Businesses that are fortunate to suddenly be experiencing a surge in demand due to Covid-19 might think they're facing an employer's market when it comes to hiring tech talent. However, top candidates aren't necessarily ready to jump at any opportunity. In fact, they're acting rather pragmatically in the wake of an economic downturn. Consequently, brands that want to woo the best of the best will have to do more than put up ho-hum advertisements featuring only expected incentive plans and industry-standard salaries.

How serious are tech professionals about reinventing their positions and reimagining what matters most in their lives? According to an August 2020 study, 81 percent of tech workers living near tech hub locations plan to move. And eight out of 10 want to pick up freelancing gigs. It's not a huge surprise, given that most say they're working from home and plan to stick with telecommuting.

In other words, tech employees have adapted to the realities of Covid. No longer are they driven primarily by income. Instead, they're reinventing themselves and rethinking the meaning they bring to employers. As a Computer Weekly analysis noted, IT professionals with specialized skills may be in high demand. All this despite the 81 percent of companies that say they've scaled back tech recruitment.

If your company is one of the 19 percent of businesses planning to bring more tech personnel on board, plan ahead. Yes, the market's flooded with new students and seasoned tech gurus. Nevertheless, you're not going to snag superstars without forethought and planning. Tech job seekers won't accept just any offer that comes their way. Rather, they'll be on the lookout for a good fit.

You can improve your chances to attract exceptional candidates by making a few adjustments to your internal operations, hiring strategies, and onboarding processes.

1. Start off strong, with a stellar applicant experience.

Want to get off on the right foot with tech candidates? Show you value their time and only want winners on your team. Given the shift to remote work, prioritize offering robust and efficient interviews and code assessments online. Code assessment platform Coderbyte's research shows that 72 percent of active tech job seekers are comfortable with an all-virtual recruitment strategy followed by remote work. If you provide a seamless online interview experience, chances are good you'll attract better talent. 

You'll also appeal to countless tech workers who already have a work-from-home office setup by de-emphasizing location. Just make it easier for them to wow you from anywhere; they'll know you're serious about finding the best people. 

2. Use software to remove hiring bias.

Hiring bias has become an important subject, especially in the tech world. In order to bring more diversity to your tech department, consider using software services to help remove recruitment bias. The right software can allow you to more adequately and effectively gauge all candidates in an apples-to-apples way.

Your company will benefit from taking this step toward inclusion and diversity. A Harvard Research author study showed that gender diversity can boost productivity in companies that embrace the concept. Therefore, filling your team with people from differing backgrounds, ethnicities, points of view, and expertise could pay off--literally.

3. Upgrade and showcase your tech stack.

Have a modern tech stack? Show it off in not just your job advertisements but also during your interviews. A tech stack that includes popular and emerging platforms, tools, and software will entice technical candidates. 

If you're not sure that your tech stack stands up to scrutiny, consider hiring a tech consultant to keep up with the Joneses. It's worth making improvements before trying to bring aboard new IT staffers. This also makes sure your new hires aren't spending time changing out your technology and focusing on the tasks you hired them for. Just be sure that your tech additions work together seamlessly with the software you already have in place.

4. Support ongoing training for technical staffers.

From hackathons to code conferences, become a strong advocate for the technical folks in your office. Then, when you start recruiting for position openings, talk about your advocacy. Discuss the many ways that you want to help your tech talent explore their skill sets.

Remember that many IT professionals want to improve soft skills as well as keep up their tech cred. As a study done by consulting firm West Monroe points out, 40 percent of business people complain about collaboration-based problems with their tech teams, yet businesses don't provide the training to teach employees to develop those skills. Consequently, 67 percent of HR leaders admit to offering a job to a different candidate solely because of the soft-skills gap. Shift the focus of some of your internal training topics to be on empathetic management and emotional intelligence.

Make no mistake: Some amazing tech wizards are looking for jobs. Nevertheless, they're not going to fall into your lap. Refresh your approach to appeal to what they want now: seamless recruitment, attractive tech stack, and a tech-forward, inclusive culture. If you do, you could just amass a team of true tech heroes.