When the 190,000 people who participated in the 2021 Randstad Employer Brand Research were asked 'what is the most attractive sector to work in?', information and communications technology (ICT) came out on top.
ICT was also the most attractive sector in 2020. However, the employee value proposition (EVP) factors that respondents found appealing about the ICT sector have changed.
What’s changed since then is the attribute respondents now find most appealing about ICT. Last year, the most attractive factor of the ICT industry was the use of the latest technology. However, this year's appeal of ICT shifted to financial health, which reflects the attractiveness of businesses and sectors that are resilient when so many have struggled during the pandemic.
ICT has been one of the standout performers over the past year, and looks set to go from strength to strength as the changes in how we live and work fuel soaring demand for better and newer technology.
The appeal of the tech industry is good news for recruitment in the long-term. However, for now, talent demands continue to outstrip supply.
Globally, engineering is some way behind ICT in terms of industry attractiveness. There are considerably more job vacancies than available talent within engineering, especially where the boundaries between the two sectors blur, such as robotics and artificial intelligence.
4 strategies to attract and engage ICT and engineering talent
What then marks out the ideal employer? Salary is obviously critical. However, it’s clear from the Randstad Employer Brand Research that money isn’t enough to secure the talent you need to succeed on its own.
From the ICT and engineering findings and our collaboration with various IT companies, there are four actionable priorities HR leaders can start on to attract and engage ICT and engineering talent.
1. strengthen work-life balance
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred employees to think about what really matters to them. The importance of work-life balance has risen markedly as a result. Among ICT managers, this is the number one reason for choosing an employer. Professionals and associates working in tech and engineering industries ranked ‘work-life balance’ after ‘attractive salary and benefits’.
Work-life balance is more than flexible working. Forward-looking businesses are giving staff greater autonomy over how they achieve their objectives. It’s also important to ensure that leaders set an example by embracing this new type of work. Otherwise, employees may feel that it could harm their chances of promotion or being assigned to business-critical projects.
2. support your workforce well-being
The findings highlight the extent to which allegiance to employers depends on how supported employees have felt during the pandemic.
Encouragingly, most ICT and engineering organisations would appear to have got this right – 70% of employees in these sectors now feel more loyal to their employers as a result of the support they’ve received during the pandemic.
The disruption and isolation of working from home have put intense pressure on many employees. Now, many are grappling with the shift to hybrid, remote and on-site work. This underlines the importance of engagement, support for well-being and a readiness to respond to concerns.
3. help your people further their careers
Career progression is more important to people in ICT and engineering than the other professions in our research.
The continual need to update skills and seek fresh experiences reflects the pace of innovation and change within the sector. The best ICT and engineering talent have an insatiable appetite for fresh challenges and making their mark. Smart businesses are consciously building these career development opportunities into a compelling employee value proposition.
4. reinforce your purpose
The findings suggest that people working in ICT and engineering mainly focus on aspects of their job that have a direct personal impact on them such as pay or work-life balance. Factors such as diversity and inclusion, sustainability and giving back to society are lower down their list of priorities when choosing an employer.
But this doesn’t mean that the latter factors aren’t important to talent management. In a clear example, attracting more women to work for ICT and engineering companies is critical in expanding the talent pool, addressing skills shortages and bringing fresh ideas. Focussing on your company’s impact on the climate and environment and giving back to society can also bolster your corporate and employer brand reputation, which our research highlighted is important to ICT and engineering talent.
download the full copy of the 2021 global ICT & engineering professionals report
Find out more about what ICT & engineering talent wants and how to attract the best ICT talent and engineers.
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Finding well-equipped ICT talent and engineers in an ultra-competitive market can be challenging. Connect with our recruitment consultants and let us know how we can help you drive your future workforce.