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Flexible working needs to be more innovative to attract highly skilled technology workers

Flexible working needs to be more innovative to attract highly skilled technology workers says Darwin

 90% of businesses interviewed in Europe by Darwin Recruitment offer flexibility in the workplace but considering the recruitment challenge for certain IT and Telecom skills Darwin questions whether they go far enough.

In a series of surveys conducted by Darwin across five European countries, results show that the vast majority of companies offer flexibility around daily or weekly shift variations but few, if any, go beyond this. In a market that competes heavily for top tech skills Darwin asks whether more firms should be offering annualised hours or even annual secondments that keep strong skills within the business.“The IT & Telecoms sector never ceases to stop innovating to bring enterprise services and consumer customers what they want so we think they should apply some of this & lsquo;Blue Sky’ to their labour resources” says Paul Kirby, CEO and Joint Founder of Darwin Recruitment.

The global industry is suffering from skills shortages and while flexible working practices are desired by workers they only go so far and are generally designed to benefit the business. “Secondment is an important concept to bring new products to market in quick timeframes and although Darwin has a strong contractor base that can take up flexible assignments we can also see benefits to employers of offering permanent workers the flexibility of annual working on projects that take them away from their existing teams” says Paul. The surveys revealed that a third of companies showed themselves to be extremely willing to relocate staff to locations where they required the skills the most but nearly all offered daily or weekly shift patterns in their flexibility terms with annual secondment on projects generally taken up by contractors to avoid the issues of guaranteeing positions after the assignment was finished.

Innovation around flexible working can bring benefits in nurturing more stable teams and garnering embedded knowledge into a wider company culture. With certain technology skills in high demand competing business need to do all they can to secure and keep knowledge workers in the business. With nearly 40% of respondents saying that their company was not doing enough to attract key skills there is plenty of room to improve.  The most sought after skills are Programming and development (50%), and Engineering (48%).

Darwin head hunts for people in the closed market across 11 European countries. Opening its first European office in Amsterdam in 2011 it is now set to expand this further with plans to have a presence in 8 core territories within the next three years.

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