Employer branding for tech talent attraction and retention during The Great Resignation

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It’s never been easier to find talent, and yet, it’s never been harder to hire talent. So, what should companies be doing to better attract, secure and retain the right people?

We sat down with Charlotte Anderson, Talent Brand Lead @ Canva, and Angelika Scuderi, Employer Brand Project Lead @ Domain to talk about the role employer branding has to play in tech talent attraction. Here’s what we uncovered.

Tech is so hot right now.

With 1 in 16 Australians employed in the technology sector, there’s obviously something special happening. Careers in tech are desirable because it’s a rapidly growing and evolving sector offering a range of great career opportunities across many industries and business types (from start up to government and enterprise). 

The post-Covid world promises increased adoption of tech as more workplaces adapt to our changed way of working, further encouraging the creation of new ideas and businesses the more our needs evolve. Safe to say, it’s a secure sector to spend a career in, too.

If you’re enticing career changers or early career talent, you may want to emphasise the continuous learning, innovation, real-world impact, fast pace, and big rewards on offer.

Your post-Covid EVP and candidate messaging needs a re-think

Many organisations are re-thinking their EVP and candidate messaging, so they can stay aligned with the changed expectations of work-life. After all, Covid showed the world that work doesn’t need to be done in the one way or place. 

It’s important that you’re clear about what current and future employees can expect about working with your organisation and contributing to your organisation in this new world of work. Will you be hybrid? Will you remain 100% office-based or remote?

For Canva, they revised their overall workplace experience and doubled down on their perks and benefits. With an emphasis on flexibility and connection, they’re creating an environment where everyone has the tools and support needed to be their best self and do their best work, regardless of location. 

So, it’s really nailing that, What’s in it for me? for your ideal candidates across different skill profiles, demographics, and communities now that flexibility is an expectation.

Get better results with hyper-targeted talent attraction 

Organisations must get better at thinking outside the box to focus on hyper-targeted talent attraction activities and diversified talent pools. As Angelika and Charlotte have found, the more tailored they go with their events and recruitment campaigns, the more success they’ve had with interest and conversion. 

That is, instead of the spray and pray approach of job boards alone, it’s marketing to quality over quantity to create valuable connections with smaller pools of people who are known to be interested in your organisation and a fit for your audience profile.

Some ideas:

  • Speak at or host in-person and online events for your target candidates. For example, hosting a women in IT event, collaborating with established communities, such as CocoaHeads, or a ‘meet the recruiter’ series.

  • Deliver a series of career-related webinars to help talent segments put their best selves forward during recruitment processes.

  • Form partnerships with underrepresented groups and communities to improve representation during recruitment and increase diversity of thought within the organisation.

  • Start a careers-focused blog to share insights, tips, and employee stories.

  • Launch an early careers initiative that allows you to connect with students and offer them a taste of life with your organisation.

Building brand awareness and connection before the recruitment process begins gives your ideal talent an opportunity to connect with people at their future workplace and get a vibe for the workplace community they’re potentially joining before deciding to apply. 

It’s all about quality brand experiences (internal and external)

While Australia is set to be feeling the full effects of the 'Great Resignation' in March 2022, a lot of our clients are already facing challenges balancing attrition and attraction of employees. Creating quality brand experiences and connection with your internal and external talent communities can help reduce the anticipated impact.

For retention

There’s been a re-evaluation of personal and professional priorities, and you want to be seen to be taking action. Angelika notes that Domain created an environment for their people to thrive, providing support for their wellbeing, growth, flexibility, psychological safety, and sense of belonging and community in a hybrid or remote working world.

For attraction

Angelika’s advice for employers is to project a clear brand voice in your market and sell your opportunities and competitive differentiator with impact – that is, highlight the challenges to be solved, the real-life impact of their work, and the people they’ll work with. 

For both your employees and candidates, give them a sense of connection to your values and what the business is trying to achieve. Domain took a unique approach to managing the impact of Covid on their business through Project Zipline, where 90% of employees opted in to reduce their salary package for share rights or reduced working hours. This people first approach played to their values, the unique culture at Domain, and willingness of their leadership and employees to support each other and the business. 

While it may take some time, those employers who can generate a sense of loyalty and attachment will see higher retention.

And if employees do leave? Charlotte advises to do it with grace. Find a way to keep them engaged with your brand once they’re gone so you can nurture those relationships and networks for quality referrals and returning employees. 

Don’t forget, consistency is key  

Your employer brand is only as good as the people who live, breathe, and believe it. Keep your experiences and communication authentic and consistent at every touchpoint throughout the employee lifecycle from job seeking to (eventual) departure. 

Want to catch the replay? 

Check out Tech Talent Attraction for the Great Resignation: Fireside Chat here.