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How to attract and retain the best cloud talent in 2023?

Nowadays, writing code to enable cloud-based portals and applications isn’t reserved for software companies. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, tech-savvy businesses are building their teams of software engineers and cloud architects to generate custom software and products to remove reliance on third-party vendors.

With more than $1 trillion of new value at stake in the cloud (McKinsey), businesses struggle to capture those benefits as they don’t have the right talent in place. A 2021 McKinsey survey cited a lack of cloud talent and capabilities as one of the biggest challenges CIOs face.

In 2020, there was a 94% increase in cloud vacancy rates from 2017, according to research firm Lightcast. In 2023, cloud talent remains in demand, so how do you retain and maintain these skilled workers? In today’s IT recruitment market, salaries, and benefits are one way clients can attract the best candidates. But when it comes to specialist cloud talent, it isn’t as simple as offering a good salary. As there are plenty of cloud opportunities available for skilled cloud engineers, architects, and consultants, employer branding comes into play. A survey by Wonderful Workplaces showed more than 90% of candidates consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs.

Strong employer brand
LinkedIn's findings show that companies with a strong employer brand enjoy a 50% reduction in cost per hire. A cloud computing candidate may google: "Top cloud computing firms to work for in 2023." HR teams need to keep an eye on Glassdoor to see what employees are saying. There needs to be a strategy to address negative reviews and create a positive image.

Passive cloud candidates
Passive candidates are an untapped resource of good-quality potential employees. While it is easier to attract active candidates than those out of work, a sourcing strategy that includes techniques to attract passive candidates will be effective.

Although passive candidates aren’t job hunting, they’re not unresponsive to hearing about new opportunities. In skill-short markets, employers need to attract and convert passive candidates to fill positions and meet skills shortages. One huge benefit is that they are only interviewing with you. The time you spend screening them is more likely to result in a hire than a candidate interviewing with multiple organisations.

Clear job descriptions
Adding unnecessary details to your job descriptions narrow down your candidate pool and prolongs your hiring. A well-written description increases applications. Avoid listing tasks and include benefits. Review job specs to ensure that you are inclusive and attract suitable candidates. Gender Decoder is a free app to check for gender-coded words.

No more waiting game
Don’t make the mistake of leaving cloud candidates waiting for interviews or job offers. They may accept other offers, forcing you to restart your search. Ensure you stay in touch with candidates throughout the hiring process. Working with a partner like NU Concept Solutions can help.

Employee salary and benefits
Be flexible in your salary budgets. Having a strong salary and benefits package is essential when attracting cloud talent. Offer benefits that promote an active, healthy lifestyle and wellbeing, so flexible, hybrid, or remote work often works well when attracting cloud candidates.

Competitor intel
To benchmark your cloud salaries and employee benefits you need to understand the market. For cloud salary research, look at sites including:

  • JobServe
  • LinkedIn
  • TotalJobs
  • CWJobs
  • Glassdoor
  • IT Jobs Watch

These will give you a good idea of what cloud candidates are earning. This exercise will enable you to have a better idea of how much it should cost you to attract the level of talent you need. And as we work within the cloud market, we can provide you with salary information.

Retaining your cloud-based talent
The first 90 days are critical to turning a new starter into a productive employee. Provide your new cloud hires with the tools and introductions they need to hit the ground running. If onboarding takes place remotely, additional support should be provided.

To keep top talent from leaving, focus on what motivates them. Analysis from McKinsey shows that their biggest motivators are:

  • compensation and benefits
  • access to cutting-edge tech
  • opportunities for professional development
  • company culture
  • flexible working

If you’re seeing cloud specialists leave, figuring out why is crucial. An exit interview (EI) provides a learning opportunity for the company to better understand how to improve the employee experience.

How to stay ahead
Cloud recruitment is competitive; the longer you take to find the right people, the more time and money you’ll end up spending. Without cloud talent, the value that the cloud offers is unattainable. To win the war for cloud talent, organisations need to understand what they need to offer and have a culture where that talent can thrive. NU Concept Solutions are committed to helping busy hiring managers grow their cloud teams while enabling candidates to boost their careers.

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