From humble beginnings, the tech industry has finally taken its place as the most important industry in the world. There is no job, business or career that does not have an IT element to it. Those who are currently in the IT industry, stand up and be praised! For those entering into the industry, you have made the best decision of your life.
However, it is not all sunshine and roses. Because of the significant demand for IT, retaining top talent is an ever growing challenge.
Approach with caution
So how does one go about this increasingly arduous task? It seems as if it can only be done by taking one step at a time.
I recently read an interesting article on enterpriseinnovation.net that suggested that nothing short of a proactive approach will do.
The article points out that employers have to compete through fierce competition to win over the most skilled and tech savvy professionals. It adds that finding the best tech talent is not enough, companies must also retain its employees for sustained business improvement. Speaking to enterpriseinnovation.net, Indeed’s Director of Product Management, Andrew McGlinchey provided some valuable insight that he gained from interviewing more than 500 tech candidates.
“For many companies today, tech is their value creation centre. Any leader who recognises that, thinks like that, and acts in that way, is probably going to be more successful,” said McGlinchey.
Have a unique selling proposition
The article pointed out that in this climate, the toughest challenge for businesses is standing out from the crowd so they can keep the right candidates keep them. “This is because, in the tech space, it’s very common to find the best people are already employed,” said McGlinchey.
Just like recruiters should have a clear idea about the skills they’re looking for – jobseekers too will be shopping around for specific qualities in their employers. To this end, McGlinchey insisted that businesses must be able to demonstrate a vision for meaningful work as part of their unique selling proposition to prospective candidates.
“Attracting and retaining people has a lot to do with making sure people know what they’re doing is worthwhile. Employers that don’t articulate that meaning are going to struggle more. If you believe in what you’re doing, have a reason to care and you feel you’re helping people by accomplishing something, then you’ll be a more engaged and motivated employee.,” added McGlinchey.
Promote professional development
Employees no longer want to merely work for a company going through basic monotonous motions that don’t hold any promise of improving their careers. The article pointed out that professional development is crucial to a pool of tech professionals who understand long-term career success depends on their ability to continually learn new skills and keep up with evolving technology.
“Also, any employer will want employees to pick up new things and be comfortable learning new technology and ways of thinking. Employers need to do what they can to make that possible. Finding a project that will help a person grow is an essential part of the job of being a good manager,” said McGlinchey.
Encourage a culture of entrepreneurship and ownership
The article pointed out that a culture of entrepreneurship and ownership ranks very highly among jobseekers in the tech space. McGlinchey said most people get into tech because they want to make things – so, the more power employers give to employees to do that, the more appealing they will be.
The article added that there are various ways this can be achieved, but it will be down to senior professionals and managers to take charge of initiatives such as mentoring and incubator programs, as well organising their teams so they can control the things they are responsible for on a day-to-day basis.
“One of the methods we have is Indeed University. That’s where we connect graduate employees to senior professionals who mentor them through a program where they develop their own idea for a product, do the research, build it, launch it and get results – all within the space of around 10 weeks. So, they’re essentially running their own start up. This type of internal entrepreneurship and ownership over the result is what motivates people a lot,” said McGlinchey.
The article ends off by stating that inevitably, businesses that are most successful in winning and retaining the talent will be those that recognise employment relationships in the tech space are a two-way street of equal proportions. That means, not just providing employees with meaningful work in the moment, but also providing the key to new opportunities by investing in continuing education and development.
A methodical approach
One of the best ways to grow your IT business is to offer products and services that are focused on Cyber Security.
This can be done in a number of ways, but according to an article on csoonline.com, a methodical process works best.
Look for people with real-world experience
The article points out that all organizations need entry-level talent. But they also need at least a few seasoned professionals with real-world experience. These are people who are battle-tested and have hands-on experience with different types of scenarios, ranging from incident response to audits.
Of course, these experienced professionals are more difficult to find, but they do exist.
The article adds that companies need to look for people who have worked at other companies with a dedicated cybersecurity focus. Other excellent candidates are industry consultants who have fought the good fight but have grown tired of being on the road all the time. Many of these folks have knowledge, professionalism and resiliency that can benefit your organization.
You pay for what you get
The article adds that human resources (HR) departments are working hard to establish a salary range for cyber professionals. But as it stands now, there is not sufficiently detailed salary data for people with skills in various sectors of the field, like, say, malware analysis or deep forensics.
Hiring managers end up putting a few different jobs together to create some relative correlation to a cybersecurity professional. If your HR department is determining salary bands for cyber professionals based on incomplete or inaccurate data, it could hurt your ability to recruit. If your HR department has under scoped the value of specialty skills, that will also hurt your ability to recruit.
Offer a salary at the low end and you won’t get the best people. The reality is that specialized cyber skills are hard to come by and your organization must be willing to pay up to get them. Organizations that are inflexible on salary will not attract the talent they need to stay safe—and they will almost certainly regret it down the road. Even if they are able to hire talent, retaining them will be challenging as they will constantly receive higher offers and ample opportunities to jump ship.