If all goes to plan, Britain will leave the EU no later than April 2019 now that Article 50 has been triggered.
It is expected that this will have an impact on the recruiting field especially as the pool for specialists from the EU is likely to dramatically shrink. This means the pressure is on for companies to put in place competitive recruitment and retention strategies.
Between 2014-2024, the employment of computer and information technology occupations will grow from 3.9 to 4.4 million jobs according to the BLS.
However, Melissa North, Head of HR at Sopra Banking Software has said that UK Tech companies may lose out on the best talent as EU employees are put off joining due to the uncertainty of Brexit and so recruiters need to create a plan of action.
According to Melissa,
- The movement of workers needs to be a top priority
- As does developing the employer brand
- While embracing homegrown recruits from a grass roots level through apprenticeship programmes.
We further discussed the upcoming issues in employing the best tech employees.
- Banks such as HSBC and Goldman Sachs are increasing their headcount in Paris due to the triggering of Article 50. Do Sopra Banking Software, as a French company with head offices in the UK, see their recruitment being affected in the near future?
We are unsure what the future will hold. However, if further restrictions come in then it will affect our ability to recruit new people into our business. It could also affect internal transfers and importantly secondments, where we bring in overseas experts within our current business to offer expert skills to our customers. We explore all options to the find the best talent for Sopra Banking Software and we will continue to do this, working within whatever the new rules as a result of Brexit may be.
What’s important is that we get some certainty soon as to what the arrangements will be. This will avoid any unnecessary attrition as people look for jobs outside of the UK unsure as to what their position will be. EU employees might be put off joining UK companies, businesses like Sopra Banking Software feel they could already be losing out on talent due to the unknown outcomes of the Brexit negotiations. The movement of workers needs to be a top priority, as far as I am concerned as Head of HR.
We need to plan for the future so we will continue with our efforts to work with schools and higher education providers to help improve the employability and skills for the future UK workforce. This will include an increase in our offer of apprenticeships programmes.
- What benefits do you see motivating tech employees?
Salary is always important to employees but I think in the tech sector the main motivator is the work they are doing. As in all organisations not all employees are motivated by the same thing but a combination of interesting work and engagement with the company being key. Communication events with staff are important and of course investment in team building activities supports this, this is a strength of Sopra Banking Software.
- Is it true tech employees want more creative benefits rather than primarily salary?
I think it’s true of all employees. What we are seeing is more employees wanting ‘instant gratification’ from their benefits, perhaps a sign of the times we live in, we are always looking for the best way of doing this. We have a broad age range across our business, so what one employee is looking for, another one is completely different so introducing flexibility in benefits is key.
- Are you looking to entice more millennials into this sector? If so how will you be doing this?
Yes, we always need to build for the future and we want to grow our talent within our business. This is a key part of our strategy, not only via the recruitment of 5/6 graduates each year but by also increasing our investment in apprenticeships. These recruits have a thirst for knowledge and want the opportunity to develop quickly, perhaps by experiencing different parts of our business. Our Career Framework allows employees to do this, developing their skills and competencies across a wide range of job families, if this is what they are looking for, otherwise developing their knowledge to become an expert in a particular job family.
- ‘The demand for skilled experts in ‘hot’ areas such as cyber security and data analytics is becoming a significant issue’ Do you see this? If so, why?
Yes we are seeing this, so much of life is now managed online, therefore the security aspect is becoming bigger and bigger. It’s important to us and to our customers. A security breach not only impacts those affected directly but the organisation at the hands of the breach in a significant way, so it’s crucial that they and we get this right. Data analysis is about giving a better service, whether this be being able to make things easier for your customers or for your business, and can be a differentiator for your business. Both areas are moving at a very fast pace, so the demand for expertise in these areas is high.
- Where is the best place to look for talent? Why?
We are trying all different ways to find the best talent but we also need to develop our employer brand further and sell what a great company this is to work for, so that the best talent seek us out and want to work for us. A great way of doing this is by working with local schools and higher education providers and building relationships with students at an early stage.
- How do you ensure that your employees maintain a good work/life balance?
Work life balance and employee wellbeing are very important to Sopra Banking Software. We encourage social activities amongst employees and having fun at work! This year will see an employee wellbeing campaign rolled out across the business in order to ensure our employees welfare is at the forefront of our minds. We have a range of flexible working arrangements in place across all areas of our business.
Recruiters need to put a plan into action. It is clear that many businesses may not only be at risk of losing their current employees during the next two years but also that they are likely to witness a shrinking talent pool to find the best tech employees from, especially international companies that cross promote. With the tech industry ever advancing and growing, strategic plans are necessary for recruiters to keep up.