Top IT professionals are attracted to companies that can offer a strong culture of innovation and not simply a competitive remuneration package, according to a new report1 from Robert Half Technology.
IT Innovation: Harnessing technology to attract skilled IT talent reveals that the majority (81%) of CIOs in the UK believe that technology professionals are attracted to companies that can demonstrate a strong culture of innovation, while 96% say that they find it challenging to find skilled IT staff.
The link between a company that fosters innovation and successful IT hiring may be well understood. However, the report also shows that UK companies do not currently rate themselves at the top end of the innovation scale, with an average score of 3.36 (on a scale of one to five where one is ‘not innovative’ and five is ‘highly innovative’). Larger businesses were likely to score themselves lower at 3.32 than smaller companies at 3.55.
Of the senior IT executives surveyed in the Robert Half Technology report, 94% believe technology will play an important role in business growth in the year ahead. The areas in which technology will play the biggest part in helping business growth are through improving the customer transactional experience (45%), and driving process or employee efficiency (32%).
Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology, said: “To make the most of these opportunities, you need the best people with the best ideas. That means demonstrating to technology candidates that you can offer a challenging, innovative environment.
“Due to the increasing demand for specialist professionals in these areas outweighing supply, businesses need a competitive edge to attract IT talent. Although competitive remuneration is still an important component, businesses need a strong employer brand as skilled professionals are often deciding between multiple options. Being perceived as an innovative company has become essential for UK companies to attract, recruit and retain strong IT candidates.”
Robert Half suggests the following tips for encouraging innovation:
1. Capture ideas
By failing to note creative ideas as they are formed, businesses could miss out on valuable innovative solutions. Developing a well-defined strategy to gather and capture these ideas as well as making the strategy accessible to employees will lead to more innovation in the long term.
2. Create a culture of innovation
Leaders must foster a culture that supports new ideas. This includes developing clear structures and processes to identify and implement innovation.
3. Develop the talent in your organisation
Staff development is integral to innovation. It promotes innovation skills like personal responsibility, understanding of errors and visionary thinking.
4. Remove the barriers
Innovation relies on both financial and technological possibilities. IT must support innovation with modern technologies – like data analytics and cloud technology – and remain attractive to professionals at the same time.