Attract and Retain IT Talent in 2020

IT talent

With technology growing at such a fast pace, there just doesn’t seem to be enough skilled IT professionals to keep up with demand. In fact, a recent Deloitte survey suggested that 62% of UK business executives do not believe they’ll be able to locate enough IT talent to deliver on their digital strategy.

With this level of competition, whether I’m speaking with a hiring manager at a start-up or a large corporate, I hear the same frustration – after pulling out all the stops to find someone with the right technical skillset and perfect cultural fit for the company (which is difficult in itself!) and making them a good job offer, they’ve accepted a role with another company.

This is often perplexing until you look a little deeper, and it becomes clear that employer branding and the additional benefits companies offer now have a huge part to play in the decision-making process for candidates. It’s no longer enough to have an exciting job role and a good salary to go with it – candidates want more!

So, what’s the tipping factors in the decision-making process for these individuals in 2020?

Remote working capabilities

Whilst the employee benefits are quite clear: better work-life balance, increased sense of wellbeing etc. – did you know that the benefits to businesses are also significant? On top of cost savings, in a recent survey two-thirds of managers reported that productivity actually increased when teams were allowed to work remotely.

Remote working can also give you access to talented IT professionals who may not have otherwise considered a role with your company, such as those who live further afield and wouldn’t be able to commit to a very long commute 5 days per week.

Knowledge sharing and upskilling

Having fantastic retention stats and mentions of training/upskilling in a candidate’s job offer clearly indicate investment in the individual, which in the long term aids a company’s reputation in the industry. Employees do not want to feel like a disposable resource, but an integral part of the organisation, making a real difference whilst also feeling valued.

I remember being told by a company that they didn’t invest in training and development because there was a risk that the individuals would learn what they needed to and would take that knowledge to a competitor. In my opinion, this approach will inhibit a business from ever growing a reputation as a good employer.. they’ll also probably lose their best employees and new hires to competitors who are committed to this sort of investment!


The stats are clear: well thought out office spaces increase employee engagement, particularly when the workspaces are flexible and encourage collaboration.

So now you probably think I’m indicating that pool tables and bean bags are the way forward? Yes, these sorts of gimmicks automatically tell a candidate what kind of workplace culture you’re trying to achieve, but they’re also just that, gimmicks! Investing in creating spaces that employees feel engaged, collaborative and comfortable in is far more valuable and significant to employees and employers.

So, to summarise, I think there are many factors that talented IT professionals are looking for when deciding on their next role, jobs need to be exciting, with an attractive salary and package, yes. However, in order to keep one step ahead of your competitors when it comes to winning and retaining the best IT talent, it’s well worth looking into investing in flexible working arrangements and collaborative environments.


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