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How to Attract and Retain Tech Talent in a Covid World

| By: Jeannette Borg
Brooke Cagle J Bwcen Ou R Cg Unsplash

This month marks 5 years in business for Kaliba’s Founders and Directors, James Kennedy and Greg Brown. Though they have spent the entire careers working in tech recruitment, they agree this past year has been unlike any other; both in terms of the tech landscape, and their business evolution.

We’re just over one year into a global pandemic that had has had a tsunami-like impact for many sectors, and the tech sector is no exception. In fact, the dreaded ‘c-word’ and the resulting lockdowns (wrapping up Lockdown 4.0 here in Melbourne) has accelerated digital transformation, and has seen demand for tech talent escalate; both in terms of volume and breadth of tech job roles.

The landscape has changed dramatically. Employers need to consider how they can sustainably attract and retain top tech talent. But how?

We asked James and Greg what have been their key observations over the past year. Here’s what they had to say.

Standing out as an employer in a crowded market has never been more important.

With the demand for tech talent escalating and the normalisation of remote work, tech professionals are in demand and have the opportunity to work in territories that were historically limited by geographical boundaries. This makes it all the more important for you to promote your candidate value proposition. You need to focus on your employer brand and what makes your business a desirable place to work.

With a smorgasbord of opportunities, what is it that will entice talented professionals to choose your offer above the alternatives?

If you snooze, you’ll lose. Move fast!

Now is not the time for waiting around for that tech ‘unicorn’. It’s the time for defining what skills and abilities are crucial to the role itself, and those who have the demonstrated abilities that will equip them with the baseline skills to grow into a role. If you identify someone who meets your general criteria, move fast. If you don’t, chances are they’ll be gone before you know it.

Flexibility is the new norm.

Those businesses that flourished despite the changed circumstances are those that focused on their people. Working from home presented challenges and opportunities, and offering support and flexibility taking into account these circumstances has had an impact on staff retention. If ‘9-5’ is not crucial to performance, then why make it a condition of employment?

Transparency in times of uncertainty breeds trust.

We have (still are) experiencing a major global crisis and people are worried about their finances and their career prospects. The world has shifted and it’s more commonplace for job seekers to ask questions about staff retention and job stability. Being honest, even if that means admitting to past mistakes, shows integrity and growth from mistakes. You are more likely to build trust by showcasing the bad along with the good.

Underpaying now could cost you in the long run.

Some businesses think that right now you can afford to offer less pay as a trade-off for job security. However, we suggest it’s important that you try to meet the salary expectations of the market. Consider that whilst a candidate may be willing to temporarily accept a lower pay during pandemic conditions, undercutting them on remuneration today means there is a good chance that they will leave your company when the market rebounds.

If you are looking for a job in tech, or you are looking to recruit in the technology and sales space in APAC, including Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong, please reach out to us for a chat or connect with the Kaliba team on LinkedIn. 

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