The tenor of the current technological scenario states that big changes are underway, and the ones who are going to pioneer these changes are going to be the next leaders of the upcoming times. Bringing about massive changes is next to impossible without great minds. And that’s why it’s become all the more essential to attract, hire and retain the top tech talent in the industry.
The thing is that most companies are beginning to realize this which might even seem incongruous at first glance given the speedy advancements we are making in the AI sector. With the speedy developments in technology, thoughtful leaders have come to realize the need and importance of effective tech talent even more.
This need in itself is an intimation of a shift in work culture which will demand you as a leader to upgrade your skills and offerings to your people. Technological advancements have shrunk the size of the global marketplace offering the best in the industry to participate in a more fair game. In a way, the power has also shifted now and lies with the most competent workforce now up to the brim with world-class opportunities, each better than the other.
You need to now learn how to offer job opportunities to your people that not only attract them but make them want to stick around. To do this, you’d certainly benefit if you understand the underlying needs and motivations of the top talent. And this is why we bring you this blog to not only inform you of these motivations but also actionable steps to make your company a great place to work at.
On attaque, tout de suite…
Investment in Their Growth and Learning
The most talented workforce out there possesses a wider perspective: which is why a Google salary package might attract them in the beginning but what will help you retain them is a considerable amount of investment in their growth and learning. They want to use their skills to solve the most competitive problems but at the same time want to expand their skills in perpetuity. As a leader, if you can recognize this desire to grow and learn and cater to it, you can differentiate yourself from most companies that still rely on money to attract their talent. This is not to say that money doesn’t matter, but if you can offer strong opportunities for growth, you can rest assured that your employees will become your biggest advocates and buttresses in your company’s journey toward growth.
Now if you ask how to do this? One thing you must bear in mind is that the cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work. You must register the fact that every single of your employees is a unique individual with their own unique needs of learning. Establish a system that measures and probes their needs of growth while also monitoring the upcoming trends in the industry. Based on the two you can devise a growth and learning plan that can be administered to each of them as per their needs and disposal.
Build a Strong Employer Brand
In today’s competitive world, where all aspects of our lives are tightly interwoven with each other, a narrow approach to doing business is not enough. Businesses need to constantly innovate and arrive at insights and inventions that help the industry as a whole. You cannot only be concerned with your immediate operations anymore, you must reinstate yourself as a thought leader and share insights that pop up during your processes of research and innovation to help other aspiring leaders as well. What this creates is a strong employer brand that posits itself as an inspiring thought leader.
The most kickass developers out there want to work for and with such thought leaders in exchange for their hard-earned skills. They want to work not for businesses but for ideas they believe in. Become an active contributor in this regard and watch your tech team become more competent and powerful.
Build Lasting Relationships
On the same wavelength, relationships have emerged as another strong tool for becoming and staying strong choices between the most competent talent. One way to start building these relationships is regularly engaging with the community and sharing insights and learnings you have acquired in your journey as a leader. Also, don’t forget to keep the passive prospects engaged.
Remember: It’s about spreading the passion for everything you do. It’s about communicating this passion culture towards building products that have a real possibility of changing the industry for the better. If the candidates can feel this passion and believe that they can make significant contributions as partners rather than just another employee, they will feel more connected to your company. A few actionable steps you can employ to share this passion are:
Become more active in communities, contribute to festivals, and webinars, become a mentor to aspiring developers, and perhaps even sponsor a few projects or meetups.
Build a Thriving Culture
As our worlds are moving increasingly remote, the importance of strong cultures is becoming more glaring. Culture is the aspect of your company that separates it from run-of-the-mill tech companies. It is the set of values, principles, and codes of conduct that guide every operation at the company. It’s what a newcomer first learns and if the culture is strong enough, chances are they are going to carry it forward with them in their next steps. Most experts even term culture as the secret ingredient of the success of most incumbent companies.
This will require you to do some amount of heavy lifting at the onset. You will need to understand what kind of environment serves best for their performance and shift the weights accordingly. What is also essential is your coherent understanding of your rich experience in the field and the vision of the kind of company you want to build. And then it’s about closing the gap between the vision and incongruous reality. Let your employees also be a part of creating this culture and allow this culture to adapt and change and in essence, reflect the pulse of changing times.
Diversity Tech-Leadership Paths
Another thing you must understand about the most talented developers is that their vision of growth might be different than becoming people managers. Don’t squander their potential of becoming groundbreaking developers who can develop innovative solutions that might change the way we perceive code. By forcing them into the role of manager, you might be pigeonholing their potential and needs.
The path of growth doesn’t always suggest that best-performing employees also become great managers. Coding and managing people are two different skills that require different abilities. While some might be the same as that of logic and coordination, these two roles have different setups and might railroad your best-performing developer into an untoward situation.
Notwithstanding, there are others who aspire to manage teams once they reach the pinnacle of development and share this knowledge further by becoming managers. The best solution to this conundrum would be to communicate with your team effectively and try to understand what they value more so that you can plan ahead for the leadership roles in two ways- those of managers and those of best developers.
Transparency between the Senior Management and the Workforce
Most high-performing tech companies have one thing in common: the senior management is visible and accessible to employees. They are also accountable and reliable and decisive. A great example of this would be Slack, the business communicating and collaboration software, where the executive team in their effort of bridging the chasm between them and employees created an internal #exec-ama (ask me anything) chat that allows employees to ask questions from their executive team that they respond to.
The most talented developers out there want to work for real people and not a brand because they want to create a real impact. When the senior management is more accessible, the people of the company feel like they are working with and for real people instead of a placard that eventually loses its meaning in their heads. This is what makes them stay. If they feel that leadership is unwavering and stuck in their ways, they don’t see their abilities making any impact, in which case, they’re more likely to look for or build a more pliable company that can adapt and change.
Commit to Diversity and Inclusion
According to a survey, 84% of executives were reported saying that lack of DEI strategy was part of the reason for high turnover rates. A strong DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) strategy is being recognized as an essential factor that makes employees stay in recent times. Candidates also cite it as an essential factor in their decision-making when met with a job offer.
With the workforce becoming more global, ignoring a large pool of competent workforce because of their race, creed, religion, or other irrelevant factors not only indicates narrow-mindedness but also, a lack of perspective in today’s times. If DEI strategy is not a part of the company’s policy, chances are existing employees will also feel constantly threatened and insecure regarding their future at the company. Most successful companies have found that their diverse workforce brings unique perspectives that enable them to navigate problems in more ingenious ways.
Opening the recruiting blocks beyond typical sources is a great way to embrace diversity. As a company, you can become more objective in testing for capabilities and skills instead of relying on past experience and credentials. The old traditional methods of hiring top graduates of top colleges might not fare so well in the competitive world of today. Rather, scouting recruits who show a genuine passion for coding through high-rated coding work or with coding camp certificates has a higher chance of landing the best developers out there and widening the company’s talent funnel.
Focus On Candidate Experience While Hiring
Now although the primary aim of the hiring process is for you to find the best talent for your company out there, you need to ensure that the candidate experience, in general, is elevated in dealing with you. With changing demands of the industry, it’s always good to maintain a good rapport with passive candidates. Also, candidate experience has proved to be a crucial factor in candidates’ choice of jobs at companies. A high candidate experience rating in general ironclad your organization for future rejections by candidates.
The good news is that you don’t have to cross leagues to do this, little acts of consideration should be enough to get you started. A great approach, in this case, would be to put yourself in their shoes and focus on improving their experience with you. Now even if they are not going to become a part of your company, you can perhaps enrich this experience for them by including more relevant roles as part of your interview team. Bring the best to interviews and online events. Also, be considerate of their time and headspace. Try to include them in the hiring process by communicating effectively with them at every stage of selection.
Here’s the thing: Each of these steps is a long-term investment and will require commitment and effort from your side. But the alternative is staying rigid and complacent in the face of change. In a world dominated by tech, your organization has almost nil chance of succeeding without talented personnel to take it forward. It’s only by accepting the pace of the current times and using it to create changes within your organization can you hope to stay relevant today. And once you have one-of-a-kind developers working on your side, we promise the effort of making these strategic changes will be worth the effort. So gear up to become a premier tech employer who can attract and keep the best talent out there.