How to Attract the Best IT Talent?

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 30/05/2023

It is getting increasingly difficult to both attract and retain IT talent. In this article, we will guide business owners and HR personnel on how to patch the gap in supply and demand by digitising your company. Additionally, we will help you work out if you need a permanent specialist or a contractor.

In the highly technical age we live in, IT technicians are crucial to any business. From security measures to ensuring all runs smoothly internally, skilled specialists are worth their weight in gold. That said, there is little wonder they are in high demand. However, the supply of senior specialists and low and continuously dwindling. This means that not only workers of the required expertise are harder to come by, but also that you will be competing with other potential employers to bring them on board. 

This dilemma has been bothering many companies and very few had found a solution. We are among the lucky ones. But instead of hoarding that information, we want to share it with you, in hopes of helping you address and navigate this crisis without too much hassle. Please note our advice doesn’t involve working with recruitment agencies. If anything, we think it applies to recruiters too as they also struggle with scouting top IT talents.

How Do You Attract and Keep Top Talent?

There are plenty of tips online on how to attract the best talent. We won’t bore you with the basics and so here are more in-depth points to follow:

  1. Be transparent in your hiring progress

  2. Offer flexibility in terms of working hours and location

  3. Ensure the hiring process runs smoothly from day one

  4. Build quick and effortless onboarding

  5. Remain consistent in communication during and after hiring

These tips may appear vaguer and lesser than most advice online, but we don’t want to insult your intelligence by laying off the basics. Instead, our focus is on sharing truly game-changing advice. 

The Gap in the Market

The reason you might be struggling to get an IT specialist is not necessarily your fault. There’s been a clear gap in the market for the past few years and, unfortunately, it keeps growing. In this section, we will investigate what is causing the problem, whether are there any solutions and how to address the issue starting today.

Why Supply Doesn’t Match the Demand

It can seem confusing that there’s a lack of specialists in an up-and-coming industry like IT. According to HESA, in 2020/21 there was a total of 153,825 students enrolled in Computing courses and 183,160 in Engineering and Technology programmes. However, it will take several years for these young people to qualify as entry-level staff, let alone reach seniority. The existing experts, on the other hand, are steadily entering the retirement brackets. Not to mention, with more experience behind their backs, they are in higher demand to lead teams of younger personnel in order to quicken their professional growth.

In other words, the problem isn’t exactly the fact there is no talent available. It’s the fact that it’s more junior, which poses a great issue for companies that run complicated processes or are in need of a specialist with either very extensive or very specific experience. Naturally, senior candidates are highly sought after, therefore changing the usual hiring dynamics. It’s no longer them competing to get employed but the companies competing to employ them.

Contractors vs Permanent Staff

One of the solutions to address the gap is turning attention to contractors rather than permanent workers. Although having someone in-house brings a lot of security, senior IT specialists have very high price brackets. As mentioned above, most of the highly skilled seniors are also nearing the age of retirement, so, realistically, you wouldn’t be hiring them for a time frame exceeding a decade. Additionally, your organisation might not even need them at all times. In any case, your best bet is turning to contractors.

First of all, working as an independent contractor is often favoured by the senior staff, meaning the talent pool for you to choose from is bigger. Additionally, it’s not constricted by a location. The retirement age isn’t as much of a nagging issue either as a lot of contractors are actually retired specialists that now work independently. The contractors also have pre-set rates for certain tasks and you get to hire them for specific tasks as opposed to still keeping them around even when their services aren’t the highest priority. Overall, finding and hiring a highly skilled IT contractor is an easier task than bringing someone on board permanently. But it is for you to decide, given every situation is unique. 

Make Their Lives Easier

Attracting an IT talent is only half of the work done. Retention can be just as challenging, given other companies are likely to continue in their headhunting attempts even after your new hire has been onboarded. And if their offer is more tempting while your processes aren’t as great as expected, issues may arise. 

Minimise the Admin

No one likes admin work, and IT workers are no exception. In fact, with their schedules so packed with all kinds of tasks, keying some data in is the last thing they want to be doing. Naturally, if their hands are full of filing in the paperwork your processes require, they will be spending less time on tasks you need them to do. Additionally, they won’t be too happy with you. So, how about you cut your losses and employ some automation? From procedures such as onboarding to expense submission and invoicing, many tedious admin works can be handled by software. And it’s something you will highly benefit from as a business too. 

Not only automation of repetitive data insertion tasks wins back time, but it also reduces the probability of human error. Utilising this approach across your entire company will ensure smooth and hand-free processes, a telling sign when it comes to judging your organisation’s overall professionalism. So while not only is it highly beneficial in terms of performance, it will also leave a good impression on the IT workers.

Smooth and Consistent

Having touched on smoothly running processes and their importance, we must also talk about consistency. Although having some business areas running like a well-oiled machine is better than none, it can be frustrating to find the other parts of the organisation not matching the level. Especially when you’re hiring an outside contractor, you want to provide consistent experience simply because this is a massive help for them in order to understand the ins and outs of your business. 

The easiest way to achieve the said consistency is building a tech stack of digital solutions interlinked with one another via integrations. This way you will be able to smoothly transfer data from one solution to another, keeping them aligned and consistent in their readings. Not having to export/import data and switch between the tabs is also contributing towards minimising the admin work we’ve spoken about before. And, not to mention, software integrations can unlock new automation opportunities. 

Patience is Golden

All good things come to those who wait. Of course, in this case, you must put some effort too, not just rely on things falling in your lap. The point is - don’t get disheartened if your work is not paying off right away. However, don’t get overjoyed and dive head first into every promising opportunity either. But more on this below. 

We understand that you need a skilled IT magician yesterday. However, the urgency must not cloud your judgement. It’s also important to remember that even the top-tier specialist can not be fit for a task, or simply not right for your company based on their values, communication style or anything else. There is no shame in parting ways if things aren’t working out either. Hence, again, it’s better to work with contractors from this standpoint too.

Although the market is experiencing shortages of senior IT professionals, it’s not like there are none left at all. It’s best to spend some time exploring your options than simply setting down for the first opportunity that comes along. Invest time in getting to know each other through collaboration, communication and feedback as all three form a solid foundation for a long-term relationship. The reality is that the more you work with a contractor, the better will your understanding of each other’s needs and limitations be, ultimately leading to better task execution and better results moving forward.


The lack of senior industry experts in the IT industry is a big issue for companies trying to get one on board. Simply put, while there are many younger specialists, the senior workforce is at retirement age. This forms an experience gap. The best way to address this is to start working with contractors as it will expand your talent pool.

However, even then you must ensure that what you offer to your potential IT workers is top of the game, or they will be snatched from under your nose. We recommend going down the automation route. It will take the unnecessary tasks out of their day, make your company look more credible, and will certainly aid other areas of your business. It is also important to remember that despite the urgency, you should continue heeding your needs and not hire someone who isn’t 100% fit for the job. Time is an investment as valuable as money - and so it pays off.

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