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How To Compete For Talent Against The Big Tech Companies

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Whatever It Takes

​As the market for tech talent continues to grow, there’s more competition than ever for prime candidates, and the hottest prospects know their worth.

As such, it’s vital that your business stands out, offering something that competitors can’t match. However, when your rivals include tech giants like Apple or Google, often offering six-figure salaries, it might feel like you have no way to compete.

Yet, while a hefty salary is certainly attractive, money generally isn’t the first priority for modern recruits. So rather than try to compete in areas that you can’t, focus on the unique strengths of your business and the company benefits you can offer.

An Employee-Centric Culture

Widespread automation of generic tasks, combined with growing trends in workforce mobility, has meant that modern employees have more flexibility to work in a way that suits their strengths, and takes their individual needs and aspirations into account.

  • If it is practical to enable your staff to work flexibly, this is a great place to start. Employees that set their own schedules are often more productive, as they can choose to work at times when they are most focused and alert

  • Encourage general fitness and promote well-being. This reassures staff that you care about them as individuals, while simultaneously promoting a more peaceful working environment

  • Combine your business’ aspirations with those of your staff. This will enable you to construct meaningful challenges and goals to work towards

  • Celebrate success by acknowledging the achievements of individuals within your team. Offer incentives for completing projects on time, and keep bonuses uncapped, so you can encourage productive dialogue, and reward those who consistently go above and beyond

  • Find out which causes matter to your team, and consider ways to help support them

  • Don’t be afraid to recruit older candidates Their knowledge and understanding can be invaluable, and a diverse workforce gives you far greater problem-solving potential.

Ultimately, your goal is to provide an EVP that connects with your intended demographic, and which leaves room for alteration or improvement if the need arises.

Build Your Brand

Business branding is a core feature of any talent strategy. Your business needs to be immediately recognisable, not just to potential customers, but also to potential recruits.

In general, your brand should represent the core values of your business, but its success will also be influenced by your reputation. Define your business’ personality and voice, and maintain this through all your marketing endeavours. As people become more familiar with your brand, so too will they be more willing to place their trust in your business in the future.

In turn, this sense of familiarity enables you to emphasise the potential for a highly personalised career journey. A smaller workforce allows for a more convivial environment, within which each person has a clearly defined role, and a measurable impact on the business’ future.

Furthermore, this sense of agency and relevance is invaluable when it comes to staff retention as it encourages each employee to embrace challenges, and to pursue their aspirations in tandem with those of the business itself.

Leverage Social Proof

At the end of the day, the most effective way to convince new talent that you’re the right employer for them is via the recommendations of your existing employees. These recommendations are far more likely to be trusted by potential candidates, as they are perceived as honest representations of what to expect from your business.

You can encourage this further by implementing an employee referral program. This has the added benefit of empowering your existing staff to have a direct influence on the growth of your business, by recommending and referring individuals they feel are well-suited to available roles.

In addition, don’t be afraid to let your team share their experiences on  social media. This is a fantastic way to spread the word about your business, while simultaneously giving your staff an increased sense of unity.

Consider Your Own Priorities

Ultimately, the best way to think about your Employee Value Proposition, and the factors that are likely to matter most to your potential hires, is to consider what you personally value in a professional role. The chances are, salary isn’t the only driving factor for you either. A positive working environment, recognition for achievements, and potential for meaningful progression are all top priorities for modern professionals.

You might not be able to match the salaries offered by the corporate giants, but there are some things money can’t buy. Through a combination of bilateral feedback, personalised performance management, a working environment designed to promote growth, creativity, and collaboration, your business can offer opportunities that would be almost impossible to secure at a larger organisation.

So whether you’re seeking to hire new talent, or working to retain those already in your employment, don’t be discouraged by the competition. Instead, allow the unique strengths of your business to do the talking, and offer a clear EVP that promotes self-improvement, well-being, and ambition, both within and beyond the workplace.