João Nunes
Managing Director-Head of Strategic Markets Latam
PageGroup
/
Expert Contributor

Jumping Into the Digital Era: How to Attract Tech Talent

By João Nunes | Tue, 03/15/2022 - 15:00

The labor market faces a paradox. Young college graduates are struggling to find a job but companies are also struggling to cover available positions.

Currently, 48 percent of companies in Latin America are experiencing this talent shortage, especially when recruiting profiles with digital skills or professionals specialized in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, also known as STEM careers.

What is interesting, and certainly represents a challenge, is that this demand for profiles is not a curve but rather an ascendent line. In 2025, 3.5 million professionals specialized in STEM will be required in the region.

In addition, by 2030, 80 percent of the jobs we know now will be eliminated by careers in areas such as software engineering, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering and mechatronic engineering, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Nowadays, the average percentage of STEM graduates in OECD countries is 25 percent. Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia have the highest averages in Latin America with values ​​above 30 percent. However, the number of STEM graduates versus employability potential and the current tech workforce highlights the need for more graduates in this sector.

If we consider that this year, 40 percent of the GDP in Latin America will be digital, investments in STEM education should be a priority. An injection of capital is needed if we want to help the technology industry to prosper, as well as for human resources to achieve the objectives of productivity and global competitiveness.

Another relevant topic is the retention of the best talent. Latin America is increasingly positioning itself as an important hub for the development of tech talent. Mexico’s situation is special, due to its proximity to the US and the growth in demand for talent in that market.

Now, it is known that salary is a decisive factor to accept or keep a job, but nonmonetary benefits are becoming increasingly important. Technology profiles are no exception.

Unlike more operational or manufacturing careers, STEM professionals prefer remote work because their functions allow it. They also demand work flexibility, a balance of personal and professional life, as well as development opportunities.

The “IT Talent: STEM Competitiveness in Latin America” report by PageGroup, mentions that in the region, 87 percent of IT industries are working over 80 percent in a remote work scheme. As the pandemic subsides, the hybrid model will become much more common.

Our report reveals that most executives still expect that their employees could spend some time at the office, which could be between one to four days a week.

However, it is important that before making business decisions, companies consider the motivations of employees so that management and human resources strategies can be more aligned with the purpose of the employee within the company. That’s the only way they can be able to retain these talents that are scarce in the market today.

5 Steps to Attract Tech Talent

Create an interesting brand. Tech talent looks for a different employer brand than that of collaborators from companies in other sectors, since they have a different profile. Therefore, companies must strengthen their employee value proposition (EVP).

Flexwork methodology. Digital talent does not want to return to the office. They are willing to decline a job offer if it does not include a flexible work policy or the opportunity to work remotely.

Differentiation as an employer. What can they offer that is different from other companies? Technological talent seeks a differentiating value, as well as a company that, above all, takes care of its talent, both with monetary and emotional salaries.

Talent retention and career path development. The employing company must have a different salary table and offer an interesting career plan, since this talent does not want a permanent contract. For example, in Europe, many professionals prefer to work only a few months a year and under a temporary contract.

Flexibility and constant motivation. If a company has a hard time attracting these specialized profiles, it has an even harder time retaining them. That is why it is vital that employers always listen to the needs and interests of employees to know how to maintain their motivation and commitment to the organization.

Given the different behavior in this sector, specialized recruitment companies like PageGroup have developed specific areas in flex and permanent hire, under Technology by PageGroup, to help companies in their search for tech talent.

Having the right talent is essential for the development of all companies in the new digital era. It is time to open our minds to the trends in the digital labor world and to adapt ourselves to the new concept of tech talent.

Photo by:   João Nunes