The technology space in Manchester is now so competitive that businesses need to give up hiring just for skills.
That’s why my company Langham Recruitment – a specialized technology and engineering agency that works with the FTSE 100 PLC nationwide – has set up a joint venture with the IN4 Group to launch IN4 Talent in the Northwest.
We were already collaborating with The Landing, an innovation hub at MediaCity in Salford, when IN4 took over last year’s activities and rebranded it into HOST. It soon became clear that there was a real opportunity to combine the IN4 goals with what we were doing at Langham.
The average company thinks wages on technology roles are insane, but there are many potential reasons why their people have moved on. The average job seeker will tell his or her immediate supervisor that he or she is leaving because he or she has received a strange salary offer; but from the recruiters you hear that the business lacks direction, or they don’t get along with the line manager … the salary is seen as a good reason to break up the company.
There are many very happy people who do not earn megabucks in technology: they are involved in specific projects, perhaps, or admire the purpose of the company in which they work.
Change your approach
So how can you change your approach to hiring to find these long-term employees?
If someone is applying for a job, don’t tell them right away about that role. Ask: When are you most satisfied with your work? When are you most disappointed? What exactly makes you feel like you’re doing a great job? What would you like to do in three years – what technologies would you use? What types of organizations are you interested in; and what types would you not like to work with and why?
By researching them this way, you will find out whether your company is a suitable candidate or not. Otherwise, you can spend a lot of time trying to continue the offer – and at this point you will realize that they are simply not interested in the work.
Create a talent channel
Looking at the bigger picture, businesses also need to think about future talent in the organization.
Given the innovative methods of talent, resource banks, contract labor, freelancers, outsourcing, offshore and near-shore, building this talent pipeline can be very challenging.
It’s amazing how many times you see people out of nowhere say something like, “We need Unity skills!” These are the enterprises that have a very, very high outflow.
Our clients now understand that we are not going to just fill a vacancy for them: they can work with us on a long-term basis. If they need to qualify people in their organization with certain qualifications, we can connect them to the Unity Center of Excellence at HOST; place them in a specific training camp; or ask coaches to design products for them as a project and then allow them to choose the talent they want.
They could collaborate with us on the curriculum; join one of the innovative programs at HOST, making them more investor-ready; or hire a freelancer to train junior employees so that they go from “ready to work” to “ready to contribute”.
With talent you don’t always hire middle and senior people: different parts of the organization will focus on different things. What is your future plan for diversity and inclusion? How can you improve the mix of men and women, for example, in your workforce?
Skills City at HOST, backed by £ 1.2 million in funding from the Department of Education, runs Skills Bootcamps training camps and is committed to accelerating 450 people each year in technology careers. It also offers access to the AWS Re / Start program. This is a real solution for people who have a long-term plan to close the diversity gap in their area.
My clients want to understand what their responsibilities are as employers. If you look at this world of scaling, D&I scares a lot of people because they want to be diverse, but it’s a holiday that’s constantly changing. We have a rich resource bank of people in the local area and in the community who can provide special services to help with this; we can also advise people on how to attract candidates through gender-neutral advertising.
We can also point them to services on neurodiversity, and how to make sure their interview processes are consistent with that; then see how people can access talent to create a broad ethnic and gender mix in the long run.
First of all, you need to look at it all holistically – and find it people who are interested in the topic, technology or type of product they will develop with you.