Key takeaways from London Tech Week 2022
The technology sector has seen high levels of growth in recent years, but what are some of the new trends emerging in this industry. Ian Guilfoyle looks at some of the key takeaways from last month’s London Tech Week and how tech businesses can stay competitive.
Tech levels up
One of the clearest trends at London Tech Week was that the UK’s tech scene is no longer just about the capital. This is a thriving industry nationwide, with cities including Manchester and Newcastle producing some of the country’s leading technology firms – and a great example of UK industry levelling up.
Cultivate authentic diversity
Diversity isn’t just the right thing for businesses to strive for, but it’s increasingly becoming a key barometer of success. Tech firms are not immune from the war for talent, and those that are freeing themselves of past practices and biases enabling a more diverse culture and workforce are opening up an untapped world of highly skilled and innovative candidates. These are individuals that have the power to transform the way in which businesses operate and enable them to thrive in the current highly competitive market.
So how can firms achieve true diversity? Tech firms need to overcome some critical barriers when it comes to hiring. Being constrained by CVs, old-style job specs where university degrees are mandatory and traditional views on the correlation between age and experience are all problems. Tech firms need to remove these barriers, rewrite job specifications and, importantly, hire for candidates’ potential. Skills are important but given the wave of digital transformation taking place currently, many existing skills will become obsolete.
Invest in creative growth
It is simply not enough today for tech companies to pay their staff a good wage - employees care just as much today about working for a purposeful business as they do about salary. Tech companies, therefore, need to shift their mindset from being consumers of talent to creators of talent and take time to invest in their employees’ creative growth. Not only will this drive innovation, but it will also foster a sense of allegiance and mutual trust that can encourage employees to grow and co-create with the business. This will create an additional burden on middle management who are tasked with facilitating cultural change, so making sure this group is equipped with the right tools to drive engagement and inclusion is vital.
Wellbeing is moving up the leadership agenda with new initiatives being trialed such as the 4-day work week, meditation breaks, no back-to-back meetings and quarterly firm-wide mental health breaks. There is growing recognition that by taking a step back, firms can boost employee productivity, helping drive businesses forward over the medium- to long- term. Employers would do well to take notice of this and consider what initiatives they can implement to nurture employee wellbeing and productivity.