All companies and organisations, whatever field they operate in, need a tech person or, indeed, a tech team to create, implement and maintain the IT systems that are used in the day to day running of the business. It depends on the nature of your business, of course, as to how much IT you need to implement but, one thing is for certain, quality IT team members are a valuable asset to your company.
For some larger companies and organisations, their IT roles might attract quality graduate applicants from all over the UK. But, what if you are an SME or a start up? How are you going to attract young tech talent to apply for IT vacancies when you are up against all these other larger or more well known firms?
It is widely reported that there is a marked skills gap when it comes to filling vacancies that require candidates to have strengths in the STEM subjects. This means the number of applications you receive for your IT vacancies could be low, to say the least. While companies such as Google are receiving CVs and speculative applications on a constant basis, you could find yourself wondering where your next successful IT applicant is going to come from.
How To Recruit Tech Talent – Learn From Other Companies And Organisations
If you are looking for ideas for how to recruit top tech talent, one strategy you can use is to look at other companies who not only successfully recruit quality IT staff; they also manage to retain and develop those team members. What strategies do they employ and could you adapt or apply those strategies to your own IT recruitment strategies?
Get Yourself Out There
One question you can ask about your company is, how visible are you? Do school leavers, students and graduates know about your company? And do they know you are a company that looks to recruit and develop its tech talent?
There are lots of ways that larger companies and organisation engage with people outside of the workplace and make themselves more visible – and attractive – to young people. These young people can become your future IT team.
Go Into Schools: Making yourself visible is not just about putting yourself out there to immediate applicants. There are lots of companies who get themselves out there into the local community. There is a skills shortage for IT roles so why not get out there in local primary schools and high schools. Is it possible for you to create some small projects or workshops where you can get young people interested in various areas of IT?
Not only does this help to pique young people’s interest in IT and its role in the workplace, it also makes you more visible in the community. If you are a small company, perhaps you could team up with other firms in creating these projects.
If you are running projects in primary schools, you will be contributing to the future of IT and its role in the UK. If you are creating workshops in high schools, you could even get a sneak peek at any potential future talent you could look to recruit to your IT roles.
Go Into Colleges And Universities: Again, this could be an IT presence where you are working with students on various IT projects.
You could also use your presence in colleges and universities to make students aware that you are looking to invest in young talent. Can you offer any work shadowing or work experience opportunities to young people? If you can create an internship programme within your IT department, this is also a good way of making yourself visible to tech talent and you could even recruit your best interns once they have graduated.
Offering internships gives students and graduates the opportunity to experience the workplace and work on real IT projects. You benefit from this because you get the opportunity to spot young tech talent early and offer any available IT positions to your young interns.
Attend IT Recruitment Fairs and Expos: Students and graduates who are serious about finding work in IT positions are likely to attend IT recruitment fairs and expos. Having a stand at these events gives you a presence where you can meet and chat with young people. It also gives you an opportunity to look at the strategies other companies might be using to attract the best talent to their organisations.
Get Yourself Out There – Online
You are looking for young tech talent. What does the tech side of your company say about you? Have you got an active social media presence where you are visible to young people – and where you are accessible to young people?
Is your website as good as it can be? Does it look young and fresh and does it show that young people can find working for you a rewarding experience? Testimonials and videos of other young tech recruits talking about their roles and positive experience whilst working for you can be a good draw for other young recruits.
If you want to attract top young tech talent to your company, one way of doing this is by investing in young people by offering Apprenticeships. Depending on the size of your company and the age of the apprentices you employ, you can receive various levels of funding for this.
This means you get to develop young people in IT roles and it shouldn’t cost you a lot of money in salary until the Apprenticeship is complete. Depending on the nature of your organisation, there are different types of apprenticeships you could offer. These range from Level 3 Apprenticeships, right up to Level 7 Degree Apprenticeships.
If you have a full time IT vacancy with your company, people who have completed Apprenticeships often opt to stay with the company where they have done their training. This could be a good option for you to both attract and retain top tech talent.
How Clear Is Your Job Ad?
There are tips on the Recruiter Blog for writing a killer job ad. When you are looking to recruit IT staff, the skills shortage in this area means you are up against competition from all of those other firms looking for the same students and graduates as you are.
Look at your job ad. Is it clear what your IT vacancy is all about? Do young people know what you are looking for in your candidates? And, equally importantly, does your IT job ad make you look like a company that a young person will be looking to work for? Do you look like a fun and dynamic place of work or does your job ad brand your company in a way that could dissuade students and graduates from applying?
Your IT vacancy advertisements are not just about telling young people you have an IT job on offer. Your advertisement is part of your company branding and needs to tempt young people into putting in the effort to apply for your IT roles.
What Can You Offer On Top Of Salary?
It is often said that millennials are not only concerned with the amount they will get paid when they apply for jobs. Many want to know they are working for a company where they feel valued in other ways. Some of the top names in tech out there – brands such as Google, Facebook and Twitter – offer various perks as well as the financial benefits.
Is your company in a position to offer any perks to your IT candidates? Many IT staff are attracted to roles because there is the opportunity to work remotely, at least for some of the time. Some companies offer free healthy food options within the workplace or gym equipment. There are even some IT firms out there that make provisions so that staff can bring their pets to work.
Even if you are a smaller company that might not have the space or the finances to offer extravagant extras to attract top tech talent, there are lots of other quirky extras you could offer that can make your company stand out as a place where young people want to be seen to work.
What Does Your Company Branding Say About You?
What is your company logo and what does it say about your brand? Does it say what you think it says? Of course, company branding is so much more than your logo. How you present yourself out there in the community, how you present yourself online, how you demonstrate that you value your IT teams, how you go about your recruitment; all of these go together to create a company brand.
Young tech talent wants to work for a company that has top quality branding so if you are unsure about the image of your firm, why not do some research. This could be amongst your existing staff and you could ask people outside the company, too.
Have You Got IT Vacancies?
Hiring for positions where there is a skills shortage can be a difficult challenge, especially when it comes to tech recruitment where you could be facing competition from top tech companies that students and graduates are aspiring to work for. Applying some of the strategies mentioned above could help you attract some of that top tech talent.
Are you looking to recruit young students and graduates to your IT positions? Whether you are offering Apprenticeships, internships, work shadowing opportunities or graduate IT jobs, placing your job ad with E4S can give your IT vacancies exposure to thousands of young people around the UK who are looking for work