How Can Your Organization Develop and Keep High Potential Technical Talent?

by Srikant Chellappa Feb 9,2024

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Layoffs have become common in the post-pandemic world. In 2023, US tech companies laid off 160,000 workers. The economic downturn has also compelled businesses to implement hiring freezes, leaving several technical positions unfilled. Moreover, there is a persistent shortage of skilled talent. In many parts of the United States, job openings outnumber available candidates, making it challenging to find, hire, and retain qualified technical personnel.

This shortage of talent is not limited to the United States but is a global issue. There is a high demand for tech talent, yet the supply remains low. This shortage affects all IT sectors, including computing infrastructure and security, thereby hindering organizations’ ability to compete effectively. More concerning is the projection that the talent shortage will continue to worsen.

Given this increased demand for tech candidates, how can organizations address the talent gap and find the skilled professionals they need to grow and stay competitive? But before discussing that, let us delve into the concept of tech talent and the key factors that influence their acquisition and retention.

What Is Tech Talent?

Tech talent comprises individuals with knowledge and expertise in technology-related areas. This workforce is skilled in software development and programming, computer support, database systems, engineering, and computer and information systems. In today’s world, with technology seeping into every aspect of businesses, finding high-potential technical talent can help businesses stay ahead, save money, and drive growth.

Benefits of Hiring and Retaining Top Tech Talent

Organizations are expected to experience an even larger impact from integrating technology in the future. The need for the correct technological skills will only grow as organizations rely on technology for communication, productivity, and gaining competitive advantage. Here are three ways the right tech talent proves vital to an organization:

  • Organizations Can Adapt to Changing Technologies with the Right Tech Talent

In today’s rapidly evolving world, having the right tech talent is crucial for organizations to stay ahead of the curve. As new technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud computing, blockchain, and virtual/augmented reality continue to emerge, businesses face significant integration challenges.

In high-tech industries, the pressure to foster a tech-enabled culture is especially high, given the ever-changing landscape of competition and business models. To keep up with the growing competition from startups and tech companies, businesses must prioritize building a highly skilled workforce.

  • The Right Technology Experts Reduce Costs and Boost Profit

Mismanaged technologies can turn into a major financial strain. The right tech talent team can help organizations avoid expensive mistakes. With the skills and knowledge to effectively use technology, tech talent can help save costs and drive revenue.

By implementing streamlined and efficient tech solutions, organizations can not only reduce operational costs but also position themselves for long-term financial success. Tech experts play a crucial role in identifying opportunities for automation and optimization, leading to enhanced productivity and resource utilization. Their proactive approach ensures that technology aligns seamlessly with business objectives, fostering a cost-effective and profit-boosting technological landscape.

  • The Right Tech Talent Can Help Organizations Attract and Retain Top Talent

Tech trends have undoubtedly permeated every aspect of HR processes, influencing the entire employee life cycle from recruitment to retirement. The recruitment process itself has experienced a revolution thanks to technology, with AI tools and predictive analytics empowering recruiters to enhance efficiency and convenience.

Interestingly, a staggering 90% of Fortune 500 companies now utilize recruitment software. Moreover, a recent survey unveiled that 68% of recruiters firmly believe in harnessing the power of new technology to bolster recruiting efficiency.

Beyond these advantages, tech talent brings numerous benefits to businesses. With the rise of quiet quitting and the great resignation, the battle to attract and retain top performers has become more challenging yet crucial than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual labor force turnover rate sits at 57%. Consequently, companies must reimagine their employee engagement and retention strategies in order to continuously attract and retain top talent for the long haul.

Also Read: Automate Summaries and Descriptions with Engagedly’s Marissa AI

Rethink Employee Experience: Hiring and Retaining High-Potential Talent 

There is a significant shortage of talent in the IT and tech sectors globally, with a staggering 78% gap. As companies face the challenge of sourcing, recruiting, and retaining the best technical talent, it becomes crucial to reimagine the employee experience for sustainable business growth. Offering competitive pay alone is no longer sufficient. To attract and retain high-performing individuals, companies must grasp the evolving priorities of employees and meet their expectations. Here are the key practices that companies should consider to shift their emphasis toward recruiting and retaining top tech talent.

  • Offer More Learning and Development Opportunities

Tech talent thrives on continuous learning and growth. With rapid technological advancements, staying current is crucial to prevent skills from becoming obsolete. A well-designed career advancement framework empowers employees to proactively acquire new skills and knowledge, ensuring they remain valuable assets to the organization.

Beyond simply offering promotions, organizations should embrace a comprehensive career pathing approach. This involves implementing transparent, objective, and personalized succession policies. Understanding what motivates and inspires your tech talent is key to fostering engagement and maximizing their potential. Blindly promoting individuals without proper guidance can lead to disengagement and hinder overall productivity.

Here are some pro tips for providing effective learning opportunities to your tech team:

  • Offer challenging assignments that extend beyond their daily tasks. This hands-on experience fosters growth and allows them to apply their skills in new contexts.
  • Equip them with diverse training resources. Consider online courses, conferences, workshops, and internal knowledge-sharing initiatives to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
  • Promote transparency and open communication. Share organizational challenges, future direction, and strategic goals to foster a sense of purpose and ownership among your team.
  • Create a platform for open discussions and feedback loops. This allows employees to voice concerns, share ideas, and contribute to the overall direction of the team and organization.
  • Provide access to coaching and mentoring programs. Pairing experienced individuals with new hires or high-potential employees can accelerate learning and provide valuable guidance and support.
  • Help them visualize their contribution to the bigger picture. Clearly demonstrate how their individual growth and skill development ultimately benefit the organization and contribute to achieving its objectives.                                  
  • Offer Flexibility

A global study conducted by EY reveals that 74% of workers actively seek work flexibility in their current job roles. Workers are looking for organizations that understand and meet their expectations, which may include flexible working hours, telecommuting, or other work arrangements. Another study by PayScale supports this notion by stating that, in addition to fair compensation, employees find flexible schedules, remote work options, and dedicated paid time off (PTO) appealing in a job role.

It is important to note that flexibility can vary among individuals, as not all candidates are interested in hybrid arrangements or flexible work hours. For instance, some candidates may prioritize job locations that offer a conducive environment for their families. In such cases, recruiters should emphasize the benefits of the new job location, such as family-friendly neighborhoods, high-quality schools, and favorable taxation policies. Additionally, offering a relocation package can help the candidate and their family settle into the new location more comfortably.

  • Design a Robust Rewards and Recognition Policy 

A supportive work environment is crucial for fostering employee engagement and loyalty. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions not only motivates them but also turns them into valuable brand ambassadors for the company. A study conducted by Gallup Wellbeing and Workplace Study reveals that when employees’ efforts are acknowledged, their connection to the organization becomes significantly stronger, leading to increased productivity.

In addition to recognition and rewards, companies should prioritize diversity and inclusion in their talent acquisition strategies. Research shows that 39% of workers would decline a job offer if an organization did not promote inclusivity. Therefore, businesses must consider the unique value proposition for their employees and recognize the importance of job flexibility and modern technology. Investing in diversity and inclusion efforts will further enhance the work culture and attract top talent

Also Read: How to Use AI Ethically in Human Resource Management

Summing Up

In a challenging post-pandemic landscape with layoffs and talent shortages, retaining high-potential tech talent is critical. The right tech experts not only prevent financial strains but also drive innovation and cost-effective solutions. Attracting and retaining top tech talent ensures organizational resilience in the face of evolving technologies. To bridge the talent gap, companies must reimagine the employee experience with continuous learning, flexibility, and robust rewards. Embracing these practices ensures organizational success in a competitive landscape driven by high-potential technical talent.

If you are an organization seeking assistance in creating an attractive and engaging work culture, Engagedly can help! Engagedly offers cloud-based solutions to cater to all your HR and related processes, streamlining the organization’s functioning to create a high-performance culture. Book a demo today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What role does technology play in attracting and retaining top talent, especially in the current job market?

Technology plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent by influencing HR processes, enhancing recruitment efficiency, and fostering a tech-enabled culture. In a job market marked by the great resignation, tech talent is essential for sustaining workforce quality.

What does the concept of stretch assignment refer to in tech talent management?

A stretch assignment in the tech world refers to a job that requires advanced skills and knowledge. A temporary or permanent job assignment helps employees find new challenges and grow beyond their current capabilities and skills.

What is the technology skill gap?

The technology ability gap refers to the difference between what a company needs regarding knowledge and skills within its staff and their actual capabilities. An organization should periodically analyze the talent gap across different levels, from individual to business enterprise-wide.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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