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Why it’s hard to find talent (and how to solve it)

Written by Penny van Puymbroeck on 27 May 2020 for Clients

According to Agoria, there are currently over 16.000 open vacancies in tech (in Belgium alone). By 2030, this shortage will have increased to 584,000. The highest vacancy rate in Belgium (Q2, 2019) is in ICT with 6.97%, which means that seven out of every hundred jobs are vacant. And with only a limited number of yearly graduates with a tech related background, it’s safe to say that tech talent isn’t growing on trees.

But why exactly is it so hard to find talent and how can we tackle this?

  1. Lack of available candidates
  2. Stiff competition
  3. Lack of experience
  4. Insufficiently attractive salaries
  5. The generation gap

5 reasons why it’s hard to find talent

#1 Lack of available candidates

Over half of all organizations worldwide lack the volume of candidates to eventually make a hire (source: SHRM). So making sure your online job posting gets enough views is crucial. But it doesn’t have to stop there.

At Exellys we use more traditional channels like job fairs and a specific jobsite, but we also installed a referral program for our own employees, regularly organize workshops and guest lectures for students, facilitate internships and theses and keep investing in our employer brand through continuous online marketing initiatives.

Combining all these techniques allows us to screen over 1.500 Belgian tech graduates every year (of which we only hire the top 8%).

#2 Stiff competition

As we already mentioned, tech talent isn’t growing on trees. This makes the competition between organizations, who are all fishing in the same talent pool, even fiercer. Although this might tempt certain companies to use even more aggressive recruitment tactics, we are firm believers in the long-term benefits of a highly personal and swift approach.

Optimizing your selection procedure in order to make it as efficient as possible (without compromising on quality) might be a good place to start.

#3 Lack of experience

This is definitely one of the most common reasons why it’s hard to find talent. The candidate ticks all the boxes but he or she lacks the amount of work experience you’re looking for. We say: ‘hire for attitude, train for skill’. Someone who is properly accompanied will more quickly build up the experience that is needed in order to become cost-effective.

But most companies aren’t set up to do that themselves. Many HR departments are primarily occupied with administration and with attracting talent, and too little with developing and integrating that talent once it’s in house. Some even find investing in talent a waste of time, because young people are supposedly job hoppers (something that doesn’t really appear to be the case…).

In this way, unfortunately, the ‘gap’ between graduates and companies remains far too wide.

How to build a great(er) team

#4 Insufficiently attractive salaries

According to a recent survey by Manpower Group, 10% of organizations in Belgium indicate that they cannot offer the salary to attract the right talent. But our experience is that, and especially with starters, remuneration is virtually never the number one consideration. Of course money counts. But at least as important are:

That being said, at Exellys we base our pay packages on the largest annual survey in the tech industry. So we can be certain that they’re correct.

#5 The generation gap

For the first time in history, four generations of employees can be found around the meeting table. As each generation has its own preferred communication stylesfostering inter-generational collaboration has become a pressing challenge for employers who want to onboard and integrate tech talent. The stakes are high; miscommunication and frustration can lead to lower productivity and even conflict. But for managers who succeed, the rewards are great.

If you want to attract (and retain) top tech talent, keeping these four pointers in the back of your mind is definitely a good start:

  • Avoid stereotyping
  • Open communication and transparency
  • Mentoring is key
  • Create a company culture of mutual respect

We wrote a separate blogpost on this topic so if you want to learn how to bridge the generation gap in your workplace that is definitely a good start as soon as you’ve finished this!

Bridging the generation gap in your workplace - social share image

Conclusion

As we illustrated, attracting highly skilled tech talent is not always easy but hiring them is just the beginning. It’s a rough and rugged road from signing a graduate or young professional to developing a highly professional and inspiring future-fit digital leader.

Exellys can help you bridge this gap, so why not get in touch with us today and find out how we can help.

About Exellys

Exellys is a Tech Talent Incubator.

We bring tech talent into the daily operations of the organization of our customers and grow them for the innovations of tomorrow.

From the 1.500 tech talents we speak to annually, we select the top 8%. We intensively train and coach them on the right skills and competences. Our (scientifically based) training programs (Start Smart, Grow Smart & Lead Smart) accelerate the growth of our talents, and therefore also the growth of our customers.

We “unburden” our customers when looking for and retaining tech talent. We are committed to getting the best out of talent, while our customers can continue to focus on their core business.

We do this for clients who want to strengthen their team permanently, as well as those who are looking for a flexible, project-driven solution.

Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help.

Written by Penny van Puymbroeck Business Development Manager