IT & Technology is still a fairly new specialism for Rutherford Briant, many of our clients do not have a wealth of knowledge within the sector as their technology functions are still developing. A large part of my role includes educating clients on job descriptions, job titles and market salaries, helping them create a solution for their needs. Below is a list of the 3 main pain points that clients face when recruiting for a role.
Contract/Permanent – If we take developers as an example, 2/3 of the market consist of contractors. The permeant pool of candidates is much lower, and the skills sets do not tend to be as varied as they have worked within their limited tech stack. Contractors tend to work on a variety of projects, from different industries and are used to learning and developing their skill set more frequently.
How to overcome this?
- If the role is a replacement, could you take a contractor to help in the interim? As the contract market is a much larger section, you can find some fantastic candidates within this pool that can slot right in. Finding permanent candidates is possible but is a longer process, contractors can alleviate the immediate pressure until the right fit is found.
- If this is a new role due to expansion you may find that having the flexibility to use contractors for projects works out well for the business. It’s something I recommend all clients to look at, you can bring vast amounts of knowledge into the business but do not need to guarantee work past a project, promotions, or increasing salaries every year.
Locations/Remote – This is a big issue for many businesses, onsite vs hybrid or remote. I personally like being on site, however this is a personal preference and quite different from the market. Most of the roles I work on can be done remotely, the tech industry kept everyone working over Covid and they did an outstanding job. Now things are going back to normal, people no longer want to sacrifice the family time for the daily commute.
Options and advice:
- Try to be flexible, concentrate on find the right candidate. Not putting a defined label on the role will help you in the search, if you open your search to a remote worker, you can access talent from across the UK. The end goal is to fill the role, if you limit your search area to a daily commutable area you will find this difficult and lengthy.
- Being open to working remotely or on hybrid basis doesn’t mean the candidate will never be in the office, offering candidates the flexibility to work around family life will mean you will get the best candidates and they will still be happy to travel into the office when they can. I rarely talk to candidates that want to be onsite every day; everyone wants the ability to work around life. On the same coin most people want some interaction, they would be happy to work on site a few days a month.
Salaries/Market Rates – This is always a touch point, something I will approach as soon as possible if the salary doesn’t fit within the market bracket. If your companies have limited staff within technology, some clients work on previous salaries or where they think it sits within the business.
This doesn’t work! Let me explain:
- Previous salary – 9 times out of 10, the reason the previous person left is to get a higher salary, if they grew organically within a business or have been there for several years this can be a huge difference. What you want to pay and what you need to replace someone can be very different. Skill sets and experience will increase that salary, if your previous employee wasn’t getting market salary they will move on, and you will need to pay the same salary for direct replacement.
- Salary Banding – This is a tough one, some businesses put certain roles into salary bandings. Therefore, they say they cannot recruit above this price. Where do these bandings come from and who sets them? Skills & experience should define the salary. Once again limiting yourself to a top end price means you will likely get more junior candidates. I am always happy to offer these candidates, as they have drive and passion. However, they will not have the experience required. Clients need to be willing to compromise on the experience to get the salary or pay the higher salary to get the experience.
The conclusion is that flexibility is key, try to adapt to the market. If you need someone ASAP explore the contract market in the interim. If you are limited on salary, try a more junior candidate as they are some of the most passionate people around. Lastly if what you need is experience, be open to salary and working style. If you find the right person, be prepared to work with them, offer the salary that’s right for them and let them work remotely if they chose it.
Like technology, the job market is always changing and adapting, try to lead the way with this. You will find it a smoother process to recruit and have loyal and hardworking employees if you pay them their worth and allow flexibility.