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How Small Gains Can Bolster Your Tech Recruitment

Countless companies throughout the UK and abroad rely on tech talent, but over the last few years trends have indicated that there is a dearth of qualified candidates available for these types of roles.

The latest BCS State of the Nation report revealed that there were more than 64,000 UK tech job vacancies in the third quarter of 2021 – an increase of nearly 200% from the previous year – suggesting that while companies are increasingly reliant on this brand of employee, they are also finding it difficult to fill these positions. Why is that? And what can companies do to alleviate these issues?

Tech Recruitment Solutions

With 70% of the tech industry suffering from skill shortages, it’s easy for organisations to admit defeat when faced with these alarming numbers, but there are steps you can take to improve your situation.

You are probably looking for a quick-fix solution, a drastic improvement that will solve your tech talent shortage in an instant. As you might have guessed, such solutions are unrealistic. Instead, you should aim to take measured, incremental steps towards a healthier situation. So, what do you need to do?

Sir Dave Brailsford – renowned performance director of British Cycling – has spoken at length about the theory of marginal gains. The idea is that by making small improvements in a variety of areas, the collective benefits would be significant. In case you are not aware, British Cycling has been extraordinarily successful under the guidance of Brailsford, lending real credence to the concept of marginal gains.

You can use these same principles to drastically improve your tech recruitment efficacy.

The Tough Tech Job Market

One of the reasons that making micro-gains is the prudent strategy in tech recruitment is the current state of the job market. Research from analysts and anecdotal evidence from employers indicate these are a few of the most challenging problems for tech recruitment right now:

  • Lack of tech talent compared with demand.
  • Absence of training schemes for entry-level employees.
  • Increase in recruitment costs and compensation levels.

Competition is fierce. Getting noticed by candidates to start the recruitment process is challenging enough, an actual acceptance of an offer is even harder. To get the optimal results, organisations should take a holistic approach to improve not just the job conditions they are offering, but the recruitment process as well. Major changes and improvements across the board might seem improbable, but the use of marginal gains is effective and highly likely to prove transformative for your company.

How to Use Marginal Gains for Major Improvements

A cumulative improvement to your tech recruitment outcomes is a real possibility when you take measured steps, examining every aspect of the recruitment process.

Get inspired with these examples of strategies that you might employ moving forward:

1.     Lightning-quick CV Feedback

Candidates are often dealing with several recruitment processes at once. Each recruiter will be doing everything


possible to move the candidate closer towards an offer acceptance. By delaying a response to their application, you risk losing the candidate to another organisation.

In general, candidate feedback should be delivered within 24 – 48 hours of their initial application. If you advance the process in this way, candidates will feel encouraged to continue to an interview and beyond.

2.     Expedited Interview Processes

Continuing the theme of speed, if you take too long deciding between whether to progress candidates or hire them altogether, you’re likely to miss out.

The initial stage of your recruitment process should be to weed out ineligible candidates. At this point, it’s best to avoid extensive interview processes, which are a major turn off for candidates.

Remember, you are constantly competing with others for the best candidates. If you don’t act decisively by offering them a position, then somebody else will.

3.     Treat Candidates with Respect

Recruitment is often a stressful business that can test tempers, but it’s important to always put on your best face when dealing with candidates.

Grilling candidates or trying to trick them into answering incorrectly will sour their impression of you. For a suitable candidate, this could be what makes them choose a different company. Just because a candidate isn’t a good fit right now, it doesn’t mean they never will be.


Tech recruitment is a relatively small industry, and negative stories about your company’s recruitment could tarnish your reputation, causing irrevocable damage to your hiring activities. Conversely, a positive, pleasant interview process – even when it doesn’t end in an accepted offer – could help you in the future.

4.     Devote Time to Your Recruitment Partner and be selective who you work with

If you want the best results from your hiring process, you need to give your recruitment partner the necessary tools. Deliver as much information as possible about role requirements, including mandatory experience, immediate duties, and other key points.

The more time you can give to your recruitment partner, the better the results they’ll produce.  Also consider who and why you are working with an agency.  What experience do they have?   Are they able to provide testimonials of their work?

5.     Create Attractive Packages

More than ever before – and accelerated because of the pandemic – candidates are expecting compensation that extends


beyond a salary. Bonuses, healthcare coverage, generous annual leave, volunteering days, dental coverage, and hybrid working are just a few examples of what you might offer candidates to sweeten the deal.

Many candidates nowadays expect to have the choice to work remotely. Offering either entirely remote roles, or roles that are predominantly remote, will help you attain better candidates. If you are not yet offering the possibility of remote working, consider the reasons for this and examine whether it’s something you can accommodate.

These adjustments and additions vastly improve the attractiveness of your offer and at a relatively modest price.

6.     Examine Your Candidate Requirements

How closely do you need to adhere to the job spec? If you can show some flexibility in this area, your candidate pool can significantly widen.

It is always possible to train up more junior applicants, giving them the skills needed to succeed in senior positions. This commitment to development is attractive to candidates and helps to instil loyalty to your company.

7.     Benchmark Salaries

Salaries have always been and will always remain important for any job offer. Right now, demand for tech talent is through the roof, which drives up expected remuneration.

To access the best candidates in this competitive job market, ensure that you are paying market rates or above. Consistently benchmark salaries for roles that you are recruiting for so that you do not get caught out.

Building Better Tech Recruitment Practices

On their own, each of these strategies may only provide minor improvements to your recruitment process. Yet, when pieced together, a dramatic improvement is highly likely.


These micro-gains will widen the talent pool you have access to, and will see candidates more likely to seriously consider your organisation as well.

At Areti, we have been working in the heart of the tech industry for decades – with 30 years of combined industry experience – and now we are very much at the forefront of the industry.

Tech recruitment is a struggle for many companies today, but it doesn’t have to be. If you need help with bringing in top tech talent, contact Areti as soon as possible.


Both Pete and Luke are happy to offer expert advice and support, helping you to recruit the best tech candidates in the market. You can reach out to the team using our online contact form.


For further sustainable tech industry and recruitment insights, visit the Areti blog today.