HR and Hiring

5 predictions for hiring digital talent in 2018.

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As we head into 2018, five digital experts from various industries have each outlined their top prediction for tech talent to look out for in the next twelve months. The report, published by Stack Overflow, explores the trends shaping the current and future hiring landscape.

Dynamic and empowered teams 

As technology rapidly evolves, companies will continue building dynamic, adaptable teams with flat organisational structures to remain competitive, as Robert Eriksson, Head of Engineering and Digital Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group, explains.

“The banking sector struggles to embrace more modern ways of working. It’s a battle between a traditional hierarchal world, and the flat world of Agile. In the former, the strategy is set at the top, power trickles down and tight rules circumscribe discretion. This is pitted against decentralised teams with a focus on business outcomes, continuous innovation and empowerment of those doing the work.

"To succeed, companies need to adopt a new mind-set all the way from the top, with IT capabilities embedded in local business units to create self-organising and autonomous teams. Companies that choose to continue with a centralised IT structure will lack the necessary agility and responsiveness to stay competitive.”

Versatile workers skilled in AI and Internet of Things

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things will be two of the most influential technologies in 2018, and employers will focus their efforts on hiring workers with these skills, claims Fiona Smith, Global Employer Brand Manager at Arm.

“We currently look for a wide range of software engineers; from low-level boot code, to operating systems, device drivers, graphics wizards and toolchain gurus. However, we also appreciate that we live in a world where technology has a huge impact and is growing rapidly.

“Therefore as well as specialists, we look for engineers who are well rounded and can adapt across skill sets, enabling us to be prepared for the technology of tomorrow. We further support and shape this through Arm’s model to grow our existing talent through our early talent programs.”


Innovation in recruitment

A growing demand for highly skilled developers will mean the market for technical talent will become hugely competitive. James Milligan, Director of IT & Digital Technology at Hays, believes companies will need to evolve their hiring technologies to a simple model built to attract the most relevant talent.

“Despite ongoing political and economic uncertainty, businesses are optimistic and are continuing with their recruitment plans. For the IT sector there is an unprecedented demand that exists for skilled technology professionals, driven by regulatory changes, digital transformation projects and a continued emphasis on cyber security.

“The competition for talent in the sector is intensifying, and for employers looking at other ways to attract and retain skilled candidates is essential to avoid the negative consequences of skills shortages such as a decrease in productivity, low employee morale and hampered growth.”

An evolving recruitment model

To attract the best workers, companies must focus on the quality of the role they are recruiting for and place greater emphasis on communicating their brand values, Sandy Lacey-Aberdain, Head of Talent at Zoopla argues.

“We partnered with our executive team, HR, line managers and the whole engineering team to understand how we could drive efficiency and make the recruitment process more enjoyable for everyone involved. The result was that our message to market is a true reflection of who we are and what we do.

“We tell developers about the exciting work they’ll be doing - as we know this attracts them more than financial rewards. Detailed feedback is always given directly from our engineers, and our process is simplified to three stages which enables us to move fast and secure top talent who have the passion and desire to work with us.”

New efforts to spot and retain brilliant talent

The UK’s ongoing digital skills shortage will continue throughout 2018, making it vital for companies to recognise brilliant workers and then retain them, says Jack Villers, Talent Acquisition Partner at Just Eat.  

“We know that teams with a good balance of junior and experienced roles are some of our highest performing. A good mix enables us to create a pipeline of talent to support future growth and gives our people an opportunity to develop their own skills through the mentoring and training they do.

“We already run a successful grad scheme, and have recently launched a tech apprenticeship programme. Moving into 2018, we want to build on this by engaging with the potential tech stars of the future as early as possible, even before university level - visiting schools and colleges to talk about where a career in tech can take you.”

Do you expect the way you are currently hired to change in 2018? Join the conversation...

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Business community petitions against private sector IR35 reform.

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With the news that the Government plans to hold an IR35 consultation early next year, any immediate announcement regarding private sector reform has been delayed, much to the relief of the UK business community – who continue to petition against future changes.

The ‘Red Book’ released immediately after The Chancellor’s Budget speech gave details on the Government’s upcoming review into recent public sector reform, in which they will explore the possibility of extending changes into the private sector. 

It is widely predicted that any incoming changes would resemble April’s public sector reform. Public sector bodies have now been handed the responsibility of setting the employment status of the contractors they engage – a move which sees them now liable for any missing tax should they be found to have made an inaccurate determination following an IR35 investigation.


Needless to say, changes have been unpopular and impacted public sector contracting. Recent APSCo research suggests that contractor vacancies have declined by as much as 30% in the past year.

In addition to this, contractors face the prospect of being placed inside IR35 inaccurately, which would see them made to pay a similar rate of tax to employees without any of the benefits that employment brings.

Such is the concern regarding private sector reform, leading business voices have urged the Government not to roll out further changes, fearing that the UK’s 5.5m private sector businesses could not cope.

The petition has gathered momentum and at the time of writing has over 12,000 signatures. At 100,000 the issue will be considered for debate in Parliament. You can sign it here.


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Podcast: The forever changing workplace.

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In the final Future of Work podcast, Matt Alder locks horns with Belinda Johnson of employment research consultancy, WorkLab. They dive into the changing needs and behaviours of the workforce and discuss how it’s shaping the future of work.

How have you adapted to the changing world of work? Join the conversation...


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