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How your company can beat tech skills shortages

By James Milligan, Director UK & Ireland, EMEA for Technology and Project Solutions

The Hays Ireland Salary and Recruiting Trends 2018 guide revealed that 96% of technology employers anticipate their activity levels will either increase or stay the same over the next 12 months.

The predicted increase in activity for 2018 will positively impact recruitment plans. Nearly three-quarters of employers plan to recruit technology staff over the next 12 months. Cyber security, project management, data science and business analyst skills are particularly in demand, and salaries for these roles have seen corresponding increases as employers compete for top tech talent.

The growing challenge of skills shortages in the industry

74% of technology employers said that a shortage of suitable applicants is their top recruitment challenge for the coming year. Furthermore, just under 70% of employers stated that over the past year they have experienced moderate to extreme skills shortages, and of these, 20% of them labelled them as extreme.

With demand for technology skills only set to increase, and shortages showing no signs of abating in the short term, employers face a very serious question: how do they set themselves apart from the competition in order to attract the best and brightest talent to fill technology roles?

This question is particularly pertinent for those organisations who, in the face of rising demand for these skills coupled with their woefully short supply, are keen to avoid continuously inflating salaries as their sole attraction strategy.

Below I take you through three ways your company can overcome problems caused by skills shortages.

1. Build a strong ‘employer brand’

Ensuring that you have a strong employer brand has never been more essential. Competition for candidates has intensified and you should target their offering to appeal to the specific type of candidate they want to attract.

Of course, salary levels need to be benchmarked accurately. However, workplace culture and benefits, such as progression or training opportunities, should also to be publicised and clearly promoted at each touch-point of a potential employee’s journey – from your website to the candidate interviews.

2. Emphasise your attitude to a good work-life balance

42% of technology professionals, who we surveyed, stated that they were unhappy with their work-life balance. Furthermore, a quarter of technology employees value work-life balance most when considering a new role. Compare this to only 12% of technology employers promoting work-life balance as a means to attract new members of staff, and you can see a clear mismatch between what these professionals want and what most organisations offer.

Offering a good work-life balance may be one of the most effective means of attracting in-demand tech professionals to your organisation. Likewise, if your employees’ work-life balance isn’t prioritised, you may find it difficult to retain them. To be the technology employer of choice, you must have a progressive attitude towards a good work-life balance for your employees and as such should consider options such as flexible working where possible.

3. Optimise your hiring process

It is essential that employers move quickly when hiring. Rather than having long waiting times before selecting a successful candidate for a role, work to a fast, well-organised turnaround model. Rely on your recruitment partner to find established, trusted and qualified candidates. Have streamlined practices for interviews and assessments. Once you have found the right person, reach out to them immediately. If you do not move fast, you will likely lose your candidate, and it may not be easy to find another to replace them.

To find out more insights and advice about technology recruiting trends into the year ahead, request your copy of the latest Hays Ireland Salary & Recruiting Trends guide, or view our previous reports and resources.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

James is Director of Hays IT, Digital Technology and Project Solutions in the UK, Ireland and EMEA. Having joined in 2000, he is responsible for the strategy of Hays’ Project Solutions, IT and Digital Technology businesses, which includes IT contracting, permanent technology recruitment, resource augmentation and statement of work solutions across both the private and public sectors.

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