A talent shortage is sweeping the IT industry, and it’s placing employers at a crossroads: do things the way they’ve always been done and hope that the old ways win out, or embrace a new way of working in a bid for the sector’s very best IT talent.

Since the pandemic, professionals with the power to work remotely have questioned why they would ever consider returning to life as a full-time commuter.

But where does that leave employers? And most particularly, those who may be slower to adapt to the unprecedented levels of change?

work/life balance proves key to IT talent attraction

It’s a tough time for IT employers. There’s no industry standard governing a return to the office versus remote working, so it can be difficult for employers to determine the best course of action. But one thing is clear: the pandemic has made people reassess, reprioritize, and reclaim control of their (working) lives.

Workplace flexibility is one of the biggest draws for any job seeker in today’s market, and for many, the deciding factor when it comes to accepting a job offer.

Randstad’s 2022 employer brand research report has shown that the promise of a good work/life balance is the chief consideration for 56 percent of people when choosing an employer – but IT employers take note: this figure rises to 62 percent for those in the IT and engineering industry.

The message then is clear: if you want to win in the war for IT talent and successfully compete in today’s evolving job market, it’s crucial you embrace flexibility and show your commitment to a healthy work/life balance for your teams.

This could be through a willingness to allow people to work remotely for a good portion of the week, or it could be a consideration around flexible hours. It will be up to employers to assess their own operations and determine the best course of action for their situation, and that of their employees. But you must assess, otherwise you’re unlikely to beat your competitors for top talent.

today’s job seekers call the shots

One of the most notable transitions during the past couple of years has been the willingness of workers to put themselves, and their needs, first.

The Great Resignation has clearly demonstrated that people are no longer willing to remain in a position that doesn’t meet their personal and professional needs. In fact, almost a quarter of people changed employers in the second half of 2021.

Gen Z and millennials with the most in-demand skills – such as tech, digital and AI – now dominate today’s talent pools, and place a much higher priority on flexibility, work/life balance, and personal well being than previous generations. Recruiting and retaining employees will call for a degree of open mindedness from their would-be employers.

If that’s not something you’re willing or able to offer, it might be time to consider other solutions given the fight for talent facing the IT industry.

Most professionals expect remote, flexible or hybrid working as standard, and supply is dwindling. It’s therefore concerning to see that on-site requirements have increased across the IT industry of late.

Few people want to be permanently site-based in our new normal. The issue this creates for employers is that if site-based support is crucial to your business, permanent IT hires may be particularly challenging to recruit.

adapting to a new era of IT recruitment

For the IT employers of today, a thorough understanding of what you can offer – and what you actually need – will be important when it comes to planning the future of staffing for your organization. If you’re able to keep an open mind and listen to the demands of the professionals you’re interested in recruiting, you stand a good chance of getting them on board.

This sense of open-minded flexibility is just as important in your approach to your workforce at large: as we’ve seen from this year’s employer brand report, people expect their careers to complement their lives outside of work – and that means hybrid working at the very least.

If that’s not something you’re in a position to support, it’s likely that an alternative staffing solution will be your best course of action for successfully filling any skills gaps, and helping to steer your company through the years ahead.

Finding the right solutions to your workforce challenges, whether it is your recruiting or workforce solutions, Randstad can help.

With access to the IT industry’s top professionals, and a unique understanding of their wants and needs, we can help you to navigate today’s unpredictable jobs market. And if permanent IT hires seem out of reach, we have a whole body of staffing solutions to guide you through.

Get in touch to see how we can help.