Finding round pegs to put in round digital holes - Andrew Finlayson

Recent reports indicate that the growth of the UK technology sector is under threat from rising skills shortages, exacerbated by growing business intentions to invest in digital.

UK job vacancies for digital and tech-focused roles increased by over 55% in the past two years and this is set to continually increase. Cybersecurity is arguably the most sought-after speciality, closely followed by development roles.

Companies are planning to radically transform their business models with a digital first approach in the coming years, including adapting products and services which require a team with diverse digital skills. The need for digital literacy to be at the forefront of early years and higher education has never been more urgent, but this pipeline of talent takes time.

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Therefore as the current war on talent continues, employers need to consider which dials they can shift in their recruitment model and employee contracts to entice the right candidate.

Andrew Finlayson, Technology and Digital Director at Change Digital
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This could include increasing the salary offer, adapting the flexible working opportunities or considering the technical environment for example upgrading the technology or software used for the job could attract more candidates. Removing barriers for applications in terms of the required expertise which welcomes more transferable skills, is another adaptable factor. Another option is to review current recruitment processes to assess if there are any shortcomings or weaknesses allowing good candidates to fall through the cracks.

The time to hire has decreased considerably compared to 2018/19 levels. Businesses should now be maintaining an average of two weeks maximum between receiving CVs and an offer accepted.

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Candidate process is key and should be an overall positive experience for the individual, no matter the final outcome. The recruitment process should be an extension of the onboarding journey and a reflection of the company culture – they should feel sought-after and not just one cog in a very large machine.

Larger organisations often struggle with this and although their global name will continue to attract applications, a lack of personalisation could see them losing out on the best talent.

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Some candidates face multiple opportunities so maintaining momentum of the process for our client is so important. This includes regular conversations, sharing feedback, answering questions and signposting next stages in a timely manner – all while being smarter with our use of tech. Being more flexible with your recruitment model widens your talent pool and encourages more diverse hires which bring a multitude of benefits to a business.

In our sector, it would be the most in-demand candidates who would drop out of the running first if they felt frustrated by a lengthy and poorly communicated recruitment process. A drawn out process allows more opportunities for bidding wars to start, which can prove extremely costly to employers, so it is in their interest to support a more streamlined recruitment model. However, speed shouldn’t mean the process should be rushed or any less strategic.

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The technology industry is one of the most dynamic in the UK with a high calibre of tech specialists, who are increasingly sought-after, so we want to support businesses who are investing in this area. A streamlined recruitment model enables an organisation to thrive and maintains momentum for business growth with the best-matched talent sourced and onboarded in their team.

Digital recruitment specialists, Change Digital connects businesses with tech talent across the UK and beyond for roles within cloud operations, cyber security, digital, and data analytic skill sets.

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Andrew Finlayson, Technology and Digital Director at Change Digital

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