The challenges in recruiting top tech talent in Australia

By Adam Shapley

Australia’s golden run of job growth continues, with demand for highly-skilled professionals now outweighing supply. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the tech world.

Add the perpetual shift and evolution of technology, and each year continues to present different recruitment challenges for organisations to navigate.

Here are five key challenges organisations face when recruiting tech talent:

The shortage of available talent

The demand for skilled and experienced technology professionals has never been higher and subsequently organisations are finding themselves under immense pressure to find the talent to deliver on projects. Organisations are competing for the same skills and many are turning to contractors to fill immediate skills gaps. DevOps professionals, cybersecurity specialists, and data scientists are only the beginning of a long list of critical tech skills that are in short supply.

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This is further compounded by very specific demands from organisations who are no longer just looking for professionals with the desired technical expertise. Added to this they now want relevant industry experience, demonstrable business acumen and good communication and interpersonal in order to help an organisation navigate future business challenges.

The right candidates may live elsewhere

The shortage of local tech talent means organisations are expanding their geographical search. This opens up opportunities to find highly skilled talent not just within another state or region but on a broader global scale too.

Remote working is not without its challenges, but technology increasingly allows communication, collaboration, relationship building and knowledge sharing solutions.

The top talent wants a competitive salary and benefits

Tech professionals know they are in high demand and therefore have the upper hand in salary negotiations and selecting the right role for them. The overall package is increasingly important to top talent.

Organisations must also now sell the job and career opportunity to candidates. An organisation’s brand matters more than ever given the reach of social media and online reviews. Building a reputation as an employer of choice is therefore key.

Part of this involves promoting career progression opportunities, the ability to work with cutting-edge technologies and continuous learning opportunities. Additional benefits such as flex-place or flex-time, extra superannuation or performance-based bonuses can also be the differentiating factor between candidates choosing one role over another. 

Slow hiring processes are a hindrance

In order to ensure the best talent doesn’t get snapped up by rival businesses, employers, particularly in the world of tech, need to consider how they can shorten their recruitment process.

For instance, candidates could undertake multiple interviews with co-workers, senior management and the HR/talent team, sit aptitude and technical tests, receive feedback and be offered a conditional role, all in just one day. We’re seeing companies already using such a scaled-down recruitment process for certain positions and this approach brings advantages to both the employer and the candidate.

Today’s requirements could change tomorrow

Given the rapid rate of technical innovation, it is difficult to predict what kind of disruption organisations might face next. Employers are therefore recruiting tech talent who not only fulfil a specific need of today but are futureproofed to stay relevant in future.

This means looking at how a candidate’s skills have changed over time to establish their level of adaptability and willingness to continuously upskill.

Attracting and retaining top tech talent will remain a challenge given the current supply and demand ratio, but employers that develop and adjust their recruitment practices accordingly will secure strong candidates in our evolving digital landscape.

By Adam Shapley, Senior Regional Director for Hays Information Technology


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