Finding and keeping tech talent needs more thought says Aon

BUSINESSES run on technology — and succeeding in today’s marketplace is practically impossible if companies don’t embrace digital and deliver on customers expectations and stakeholders demands.

In such an environment, how can companies ensure they attract and retain the best tech talent they need?

“There are two types of organizations, one what we like to call Digital Natives – those for whom technology is the product, not the enabler of the product, and the other type is Digital Newcomers,” Aon, Partner and Radford Leader for Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa Alexander Krasavin told Tech Wire Asia.

Krasavin’s team works with businesses, helping leaders gain a perspective on their talent needs. According to him, it is apparent that every company needs technology professionals — but given the limited talent in the market, companies need to put more thought into their hiring and retention strategies.

The digital natives, for example, have some respite when it comes to “digital transformation”. For digital newcomers, on the other hand, it is about how to articulate their value proposition to compete with the likes of not just the traditional internet natives, but also the myriad of startups that are looking to disrupt every industry that they can.

Krasavin recommends that companies, especially digital newcomers, put themselves into the shoes of their (prospective) employees and think about what makes them a great place to work — this is especially important because any professional worth is salt now has a choice when it comes to who he works for.

“Answering the question of: “Why should l work at Company X, when I can change the world and make a good living by working at Company Y that is an internet native firm?” from the perspective of an employee is key.”

Re-think the employee lifecycle

Having consulted with digital newcomers, Krasavin seems to know exactly how to wow tech talent.

“I would suggest that thinking across the employee life cycle is key and developing a unique employee value proposition is essential. We see this in what we call “turbocharged companies” and have pulled together some interesting research around this.

For the Radford Leader, the lifecycle consists of attracting, selecting, onboarding, developing, assessing, rewarding, engaging, and retaining employees — and at every stage, companies must pay attention to what their value proposition is.

In fact, given the way the market has evolved, Krasavin believes that its time to evolve the lifecycle to include alumni engagement as outgoing professionals continue to be a rewarding group for the organization.

Perhaps alumni talent pool that learns and grows elsewhere and comes back to lead other projects at the company?

Speaking of technology talent, Krasavin explains that the market in Asia, although not entirely homogenous, has evolved as a whole, requiring companies to really align with the way the market now operates.

“Traditionally, Asia has been viewed as a low-cost location for talent, however, this approach towards Asia’s talent is changing not just from the western multinational companies (MNCs), but also from “homegrown” tech giants and startups.”

“As more complex roles are being filled out of this region – there is a significant shift from transactional development or operational & support roles to “value creation” jobs such as in business analytics, product development, R&D to name a few.”

A conversation about finding and keeping technology talent in Asia is never going to be a short one. However, if there’s one takeaway from this article, it should be this: Companies need to re-think value proposition across the employee lifecycle — and now is the time to get started.

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