The Australian technology industry is facing a talent shortage, with no evidence of it being alleviated soon. In fact, an Australian Computer Society study found the demand for technology workers will grow by 100,000 between 2018 and 2024.

 The pace of technological change has created a candidates’ market, leading business leaders to question whether they’re doing all they can to attract and retain top tech talent. In the same way they look for innovative strategies and products to remain competitive, forward-thinking companies have realised that they must continuously re-evaluate their approach to talent. So, what might this entail?

1. Break down silos between HR and tech teams

Silos between HR and technology teams have a direct impact on a business’ ability to attract and retain top tech talent.

Contino recently surveyed 300 Australian IT professionals for our Voice of Talent 2019 to uncover key drivers that make top tech talent happy, or unhappy, in their roles. According to the study, working on exciting projects with modern technologies was not only important, it was the most important factor when considering whether to stay with an employer.

It’s imperative that HR teams can pinpoint what inspires highly-skilled tech workers to show up each day. On the flip side, CIOs and CTOs should recognise that tech stack decisions have direct implications for the business’ people strategy. Put simply, if a business’ tech stack is outdated or not shifting with the times, technologists will leave.

IT leaders today must stay ahead of the evolving landscape if they are to compete for the best talent. It is unrealistic to expect HR teams to do the same without support. HR needs to anticipate the skills required for tomorrow’s workforce, which requires working hand-in-hand with IT.

2. Put collaboration at the centre of your culture

At Contino, we’re proud to have cultivated a culture that is built on an ethos of collaboration and knowledge sharing. This has manifested into our ‘squad model’: each client team features representatives from all corners of the business, including engineering, marketing, finance and talent management, so they can tackle challenges and solve problems together.

For employees, our squads present opportunities to learn new skills, work closely with colleagues with different, complementary expertise and develop their critical thinking.

For Contino and our clients, the result of this cross-functional effort is a well-rounded solution, beyond technical outcomes alone. For the same reason digital transformation projects need buy in beyond the technology department, taking a squad approach ensures programs of work benefit all corners of the organisation. Not to mention, cross-departmental collaboration and an unrestricted flow of information is the key to building a sustainable and best of breed workforce.

3. Build your own community

The best talent seek out workplaces that inspire and support them. Before they trawl job ads, they’re likely to start with their networks and brands they know.

As such, one way to ensure your organisation is top of mind for candidates is to build a sense of community. This might involve holding regular external-facing events that bring together tech professionals in an open environment. Whether meetups, lunch and learns or hackathons, events are great for sharing insights and meeting and building relationships with others in the industry, including potential talent.

Our tech debates (covering containers, security, the cloud etc.) are a massive hit and a lot of fun! 

Community events can also be a great forum to exchange ideas around the direction in which technology developments are headed. Ultimately, if we want to unlock the full potential of the industry, we need to look beyond short-term competition and engage constructively to elevate the sector as a whole.

The digital landscape is evolving at a furious pace. Businesses that rely on talent strategies of the past will not win and succeed in the future.

Head to the Voice of Talent 2019 to hear more from Australian IT professionals on what they look for, or to Contino Events for when you can meet the Contino team next.

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Gerhard Schweinitz

Head of Talent (APAC)

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