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As the dust settles from the initial COVID-19 panic, businesses are strategizing on how to best move forward. While everyone has been affected differently, one trend we’re seeing in virtually every sector is the urgent need for tech talent.  

With people living, working, and shopping under quarantine, digital platforms are more important than ever. As if tech talent wasn’t important enough, now every organization is hustling to make sure they’re providing the best possible digital experience to customers.  

A key to keep in mind here is the long-term outlook for tech talent. The increased demand for digital services and platforms will persist long after the pandemic has passed. The pandemic has only accelerated existing digitalization trends.  

The long and short of it is that many consumers who use digital services for the first time during the pandemic will continue to do so once it has passed. What this means for recruiters, HR and business leaders is that it’s more important than ever to make sure we have the talent needed to execute on our digital strategy. 

With that in mind, here are a few key concepts for recruiting and retaining tech talent through this turbulent time. 

Make Retention a Top Priority 

The most important step in meeting any talent need is retention. Retaining high-performing employees is one of the best investments we can make. The cost of turnover in terms of performance, morale, the recruiting budget, and onboarding is simply too high. 

Qualified tech professionals have a wealth of opportunities available to them at any given time. To encourage them to stay with your company, start with making sure you’re offering competitive compensation and benefits.  

Beyond that, it’s crucial to work on ensuring every employee’s needs are being met to the best of our ability. We leverage behavioral analytics from the Predictive Index to quickly understand what really drives team members. This allows us to help make them comfortable, productive and satisfied on our team. 

Keep Long-Term Talent Needs in Mind 

As emphasized in the beginning of this article, tech talent will be crucial to success long after the pandemic passes. Unfortunately, many businesses are also having to make budget cuts as the economy slumps. 

Not all layoffs or salary cuts can be avoided. However, where possible, we must balance our short-term needs with long-term plans. Tech professionals will be vital for innovating and prospering when the economy recovers. Everyone will be trying to hire the same limited pool of candidates at once. If digital transformation is a key part of your strategy, plan for tomorrow’s talent needs today. 

Make Sure Your Recruiters Know the Industry 

Recruiting tech professionals was highly competitive before the pandemic. As demand spikes, it’s harder than ever to connect with these individuals. One of the best things companies can do is to make sure their recruiters know the industry 

Whether you’re working with an internal talent acquisition team or a third-party, the recruiters you’re using must understand the industry well enough to build credibility with candidates. Nothing turns off a developer faster than someone who doesn’t know the difference between Java and JavaScript, for example.  

While your average recruiter will never be an expert in software development, it’s crucial to be familiar with key trends, skills, and concepts in the field. Recruiters can browse forums, join discussion groups online, read articles and watch videos to educate themselves on the sector. With an understanding of the field, recruiters can win candidates’ trust and build real relationships with them. 

Navigating Disruption Comes Down to Your People 

Like all business challenges, navigating disruption comes down to your people. If we have qualified teams that are optimized to perform, navigating change becomes a lot easier. If we have risk-takers with the right expertise in leadership positions, then innovation is much more achievable. The key is to make sure we have a people strategy that supports our overarching business goals.