The Growth of UK Technology
Small technology businesses hoping to expand are struggling to do so because of rising staff turnover, a leading entrepreneur has warned. The problem could hit the Government’s ambitions to see Britain’s nascent dot.com technology sector produce the global giants of the industry’s future.
Tash Whitmey, chief executive of digital marketing agency EHS 4D, said that once technology businesses got to a certain size, staff were often tempted away by more exciting opportunities – either the chance to work for a large, profitable company, or to join a new start-up.
Jonathan Bowers, managing director of technology hosting company UKFast, said the problem was a growing one – and that entrepreneurs needed to pay more attention to staff retention as they built their businesses.
“This is applicable across the industry,” he said. “It is well known that there is a shortage of talent in the field and established mid-tier companies can find it difficult to compete with the excitement of start-ups or the massive salaries of the big tech player. They need to make sure that they are investing in making their workplace a great place to be.”
Elizabeth Varley, co-founder of the community and workspace for technology entrepreneurs, TechHub, said that the problem was now particularly acute in London, where technology companies were focused in clusters such as the Old Street area of East London. As a result, there is an easy recruiting pool for larger rivals.
“Within these areas we have got the big companies that can pay the big salaries; they suck all of the talent from the entrepreneurial pool,” Ms Varley said. “The competition is fierce for the best people within the ‘tech hub’ areas like Silicon Roundabout.”