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In today’s world of work, information and communications technology (ICT) professionals face a whole slew of new challenges from having to digitalise quickly while increasing productivity, to maintaining a strong flow of revenue.
The Randstad Singapore Employer Brand Research 2021 has captured workforce sentiments in the ICT industry in Singapore and the key employee value proposition (EVP) factors that tech workers look for in ideal employers.
These insights help companies across all industries to improve their talent attraction strategy so that they can effectively engage ICT workers in a highly-competitive and environment where talent is scarce.
why employer branding matters
Investing in employer branding is a tried-and-tested strategy for companies to attract and retain top tier candidates.
The biggest obstacle for candidates in the application process is not knowing what it is really like to work at an organisation. 1 in 2 candidates said they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even with a pay increase.
To gain a better understanding of ICT professionals and the technology industry, we took a deep dive into tech employees’ new expectations, and what they look for in employers and at the workplace.
employee value propositions that matter to tech workers
Non-monetary EVP factors have gained greater significance among tech workers in 2021. This coincided with our findings from the recent Randstad Singapore Employer Brand Research 2021, which showed that professionals gave non-monetary EVPs a higher ranking.
top 3 employee value propositions - ICT professionals
A point of interest from our tech sector report showed that the third most important EVP for ICT professionals was career progression opportunities for women (68%), and a pleasant work environment for men (61%). This is in contrast to our country-wide research, which showed that female employees prioritise having a pleasant work environment (62%) while men want job security (59%).
why do women value career progression opportunities, while men favour a pleasant work environment?
According to McKinsey’s 2020 Women in the Workplace study, women want to be able to succeed professionally while balancing key priorities such as family care and parenthood. The study found that female professionals lack access to the strategic support that is often available to their male counterparts. This entails having proactive networks of women leaders and peers who promote and champion their ideas at work.
To this end, it is critical for employers to create diverse workplaces which offer the right mix of HR initiatives for both men and women to achieve greater gender parity and realise their career goals.
On the other hand, male employees’ desire for a better working environment could point to their need for similar support structures. TechRepublic shared that factors such as not feeling respected or valued at work, poor management or a culture of not supporting open communication can create intense job dissatisfaction, and lead to a higher turnover.
In the long run, employers will need to address not only the gender gap in technology but also the challenge of improving gender outcomes by supporting greater diversity in their workplaces in general. Having a truly inclusive workplace has not only shown to help companies achieve stronger business results, it also enables organisations to stand out from their competitors when attracting tech talent.
41% of tech employees experienced changes in their working hours during the pandemic.
The employees in the tech industry also took a hard hit during the pandemic. The 2021 Randstad Brand Employer Research showed that 41% of respondents working in technology roles were either furloughed, became unemployed, or worked different hours than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 24% of the all ICT respondents reported working longer hours than usual.
When tech professionals put in extra time at work to drive digitalisation and meet new deadlines, they run the risks of exhaustion and poor mental health. These factors can lead to a spike in job stress and decreased motivation. In order to help employees stay healthy and productive in the long run, employers need to step up in communicating with their staff regularly and providing adequate support to nurture their growth.
On the other hand, 14% of respondents reportedly worked fewer hours or took home a lower salary in 2020. This indicates either companies are either under-utilising their resources, or a skills gap exists where respondents do not have the right knowledge or tools to perform new tasks. Tech companies have a unique opportunity to re-train or upskill technologists so they can take on more business-critical responsibilities, add more skill sets to their toolbelts and ensure their long-term employability with the company.
As the prolonged feeling of uncertainty can take a toll on employee morale, it is increasingly critical for organisations to reassure employees of their importance to the company.
tech employees value having autonomy and flexibility to work remotely.
During the pandemic, digitalisation was what helped millions of employees continue to work in the safety and comfort of their homes. To take it a step further, some technology firms, particularly those in SaaS and web services, are offering employees the option to work from home until after the pandemic.
According to our research, 96% of tech workers are able to work remotely. However, only 88% of them are offered the opportunity to do so.
Even though this expectation was heightened in 2020, it will likely remain a priority for tech workers after the pandemic. Already, we have observed candidates turning down offers from companies that do not have a remote work policy or resigning from their current jobs to look for an employer that offers remote work.
It is clear that many tech workers want the flexibility to use the benefits that help them achieve better work-life balance. As drivers of the digital economy, it is critical for tech companies to walk the talk and update their HR policies to reflect their commitment to employees’ safety and wellbeing. Having flexible work arrangements and giving employees the autonomy to choose where they work may reduce push factors and help retain them for longer, as they may not have the same opportunity to do so in another company.
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