And even though London is currently staying strong as ‘Europe’s top tech hub’, Brexit is just six months away. This means SMEs will need to go to extra lengths to ensure they keep attracting the people that they need, from inside and outside of the UK.
There are a few steps you can take to ensure your organisation stays at the heart of the global tech talent scene. In this blog post, I’m going to tell you what they are.
If you can keep your business growing, you’ll be able to attract the right people.
A core part of this is working to a plan. You need to set out a ‘moving forward’ strategy, breaking down goals and spending for the upcoming 24 months or so.
Two years might seem a long period to plan ahead for - especially in the tech sector, where things move so quickly. But while it’s important to be agile, it’s even more important to have a clear idea of where you’re going. It will help you focus your energies, and spend your money and time wisely as you scale your business.
Underpinning the strategy will be your priorities, which you need to carefully define in the early stages of your planning. And once you have identified priorities, you have to stick to them.
All too often, young businesses can forget about their priorities in the rush to adapt to new circumstances. This rarely results in success.
As the old saying goes: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
In today’s highly competitive talent market, the right people strategy is essential.
The first step is working out the skillsets that you need in your employees, and targeting your recruitment accordingly.
And it’s not enough just to get good people through the door. You have to hold onto them too.
A good company culture, where employees feel valued, respected and inspired, is fundamental to retaining talent. Diversity and inclusion are a big part of this. You need all different types of people, with unique backgrounds and points of view, to make a successful team.
It’s important to recognise when your organisation falls short of this. Creating the right environment is very difficult, and there are very few people with the right leadership qualities for the job.
You can’t just rely on bonus schemes, regular away days or flexible working (although these are helpful!).
There are lots of examples of start-ups – like Uber or Tinder, to name a few – where the founders have generated a toxic culture, by arguing or by failing to appreciate the people around them. It rarely ends well.
Although it’s absolutely true that money isn’t everything, capital is the critical resource that allows a business to grow.
But fundraising is a delicate art. Securing funding with the right terms and timeline for your business will be central to lasting success. You don’t want to have to change your strategy or priorities to meet the requirements of your investor. Their plan and yours should be aligned from the very start – we call this a ‘perfect match’.
Finding investment is brilliant, especially since there’s so much of it available in London. But it is just one part of a wider path to growth.
An optimistic future
We’re optimistic that London will remain Europe’s top tech hub in the years to come.
But whether it happens or not, SMEs need to put themselves in the best position to attract the world’s brightest talent.
To do this, you need to create and pursue a future strategy, with a clear sense of your priorities, and with the right people on-board.
Bringing all of this together will enable UK start-ups to achieve stable growth and scale in the long term – no matter what Brexit throws at them.