 days a week or more.

Whilst the jury’s still out for many on which option they prefer long-term when it comes to how and where they work, companies need to remain flexible and open to meeting their employee’s needs.

Offer opportunities to advance

Let’s face it, the only way for small businesses to compete with larger tech companies that have direct career paths to seniority is by offering opportunities for advancement. Most small companies tend not to follow the typical career advancement ladder, therefore instead of traditional promotions, offer opportunities for employees to systematically take on more responsibility.

Consider offering your team individual development planning for their career paths, as well as competency paths for training and increased skills. Never underestimate the power of engaging with your employees early on by sharing the opportunities your organisation offers. You’ll not only make them feel valued but more compelled to stay with you.

Give them access to top tech tools

Put simply, to attract top tech talent you need to have top tech tools. Future employees need to walk into your office (whether in person or remotely) and be impressed with the tools and facilities that you have on offer.

This shouldn’t stop once you’ve employed someone – even after they’ve joined it’s important to keep your tech up to date to continue to retain and attract staff into your business.

Be aligned where it matters most

No matter how technologically advanced businesses get, the people side of the business will always be the part that makes a real difference.

So, look to recruit people that align their goals and values with those of the business and those that will enhance your working environment. Building and promoting this organisational identity has to start at the top, so your values need to be genuine and if you can involve the wider team in defining who you are as a business and who you want to be, even better.

The tech industry has always been competitive, but we’re experiencing competition for top talent like never before.

Remembering that candidates want to feel like the work they’re going to be doing will have an impact, so getting them bought into who you are as a business is hugely important. Once you’ve done that, ensuring you have the tech, opportunities and flexibility around how they work should see you start to differentiate your business and attract more tech talent.

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