In order to recruit Australia’s best and brightest IT workers, organisations need to be keeping their eyes on the tech stack, according to a new study.

Gerhard Schweinitz is Asia-Pacific Head of Talent for tech consulting company, Contino.

He recently surveyed hundreds of Australian IT professionals to find out what tickles their fancy when looking for new roles.

“We asked them ‘What is the most important factor for an organisation to retain you as an employee?’ and the options we put were regular salary reviews, exciting projects with modern tech, culture, working flexibility, and career progression,” he told Information Age.

“Workplace culture was the second most valuable factor for them to be retained as an employee, but the most important was working on exciting projects with modern tech strategies.

“I've seen so many people want to leave their enterprise because it has stagnated, it’s legacy, it’s not innovating – and that means they're not working with the most modern technologies.

“And if you ask them, ‘Do you like your job?’ well, they like their company, they like the culture, they like the pay, they like everything. But they really want to be working on the latest and greatest tech.”

This sentiment is echoed by Vincent Brouillet, Continuous Delivery Lead with NBN.

“Modern technology stacks attract talent,” Brouillet said.

“In a candidate-driven market, engineers can pick and choose the organisation that they work for. Talented engineers recognise that technology is changing fast and that most of the learning happens at work, therefore it is crucial to offer this opportunity at your organisation, otherwise they will look elsewhere.”

Despite Australia having a wealth of tech workers, we are still in need of 100,000 more by 2024 – a problem which has reinforced a government move to lure top international talent.

Schweinitz spoke to how the rapidly changing tech landscape is making difficult for recruiters and organisations to find the right talent.

“With the latest state that the technology landscape is in, the modern ways of working are in DevOps, CICD, modern cloud, microservices, and other architectures.

“But a lot of people that come from various enterprises that are used to working in legacy environments and do not have those skill sets.

“If most of the enterprises are modernising, they're all going after that same, much smaller pool of talent.

“So it's not whether there are sufficient technologists in Australia – there probably is – because it's about having a sufficient level of technologists with the right skills in the modern ways of working.”

Cloud architect with Tyro, Martin Baillie, said there was a tendency for recruiters to step outside the usual methods when looking for workers.

“Finding the right tech talent is difficult on so many levels,” he said.

“Top tech talent is passive; they’re not coming through your traditional recruitment channels.

“I’ve had some success reaching these people through hosting industry meetups, tech blogging, and more recently, an alternative ‘capture the flag’ container challenge. These are all subtle ways to highlight the great things happening at your organisation to technologists that would otherwise be unaware.”