What 2022 taught us…
As we come to the end of 2022 I’ve been reflecting on what we have learned this year through our partnerships with some of the fastest-growing and most innovative tech companies from across Europe.
So what have we learned from working with organisations like Deliveroo, Voodoo, Aiven, Holidu and Pennylane? And how can these learnings shape our approach to talent and recruitment as we look ahead to 2023?
1. If you’re looking to go big, go remote!
Hybrid and Remote approaches both have their strengths and their weaknesses.
At Venture Up we like hybrid – being a smaller company that is still scaling, having face time a few times a month really helps, especially when it comes to key decision-making and tackling the obstacles you inevitably face as an SME.
But if you are looking to scale big, this year has shown us that remote is the best option. It has allowed our partners such as Aiven and Deliveroo to add hundreds of employees to their team sheets in a really short space of time.
We have seen others attempt to do it with hybrid options based around city hubs – and it has not proved as effective. You run into the issue of smaller talent pools and cultural changes which have seen people in the tech world not wanting to (or not able to!) move cities or countries for a new role.
Remote gives you access to a bigger talent pool – and if you target specific markets it can also be more cost-effective too!
2. Teams still need face time
But if you do go fully remote, you still need some face time.
A question we often get asked by partners who are looking at remote is how do you maintain a culture?
Having strong values (and sticking to them in choosing who to hire) is crucial.
But having some face-time is also really important. Take Aiven for example – they do have hubs but also have a big percentage of their team working 100% remotely.
Every year they have “Crab Week” which brings the entire company together. It’s a great way to exchange ideas, have some fun but also build a real connection between people and the company. Another of our partners Pennylane do the same, with equal success.
Remote is great. But as humans, we need that face time to feel truly connected to one another and to the organisation we represent.
3. Diversity requires flexibility
More and more of our partners are focussing on Diversity & Inclusion which is great. And we all know the Tech world has a real issue with representation.
But there is also the reality of a limited talent pool for groups of people who are under-represented. You will not find many female Lead DevOps Engineers with ten years of experience for example.
The point is, you need to be flexible. Everyone is looking for senior or lead candidates from underrepresented groups and there are not enough of them. So if you want to boost diversity, you need to be flexible. If you are a larger organisation, look to one of the numerous training schemes available. Or maybe consider taking someone a little more junior than you planned and have a clear training plan to develop and progress them rapidly. It can and does work!
By being flexible, you will be bringing people into the workforce who may not have had a chance to get into Tech. Or you will be promoting and developing people from underrepresented backgrounds who will become role models whether in your organisation.
4. Smart Candidates don’t care if you’re a rocket ship
I remember a few years ago it was all the rage for those in the Talent and People field to talk about how you should come and join their ‘rocketship’.
Thankfully this seems to have passed.
Today’s candidates are wiser. They are less and less impressed by any hyper growth goals or claims. They have seen how quickly company fortunes can flip and redundancies can be made. They understand that being a rocketship is all well and good, but they want to know what’s in it for THEM!
If they are joining your company as a Senior Software Engineer, what are the growth opportunities? Can they progress to a team lead? Do you have a cool new project where they get to use the latest language coming up? How much flexibility is there?
In your job specs and throughout your engagement and interview process with potential employees, you need to be sketching out clearly how joining will aid their personal and professional development.
It will boost your chances of the best talent joining you over a competitor if they can see a clear correlation between their personal professional goals and what you can offer.
We’ve seen some big shifts first-hand this year, and as we look ahead to next we’re pretty confident that we’ll continue to see people teams taking a strategic route to growth.
With smart remote set ups that allow for company culture’s to not only survive but thrive and flexibility at the core, we’re excited to see what 2023 brings for our current partners and future clients.