COVID-19 has upended expectations around work-life and career satisfaction, creating a more challenging environment for hiring talent. In engineering, which is already an incredibly competitive hiring environment, the stakes have never been higher for recruiting talented developers to your team.
In September alone, 4.4 million people quit their jobs. The Great Resignation and increased employee turnover are now facts of life. How should tech employers adapt to another year of pandemic uncertainty impacting the workforce? Find out why people are leaving and strategies to keep them.
Bridge the Skills Gap to Increase Your Talent Pool
According to recruiter Harvey Nash Group’s Digital Leadership Report, more than two-thirds (67%) of digital leaders globally are unable to keep pace with change because of a dearth of technology talent. Organizations that don’t adjust may never recover.
Give yourself an edge by meeting candidates halfway to close the skills gap. Companies that invest in training, education, and a clear-cut path to advancement are more attractive to prospective employees. This also increases the talent pipeline. Companies willing to invest in developing talent in employees without traditional credentials are able to grow faster than those that hold out for candidates who tick all the standard boxes. Reputable bootcamp programs are turning out the next generation of A-player engineers, and many newly minted college grads have internships at reputable companies under their belt. Increasing your training budget to support hiring goals could be the best investment you make for 2022.
Go the Extra Mile for Top Candidates in Key Roles
While programs for training new talent and upskilling existing talent are necessary, those will need time to pay off. To keep efforts on track in the near term, hiring managers must prioritize recruitment strategies for closing on top talent. Be intentional about what roles will have the biggest impact, and be willing to create an exceptional new hire package to out-compete your peers for those job reqs.
While compensation is always an important factor, work directly with the candidate to find out what they value to build a personalized offer. Remember that benefits that used to be viewed as unique, such as telecommuting, flexible work schedules, and 20% time to work on personal projects, are now table stakes for engineers. Evaluate your existing benefits package to see if you are limiting your ability to hire by not going above and beyond what is now generally expected. Think about additional benefits you may be uniquely positioned to offer based on your location, industry, or customer base.
Revisit Your Retention Strategy to Reduce Hiring Needs
Talent recruitment is a losing game if your employee attrition is high. You will lose people faster than you can fill roles and it becomes a compounding problem if your company is growing. This seems like low-hanging fruit, but most companies are failing to prioritize employee satisfaction. According to a recent poll of more than 1,000 IT and business leaders, fewer than one in five leaders rank employee satisfaction and retention as a top priority – despite resignation rates in many industries hitting record highs.
Can you confidently answer how happy your employees are at work today? It’s important to take a pulse of current employee sentiment, as well as understand the motivating factors behind employee attrition. TalentLMS recently released a new survey of 1,200 U.S. tech employees that revealed seven out of 10 of them are considering jumping ship over the next year. Among the reasons for employee attrition that are not related to salary and benefits, limited career progression (41%), lack of learning and development opportunities (32%), and working with outdated technology (21%) are also cited.
Automation Helps with Retention – Here’s Why
Contrary to popular belief, automation and no-code don’t kill jobs: they create them. Today, there are more IT roles open than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Automating and scaling tech platforms is critical, and there are plenty of tools out there today capable of doing so. The issue is not only one of technical innovation, but even more so of cultural resistance to new ways of doing things. Building buy-in and adoption of new technologies, such as prioritizing automation and using no-code tools, is a requirement for successful implementation.
It’s understandable why employee concerns around being replaced by automation still linger. However, data from the manufacturing sector, where the automation debate has raged for some time, may be a positive harbinger. According to a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, a U.S. manufacturing skills gap could leave as many as 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030. Not only is automation addressing this skills gap, but it is also spurring the creation of new types of roles. An entire function is growing around enterprise automation that spans from the public-facing arm of the enterprise to the backend and IT. According to the World Economic Forum, automation will result in a net increase of 58 million jobs. For jobs transformed by automation, about two-thirds will become higher-skilled, while only one-third will be lower-skilled.
2021 taught us that a shake-up in the job market means we need to be flexible and listen to what the market is telling us. There is a combination of upskilling and automation happening in the tech world and there’s an opportunity for employers to weave both in their tech employment strategies for 2022.