Facebook Tracking Pixel
Back to Blogs
Blog Img

How to attract and retain the top Tech Talent?

With the skills shortage growing, it can be difficult to build a dynamic engineering and tech team with a business; especially when word gets out about just how skilled your employees are, leading to headhunting and ‘poaching’.

“We knew we’d built a great team was when people started poaching from us.” – George Goley, Holland & Barrett’s Chief Technology Officer

Forbes research reveals that 72% of IT professionals would take a pay cut for their ideal job, and 75% would take a step down in seniority- while a competitive salary is important, many other factors will affect the likelihood of retention

Just 45% were satisfied with their current role, and 78% would consider leaving it for the ‘right’ opportunity, leaving a lot of room for competitors to swoop in.

So how can you ensure your talented techies stick with you and help your business grow?


In many cases, ‘techies’ crave innovation to keep them motivated and engaged, so this is really important. Ensuring tech tools are current, relevant and interesting is key to attracting candidates, many of whom will prefer specific tools, languages and platforms. IT professionals want to work with technologies that interest them and keep their skills fresh.

Research by Salesforce reveals 71% of employees want their employers to provide them with the same level of technology they use in their day-to-day lives.


Passion Projects:

Providing a weekly opportunity for employee’s to work on something they feel passionate about, such as a personal project, or providing a chance to work on something that isn’t essentially a business priority.  Offering that freedom will encourage engagement and enthusiasm, while demonstrating employer-employee trust and respect, helping build strong relationships and increase the likelihood of retention.


Events & Hackathons

What is a ‘Hackathon?'

“A hackathon is a competitive event in which teams of designers, developers and subject matter experts create solutions for a specific problem within a defined time frame. The goal is to build a working prototype in the form of a website, an app, or a robot to solve a given problem.”

Hackathons have proved to be popular within the developer community, acting as a logical solution addressing the challenges of hiring elusive tech talent; they can be an effective tool for hiring, especially when attracting niche and rare talent.

Such events provide an opportunity for individuals to exceed expectations and truly evidence their skills, with many of whom may have not been shortlisted in the traditional manner due to levels of experience etc. Once it’s clear the skill is there, the task at hand focusses on finding an appropriate cultural fit.

StackOverflow states hackathon participants attend for enjoyment (76%), or to improve skills (66%), reaching a far broader talent pool than if you were to target those actively seeking opportunities alone.


Sam Birtwistle, Head of IT at Hewett Recruitment comments: “Attracting and retaining talent, and having a good reputation for doing so will be paramount to your success and this is never truer in the tech scene. In my experience business’ that provide a well catered tech environment in a bleeding edge technical environment, or flexible approach to tech stack, with a people-centric development programme (that is not entirely related to the business) are best at retaining talent and are in a far better position to attract more for doing so.

Much of the time it is about taking that first step in changing business attitudes, and not just with tech in mind but also the wider business regarding work life balance, remote working, co-working and job sharing- along with simple business perks such as casual dress, employee wellbeing and an obvious flexible attitude to work. Flexible working seems to attract and retain talent – if you do your best work at midnight, and you get your 37.5 hours in, is there really a need for you to work 9-5 in an office provided there is no business critical reasons for otherwise?

Obviously I am not suggesting you have an entirely nocturnal workforce but do you really know what makes your techies tick?

If you would like to talk benefits, technical stacks, vacancies or availability of talent across Development, Software delivery, Infrastructure or Testing I’d be happy to discuss contextual examples or am always available for a chat"

For more information regarding tech talent attraction and retention, contact our Head of IT, Sam Birtwistle.

Register a Tech Vacancy