9 May 2023

How to Attract and Retain Tech Talent in 2023

With motivation and productivity at an all-time low, what can businesses do to retain their current tech talent, as well as stand out in the sea of talented candidates?

2022 was a tough year for tech employees with mass lay-offs occurring across FAANG organisations, who have historically had their pick of the market. However, while the market for tech talent is more abundant than in recent years, the aftermath of the pandemic has delivered the phenomenon of ‘quiet quitting’, driving engagement and productivity down as a result, and expectations of employers to deliver exceptional experiences focused on wellbeing and growth are higher than ever.

With motivation and productivity at an all-time low, what can businesses do to retain their current tech talent, as well as stand out in the sea of talented candidates?

Start out simple and find out what your tech employees care about.

There’s no shortage of insights and recommendations online about what tech employees care about most right now, but in reality, cultural norms and expectations are driven by the business and the experiences they have at work. The quickest and easiest way to bring some intentional focus to the experiences tech employees have at work, is to ask them and to listen with empathy.

This doesn’t need to be a survey. In fact, gathering insights through conversation brings an added bonus of building connection and support. Being available to talk and listen are key to bringing employee’s engagement back from the brink of ‘quiet quitting’.

Bring focus to purpose and impact

One of the easiest ways for tech employees to slide into inertia is by missing the connection to the impact they make on the world around them. For tech employees, who rarely directly interact with their end-user, the impact of their work may go unseen and become an abstract concept. From management to leadership, helping employees find and bring meaning to the value they add unlocks a new level of engagement and happiness that is hard to ignore.

Make career progression meaningful, and use it to drive behaviours

This doesn’t just apply to tech employees. Giving employees the tools they need to visualise a future with their employer should be on everyone’s ‘must-do’ list in 2023, and making growth opportunities accessible is one of the best places to start. Most tech teams jumped on the career framework bandwagon a few years ago, which brought a new level of transparency and clarity to how tech employees levelled up their skillset. But one key ingredient that is commonly missing is a mechanism for calling out and measuring the right behaviours and attitudes of a successful person at the organisation.

Shine a light on your current talent

Recognise the talent you currently have and do it often. Tech employees are susceptible to feeling invisible, no matter the size of the organisation, as their function brings with it complexities that others don’t always understand. Shine a spotlight on the talented individuals who build and maintain the core parts of the business, align the recognition to their impact as well as the key behaviours you expect.

 Up your employer brand game and be crystal clear on your job specs

 Recent data is already showing a shift in how tech employees look for new roles in 2023. They’re looking for key information (to be readily available before they apply) on salaries, flexibility with working locations, and growth opportunities to name a few. In addition, you’re just one in a sea of thousands of employers who are hoping to bag this talent. Your employer brand should be able to cut through the noise and showcase why you’re the employer of choice.

 For more information please contact Blair Meyler, Head of Growth, blair.meyler@mccannsynergy.com

Kristin Hefferon, Senior Strategist

Our people unleashing the power of your people

Kristin is passionate about helping businesses accelerate their objectives through an exceptional employee experience, where people can find meaning and purpose in their work, can deliver an incredible CX, and bring their full selves to work.


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