The information and communications technology sector is an incredible phenomenon. It has exploded in relevance and importance to almost every industry in just a few decades.
When it comes to attracting the best candidates in ICT, you’ve got to bring something to the table that they want. It is an extremely competitive industry, with some incredible talent that can greatly impact on any organisation’s bottom line.
Snapshot: Who are the Candidates?
The ICT industry is almost defined by how much it skews towards men. 81% of candidates are male, and 19% are female. Despite concerted efforts to attract more women to the sector, the balance has remained relatively static for some time.
One in two ICT candidates have families, which may be a driving factor in their employment preferences. 50% of ICT candidates are born outside of Australia, compared to 33% across all industries. They are also far more likely to speak a second language, with around 46% of ICT candidates considering themselves bilingual.
What do they want?
More than anything else, salary and related compensation are critical drivers of satisfaction (and candidate attraction) in the ICT space. If you’re not paying top dollar, you may struggle to retain the best employees.
Salary and compensation is more important to ICT candidates than it is to those in any other industry. That is no exaggeration. Of all industries, it is ICT that has the most money-hungry employees.
Candidates in the ICT space consider work-life balance to be the second-most important aspect of any potential role.
72% of ICT candidates view the opportunity to work from home as extremely important in their roles – compared to 57% across all industries. Around half of all ICT candidates have families, so work-life balance will play a large part in the ability to attract them to any role.
The fact that many of these employees can actively and efficiently work from home is arguably another driver for their desire to do so. There is little need for an ICT candidate to be tied to a desk and assessed on the number of hours they put into their job. Rather, their contributions should be assessed on an outcome basis. Allowing ICT candidates the flexibility to work shorter days when there are no large projects, and extremely long days when it’s required, will likely see an increase in overall productivity.
Third on the list of priorities for ICT candidates is career and development opportunities. In a sector characterised by passion for the work and commitment to improvement, this is no surprise.
If you’re not prepared to make a sincere attempt at developing the careers of your employees, candidates will notice these. You’ll be subconsciously compared to tech juggernauts who invest immense amounts of time and resources into employee development, with giants such as Google granting employees time to work on their personal projects.
Furthermore, ICT candidates view an organisation’s investment in technology as a strong indicator of that organisation’s investment in employees. If a business is making a strong effort to be on the cutting edge of technology and regularly utilises new tools and platforms, this will send a positive message to ICT candidates.
So how do you attract the best ICT candidates?
It’s simple, really. Give them what they want. Depending on your organisation’s resources, you may need to emphasise one area of preference over another. If your salary budget simply isn’t competitive, place a strong focus on work-life balance and career growth. Rather than an additional $5,000 per year in salary, offer to send your candidates to a conference at a cost of $1,000.
There are countless ways you can leverage monetarily cheaper points of attraction to entice the best candidates to work with your organisation. Experiment, chat to existing team members, and head over some power in terms of how they’re compensated. You may be surprised by how much job satisfaction levels increase.
The data used in this article draws on the Laws of Attraction survey performed by Seek.