Hire and hold IT staff in 2015: The Reg's how-to guide

Beware ex-colleagues, think beyond pay packet

Don't let go!

Candidate poaching is also a symptom of wider employee engagement issues in the business, especially weak management and bad team fit. "I firmly believe that ensuring that new and existing employees are fully engaged and understand the vision, values and strategic direction of the business is key and can create a unique differentiator from competitors. Similarly, a transparent, inclusive culture can often represent more organisational glue than more cash in the pocket,” says Andy McRae, CEO at RED - a recruiter that specialises in consultancy and staffing for SAP projects.

Salary reviews are essential but employers should continuously think about ways of improving benefits, career paths and staff well-being in order to encourage staff to stay, according to Gosia Ozimek, HR manager at Memset.

Loyalty rewards such as increased holiday allowance can be an effective retention tool, but think carefully about your offering. I’m reminded of the cheque for £100 I once received from an employer for 10 years’ service which only served to demotivate me and ended up finding pride of place on my toilet wall.

Nor should you underestimate the value of training – to both retain existing staff and appeal to prospective employees. “If staff aren’t learning new skills they will – and should – move on. The rate of change in the industry is such that IT skills have a half-life, so if staff aren’t learning new skills, they are essentially going backwards. Changes in the industry, like improved efficiencies and automation, means we actually need fewer IT staff but better IT staff with more skills, so constant training and re-training are therefore vitally important,” Ozimek said.

As an employer, it’s human nature to recruit in your own image. But bear in mind that Generation Y will soon outnumber Baby Boomers.

While there is always a niggling concern that investments in training will be wasted if staff decide to move on, there’s a lot of truth in Richard Branson’s adage: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.”

As an employer, it’s human nature to recruit in your own image. But bear in mind that Generation Y will soon outnumber Baby Boomers, forming 75 per cent of the global workforce, and it may be time for your organisation to think about how the rules of engagement with today’s jobseekers may have changed.

“Research shows that Generation Y are the most digitally autonomous and mobile generation ever, and are far more likely than their predecessors to use personal devices, mobile apps and social media at work and less likely to accept restrictions on their mobility,” CompTIA chief exec Todd Thibodeaux said. “Yet businesses are at risk of failing to attract or retain this new generation of workers because they are recoiling from the new trend; just four per cent of UK firms allow full BYOD, only 23 per cent of small UK firms offer any online training modules to staff.”

Candidates in a buoyant market aren’t going to hang around for the best jobs. It may be tempting to stockpile candidates and run all the interviews together for the purposes of efficiency, but for sought after skills, you may be better interviewing good people as you find them to avoid missing out.


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