Finding, recruiting and keeping tech talent in this day and age is key to the ongoing success and profitability of almost every modern company in the world. Well, perhaps this is a slight exaggeration – but it’s not too far from the truth.
The tech sector is simply exploding, with ‘growth’ the key word consistently describing progress within the industry as it surges ahead, with all other sectors trailing behind in a cloud of dust. According to The Wall Street Journal, productivity within the digital industries of communications, media, software, finance and technology has grown at 2.7 per cent annually over the past 15 years, while the more physical industries of health care, education, manufacturing and retail have grown at just 0.7 per cent annually over the same time period – less than 1 per cent. Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft are leading the way, making up a whopping 37 percent of total gains in the sector in the past 12 months.
As we enter into 2019 and are pummeled with endless analyses on forthcoming IT trends, it seems the ability to remain agile and innovate have become absolutely crucial to success within the industry, regardless of organizational size, alongside finding and retaining top tech talent. CEOs, executives and top recruiters all acknowledge that finding the right talent has become a real issue industry-wide, even with unemployment sitting at close to 10 per cent across most countries of the world today.
While the average company doesn’t exactly struggle to find people capable of managing everyday IT operations, finding staff with specific skills who can solve complex problems across multiple technology domains and use foresight to propose innovative solutions before problems even arise is proving difficult. Worth noting is that even those companies that outsource this kind of talent face challenges, meaning there appears no easy solution to the problems faced by today’s tech leaders. Or is there?
Developing Talent From Within
… has been hailed a worthy solution for companies that struggle with this problem, enabling companies to grow talent organically while ensuring IT staff are familiar with the company, its mission, its specialized requirements and its challenges. It also eliminates the need to screen candidates, conduct interviews, negotiate contracts and train new staff, making it the most efficient solution for otherwise overwhelmed leaders and HR teams.
Considering Office Relocation
… can make a huge difference. When one factors in operating costs such as staffing and maintaining an office, relocating to another city can provide significant cost advantages. Strategically, relocating offices has its perks too. While Silicon Valley’s tech leaders are investing hundreds of millions into the building of self-contained campus-style housing for staff, they are failing to realize that employees don’t want to work in complete isolation in a town that offers zero lifestyle benefits. They want to live in cities of cultural vibrancy and so seek opportunities in cities that will offer themselves and their families exactly this.
By simply relocating a company to Vancouver, British Colombia, from New York City, companies will spend just over $24 million a year to maintain a 500-team staff in a 75,000 foot space, offering strong strong value to U.S. businesses looking to relocate in order to find more affordable talent. To do the same from New York or Washington, for example, might cost almost 10 times this amount. Other cities in the United States recognized for their affordability to tech firms include Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit, but go overseas and companies can save themselves an even greater amount. Tel Aviv, Israel, continues to churn out an incredible amount of tech talent, all of whom will work for significantly lower salaries than those living on U.S. soil.
Use Your Own Engineering Team To Attract Talent
… It takes an expert to recognize an expert, right? Having a HR professional or recruiter with no understanding of coding or A.I to find an expert on the subject just doesn’t make sense, so wouldn’t the best solution be to get your ‘best guys’ on the job? Send your engineers along to conferences, professional development events and meetups wherever possible and you will see that they become recruiters organically, without even really trying.
On conducting a survey entitled ‘What People Want’ in 2017, Forbes found that 72 per cent of today’s tech professionals would take a pay cut for their ideal job, 75 per cent would take a step down in seniority for their ideal job, and just 45 per cent of IT professionals were satisfied with their current role. Considering the tech sector is among the top five industries of the U.S. economy – with employment in computer and IT specifically projected to grow a further 13 per cent between 2016 to 2026 and with ever growing demand for additional talent in the areas of cloud computing, big data and information security – there is monumental opportunity for recruiters and tech firms to look ahead and leverage the opportunities that lie ahead. Recruiting talent is absolutely critical to this, so here’s hoping the right people realize this as soon as possible so as not miss any opportunities ahead.