We find that despite their growing success, international software vendors often face a serious struggle to find the right local talent for their business. This is not just in London, but across the UK and Europe.
The sheer complexity of the UK and EMEA software talent marketplace can be confusing. It is a rapidly evolving, fragmented labour market where the pace of change is relentless.
This can make connecting with the right candidates challenging. In our experience you need to be creative. Think outside the box and explore some of the less obvious avenues of recruitment to find candidates with in-demand skills. Personal networks remain a powerful tool and are invaluable in sourcing the right skilled software professionals.
Another challenge in this market where demand for certain skillsets is fierce, is winning over talent once you’ve found them. Losing a quality candidate at offer stage to a competitor is not only frustrating but impacts negatively on productivity.
Here are our suggestions to overcome these hiring challenges:
Need for speed. Given that an increasing number of international software businesses are recruiting across the UK and Europe, and talent often has the upper hand in the process. Candidates with in-demand software skills can have multiple roles in the offing. With this in mind a drawn out recruitment process involving multiple interviews (7 is our current record) is a sure fire way to lose candidates to organisations who can move to the offer stage more quickly.
Selling the position. Hiring managers need to be clear on what the position offers a new recruit. Regurgitating the same old, ‘We’re a great company with great benefits and a dynamic culture, etc…” is not sufficient. Describe in detail what you have to offer a new recruit. We find when you are clear on what you have to offer prospective employees, new hires are more likely to give your company serious consideration.
Flexibility with travel requirements. With the UK being a central hub for vendors when developing the EMEA region, the need for extensive travel as part of the role is considered a standard by many software companies. From a candidate perspective this is becoming more and more of an issue, as many prefer to be able to get home as opposed living out of a suitcase. Whilst travel is inevitable with a regional role, vendors need to take this into consideration when trying to attract talent to the business.
Bonding with new hire. This is important during the recruitment process as a personal connection / synergy with the hiring manager can help cement their interest in the role. This starts with the first phone screen. Don’t make the mistake of simply focusing on your organisation’s needs; instead find out the goals and aspirations of your potential new recruit.
Notice period / availability. Likewise, as employers look to secure longer notice periods for their staff in order to ensure a sufficient replacement time and handover period, or to put off potential new employers from hiring their staff. It is important to take this into consideration when planning your recruitment, it could be 3 months before someone can start a new role after they have accepted the position.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article call the UK and EMEA recruitment experts at Harvey Thomas on +44 1908 307474 or contact us.