A strong candidate attraction strategy can be the difference between hiring the right or wrong person for your IT team or project.
According to a recent report from German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) more than half of Germany’s companies report a lack of skilled workers, as they struggle to fill vacancies.
On top of the wider employment market, the 2022 MINT Spring Report produced by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research recorded an all-time labour shortage high, with a deficit of 320k workers across STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
In this highly competitive market, tech leaders, hiring managers and HR departments, need to be proactive and creative in their approach to attracting candidates to their business.
Our article highlights some of the top tips to finding and attracting tech talent including;
Talent attraction starts with the recruitment process.
The importance of employer branding.
Ways to reach your target applicants.
How to improve your recruitment process
A great talent attraction strategy starts with the hiring company itself. Even if you decide to work with a recruitment agency, you will still need to create a smooth process that works for your business. A specialist recruitment agency can often help guide you through this, but ultimately, you know your business best, and can set the parameters for success.
A good starting point is to produce an assessment of your hiring needs, whether contract or permanent workers are required, and then tailor your approach, considering:
Number of hires.
Experience and skills needed.
On site, remote or hybrid.
Who will take ownership of the hiring process?
What is the timeline and is there a hard deadline?
Who needs to be involved in the interview stages and decision-making process?
What does success look like?
Once you have mapped out your hiring requirements, you can move on to the next stage – employer branding.
The importance of employer branding in attracting candidates
Employer branding is how people perceive your companies’ values and work environment, and ultimately how your company’s reputation is received.
Your employer brand should come right from the top of your business, through to how management leads and train workers, how HR manage employee relations and policies, and then how marketing promote the business. Overall, HR is normally responsible for employer branding, but all departments need to work together to ensure success.
The benefits of having an attractive employer brand include:
Getting more job applications as candidates can see the benefits of working for your company, and proactively apply to work for it.
Improving retention as employees appreciate and identify with what your business stands for and how they look after their people.
Attracting the best quality candidates, as your business looks more attractive than your competitors, through its values, benefits, perks, training etc…
There are many ways to enhance your employer branding. Firstly, assess what your competitors are doing, to set a benchmark, then look at ways to stand out and appeal more to your target candidates.
Produce a clear list of compensation and benefits that are in line with inflation and focus on providing more work-life balance.
Create clear training or development plans. This is especially important in tech as the software is always changing, and professionals need time to train and keep up to date.
Agree clear policies and procedures that ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all.
Work with marketing to bring your brand to life through social media, careers pages, and videos.
A recent campaign by German manufacturer, Schaeffler, focused on employer branding by allowing employees to shape their own career paths, while ensuring their business kept digitalization and sustainability at the forefront.
Ways to reach the best tech talent
There is no one size fits all when it comes to candidate attraction, and the more specialist your recruitment needed, the more tailored your approach should be.
Your talent attraction strategy should generally use the same channels your target applicants use. These could include:
LinkedIn and Xing: Although LinkedIn is popular, try not to rely on it too much, as Xing is also a popular social network for tech professionals, with over 20 million members from German-speaking countries.
Jobs boards: Jobs boards can be important to reach active candidates. Consider jobs boards like Stepstone, Monster or Indeed. Jobs boards can be expensive though, so consider working with a recruitment agency, as this cost should be included in their service.
Networking: Find ways to access more passive candidates by getting involved in specialist tech networking events, forums, and conferences. This long-term approach will make hiring easier over time as you expand your reach.
Consider recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies provide a shortcut for businesses, by giving you access to skilled and experienced tech professionals, both active and passive. They can also promote your employer brand, selling you as a great company to work for. They can reach out directly via email and phone, reducing your admin by screening and qualifying each interested candidate.
One example of a successful candidate attraction plan was Deutsche Bahn who hire thousands of people a year in Germany. They tailored their approach to the multitude of skilled professionals they target. They chose an honest approach, interviewing employees, to ask what they liked and didn’t like about the company, resulting in a high number of applicants. It just goes to show that creativity, and a brave approach, can help you stand out.
Need specialist recruitment support?
Candidate attraction is more of an art than a science, and needs consistency, creativity, experience, and access to the right candidate network.
Building a workforce can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you are struggling to find quality IT professionals. That is why a recruitment agency, like Gravitas, can help save you time and money.
Our experienced team can help advise you on the best techniques, reach out to our extensive candidate network, while managing the whole recruitment process from start to finish, reducing your own internal admin tasks.
For a no obligation consultation, contact our tech recruitment specialists, and we’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, read more about our hiring solutions.
About the author
Kumar Gawri joined Gravitas on 1st January 2023 as Associate Director for Germany, where he is responsible for setting up the Frankfurt branch from scratch. With over 16 years recruitment experience, Kumar has had an impressive career to date, including 11 years at an International STEM skills specialist and 3 years at a Global Technology & Engineering recruitment company.