18 September 2019
Tech companies can maintain their competitiveness by acquiring and retaining top talent. Photo: Bloomberg
Tech companies can maintain their competitiveness by acquiring and retaining top talent. Photo: Bloomberg

How to win the battle for talent in a tech-driven job market

Technology is increasingly embedded in our daily life, which means we play an ever growing role in its evolution.

From skyrocketing smartphone penetration to the increasing use of cloud computing, the information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) industry in Hong Kong is undoubtedly undergoing a major change.

IT development in Hong Kong is fueled by the government’s Innovation and Technology Fund, estimated to hit HK$881 million (US$113.65 million) this year.

It will finance projects to drive innovation and technology upgrades across a range of eligible start-ups and joint ventures.

IT&T organizations looking to strengthen their workforce in their growth phase seek a greater blend of technical, problem-solving and soft skills from their teams and demand more sophisticated leaders critical to their long-term competitiveness.

Randstad’s World of Work Report has found that 45 percent of business leaders think developing leadership skills for the next phase of growth is their biggest productivity challenge.

Employers need to recognize that simply offering high salaries is not enough to win over top talent from competitors.

They need to be armed with a strong employer brand to position their organization as a workplace of choice.

A strong employer brand will not only foster loyalty from their top performers but also attract and retain the best talent for the next phase of growth.

To develop an effective brand message, employers and human resources managers first need to define their talent markets and know what drives them.

Leaders who recognize the different motivations of their employees are better equipped to develop their talent attraction and retention strategies accordingly.

For example, employers who understand that Generation Y employees are often attracted to companies that offer excellent training opportunities and clear career progression will stand out from the competition, particularly in an industry such as IT&T where keeping up-to-date with technology is vital for career development.

This is supported by Randstad’s World of Work research which shows that two-thirds of employees will leave due to poor opportunities for growth and advancement.

High salaries — a common tactic to attract and retain talent — will be no match to the desire for flexibility, learning and development among talented professionals who will move on if their needs are not being met.

Also, a business that promotes work-life balance by providing flexible working arrangements will attract different groups of employees such as working mothers and part-timers.

These groups have different priorities.

Creating a brand that meets those priorities can open up a new pool of talent in a tight employment market.

It is essential that leaders in the industry equip their organisations with a strong employer brand that speak to the needs of different employee groups.

This will give the company a competitive advantage, enabling it to come out on top in the war for talent.

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Associate director, Information Technology & Telecommunications, Randstad Hong Kong