Hiring in most tech and digital industries is candidate-led, meaning there are more vacancies than suitable candidates. According to LinkedIn only 11% of talent professionals and hiring managers surveyed recently said they were proactive about hiring in-demand talent—while nearly half (48%) were more reactive, only looking to hire once their need was urgent. These reactive companies were far more likely to lower standards and increase compensation when struggling to hire.

At Expand, we’ve been helping companies solve these challenges for 20 years. We’ve got some tips to help you compete, avoid poor hiring decisions or inflate your salary bill.

1.Why is your company an awesome place to work?
To attract top talent, you need to be able to clearly articulate why your company is a great place to work. A table tennis table may appeal to a certain demographic, but today’s candidate is discerning. More engaging will be a well-defined purpose, your market leading product, an insight to your culture, a comprehensive learning and development programmes, career opportunities, a well-designed office, great benefits. Whatever you offer, be ready to pitch it!

2.Benchmark remuneration and package
If you’re hiring for sought-after talent, remember you’ll have to pay them what they’re worth. Benchmark salaries to ensure your budget is aligned with the market. Consider what benefits (bonus, equity, leave, home working etc) you could offer to make the overall package attractive. Consider job share, remote working, part time contracts to increase attraction.

3.Target niche candidates
When hiring in a niche market, you need to be strategic. Constantly engage with prospective candidates through social media, networking and industry events to pipeline talent. Use a data-driven approach: which attributes have succeeded in the past? Headhunters can speed up the process significantly, but make sure they know your niche.

4.Widen your talent pool
Are there backgrounds you may not have considered for the role, but would add value to the team? Remember, a diverse workforce is good for business. Think about how you can make your workplace attractive for under-represented groups like women, minorities or LGBT. We love the work of Simon Fanshawe OBE, Simon’s approach to recruiting is powerful in widening a talent pool and eliminating bias as a double win.

5.Curate an interview process that mimics requirements of the job
By broadening your candidate pool (by exploring transferable skills) you will need to redesign the selection process to test the attributes and day to day skills required in the role, for example through role play or technical exercises. Team and cultural fit is equally important too: get your team to help interview candidates and act as your advocates.

6.Ensure a great candidate experience
Remember prospective candidates are interviewing you too, so be sure to sell the role, team and business. In a specialist market, you need to ensure everyone comes away with a great impression of your company: if they do, it’s free marketing, if they don’t, it’s an easy way to make hiring even harder. Don’t keep people waiting, give feedback, and agree to stay in touch.

Start preparing hiring plans for 2019 now. Use all available data to inform your strategy. Expand are experts in helping companies hire the best people in specialist international markets. If your data set is limited, your selection process needs review or you are struggling to build a pipeline, talk to us to see how we can help you achieve your hiring goals.