5 Ways to Attract Top Tech Talent According to These Business Leaders

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Talented tech workers remain in high demand despite job losses at major tech companies and the ever-increasing threats to job security posed by generative artificial intelligence and automation.

While times are tough now, smart business leaders know that smart IT professionals are the key to unlocking the benefits of digital transformation and long-term growth.

So what’s the recipe for attracting top tech talent? Five business leaders give us their special sauce.

1. Create a strategy

Rob Mills, chief technology officer at Tractor Supply, says his organization has three key tactics to ensure it can acquire the talent it needs.

First, Mills says, the company “works” and then ensures that its aspiring and top-performing staff are given opportunities to develop and grow.

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“A big part of that effort is the commitment we have to our team members, and it’s not just about learning the business, but how we invest in them and develop them internally.”

Mills says another key element that helps Tractor Supply attract talent is its long-term vision, both for technology and the people who make the most of it.

“Digital is a big area where we’re investing: data, artificial intelligence, analytics. How do you start instilling that talent earlier so you can build strength?”

Finally, Mills makes sure his company has a ready source of up-to-date talent, whether that’s by establishing ties with major universities like MIT or connecting with untapped talent in the local community, including high schools and community colleges.

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“We come in and influence their curriculum by offering internships, sponsorships, extract and tuition reimbursement,” he says. “It’s about helping to find and promote talent. We get some of our brightest and best people from local community sources.”

2. Identify opportunities

Lisa Heneghan, global digital director at consultancy KPMG, says a business’s ability to attract talent is directly linked to its ability to learn new things.

“If I look at KPMG, the really powerful thing that we have is that we are absolutely at the core of solving business problems,” he says. “We are a global business that can take on new challenges.”

Heneghan says KPMG offers candidates a wide range of work areas, from audit to tax and consulting. The company is competing with big tech companies for digital talent, and it’s not an easy battle to win.

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The key to success is to show how working in a company like KPMG, which has a wide range of interests in the economy, gives professionals the opportunity to learn how to deal with big business challenges.

“I show people that they will have the opportunity to gain new experiences and expand their skills in areas they hadn’t necessarily thought of, to approach the client, industry or functional problem, and be creative,” he says.

“For me, the opportunity for technologists at KPMG is to work on business problems. But don’t get me wrong. This is a very tough market. And you have to create mobility, flexibility and excitement for people.”

3. Discover your values

London North East Rail (LNER) Chief Digital and Innovation Officer Danny Gonzalez says focusing on values ​​shows people what your company needs from its staff and it also shows candidates why they would enjoy working for you. :

“At LNER, values ​​are developed through a collaborative process,” he says. “They were created by the teams working in the business, not the executive team.”

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Gonzalez says one of the core values ​​is “being bold.” “It’s all about being bold and taking risks within certain safety margins. In terms of what we do as a business, it serves us well, and it’s all about envisioning the future. ”

Two other values ​​are important, says Gonzalez. One is to “bring passion,” and he says the ability to have a hunger for new challenges is important in a field like high-tech innovation.

Another key value that Gonzalez says is probably his favorite is “ownership.”

“The people at LNER can really own what they do,” he says. “They have the autonomy to focus on what we need to do, then engage and do it, and actually own it all the way to delivery.”

4. Get people excited

Simon List, chief information technology officer at the Pension Fund, goes out of his way to show potential candidates that being part of his organization means working on some meaty projects.

“It’s about showing people what you want to do and the path you’re on as an organization,” he says. “I think technologists like to know they’re part of business transformation rather than dealing with operational elements.”

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Liste says the show-and-tell mentality is something he’s pushed massively.

“When we communicate with potential candidates, we talk about our values, we talk about the strategic plan, what we do, and how technology directly changes services. ” He says.

“It’s not about operational activities, but interesting work. They see the value that technology and digital data can bring, and the impact we’ve already made.”

5. Cast your net wide

BCP head of board development Neil Poulton says cash is tighter in public sector organizations than blue-chip businesses, so he’s using a number of strategies.

“We have an apprenticeship scheme,” he says. “We take apprenticeships and upskill them through on-the-job training.”

Sometimes Poulton tries to find hidden tech talent in the business, a strategy that has helped him find gold, including someone from another part of the organization who now serves as a champion of increased adoption on Microsoft’s technology board.

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“He was exceptional at Power Apps,” says Poulton. “He came through the ranks, he worked in our mail room and he’s now got a job in IT. He was an asset we didn’t even know we had.”

External recruitment can also play an important role. And once again, people who come in are trained and highly skilled in the workplace.

“We’ve just successfully recruited two Power Platform developers,” says Poulton. “They come with raw skills that we can train, rather than going out on the market and buying someone we can’t afford.”

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