A so-called Techxit – meaning an exodus of UK-based tech workers – has been predicted for several years now. The transferable nature of tech skills means that workers have traditionally been more prepared than most to relocate, and a challenging 2020 has driven even more to consider switching careers.
A widening skills gap, combined with a smaller talent pool following Brexit, has left many tech workers reportedly feeling burnt out due to extra pressure and responsibility. Others have taken the opportunity to set up their own businesses or explore freelance life, while some are simply planning to change their location. London, historically a leading tech hub, is likely to see its population decline for the first time in over 30 years.
So, from IT professionals to programmers and data analysts, how can UK businesses buck the trend to attract and retain talented tech workers?
Like it or loathe it, flexible working is here to stay. And in an industry that has proven it can thrive from almost anywhere, it’s only logical that businesses should offer tech workers flexible working arrangements as standard.
That’s not to say that businesses should eliminate office working altogether, however. A flexible mix of office and remote work brings the best of both worlds by maintaining a healthy work-life balance and retaining in-person social interaction.
Invest in technology
Investing in technology is something any good tech firm should do out of principle. It shows tech workers that they’re valued, while also helping them do their job better.
Using the best gear is exciting for any professional and also helps reassure tech workers that a business isn’t falling behind its competition. Relying on outdated technology on the other hand can harm productivity and morale – and tech workers know this better than anyone.
Involve existing tech experts
There are various ways that businesses can transform their current recruitment processes, from adopting data-driven strategies to advertising for interim HR jobs. Involving existing talent is another smart way to make the process slicker.
Specialist tech staff are ideally placed to draw up accurate job specs and critically analyse prospective candidates. Bringing them in at this stage can help businesses find the right cultural fit too.
Tailor your rewards
With growing demand and the rise of remote work, tech workers can afford to be more selective about where they work and under what conditions. This makes it important for businesses to offer rewards packages that are tailored to each candidate, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.
That could mean flexible hours for one worker and training opportunities for another. The key is understanding what’s important to each individual and allowing room in the recruitment budget to cater for it.
The pandemic has forced many businesses to undergo major digital transformations. The practices described above could help UK businesses keep their tech talent around long into the future.