Technology roles have been notoriously difficult for leaders to fill, and this challenge only increased during the pandemic when the shift to remote work gave tech workers a new perspective on what modern work can look like. This shift has played a large role in the Great Resignation, with workers leaving their jobs in mass seeking employers that offer flexibility, in addition to higher compensation, greater purpose, more belonging, and better benefits. Last month alone, a near-record-high of 4.4 million Americans handed in their resignations.
While many leaders are scrambling to offer more competitive compensation packages and uncover the benefits that matter most to candidates, oftentimes the difference between if an employee stays or goes comes down to a company’s mission and values and if they feel supported in their role. Of course, leaders can weave these messages into job descriptions and put them on their website but making them an active part of their PR program can go a long way to gaining visibility among top prospects.
Some PR tips to help with recruiting efforts include:
- Nominate existing employees for high-caliber awards. Recent research from McKinsey on the Great Resignation found that relational factors were the top reasons that employees quit their jobs. Of the employees surveyed, 54% said they didn’t feel valued by their organization and 52% said they didn’t feel valued by their managers, whereas 51% cited not feeling a sense of belonging at work. It’s becoming increasingly important for companies to demonstrate that they have a supportive work environment where leadership makes employees feel valued. Nominating current employees at various levels for awards gives companies an opportunity to share the characteristics that make up the current team and give prospective employees a peek at how their managers and colleagues will treat them if they join.
- Land a top spot on a Best Places to Work list. Another important factor for if employees stay or go is flexibility. Based on a global survey conducted by professional services network EY, 90% of employees say they want flexibility in when and where they work. While companies can say they offer flexible work options for employees, having current employees validate those policies through a Best Workplaces survey is much more powerful. These lists are available through local Business Journals, Fortune, Inc., etc.
- Get involved with DEI organizations. A report from academic publishing company Wiley suggests that the tech industry’s long struggles to achieve workplace diversity and equity are a contributing factor to the Great Resignation. According to the report, 68% of respondents said they have felt uncomfortable in a tech-related role because of their gender/ethnicity/socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition. This number rose to 75% of all female respondents, 69% of Hispanic and Latino respondents, and 81% of Black and African American respondents. While many companies are investing in DEI training for their employees and reevaluating their hiring biases, it’s also important for them to be involved with organizations who are actively advocating for diversity in tech. Organizations like Black Girls Code, Women In Technology International, Code2040, Lesbians Who Tech, and more often put on events with sponsorship and speaking opportunities. Several of these groups also seek corporate partners who can mentor or offer internships to minority students and young professionals. Supporting these organizations sends a message to prospective hires that you believe minorities should have a seat at the tech table and that there is a place for them at your company.
- Announce new hires and company growth. Because employees are looking to work with great people and for a company that is aligned with their values and priorities, momentum announcements can be a great way to demonstrate that employees and customers alike are choosing to work with you. Particularly if you are hiring diverse employees at the leadership level, new hire announcements can also signal to prospective employees that they will work on a diverse team with a broad array of perspectives.
- Tell Corporate Social Responsibility stories. According to Gartner’s Global Labor Market Survey, 61% of tech employees said they would leave if an opportunity to be part of an organization with a higher level of social responsibility became available, and all other factors remained the same. The pandemic caused many employees to reevaluate their priorities and think more about their impact on the world. For most, the conclusion has been that they want more meaning from the work. If your company is doing its part to positively influence the world, be sure to tell those stories in your media outreach, on social media, and by submitting for CSR-focused awards.
While these tips are helpful to keep in mind as your look to bolster your recruiting efforts, always remember to keep your messages honest. Stretching the truth in effort to gain new employees will not only turn off the ones that see through it but will lead to greater attrition in the long-term. Start by doing an evaluation of your unique offerings for prospective employees and then follow these tips to get the word out and add more talent to your team.