Looking For The Ideal Workplace
Many leading tech companies are recognized as ideal workplaces, voted into the likes of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For lists, and yet the industry as a whole continues to struggle with talent challenges. Businesses are looking to source individuals who are top performers in their category, reliable, and trustworthy, but the workforce pool isn’t yet keeping up with industry growth and development.
The Dynamic Tech Workforce
CloudTweaks discussed some of the challenges of tech recruitment with Ellen Humphrey, SVP of HR at Appirio. Says Humphrey, “The U.S. economy loses $350 billion per year from lost productivity related to disengagement, according to Gallup research. When workers aren’t given access to the tools, information, and collaborative processes they need to perform their jobs, experience tells us these employees leave very quickly. Organizations that can make a seamless application experience, develop ways to internally communicate that match preferences of the newest generation and support solutions that enable a working environment from anywhere will find that employees are consistently more engaged.”
The fact is, the tech industry isn’t the only sector recruiting tech talent. All businesses need these resources to successfully compete and thrive, and so the staff that IT companies are spending time and money developing are often being lost to retail, banking, healthcare, and many other industries. If the gap between tech occupational job requirements and graduates able to fulfill these posts continues, non-tech businesses will increasingly be recruiting from the tech companies currently training their own staff.
Some tech companies are working hard to prevent this brain drain by implementing processes which encourage loyalty. Effecting clear advancement and growth routes encourage staff to create goals and targets specifically related to an organization, thereby attaching their allegiance. Businesses that take the time to work with staff on career development will typically be rewarded for their efforts. Furthermore, defining compensation is key. Although it’s never all about money, it’s important for businesses to identify where they fall in terms of pay, based on internal culture and practice, and describe what compensation includes. Staff who are aware of future opportunities for advancement and the potential to work on new initiatives are more likely to reconsider jumping ship for little more than a small pay increase.
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Aside from in-house solutions, a number of third-party solutions are evolving to tackle the tech talent challenges. In this year’s ITA challenge to 21 Midwest Universities, a record number of students are expected to compete in the search for the best in tech. The program aims to keep the best tech talent in the Midwest, driving the industry forward for many years to come. Of Appirio’s tech talent initiative, Humphrey states, “Ascend began as a formal way of onboarding associates straight out of college and evolved into a training platform for college students seeking additional skill sets in technology. Recruiting and retaining top talent is a challenge for businesses across the U.S – 77% of experts expect recent college graduates to leave their jobs within one year. Appirio put Ascend into place as a response to this barrier to business growth. The program allows participants to work on real-world business problems and to build valuable skills that will help them advance and grow professionally. It has been so successful that we’ve experienced a 95% retention rate from 2013 to 2015.”
As educators and businesses alike work towards increasing and developing the tech staffing pool, both conventional and unconventional tools are being implemented. A host of educational programs are being executed, endeavoring to meet the constantly changing skill requirements. Moreover, innovative solutions in-house and externally promise better talent management and deployment, and could signal the beginning of the end of the tech brain drain and a better balance between tech employee demand and supply.
By Jennifer Klostermann