Alan Hartwell, vice president of technology solutions at Oracle UK, guest blogs for Computer Weekly
IT A-levels are declining and E-Skills UK has forecast that the IT professional workforce is to grow and that the UK will need 500,000 new entrants over the next five years. As this could potentially create a skills shortage, it will be more important than ever to recruit – and retain – the right people.
Organisations need to bear in mind that the next generation has arrived and that it is populated by ‘digital natives’. These are individuals who have developed in a digital world with a pace of change that has seen technologies and services iterate and evolve dramatically.
This is a generation with starkly different expectations and attitudes towards the use of technology. Through increased ownership of personal technology they are used to being able to work whenever and wherever they have their best ideas, not just during business hours.
As organisations, employers, mentors, it is in our best interests to foster and harness all they have to offer. They will be coming into the workplace with ideas that will shape and inform the way businesses work for generations to come.
In order to attract and retain the very best staff, businesses must foster a culture of innovation and openness – openness to new ideas and influences within the workplace – where technology is an enabler, helping people to do their jobs more smartly and more effectively.
This autumn Oracle is looking to hire many graduates as part of our largest EMEA recruitment campaign to date to help fuel continued growth across the business. We are aware of the need to adapt both our approach to hiring these digital natives and the ways in which we will enable them to work.
The wisdom of a fixed desk and fixed office hours has been challenged for some years now, but the arrival of the digital native in the workplace will accelerate the move away from that model that encourages ‘presenteeism’ and clock watching. Instead staff will be mobilised through the use of technology and given the means to be efficient and effective, not simply ‘in the office’.
Progressive businesses who want to find themselves in the best possible position in the future, then, must effect change now in the way they approach, inspire and retain digital natives.
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