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Tech Talent: Winning the Talent War

With the cost of securing tech talent internally and through third-party providers only continuing to rise, attracting and retaining a technology workforce will require immediate and long-term tactics. The cost of hiring top-tier IT talent is escalating by the day. The persistent skills shortage has been exacerbated by increasing post-pandemic digital transformation spend and pent-up business demand, creating an intense short-term tech talent scramble.

According to Everest Group research, only one in four organizations have a well-defined digital talent strategy to help consistently improve their foundational tech talent metrics.

With the shortage in quality IT skills intensifying by the day, enterprises require a holistic strategy to attract digital talent and engage and retain current employees to win the IT talent war.

Top Employers for Tech Talent

Everest Group has identified the top employers among the largest US enterprises for tech talent by virtue of their work environment and the job satisfaction of their employees.

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Digital Talent Strategy

Enterprises are realizing that classic attraction and retention strategies are being relegated to “common differentiators.” Many enterprises are starting to max out on the stretched end of their annual digital talent budgets – even as attrition levels spike beyond 30% for key roles.

Here are a few novel approaches enterprises can take to initiate a digital talent strategy and alleviate digital talent challenges, especially for access and time-to-hire:

  • Relax shortlisting criteria: Recalibrate technical competency thresholds (for example, the stringency of HackerRack test ratings and additional technical rounds), within reasonable limits, to broaden the talent funnel in the short term. Consider increased training at the start and on boarding graduates with dedicated training investments
  • Involve business and operations: Follow the lead of best-in-class enterprises by having:
    • IT engineers, product managers, and agile coaches actively recruit and scout in online communities
    • Senior IT and business leaders elevate brand value and excite prospective candidates via informal discussions
    • IT teams screen candidates to cut down shortlisting efforts, especially for critical/complex roles
    • Team members  approach candidates before the on boarding to build rapport
  • Upskill rapidly: Stagger skilling and training for new employees joining the organization and existing employees switching roles to reduce deployment time (for example, from 8-9 weeks to 4 weeks)
  • Focus on internal mobility: Re-evaluate internal career progression designs and create better growth opportunities for employees by properly mapping competencies, clearly articulating alternative roles/paths, and incentivizing critical skills development
  • Explore alternative channels: Expand staffing partnerships, leverage hackathons/online competitions, proactively reach out to developer communities (Hacker News, Github, Stack Overflow, and Reddit), and engage with boot camps to improve channel access
  • Hire location-neutral: Hire talent remotely with no requirement of the work location to tap into the broad IT pools and push decisions on Work from Home (WFH) or visas for later. Consider pods, satellites, and Centers of Excellence (CoEs) to access niche skills
  • Increase referral premiums: Jack up referral premiums by 50 to 100%, especially for critical positions
  • Award retention bonuses: Offer retention bonuses with a time lag of only a few months to counter immediate attrition

Create a Fit-for-Purpose Digital Talent Strategy

With tech talent at the front and center of every business, enterprises across industries are inevitably competing for the same target talent pool. With demand expected to outstrip supply, only enterprises that take their digital talent destinies into their own hands will survive. And the planning and structural interventions required to drive digital talent self-sufficiency need to begin today, if not already.

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Tech Talent Trends

As we look past the pandemic, it has become apparent that we now have a completely different and equally challenging set of issues.

We help IT leaders understand where they are positioned in the market, identify and become the top choice among different talent sources, stay up-to-date on market trends, provide best in class practices, and ultimately beat out the competition in finding, attracting, and retaining critical tech talent.

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