How do you attract the best people in a candidate driven market place?

How do you attract the best talent in a candidate driven market place?

 4th May 2017


Our Technology Account Manager, Rachael Baxter, shares her opinion and asks the question to the Scottish SME tech industry- what can you do to make your business stand out in an increasingly competitive market?

It is widely accepted that today’s technology industry is a candidate driven marketplace. Finding talent in this sector can be a lot more competitive than in other business areas; successful candidates are a shortage in Scotland as a result, those with the skills have numerous opportunities to choose from, putting them in a powerful position. This year’s ScotlandIS Technology Survey highlighted that 78% of Scottish tech businesses are looking to increase their employee numbers and 1/3 of those who contributed to the survey expect recruitment and staff retention to be one of their main challenges this year.


What Challenges are Technology businesses facing?


Competition from Start Ups

New startup businesses are popping up every day promising new technologies, huge investments and aggressive growth plans that can appear very attractive to potential candidates. 

A shortage of skilled candidates means that those lucky enough to be talented tech or digital professionals can literally have their pick of potential jobs so when an exciting new start up comes on the scene, the glamour and gloss of ‘new’ can be a huge pull for the top candidates.


Competing with the ‘Big Boys’

The SME sector can struggle to compete with large national and global powerhouses in their potential to match salaries and benefits packages. If candidates have multiple offers on the table, the importance of a strong pension package, a flexible working option or the chance to bring your dog to work can be the ultimate decision maker never mind the impact a few extra thousand pounds can make.


Hanging on to the best

As the demand for talented candidates increases in line with technological advancements, the key talented employees are a walking target for competitors and retaining those staff is absolutely key for the continued success of your business. Succession planning is absolutely key to ensure your staff have the desire to remain within your business.


Locating the talent

Recruitment has changed significantly in the last 10 years and looks to continue to rapidly adapt in the next 10. Traditional recruitment techniques of spending money to advertise on the most popular job boards might give you some exposure to a wide market but changes of finding the best C# Developer waiting for a job advert to come along is very slim. This means companies have to adapt to a changing talent attraction strategy and find new ways to locate the right talent that matches your business.



So how can your business stand out against the crowd?


Revaluate what you can offer

You might not be in a financial situation to match the highest salaries on offer or give employees big bonuses but consider what you can offer but don’t be averse to revaluating your package. Can you give employees more flexibility on working hours or allow them to buy additional holidays? Can you offer a cycle to work scheme or a partner with a local gym to give discounted memberships? Small additions to an employee’s benefit package can make a real impact at both attracting new talent and hanging onto current talent and don’t have the cost your business an arm and a leg. Get some inspiration for potential perks you could investigate here.


Succession Planning

Ensure your employees have a clear and structured path or, at the very least, have clarity over where the business is looking to grow and what opportunities might come with it. We have worked with a number of clients who recruit for graduate level technology roles and two years later need to replace the roles as those now experienced employees have decided to move onto another business where they can take a step up. Be crystal clear with employees on what they need to do to get that promotion and support them to work towards those goals and you will no doubt be able to hang onto more of your talent staff.


Create and then promote your employer brand

Promoting your company culture is how you will attract the top candidates so it is important to shout about what you can offer; tell people about your CSR policy, chat to the marketplace about internal promotions, share stories of your employee success stories. As experienced recruiters, we have recognised the need to invest in marketing to both promote and source the best candidates on the market place. The old copy/paste job advert just doesn’t cut it anymore; companies need to tell their own story, get people interested in what they are doing and share it far and wide. Most importantly though, you need to ACTUALLY have the great culture you talk about. If you try to promote something that doesn’t exist, expect criticism and backlash.



How can we help?

Nine Twenty believe in partnering with our clients to help them build an employer brand rather than just simply fill a gap in the office. A longer term attraction strategy is the only way to protect your business; we believe in fully engaging in order to understand their employer brand so we can promote you effectively. We can offer a range of digital services to support you including content creation, social media promotion and advertising packages, all designed to increase your visibility to the right audience.


Looking for assistance with creating and promoting your employer brand? Get in touch to find out how we can help you


Rachael Baxter

0141 231 1260



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