A few months ago we posted a blog about how the IT hiring market is affecting your business. In it, we asked why employers may be having trouble filling their open tech positions while offering up a few reasons why (unresponsive managers, unrealistic expectations, candidates holding out for better opportunities). In discussing those reasons, we posed the idea that the work environment could be playing a major factor in why candidates are turning your opportunities away. Well, as it turns out, we were right on the money in our assumptions.
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Liechtenstein and the IT University of Copenhagen, they examined over 100,000 employee reviews on the company ratings site, Glassdoor, with regards to companies in the information technology industry. What they found was that corporate culture was the main attraction for luring top tech talent. In pouring over employee reviews, researchers determined that there were four ways in which company culture could attract top talent. They are:
- Offering a fast-paced environment
- Fostering a culture of learning
- Providing a good offering of career opportunities
- Having a non-bureaucratic structure
Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.
Fast-paced environment – By definition, a fast-paced working environment is an environment in which employees are asked to balance many tasks simultaneously. These types of environments are good for people who may get bored easily and for those who like to take on challenges. More importantly, though, a fast-paced environment will give the worker more chances to work with different technologies. As we can attest, clients are looking for candidates that possess a wide array of skills and experience with many different technologies. So what better way to learn and come into contact with these skills than by working in an environment where they’ll be more likely to be exposed to them?
Fostering a culture of learning – As defined by Oracle, a learning culture is a set of organizational values, conventions, processes, and practices that encourage individuals – and the organization as a whole – to increase knowledge, competence, and performance. As evidenced by our first bullet point, technology workers like to challenge themselves and challenges don’t come without an aspect of learning. Organizations that can promote this value are better situating themselves as an attractive landing spot for those considered to be top tech talent.
Providing a good offering of career opportunities – This isn’t even specific to the IT industry. With a few exceptions, re: The Benefits of Contract Work, most workers enjoy the job security afforded to them through the means of full time employment. However, if their current work environment is static this may force them to look elsewhere – especially if they’re seeking new challenges. That’s why a corporation who can provide their workers with room to grow can be so appealing. They look at the organization not only for the job they’re pursuing but also for other challenging opportunities with greater responsibility.
Having a non-bureaucratic structure – First, what is meant by a non-bureaucratic structure? It simply means an organization that gives it employees the freedom to use their own methods and procedures to solve problems and come up with solutions without having to adhere to strict rules and regulations. While bureaucratic structures have their place – in namely the financial and government sectors – this style of governance doesn’t sit well with those within the IT industry. Having the freedom to explore one’s own hypotheses and ideas promotes more creative and innovative thinking. In the ever evolving tech industry what could be more valuable than that?
So if you’re having issues attracting and retaining top tech talent, take a look at your corporate culture. If it’s severely lacking in one of these four areas, than you most likely have your reason why.