· 2 min read · Features

Success in any young company is linked to a talented team


The technology sector is one of the few to experience growth during the downturn, but recruitment remains a major issue. It is people that drive a company forward.

Recent research from UK IT trade organisation Intellect suggests that with two-thirds of UK technology organisations looking to expand over the next six months, competition to secure the best talent will be stiffer than ever. This is amplified when you are recruiting for a company that is undergoing rapid expansion, as many technology companies now are.

The success of any young company can be linked to a talented, hardworking team. It is people that drive a company forward. The challenge for expanding technology companies is to maintain momentum. To do this, recruits need to be as talented and dedicated as the team in place. Easier said than done.

The talent pool in the UK for skilled technology workers is limited. While the Government is doing work to boost the IT industry's profile, it will be a number of years before there is an adequately sized, skilled workforce. The challenge is to develop recruitment and retention strategies to give them the edge.

This can be done in one of two ways. Technology companies can partner with specialist recruitment agencies; or they can build an in-house recruitment team dedicated to finding the right talent for their business. We have taken a blended approach with our recruiting efforts. We partner with a small number of dedicated partners who help us in recruiting specialist roles as well as finding talent in emerging territories where we have no presence as yet. For the majority of our talent pipeline, we have found building a small in-house talent team provides the advantage of a dedicated team truly engrained in company culture and with an understanding of the personal attributes that suit the firm. An in-house specialist is in a better position to sell the benefits of joining your organisation to any prospective workers.

Having in-house talent managers as part of the HR department can help to use existing resources to attract more staff. For example, at AppSense, we have a generous new scheme for our existing employees who refer staff to us and we are also starting to use our social media channels to communicate with talent in our communities.

Of course, attracting talented staff is only half the battle. Good retention is important too. Any company will want to hold on to its best performers, and investing in education and engaging with your workforce can be the basis of a strong strategy for retaining workers.

Last year, we invested $1 million in staff development: management and sales skills courses, as well as helping staff achieve qualifications to progress their careers. The scale of this investment, plus the development of initiatives such as our engineering career planning programme, underline our commitment to helping staff to grow with us.

You need to remember everything you do as an HR professional should be to improve your reputation as being a good place to work.

It is easy to spot an organisation with a happy, productive staff, and the energy it gives off can be infectious. Your workforce should be your ambassadors to the rest of your industry, and getting your recruitment structures in place early can give you a head start on the competition.

Katy Clough (pictured) is vice president HR EMEA, at AppSense, a provider of virtualisation technology