The global pandemic has not been easy on anyone. We have developed an on again, off again relationship with lockdown measures, and companies and individuals alike have faced many challenges in the past year. The IT industry, however, found itself in a position where it can grow in the face of chaos as the transition to remote working put many companies in the spotlight to help ease these challenges.

On the other hand, the labour market was facing a whole new wave of trials, and terms like ‘the great resignation’ started becoming a boardroom topic.

Recruitment teams, especially those in the technology space, needed to reassess how they engage with their candidates and make sure that the opportunities they presented made it to the forefront of the minds of those with the skills required for the jobs at hand. 

In a time where we are bombarded with information through LinkedIn, newsletters, and emails, how do we stand out and create a lasting connection with candidates? Also, what are candidates looking for and what can we showcase when connecting with them? 

The Recruitment Challenge

Industries with talent shortages now more than ever need to recognise the value of creating brand awareness that supports their goals. Under this global pandemic, the tech industry has become more competitive than ever before. Where we were competing with local and direct competitors, we are now dealing with medium to large organisations operating remotely and offering improved compensation packages, plus improved tech stack. Job security, remote working, salary packages, and opportunities for growth are all high on candidate’s priority lists’ when job hunting. As competition increases globally, salary expectations are rising, turning what was once an employers market, into a fully fledged candidate driven market.

From an ER perspective, and being that we are sole tech function, we needed to improve and increase our outreach to multiple markets, by communicating our core values, incentives, vacancies, and opportunities for growth.

At KPMG, we had clear intentions, where we wanted to make sure that the industry was aware of the opportunities that KPMG may not be associated with and connect with highly specialised individuals in the Azure and .NET space. We did this by organising a worldwide hackathon that tackled problem statements using these technologies, offering our participants the chance to prove their skills and connect with us on a personal level.

In addition to the Hackathon, we partnered up with leading third-party suppliers who are market leaders and created internal incentives to help boost the current pipeline. With such growth on the agenda, the talent function at KPMG MBS is constantly finding new ways to enhance the current recruitment process, boost the current pipeline, and upheave transparency with stakeholders in order to ensure a quality candidate experience! 

Closing the gap between company and candidate

Connecting our internal technologists to the outside world, opened a new level of communication with potential future employees, that moved away from recruitment, but focused on the challenges we had presented to them as part of the hackathon. This of course, indirectly, spiked the interest of many of those who participated to consider KPMG as a technology employer of choice.

Along the way, we organised webinars in which we allowed participants to ask us any questions they had which also focused on what they really wanted to know. A recent study by Monster suggests, 58% of candidates feel their job search expectations have shifted during the pandemic, making safety a top priority – and therefore, candidates require a lot more courage and request further clarity when applying for roles than they needed in the past, since they feel a lot more is at stake. This personal connection with us did ease the minds of many candidates who applied after getting to know members of the team. 

It’s all about the love for technology

At the end of the hackathon, we connected on a one-to-one level, with those participants that had reached the end of the journey with us. 

Written by:

Aimee Cassar, Learning & Development Manager, Microsoft Business Solutions
Nicola Ebejer, Talent Acquisition Manager, Microsoft Business Solutions
Vibhor Agarwal, Head of Talent Acquisition, Microsoft Business Solutions