Effectively recruiting and retaining technical talent requires focused effort that's backed by time and tangible resources.

Recruiting technical talent poses unique challenges, and retaining those crucial associates requires just as much care and consideration. Employers must design targeted recruiting strategies to attract strong tech talent across all levels of the organization and successfully compete with other top tech companies.

What Do Tech Candidates Want?

The first step is understanding the different tech personas you want to hire for, including their challenges, "must-haves," "nice-to-haves," and goals they want to achieve. Compensation is a driver for tech talent, more so than other roles, due to the competitiveness of the field. But a paycheck is far from the only thing today's talent considers.

Company culture, stability, and how leaders show up during this challenging time are rising into consideration. For ADP, we've worked extensively to study the market and our own tech talent to determine what they are seeking, and in turn, what we have to offer that makes us unique. Belonging through team pride was a key finding. "A tight camaraderie exists among the people working on our projects, whether it's next-gen payroll, next-gen tax, or a next-gen platform," says Liz Gelb-O'Connor, Vice President of Global Employer Brand & Marketing at ADP.

"We are trying to build traffic and interest around tech and innovation at ADP using the authentic voices of our people …" — Liz Gelb-O'Connor, VP of Global Employer Brand & Marketing at ADP.

Besides a welcoming culture that focuses on team dynamics and collaboration, ADP offers attractive tech stacks, complex challenges, and limitless opportunities within our global technology organization to grow careers. Candidates are less likely to thrive if they are individually-focused, buckle under pressure, or are "only in it for the money." We want to deter those types of candidates, saving the recruiting team from investing time and resources in candidates who aren't the right fit for ADP.

Tech talent also wants access to long-term career opportunities, and they need to see that potential before applying. "(ADP) has a large tech organization that spans a wide spectrum of roles. People can establish an incredible career here and still change jobs every two years," says Gelb-O'Connor. ADP highlights employee stories through video, blogs, and other media to show candidates firsthand what could be possible for them.

Attracting Tech Job Seekers

Effective recruiting strategies for tech positions involve seeking out passive candidates in a much higher touch process. The key is to identify what is unique about your organization and highlight that throughout your branding and recruiting strategies. For example, Gelb-O'Connor says a few unique attractors for ADP are the ability to see our solutions in the hands of millions of people and the unprecedented size of ADP's data sets.

Machine learning, AI, and other emerging technologies are also big attractors right now. Technologists want to work for companies with resources to support innovative initiatives and enable associates to develop the best solutions possible. Employers that offer opportunities for tech talent to work on the cutting edge of innovation — and develop new skills in the process — will find it easier to attract and engage with top talent.

One of the surprising areas of exploration for tech talent is the tech stack a company uses, the products & services they offer to the market, and the candidate's ability to make a personal impact as part of that organization.

ADP shares all this information with tech candidates on tech.adp.com, a careers site with a tech & innovation blog that was built "for technologists, by technologists." The site features ADP's culture, product highlights, tech stacks, videos, events, their credo, and more. The site gives job seekers an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at ADP as a place for technologists to thrive.

"We are trying to build traffic and interest around tech and innovation at ADP using the authentic voices of our people, covering anything from engineering topics to career advice. We also are very proud to showcase what ADP is doing around equity and equality, something very important to us," says Gelb-O'Connor.

Retaining Tech Talent

Once you've hired top technical talent, you want to keep them as long as possible. Because many tech professionals are excited and motivated by complex challenges and advancement, employers must work to ensure new growth opportunities are consistently available.

"In tech, continuous learning and challenging work are vital," says Tracy Schaefer, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at ADP, who heads the global technical recruiting effort. "Building and maintaining a diverse development-driven culture is a must." At ADP, this effort includes a campus development program, GPT Connect—our virtual developers' conference, and online learning resources to allow tech talent to add new skills and expand their abilities.

Yet retaining technical professionals reaches far beyond tech acumen. Employers must also demonstrate ethics, integrity, and social responsibility. ADP does this by "giving back to the community and ensuring we are hiring diverse talent," says Schaefer. "We openly embrace inclusion and are constantly seeking ways to appeal to more underrepresented talent." This happens through partnerships with organizations that support women, LGBTQ+, and Black professionals like Black Enterprise, Girls Who Code, Anita Borg, and Lesbians Who Tech.

It takes time, effort, and a good employee experience after hire to recruit and retain technical talent. Continuously investing in your recruiting process and an employer brand that highlights your unique value proposition to those most likely to thrive will go a long way in helping to attract and retain the best talent. 

Original article by ADP Spark.