How To Attract And Retain Quality Digital Talent

All businesses are now virtually tech companies, regardless of their industry. For most CEOs and HR professionals, one of the biggest challenges today is finding the right people to develop their company’s digital capabilities.

Attracting qualified employees entails innovative thinking due to the competitive labour market and increased pressure to win over digital talent.

Companies are competing for the best people, enticing them with what some might consider table-stakes benefits like game rooms, paid gym memberships, or free food.

But with the digital talent shortfall, there are more companies searching and a lower number of qualified people available. The question then is: how can you stand out to digital talent when they have so many other options? How do you keep them engaged?

Make your business attractive

Because there are so many options for digital talent, businesses must step up their game.

While very few companies can match the high pay and benefits offered by digital behemoths like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, there are ways to go about this.

Innovative, forward-thinking companies can utilise the following methods to position themselves as viable and desirable employers.

READ MORE: Download the guide to improve your workplace and maximize customer engagement.

1. Understand what motivates the talent you seek

Companies that wish to stay ahead of the curve need to realize that digital talent is trained to seek ways to improve processes and user experiences, especially when those solutions have the potential to significantly improve people’s lives.

Employers can make the positions they are offering more attractive by emphasizing how those roles affect the customer experience. They can also play up their company’s role in enhancing people’s lives.

2. Highlight organizational culture and reputation

Organizations should also highlight the desirability of their organizational culture if they can’t offer higher pay.

For example, you can advertise your assurance of providing the finest job experience to everyone who joins your company, regardless of tenure. If your company is already well known for its great culture and has been certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’, make sure to emphasize this during your recruitment campaign.

Of course, you can only do these things if there exists a fairly distinct and widespread awareness of what makes your company different from the extremely crowded competition.

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3. Utilize both conventional and creative recruitment strategies

To be able to cast the widest net, your HR team can look at strategically combining modern with creative hiring practices.

Experiment with different strategies that have been incredibly successful not just for you but other businesses as well. You can also integrate improvements to your careers site to ensure it is mobile-responsive, and make sure your job openings highlight the importance of each role to the user or customer experience.

For instance, you can take part in well-known tech hiring events and train key members of your current team on how to use social media to advertise vacancies or encourage inquiries.

Hiring is just the Beginning

Finding and recruiting digital talent is only the start. Alternative career options for employees don’t magically disappear the moment they start a new job.

Digital talent is now considering leaving a new job within a few months and taking a different one elsewhere, thanks to a favorable employment market. This means they won’t face the criticism or repercussions that was typical of employees who jumped from one company to another just a few years ago.

When new employees join your team, it’s unwise to assume they are happy, comfortable and content where they are. In fact, you need to ‘rehire’ your top talent every single day. This means you have to give them reasons to keep working for your company. And although a good salary is a start, there are other factors that can keep them motivated to stay, such as good management, flexibility, growth opportunities and so on.

If you want to achieve your business objectives, every manager in your company must prioritise talent retention since engagement leads to productivity, which, in turn, means success for your company.

Implement strategies to engage digital talent

Although digital professionals are usually viewed to be a totally distinct breed of employees, they really are not all that different from the rest.

The key to attracting digital talent is to offer them meaningful work and easy access to resources, technology, and people who can help them advance in their careers. These are the same things other employees want, regardless of their profession.

You can adopt the following tried-and-tested strategies:

1. Ensure growth opportunities

According to research, giving employees opportunities for growth increases their likelihood of staying in their positions longer.

Supporting your employees in their professional and personal life fosters a sense of loyalty that will have a significant positive impact on the company in the form of better morale and productivity. It doesn’t matter whether you conduct in-house training programs or help fund their higher education.

2. Give workers access to the resources they need

Employees need access to the right resources to perform their roles. Check in with them frequently to see if they have all the apps and tools they need to execute their jobs.

Also, make sure they have the appropriate instruction or training, resources, and equipment. Of course, these requirements may vary as a result of new duties or responsibilities.

Read about our case study where our support helped a business revamp their workplace UX.

3. Promote openness and an open-door policy

Your employees will be less engaged and invested in the business if they are unaware of what is going on in the background. Employee engagement can be increased by encouraging transparency. Make your staff feel included by sharing updates or important news, and let them know they are contributing.

Maintaining team engagement and workplace expectations both depend on open, effective communication. Ask your staff periodically if there are any obstacles to their productivity.

Get to know your staff, and maintain an open-door policy that will encourage them to approach you rather than complain amongst themselves, lose interest in their job, and become demotivated.

4. Be clear with expectations

When workers are aware of the impact of their role on the company, they are more likely to be engaged. Goals should be reviewed regularly so everyone is clear about what they are aiming for.

Discussing individual progress metrics with your staff also helps them work toward their goals.

5. Provide regular feedback to employees

Feedback is useful in that it helps to highlight areas for improvement and involves the formulation of solutions to problems. Of particular importance is 360-degree feedback, which incorporates comments from all project participants.

Aside from giving them feedback, you can also ask your employees to evaluate their own performance in relation to their progress or contributions as team members.

6. Offer benefits and incentives

Giving your team well-thought-out perks, benefits and rewards can make them feel valued and, consequently, increase employee engagement.

For example, if your company offers educational programs or sponsorships, childcare services, annual health exams, dental and vision insurance, flexi timings, work-from-home options, or gym memberships, your team may feel that you are making an investment in their professional success and personal wellness.

In deciding on what benefits and incentives to offer, consider what your employees want and need from their workplace.

You can also show your staff your desire to help ease their lives by providing practical assistance, like subsidised (or totally free) nutritious meals, prepaid transportation cards, and so on.

7. Be flexible

Employees have diverse work styles or approaches to tasks. One employee’s methods may not apply to another.

Your flexibility will enable you to accommodate different employees’ preferred working methods while also promoting focus on the task at hand. Some employees could like working in a team environment, whilst others prefer to finish tasks independently, so it’s crucial to evaluate and adjust.

8. Recognise the achievements of your staff

Acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of employees. Even verbal praise can inspire others to do better whilst also demonstrating your appreciation for their contributions.

9. Engage employees in company goal setting

Another way to show employees the value of their work is by including them in setting goals for the business. Be honest with them when it comes to how the company is progressing toward achieving certain objectives and the results of their collaboration on certain projects.

Employees become better engaged with work when they have a clear grasp of how their job and performance affect the company’s bottom line and success.

10. Encourage independence

Employees are more likely to be involved in their work when they are encouraged to be independent. Giving your employees autonomy in their tasks can be taken as a sign of your trust and confidence in their abilities. When this happens, they will be more invested in their job and take ownership of the results of their work.

Find and keep top digital talent

Nothing beats understanding what makes people tick, having a strong cultural fit, maintaining a reputation as an employer of choice, and making employee engagement your focus.

However, if you’re still experiencing a shortage of quality digital talent, you can also turn to the gig economy for help with project delivery and completion.

There are many talented digital professionals out there who prefer the freedom and autonomy that independent contracting provides, so don’t be afraid to tap into this alternative.

About the author: Frisian is a mother of two and a keen marketeer passionate about everything digital. Having worked with insurance brands Choosi and OneChoice,  she is also an avid traveler. Apart from traveling, she is also a keen coffee enthusiast and has a passion for health & nature.

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