August 10, 2020 / Hiring

You don’t always have to be the biggest to win the best tech talent


The battle for tech talent in recent years has been well documented. A study recently found that 75% of CIOs (Chief Information Officers) believe that it is more challenging for SMEs to attract tech talent because they prefer to work for large tech companies.

Attracting excellent tech talent is a challenge for everyone, and large companies alongside established brands may well have the initial advantage - but candidates want so much more than just a big-name.

According to a PWC survey, 72% of respondents said they want to understand a business’ culture before accepting a job offer, and 67% of candidates have turned down job offers because of a poor experience in the recruitment process.

The importance of company culture is highlighted further with millennials – 86% said they would be willing to take a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own. Candidates will make sacrifices for the right employer with the right culture.

SMEs may not have the reach and resource as some of the large organisations when fighting for talent, but that doesn’t mean they can’t build a better culture. 82% of professionals have worked for an organisation where they disliked the company culture. There’s an opportunity there for SMEs to attract and hire great tech talent, by building a great employer brand.

Furthermore, 73% of job seekers say that the process of looking for a job is one of the most stressful events in life, so the last thing candidates want is to spend hours and hours filling out job applications and repeating the same tests to add to that stress.

Businesses – large or small – shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box with their recruitment processes. Are you accessing the best talent for the role if you’re screening applicants by exam results or university? SMEs especially could be losing out on a vast amount of talent from the outset by not assessing the right people.

We highlighted in our recent blog about the impact of Covid-19 that 67% of developers are self-taught, does your current recruitment process allow you to tap into this talent? Large companies, who often receive floods of applications, can use academic screening criteria to sift through applicants quickly.

So, as an SME there could be a range of talent that’s not even being considered for these larger organisations; but you have to make sure you’re not making the same mistakes as the large companies to find that talent.

If small businesses focus on creating a strong employer brand with a great culture; then assess on ability and potential rather than experience and qualifications, they can start winning the battle for the best tech talent.

Alex Adams
Marketing Executive

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