Cross Insights on Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategies in the Tech and IT Sector

An IT engineer working in a server room - Pearson TalentLens

With their experience in the Tech & IT sector, working at a digital services company (ESN) and then as a partner at a digital sector-focused headhunting firm for Estelle Calestroupat, currently a Work Psychologist and Key Account Consultant at Pearson TalentLens, and 5 years at Cisco, a globally renowned IT company, for Anna Ballerand, current HR Manager of Pearson France, they have agreed to share strategies to better attract, recruit, and retain employees in this sector.


7 Strategies to Better Attract, Recruit, and Retain Employees in the Tech & IT Sector

  • Strategy #1 - Highlighting Company Culture: Employer branding must align with the company's values and reality on the ground. "To attract Tech-IT talents, a company must assert its difference, its added value," asserts Estelle Calestroupat, supported by Anna Ballerand, for whom it is essential that the company clearly showcases its corporate culture, its DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) policy, and its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. Estelle Calestroupat also emphasizes the importance of developing a managerial culture aligned with the company's values and ensuring it is deployed at all levels of management.
  • Strategy #2 - Anticipating Future Needs: Being visionary and proactive. The tech and IT sector is continually evolving, HR leaders need to work alongside their business counterparts to proactively plan their talent needs in order help reduce skill shortages in the future and reduce the risk of increased pressures on current staff workloads while new roles wait to be filled.  Modelling future business models HR leaders can see in advance any need for training and development giving employees time and the valued investment to develop. 
  • Strategy #3 - Building Internal and External Networks: Creating a community of former employees and a pool of candidates for potential future employees. The value of networking both internally and external to the business cannot be overestimated. Former employees who have felt valued and invested in can be brand ambassadors for your organization and provide a much-needed route for recommendations. Consider networking events from graduate fairs to community groups. 
  • Strategy #4 - Improving Recruitment Processes: "Recruitment processes are often too lengthy and discourage many," laments Anna Ballerand. "Streamlining processes is necessary to increase efficiency and enhance the candidate experience," she recommends. The skills sought in candidates are also evolving. "It's no longer possible to recruit solely based on technical skills (hard skills)," explains Estelle Calestroupat. "Adaptability and learning ability, as well as the ability to analyze complex, multiple, or even contradictory data, having a broader perspective, as well as pedagogy, interpersonal skills, and teamwork, have become strong success criteria in Tech-IT professions. Values and commitment also play an essential role in the alignment between an employee and the company."
  • Strategy #5 - Investing in Training: To address the challenge of skill development, which is even faster in this sector than in other fields, it is important for companies to invest in employee training. "It involves supporting employees both in constantly evolving technical skills to ensure a solid foundation of expertise within the company and to meet the strong technical appetite of some employees (e.g., investing in certifications), and in the development of certain behavioral skills (especially for career advancements in project management, management, or sales)," specifies Estelle Calestroupat. Anna Ballerand gives the example of Cisco, which offers several training initiatives, including renowned technical certifications in the sector. Their "Graduate Program" (recent graduate program) that she herself implemented at the European level is another example, offering several days of training abroad for new recruits.
  • Strategy #6 - Offering Attractive Working Conditions: The Tech-IT sector is known for offering relatively high salaries to its employees. "There is a fierce battle among digital players to attract the best profiles," testifies Estelle Calestroupat. "This power struggle is reflected in salaries and benefits (company cars, bonuses, profit-sharing, installation bonuses for remote work, proposals for company stock options, etc.). "Competition is such that differentiation between various sector players involves offering additional benefits such as greater work flexibility or a recognition program," confirms Anna Ballerand. "In the technology sector, a culture of pure onsite work makes no sense," reminds Estelle Calestroupat. Flexibility in working hours and formats (remote work, hybrid, onsite) is essential.
  • Strategy #7 - Encouraging Career Development: Managing professional advancement. For Estelle Calestroupat, it is important "to support mobility within the company without confining employees to predefined career paths, provide visibility on advancement opportunities, and support mechanisms in place."


An 8th Strategy - Using Psychometric Tests

To better recruit talents in this sector, support their skill development, and career progression, HR professionals can use psychometric tests: personality and values inventories, intellectual aptitude tests, critical thinking assessment tests, as well as motivation and professional interest questionnaires.

They allow them to:

  • Identify individuals most suited to the position and the company's culture.
  • Predict job performance.
  • Reduce turnover rates by fostering better alignment between employees and their work environment.
  • Implement personalized development plans encouraging talent retention.
  • Improve engagement by creating a positive and productive work environment conducive to personal and professional growth.