INSIGHT: How to get the best Kiwi IT talent knocking on your door
- 29 April, 2015 06:00
Really good quality IT talent across the country is in dramatically short supply and demand for the best talent keeps rising.
According to the latest survey from Absolute IT, 70 percent of New Zealand tech employers believe access to suitably qualified staff is their top business challenge for 2015.
On top of the growing concern across the industry, 29 percent are finding it harder to attract the talent needed, compared with this time last year.
So what do you need to do to attract the best talent to your company? Hold onto what you’ve got.
While 85 percent of tech professionals state their current workplace as a good place to work, 67 percent would still consider moving to a new job if the package was attractive enough.
At present, the top four reasons New Zealand tech professionals leave their current role are; time for a change, skills not being utilised, workplace culture and low salary.
“Talk with staff and share company goals and ambitions so everyone gets on-board and excited about the vision,” says Grant Burley, Director, Absolute IT.
“Seek feedback (good and bad), recognise great work and where possible provide career growth pathways.
"None of this is easy, but staff retention not only saves you time and money, it creates a great workplace culture, which helps attract more great talent.”
According to Burley, Kiwi businesses should put themselves in the shoes of a highly motivated, successful tech professional who they want to work for their company.
“What does your company offer that others don’t?” he asks, citing better salary packages as the top motivator that influences a tech job seeker’s decision when accepting a new job offer.
“Keep in mind, a better salary package doesn’t just mean more money.”
With 43 percent of tech professionals stating flexible working hours as the top non-financial benefit an employer can offer, Burley believes the salary package businesses offer can be made up of many things.
The other top motivators that influence a job seeker when they’re accepting a new job offer (after money) are; challenging work (this is free), training and development opportunities and workplace culture.
Burley says career reviews, training allowances and career pathways opportunities are what job seekers want to hear about, as well as a workplace with a positive, welcoming environment.
“If you have work drinks every Friday from 4pm, tell them about it,” he adds. “If you celebrate birthdays with morning tea, mention it at an interview.”
For Burley, public brand is also more important than most company’s think with 38 percent of tech job seekers searching company websites when they’re looking for a new role.
“If your company website doesn’t have a ‘Work Here’ page with a great blurb about your company culture and career opportunities you could be missing out on top talent,” Burley adds.
Attracting permanent staff vs contractors
When it comes to recruiting permanent staff and contractors, Burley says there are a few key differences in the top deciding factors that influence their decision when accepting a new job.
For permanent staff the salary package is the overriding factor when accepting a job, with 44 percent stating it as their top influencer.
Whereas contractors see the salary package and challenging work as equally important at 31 percent and 32 percent respectively.
Generation Y vs Baby Boomer
Furthermore, holding onto tech talent isn’t easy, so it’s good to consider the different values of Generation Y compared with Baby Boomers, Burley advises.
“Not surprisingly, their top influencing factors when accepting a role are different,” he reports. “33 percent of Baby Boomers rate challenging work as their top deciding factor, followed by salary at 24 percent, whereas Gen Y rate salary package top at 42 percent.”
Finally, 44 percent of Baby Boomers want flexible working hours as part of their salary package above anything else, followed by additional annual leave at 17 percent. 37 percent of Gen Y want flexible working hours also, but this is followed closely by career development advice at 31 percent.