Flexible IT helps companies win talent war

Connected WorkplaceWhat can companies do to make workers happy and attract the best talent?

According to a report from Deloitte Access Economics in Australia, it’s as simple as having flexible technology policies.

That means letting staff work from home some of the time, allowing them to bring their own devices to the office and to use social media. They also like collaborative tools. Get these things right, says Deloitte, and there’s much less chance your best employees will head off in search of greener pastures.

Deloitte uses financial numbers to show flexible technology policies add up to huge savings, but the real benefit is in being able to keep the most productive workers.

The Connected Workplace – War for talent in the digital economy

Callaghan Innovation debuts

Loading logs at Gisborne

Loading logs at Gisborne

Three days ago I watched a series of lorries barrel through Gisborne carrying unprocessed logs to the port where they were loaded on to a ship.

That wood is heading overseas. Workers in another country will add value.

New Zealand unlocked just a small part of the wealth tied up in those logs.

We ate in The Works, a restaurant housed in an old Gisborne port building. There chefs took locally produced raw materials like fish, meat and vegetables then added value by turning them into $30 plates of food. We sipped Gisborne Chardonnay – a few cents worth of grapes turned into $40 bottles of wine.

At the time I thought how the economy would be boosted if New Zealand could move more of its economy higher up the value chain.

That’s what the Callaghan Institute could do. If the project succeeds, it won’t just move food, agriculture and wood processing up the value chain, it will help our industries capture the crowning heights. It’ll make us richer as a nation.

There’s a danger it could just become another top-heavy bureaucracy acting to widen the gap between innovators and the market. What we don’t need it more paperwork or more red tape. We certainly don’t need officials meddling at the sharp end of the economy.

Let’s hope CI can broker partnerships between innovators and industry. I’d like to see the new organisation get a few early runs on the board to prove its worth.

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Getting women into tech jobs needs more than marketing

How often have you read a story about the lack of women working in technology which goes on to suggest promoting tech careers to schoolgirls as a solution?

The idea is dumb and patronising.

Dumb because women face problems with technology careers that a simple marketing campaign won’t fix.

Patronising to think dishonest marketing fools women.

Look at the facts.

Of course many women working in technology love the industry. We could start by asking them about what they like and what frustrates them.

But the real problem is down to the people running technology companies – men and women. Clearly women don’t think they do enough to make women feel wanted and appreciated. They don’t feel they are fairly paid. They worry bosses do little more than pay lip service to ideas of equality and are not acting quickly to stamp out arsehole behaviour.

Fix it please.

IT job advertisements hire for the past

A Gartner report says today’s recycled IT job advertisements aren’t going to attract the “innovative, flexible and engaged thinkers” organisations need to survive. The problem is recruiters list the technical skills they are looking for without considering other matters such as whether an employee will fit into the project or the workplace.

Read more in Jennifer Foreshew’s  IT job advertisements hire for the past at Australian IT.

Careers are over

Scott Herrick at Cube Rules says careers are over. Herrick is writing about working in the USA, but his comments apply equally to New Zealand where people tend to stick with their jobs longer mainly because they have fewer alternative employers.

He says:

The days of our fathers and grandfathers — where grey flannel suits reigned and there was lifetime employment at a company — are over. I just can’t believe people still think that type of employment still exists. Have we seen the layoffs? The outsourcing? The downsizing? The increased productivity?