How to Attract Top Talent During the September Surge

As companies slowly begin to ramp back up after the summer slowdown, September and October have fast become the busiest time of the year for hiring. The final quarter is rapidly approaching, and many businesses are scrambling to utilize their remaining annual budgets to find top talent in the market for the final push of the year.

With tech unemployment hitting 1.8 per cent in the US during August, and businesses struggling to find specialists in key areas such as cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), employers need to work hard to fill vacancies and build strong teams. For those looking for top candidates during the hiring frenzy, the pressure is on to stand out as a top employer in such a competitive landscape.

Our most recent Data & AI Salary Guide has given us a strong insight into the market, including a sense of candidate sentiment in the data space and what they value most when looking for a new role. So, we want to give you the inside scoop of how to get ahead of the surge.

Is your salary competitive?

Companies should see salaries as an investment rather than an expense. The salary you pay to your employees needs to be comparable to the market, for example – it should match the standard being offered by companies in a similar industry or geographical area to be deemed attractive by a potential candidate.

Last year saw salaries rise to an unrealistic level which led to mass redundancies, so the goal is to offer an attractive salary without going overboard. Our salary guide found that 26 per cent of candidates rated uncompetitive salaries as the top reason for leaving a job and 21 per cent were seeking a salary increase. Talented employees know their worth and they will only buy into a company if they feel the salary matches the skills and value they will add to the organization. Salaries not only attract talent, but they act as a retention tool whilst keeping teams motivated to achieve their goals. Research shows companies who increase their base pay by 10 per cent will make workers stay at the company for longer.

That said, it’s not always easy to know what a competitive salary offering looks like. That’s why this year we are offering free personalized salary insights reports that businesses can download to inform their hiring strategy, help with benchmarking and ensure they are hiring in line with industry trends.

Offering hybrid and remote working

In 2022, remote work accounted for over a quarter of paid full-time workdays in the United States. Flexible working arrangements have become a non-negotiable benefit for many candidates, with advantages such as a reduced commute, better work-life balance and even increased productivity, are not going to be easily given up.

According to a Buffer study as cited in Forbes, 98% of workers would like to work from home at least some of the time, confirming that it’s a benefit that cannot be skirted over if employers hope to attract top quality applicants. Hybrid working arrangements also open the door to a wider pool of talent outside of core cities, as many commutes become more manageable when only required for a few days a week.

Ensure your benefits are meeting demand

Benefits can be a deal breaker for employees and with some companies offering gym memberships, private healthcare, wellness programs, flexible hours and financial incentives, it’s crucial to include them in your employee packages. In fact, 69 per cent of employees would choose one job over another if it offered better benefits. Clearly, non-financial benefits have the potential to be the deciding factor that sways an individual to consider your company.

The key benefits highlighted by candidates in our most recent salary guide were remote working, closely followed by bonuses and health insurance, which gives organizations an idea of where to start.

Collaborate with recruitment agencies

Partnering with reputable recruitment agencies that specialize in your industry could be a way to cut through the noise and access a larger talent pool. Agencies not only benefit the organization in terms of time and resource savings, but they give an extra layer of expertise in finding a suitable match for the role. Data recruiters know the industry inside out and their experience flags any warning signs of a costly error, so you can be confident of a high-quality hire.

Finding talented individuals that can form strong teams is no mean feat, but there are tried and tested strategies to weave into your recruitment process that can help. In the meantime, Harnham can help with your hiring needs, our consultants understand the challenges faced by business leaders as they look for quality talent to fulfil crucial data roles –and have a comprehensive view of the jobs market landscape – get in touch today.

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