Paddy O’Hagan, Chief Operating Officer
Talent is one of the core building blocks of any business’ success. Across all sectors however, attracting and retaining the best people is an ongoing challenge and must remain top of an organisation’s agenda.
Northern Ireland is home to a wealth of skilled people across a broad range of disciplines.
To fully maximise this, companies should review their recruitment and people development strategies regularly, assessing if their offer as an employer is in line with market expectations.
Within the IT sector, the talent pool is growing faster than ever, with more people keen to switch from different careers into IT and a new generation of fresh tech talent coming through our education system.
Worth noting is that 72% of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025*. Salary is not the most important driving factor for this audience, whereas workplace culture and appreciation take a higher priority.
Assessing your company culture is therefore an essential exercise – as it should reflect the type of company you want to be and how you want to be viewed by your stakeholders. Your culture should come through in all your corporate communications and speak to your existing and future employees in a positive, engaging way.
In IT for instance, there can be an outdated perception that employees work in isolation amongst a silent room full of computers. As anyone employed in the sector will know, that is massively inaccurate – so the more we can do to debunk that myth the better.
Casting the net wide and thinking beyond the traditional career channels can also help unlock further talent. For instance, whilst many of our staff have IT qualifications, there is a wealth of talent outside traditional areas like computer sciences.
Proof of this was Neueda’s first Assured Skills Tech Academy Programme in 2017, delivered in partnership with the Department for the Economy. Open to graduates from all disciplines, 16 participants successfully went through training at Belfast Metropolitan College and have each been successful in securing a full-time role with Neueda.
Where possible, it adds real value for an organisation to work in partnership with educators in relation to career development. Consider what opportunities you have to connect with the younger generation and work out a meaningful way of doing this. We work with schools from primary level upwards to engage and educate, ranging from our Code Club which introduces young children to programming, through to our higher education student placements.
Of course, companies must continue to invest in their own people through ongoing training, development and mentoring. This will keep employees motivated to fulfil their full potential and ultimately drive growth for your business.
At Neueda we think of talent development as a full circle process, which I think can be applied to a lot of organisations. If a company is pro-active about nurturing talent from the outside; building dynamic, appealing career opportunities and developing its people to the best of their ability, it will undoubtedly reap the benefits.
*Source - EY Global Banking Outlook 2016, Transforming Talent — The banker of the future).