SMEs in tech having to offer better work life balance to compete for talent

Tech SMEs are losing out on talent to larger corporates, says a new study.

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UK SMEs are losing out to big tech in the battle to recruit top tech talent and are having to increase in-house training and boost work life balance to compete, according to a new report.

Recruiting for the future: The challenges for UK SMEs from recruitment company Robert Half includes a survey of more than 100 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) IT directors in companies across the UK. It found that three quarters (75%) believe that it is more challenging for SMEs to attract tech talent because they prefer to work for larger technology companies. One third (33%) cite talent attraction as their biggest talent management challenge, followed closely by improving productivity (32%) and talent retention (30%).

The majority of CIOs (88%) agree that is it more challenging to find qualified tech professionals today than it was five years ago. In response, they are looking at alternative solutions to equip their businesses with the necessary digital skills to help their business grow. Nearly half (47%) are planning to train and upskill existing staff, while 37% admitted they would turn to the temporary recruitment market and hire contractors or interim staff to transfer knowledge to permanent employees.

CIOs who do hire from the permanent talent market say that a combination of increased remuneration, benefits, working environment and culture is the key to luring top tech talent. Over a quarter (27%) of CIOs believe the desire for a higher salary is the main motivation for tech talent to move jobs, while over a fifth (21%) say the main reason is the desire for a greater work-life balance. Meanwhile, 14% believe that a lack of desired training and development options is the main driver behind tech talent job moves.

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