The need for tech talent affects every kind of employer, not just tech companies!
The competition for talent is fierce and good employees know this, as result we all agreed that company culture is key to being able to attract and then retain these valuable people. The new tech generation are aspirational, they want to change the world and work for companies that embrace this culture. Tech innovators doing so; Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and IBM are just a few obvious ones to name. But, the need for tech talent affects every kind of employer, not just tech companies!
For instance, John and Graeme both work for well established household brands (NFU Mutual and Legal and General). So we discussed how they attract and retain these people in their businesses.
With very generic employer brands that appeal to everyone from finance to admin, it was hard to see how they are going to attract any tech talent with this broad approach. Making their brands cool to work for was a tall order! If they did attract them, their cultures were not conducive to helping these people thrive, so invariably they would leave, or stayed and became disillusioned and critically started to under-perform.
The only available solutions were:
1. Outsource to tech agencies like ourselves to become the innovators for their business and provide the creative thinking they need to ensure they stay relevant for a future generation. (This was the preferred option, if budgets allowed)
2. Build small ’secret’ project teams in-house under the radar that could avoid their rigid internal processes and if they were successful then slowly make them more visible!
The other less attractive option, was using contractors to fulfil these shortages. The issue here, is that contractors very rarely have the same engagement and affinity levels to your company brand that full time employees do, and they can become negative detractors on websites like Glassdoor – which then affects your ability to attract good people longer term.
So to conclude, attraction and development needs to be tackled creatively with new tech employees if a company is to future proof itself. Alternatively, they will be left with very costly options that could see challenger brands pinch their market shares over time.